Bandeira do Brasil

Bandeira do Brasil

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

WHAT DO THE STARS IN OUR FLAG STAND FOR ?

This has been Brazil´s official flag since its proclamation of the Republic, in 1889. Designed by painter Devio Vilares, it is comprised of a green rectangle, which stands for the country´s green riches and a yellow lozenge placed within it which represents the mineral riches. Inscribed in the lozange there´s a blue sphere containing 27 stars which depict the states and the federal district. On its original version there were 21 stars displayed according to the sky chart of Rio de Janeiro seen at 8:30 am of the Proclamation of the Republic Day. The wording says: Ordem e Progresso (Order and Progress).

Monday, June 15, 2015

MARK THESE: BLACK GOURDS FROM THE LOWER AMAZON

Photo by Mariana Chama
The black gourds decorated with indigenous motifs typically used to eat tacaca (a soup made of tapioca gum, a native plant jambu, and dry shrimp) in the Brazilian Amazon states, have been recently declared  cultural heritage of the country .  

The Iphan (Institute of Historical and Artistic Heritage), through its advisory board for cultural heritage approved the request made in 2010 for acknowledgement of the production process of these utensils as Brazilian heritage. Upon deciding the institute atested to the production of gourds as part of the complex dynamics of colonization and occupation of the Amazon region, and it is directly related to the exploitation of the natural resources available in the Lower Amazon. In the region their use is involved in various activities such as fetching water from the river, bathing, eating and decorating.
 
TECHNIQUE The gourds are usually produced only by women in the region of Santarem and Monte Alegre (PA) where residents are known as PINTA CUIAS (gourd painters) following a technique which is over two centuries old. The fruits of the cuieira, a low and green tree which blooms all year round, are broken in half and dipped in water to soften. 


 Before being dyed with COUMATE, a typical natural pigment of the region the halves undergo a scraping (with large scales of pirarucu fish and leaves of embauba) and are left to dry in the sun. After being  dyed, the bowls will stay six hours muffled by a cloth on a platform consisting of straw, sand, ash and human urine (whereby ammonia is extracted), thus imparting the pigment. Next they are washed in perfumed herbs and are ornamented in a technique which has only become known  in the 20th century.























 SOURCE: FOLHAPRESS


Friday, May 29, 2015

HAVE A PENCHANT FOR INDIANA JONES´s QUESTS?


Then you ought to know the Serra da Capivara National Park, located in the northeastern region of Brazil, with many prehistoric paintings which depict animals, trees, beehives, and scenes of rituals, hunting, violence (even torture), sex, birth, etc.
The region used to be covered by tropical forests and the paintings are in places where the inhabitants would find shelter, in what Brazilians call "boqueirão" (gully, large cave) and "toca" (small cave, den).
The park is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
There is an infinity of tours and trails available. The guides usually  charge the amount of R$ 70 for the day. It may seem a bit pricey, but it is worth it. He picks  you up at the hotel before 7 am and dropps you off after 18h.
There are trails for all tastes, from simple walks that can be done by children and elderly people (including wheelchair access) to more difficult tracks, about 5 hours long.
Photo by Jader N. Santana
For daredevils there is a climb up a giant wall with no lifeline, a thrilling experience. Before climbing the wall (in the Rodrigues Cauldron Trail), listen carefully to the guide's recommendations and make sure that you have no fear of heights

TIPS BY JADER N. SANTANA

EXCERPTS TAKEN FROM MARIA-BRAZIL










MORE BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS BY NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC / BRASIL




Sunday, May 3, 2015

THEY REALLY HAVE A SOLID RYTHM GOING!

 Barbatuques is a group of performers who create music and sounds using their bodies only — so lots of clapping and use of hands and mouths to create amazing sounds. The result? From samba rythms to rap. Children pretty much enjoy taking part in the interactive shows The Barbatuques put on, copying the hand gestures and sounds. Created in 1995 by musician Fernando Barba from Sao Paulo, the group is composed of 15 members (Andre Hosoi, Marcelo Pretto, Andre Venegas, Dani Zulu, Flavia Maia, Giba Alves, John Simon, Lu Horta, Heloiza Ribeiro, Mairah Rock, Mauritius Maas, Renato Epstein, Charles Raszl and Lu Cestari).

Their songs carry the essential nature or character of the Brazilian culture. 






If you have seen RIO 2, the movie, you will most certainly recall one of the songs — ‘Beautiful Creatures’ on the Rio 2 soundtrack, recorded by them, the Barbatuques. 






OFFICIAL SITE


Thursday, April 23, 2015

MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE

 
The Wajapi of the Tupi-guarani cultural-linguistic group are indigenous to the northern Amazonian region. Some 580 Wajapi live in 40 small villages on a specially designated territory in the state of Amapá. The Wajapi have a long history of using vegetable dyes to adorn their bodies and objects with geometric motifs. Over the centuries, they have developed a unique communication system – a rich blend of graphic and verbal components – that reflects their world-view and enables them to hand down knowledge about community life. 

This graphic art is known as kusiwa and its designs are applied with red vegetable dyes extracted from the roucou plant mixed with scented resins. The Wajapi consider that the technical and artistic proficiency required to master the drawing technique and the preparation of the dye cannot be attained before the age of forty. Commonly recurring motifs include the jaguar, anaconda, butterfly and fish. Kusiwa designs refer to the creation of humankind and come alive through a rich corpus of myths.
For them, the colours and graphic patterns originate with the first peoples, since before then there was no colour and everyone in the world was equal.This body art, closely linked to Amerindian oral traditions, possesses multiple meanings on socio-cultural, aesthetic, religious and metaphysical levels. Indeed, kusiwa constitutes the very framework of Wajapi society and is endowed with significance extending far beyond its role as a graphic art form. This coded repertory of traditional knowledge is perpetually evolving as indigenous artists are constantly reconfiguring the motifs and inventing new patterns.
 
 
For its exceptional value and great tradition, the Kusiwa  art was registered as cultural heritage of Brasil in 2002 and also declared by UNESCO (World Heritage Centre) an oral and intangible heritage of the humanity in 2003.
 
 
SOURCE: UNESCO



 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

LOVE BEING OUTDOORSY?

Imagine visiting indigenous reservations, going on ecology-themed hikes, enjoying a trike flight over the city of Porto Velho, over the waterfalls of Teotônio and Santo Antônio, seeing the Madeira-Mamore railway station amidst the jungle, the Cathedral, and the Samuel Hydroelectric Power Plant, and eventually coming across a large snake.
Porto Velho (Old Port) is the capital of the Brazilian state of Rondonia, in the upper Amazon River basin. The population is 426,558 people (according to the 2010 census). Located on the border of Rondônia and the state of Amazonas, the town is an important trading center for cassiterite, the mining of which represents the most important economic activity in the region, as well as a transportation and communication center. It is located on the eastern shore of the Madeira River, one of the main tributaries of the Amazon River. It is also Rondonia's largest city, and the largest state capital of Brazil (by area).

Shoals of fish going upstream during spawning
Inner view of capital´s cathedral








 
 
 

Santo Antonio´s hydroelectric plant
 
Archeological findings near the capital
 


Suruí, Gavião e Uru-eu-wau-wau
Surui, Gavião and Uru-eu-wau-wau tribes
Uru-eu-wau-wau
 Indigenous People of Rondônia:
 Aikanã, Ajuru, Amondawa, Arara, Arikapu, Ariken, Aruá, Cinta Larga, Gavião, Jabuti, Kanoê, Karipuna, Karitiana, Kaxarari, Koiaiá, Kujubim, Makuráp, Mekén, Mutum, Nambikwara, Pakaanova, Paumelenho, Sakurabiat, Suruí, Tupari, Uru Eu Wau Wau, Urubu, Urupá
 
AERIAL PHOTOS

Source: Wikipédia

Photo by Agencia Brasil

Thursday, March 19, 2015

HIS TATTOOS TOTALLY RAISE THE BAR

Meet Victor Montaghini´s work. He is a Brazilian illustrator who has excelled in contemporary tattoos. The artist has his own style, mixing sketches, watercolors, pointillism and new school. His clients are mostly advertisers , art directors , artists or people somehow connected to art. And the waiting line may take years.



MORE SAMPLES

WANT SOME MORE?







Saturday, February 21, 2015

THAT FROZEN MOMENT IN FABULOUS PHOTOGRAPHY

Sebastião Salgado is the Brazilian photographer whose nightmarish pictures of teeming, dirt-swamped gold miners electrified the world's media in the mid-1980s. Now 70, Salgado has had his life story told by the joint force of his own son Juliano and Wim Wenders, and it's a story that has turned out to have its own uplifting dynamic and character arc. 

For the last 40 years, the photographer has been travelling through the continents, from gold mines, through the Sahel and the Gulf war oil fires, and into the death-frenzy of mid-90s Rwanda in the footsteps of an ever-changing humanity. He has witnessed some of the major events of our recent history; international conflicts, starvation and exodus. He is now embarking on the discovery of pristine territories, of wild fauna and flora, and of grandiose landscapes as part of a huge photographic project which is a tribute to the planet's beauty.

Last Friday, Feb 20., the documentary directed by German Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, son of the photographer, won the best documentary of Caesar based on the work of Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado.





video

EXCERPTS TAKEN FROM VARIETYTHE GUARDIAN


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

WHAT´S ALL THIS ABOUT THE CARNIVAL IN RIO ANYWAY?


There´s more to it than a simple parade. The highlight of Rio Carnival is undoubtedly the Rio Carnival Parade called theSamba Parade or Samba Schools Parade, a totally unique event in the world!
The Samba Parade in Rio de Janeiro is something everybody should experience at least once in their lives. The event is broadcast live to several countries. Watching on TV is comfortable but not any close to the fun that is being there. Definitely mingle with the crowds and watch the Brazilians and Cariocas (the people of Rio). For the best and full blown experience, you can even march with a samba school.

The Rio Samba Parade is very distinct from all other street parades held at some other places in the world. The Carnival parades in Rio developed into something special, a competition between the samba schools. The preparation for the Samba Parade starts months in advance, as each samba school mobilizes thousands of supporters who will create the various parts of the school's display. 

First, the theme of the year is chosen. Then the school's samba song of the year is selected through competition, while the school's Carnival Designer creates the costumes and the floats. When ready, the sketches move into production. By December the rehearsals begin. In time for Christmas, the schools' annual samba songs are recorded and released to the record shops.

The Rio Samba Parade is not a street event where people move chaotically about as they like, but more of a highly orchestrated show of vast proportions. Every parader has a specific role and place according to his costume in a particular wing, of a particular section of the samba school he/she is parading in support of.

Each year the schools chooses a different theme for the Samba Parade. It can be a celebration of a particular period, or, famous figures of Brazilian history. It may highlight a special event or speak of anything that might move the spirit and imagination; like a special animal, or one of the elements; water or fire, etc. The school has to illustrate the chosen theme through all its work:
the samba tunes, which are especially written for that year; the richly decorated floats and costumes of their 3,000 to 5,000 parading members designed by the school's Carnival Designer (the so calledCarnavalesco).Every school's parade is highly organized and designed. They line up in a unique way to present their pageant. The schools are divided into a number of sections and each section has a number of wings of about 100 people wearing the same costume. 



In between the wings, there are about 8 Carnival floats, separating the sections and illustrating the school's theme. 

Most of them are pushed along by men from the School's community but some are motorized and have mechanical parts. The floats carry special guests along with some young and mesmerizing samba dancers in very elaborate, awe-inspiring costume creations.

The costumes are extremely imaginative, colorful, elaborate and detailed. They are truly original, designed and made from scratch each year. They have mirrors, feathers, metallic cloth, silk and sometimes gems or coins. These costumes take months to make. The work starts roughly 8 months in advance.


Each samba school has its own distinctive colors (of its flag) and costume style. The color scheme is reflected in many parts of their parade.
The biggest and most elaborate costumes are worn by the main floatees (destaques), members chosen with honor by the samba schools to wear these special costumes.


You may think of the whole event as a tropical opera or rather like several operas happening on one night. It is beautiful to watch and the experience for the paraders themselves is so intense that the memories last for a lifetime.
EXCERPTS TAKEN FROM: RIO SERVICES CARNIVAL

WANT TO FEEL THE BEAT?

video

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

IN THE WAKE OF THE WORLD CUP


Can you fathom a people-powered football field? This is what happened when Pavegen Systems - Green Energy from Footsteps installed 200 tiles into a local football pitch in Morro da Mineira, a favela which has not benefitted from tourism and private enterprise development in Rio de Janeiro.
Pavegen tiles work day and night alongside solar panels to power the lights for up to 10 hours on a full battery, creating the world’s first ever people-powered football pitch. The pitch was officially opened by international football legend Pelé. This first-of-a-kind energy solution as a source of global inspiration, empowering action through sport as well as providing a tangible off-grid power supply that benefits a whole community. Now how cool is that?






SOURCE: Avantgardens

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

WAY COOL VIEWS FROM A HOT AIR BALLOON

According to Lupércio Lima, the best Brazilian ranked in the International Aviation Federation, placed third in the World Hot Air Balloon Championship, Boituva (SP) is the best destination for beginners.
Pirenópolis, in Goiás, suits better advanced balloonists.
BEGINNER
Boituva (Sao Paulo)
Brazilian ballooning HQ has a good number of instructors and balloons available, constant winds - despite being a flat ground - and many landing areas.
To help you engage in the sport, the town of Rio Claro (100 km away from Boituva) hosts several ballooning events and championships.
BEST TIME dry season (from April to October), but it can be practised all year-round
FROM US$ 120 per person
WHO TAKES YOU Chico do Balão: (+55 15) 98134-4365; Aeromagic: (+55 11) 2684-1206; Escola Brasileira de Balonismo: (+55 11) 2894-5380
PACKAGE two nights US$ 407; includes breakfast, ballooning and tandem skydiving. Meu Mundo Viagens: (+55 11) 5041-3962.

ADVANCED
Pirenópolis (Goiás)
The city's flat ground is surrounded by the Pirineus Hills that provides good wind conditions with large variations.
It increases steer ability and gives the pilot better conditions to manoeuvre. It also provides a good number of landing areas. The flights can go as far as Brasilia and Chapada dos Veadeiros
BEST TIME all year-round
FROM US$ 200 per person
WHO TAKES YOU BlueSky: (+55 62) 3142-9040
PACKAGE two nights in a double room during the weekend at Suprema B&B US$ 140. Breakfast included. Reservations: (+55 62) 3331-3360; POUSADA SUPREMA

Excerpts by GUSTAVO SIMON from FOLHA DE SAO PAULO

video

Friday, January 2, 2015

THIS CAVE DIVING WILL TOTALLY WOW YOU!

Photo by Marcio Cabral
Anhumas Abyss is a cave 23km far from the city of Bonito in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. Access is made by a gap that exists in the rock by means of vertical rappelling techniques. To the base of the cave there is a 72-meter drop, until the deck by the lake of clear water.  Depth can reach 80m. During some days of the year the sun passes through the small opening of the cave, producing a light beam that illuminates the cave for a few hours.





All details and photos to this adventure  can be found here (in Portuguese).

Do you know the difference between cave and cavern diving? Check it out here.






















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