2018 Travels 5 - Amazon River Cruise travel blog

Welcoming by dancers

Arriving Parintins, Brazil

Bumba Meu Boi

















Parintins is a municipality in the far east of the Amazonas state in Brazil. It is part of a microregion also named Parintins. The population for the entire municipality was 109,150 (2005).The city is located on Tupinambarana island in the Amazon River. Parintins is known for a popular folklore festival held there each June called Boi-Bumbá. Although the festival is in June, they put on a recreation of the dance competition for us tourists and we’re glad they did. Actually, there was very little reason to stop there (for us) without the dance. In short, it was FANTASTIC; the costumes, dancing, singing, props, everything. They were dancing non-stop for at least 40 minutes, switching out dancers without missing a beat. We were huffing and puffing after just watching them for five minutes.

Some history: Bumba Meu Boi is an interactive play celebrated in Brazil. It originated in the 18th Century and evolved into a nationwide festival. It is a form of social criticism. Lower class Brazilians mock and criticize those of higher social status through a comedic Folklore story told in song and dance. Though not as well known internationally as Carnival and other Brazilian festivals, it is older and deeply rooted in the culture of Brazil. The tale can vary depending on the region and social setting at which it is practiced. However, its essential theme remains the same, with a focus on the death and resurrection of a bull.

The principal figures include a bull, a white master (Cavalo Marinho), a black pregnant woman (Catirina), a Vaqueiro or cowboy (Mateus), a priest, and a doctor, but I just concentrated on watching the girls; that was about all the massive heart beats I could handle. The audience is also a key component of the performance, as passionate responses from spectators provide a hectic atmosphere, but my responses had to be curtailed as Julieann was sitting right next to me (although I did notice her “looking” at the male dancers). Additionally, performers are known to become playfully physical with the audience, though with large consumptions of Cachaça (a Brazilian national alcoholic drink, of which I could only handle ONE), violence can occasionally occur.

Today, Bumba Meu Boi is separated into traditional and modern practices, however, only the traditional forms can be found throughout the country.

This recreation of the festival was the only thing we did or needed to do at this stop, except for the mandatory shopping, but being greeted by numerous Girl/Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts was very, very nice and they were all extremely helpful in getting us old folks from the Tender to the building.

Oh yeah, did I mention that the gals were ALL knock-down GORGEGOUS??

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