Brazilian culture in Samambaia

Learn how the Cultural Complex became a beacon for Brazilian culture in the Federal District and its surroundings.

By Complexo Cultural Samambaia

Banda Grupo Caco de Cuia faz forró no Complexo Cultural (2019-07) by Davi MelloComplexo Cultural Samambaia

Where traditional cultures meet

The many different expressions of popular and traditional culture in the Federal District and its surroundings are the result of how rural culture shaped the region's history. This cultural matrix started with the early pioneers, known as bandeirantes, and was later strengthened by the successive waves of muleteers and settlers from São Paulo and Minas Gerais during the colonial period.

Arte Junina by SkartaziniComplexo Cultural Samambaia

Coureira dança no ritmo dos tambores (2019-04)Complexo Cultural Samambaia

One example of this matrix is the spectacular Divine Holy Spirit Festival, which is held during Pentecost in Planaltina and Brazlândia in the Federal District and in Luziânia and Formosa in the surrounding area. There are also a lot of music and dance groups, including guitar players and dancers of lively Catira dance and the round dances linked to fandango. Around Christmas time, many singers and musicians take part in Folia de Reis festivities.

Tambor de Crioula de Seu Teodoro (2019-04)Complexo Cultural Samambaia

Also,fairly common nowadays are the Dança de São Gonçalo, a religious dance asking St. Gonçalo for a blessing, and the Cavalhadas, a reenactment of the Christian defeat of the Moors in the Middle Ages. Cultural imports from the North and Northeast also play a part in building this local identity, albeit on a lesser scale. These include the men-only Curraleira dance, the Afro-Brazilian Lundu dance, and the Sussa folk dance.

Apresentação do Seu Estrelo e Orquestra Alada Trovão da Mata (2019-04)Complexo Cultural Samambaia

Regional creation

A variety of music can be heard at local venues, including forró, the viola song duels (at the Casa do Cantador), the country guitar (at the Clube do Violeiro), and frevo music and dance (at Menino de Ceilândia, Galinho de Brasília, and many others). The Sobradinho and the Itapoã put on fife and drum ensembles, folk theater called Bumba Meu Boi, and the Afro-Brazilian singing and dancing known as Tambor de Crioul.

Apresentação do Grupo Coco dos Encantados (2019-07) by Davi MelloComplexo Cultural Samambaia

There is also catopê dancing at the Moçambique de Seu Eli (in the JK Sector), plus dozens of June Festival quadrille groups and hundreds of roda de capoeira dance groups.

Quadrilha Si Bobiá a Gente Pimba dança no Complexo Cultural Samambaia (2019-07) by Davi MelloComplexo Cultural Samambaia

Capoeira em Samambaia by SkartaziniComplexo Cultural Samambaia

Figura encantada do Cortejo Seu Estrelo (2019-04)Complexo Cultural Samambaia

Capital of Culture

Seu Estrelo e o Fuá no Terreiro, Batalá, Aruc, Clube do Choro, Ventoinha de Canudo, and Forró de Vitrola are just some of the non-traditional groups that have been inspired by the popular culture esthetics that have developed in the area and benefited from the hugely diverse platform provided by the Samambaia Cultural Complex.    

Feira Étnica Grande Otelo (2019-04)Complexo Cultural Samambaia

Handcrafts

The Federal District has long been a region with a wealth of artisanal products. All kinds of arts and crafts products and services can be found in the various fairs held in many of the Administrative Regions.

Apresentação cultural no Arraiá (2019-07) by Davi MelloComplexo Cultural Samambaia

Memorial Day

The June festivals, known as Festas Juninas, celebrate the birth of St. John the Baptist. Across Brazil, but especially in Brasilia, the festivities center on traditional parties with the ever-present quadrille dances.

Quadrilha Si Bobiá a Gente Pimba dança no Complexo Cultural Samambaia (2019-07) by Davi MelloComplexo Cultural Samambaia

Galeria principal da exposição noites brasileiras (2019-06) by Davi MelloComplexo Cultural Samambaia

Brazilian nights

On June 27, 2019, the Samambaia Cultural Complex opened its doors to the Brazilian Nights exhibition. The event was a tribute to the June festivals, which are actually held from June through August all across the Federal District and surrounding region.  

A cultura junina em Samambaia e no DF (2019-06) by Davi MelloComplexo Cultural Samambaia

Exposição noites brasileiras (2019-06) by Davi MelloComplexo Cultural Samambaia

Expressão das culturas populares e tradicionais (2019-06) by Davi MelloComplexo Cultural Samambaia

Artistic encounter

Featuring photographs by Davi Mello, woodcuts by Valderio Costa and Bruno Matos, and costumes and adornments worn by the quadrille dancers in Samambaia, the exhibition shows the public just some of the work done by these professionals who animate the June festivals and help warm up the cold nights of St. John …  

Enfeites e ornamentação tradicionais dos festejos juninos (2019-06) by Davi MelloComplexo Cultural Samambaia

... with the traditional rhythm of forró, popular culture, typical foods and harmoniously choreographed dancing from the Juninas Quadrilhas.

Trajes caipiras e santos juninos (2019-06) by Davi MelloComplexo Cultural Samambaia

Croqui de vestes típicas de quadrilha junina (2019-06) by Davi MelloComplexo Cultural Samambaia

Desenho de trajes e detalhes de roupas para Quadrilha Junina (2019-06) by Davi MelloComplexo Cultural Samambaia

Desenho de vestes de cangaceiros (2019-06) by Davi MelloComplexo Cultural Samambaia

The festivities light up the nights during June, July, and August all across the Federal Capital and all its administrative regions. The lively nights resound to the music of forró groups and trios …

Trajes típicos das quadrinhas juninas (2019-06) by Davi MelloComplexo Cultural Samambaia

… and the streets fill with flags, bonfires, and stalls selling typical fare. All the festivities tend to be organized by local schools, churches, clubs, and institutions, and it is these peripheral communities that help keep Brazilian popular culture alive.

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