Morro de São Paulo
Hotel Praia do Encanto is a paradisical place where the service is friendly, multilingual, and excellent. It is highly, highly recommended! www.praiadoencanto.com.br
Salvador da Bahia, Brazil
"There are certain countries, the names of which fire the popular imagination. Brazil is one of them; an amalgam of primitive and sophisticated, jungle and elegance, beating drums and luscious jazz harmonics -- there's no other place like it in the world. And while Rio, or its fame anyway, tends toward the elegant and sophisticated end of the spectrum, Bahia tends toward the other. Bahia is the land of the drum..."
Brazilian music is deep, there's no question about that! And while musical depth is not unique to Brazil, Brazil's harnessing of depth and warmth to complex and sophisticated rhythms makes it a source of enormous richness to a people -- including many musicians -- who don't have such richness in a more material sense.
Cana Brava Records was founded as an outlet for the music of Bahia and Brazil's Nordeste (Northeast, an ethnographic entity unto its own, defined by hardship and spirited resilience), and as an outlet for hard-to-find music in Salvador (while making room for Brazil's consecrated artists, Cartola, Jobim, et al, and styles ranging from the sambas of Rio's morros - hills - to choro - "cry", a style which gave birth some of Brazil's most beautiful compositions and most extraordinary instrumentalists).
Listen to Pixinguinha's Choro "Carinhoso", played by Zé da Velha, Silvério Pontes, & Amigos"
It isn't just a shop, it's a nexus (see Luciano Calazans above, or better yet, hear Luciano Calazans above playing his composition Uma Tarde no Sertão - An Afternoon in the Backlands), and we are actively working to produce and promote some of the world's most moving music.
Hamlet said: "I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams." The dreams of the composers, singers, and instrumentalists beneath our arches pulse and soar through space and time, extending our shop beyond its walls to the plantations beyond the bay, to the backlands, to the terreiros de candomblé, to the hills ringing Guanabara*, to the gafieiras (dancehalls) of 1930s Lapa, the Ipanema of the 1950s and 60s...
The Man from the Morro
* Guanabara (visible in the large photo below) is the bay around which is situated the city of Rio de Janeiro ...the poorer inhabitants living up in the surrounding morros -- or hills -- where the less desirable real-estate was, and is, located. These hills were the source of the samba (hence samba-de-morro) which would become popularized on Brazilian radio, and one songwriter from the morro of Mangueira, a man sought out by both Leopold Stokowski and Heitor Villa-Lobos, a songwriter who was recorded by Brazil's biggest stars of the time (including Francisco Alves and Carmen Miranda), was Cartola.
Despite his acclaim, Cartola never made much money (that was left for the performers, broadcasters and record companies). He dropped out of site in the late '40s and it was in a bar in Ipanema sometime in the '50s that a journalist noticed a broken-down looking man with missing teeth step up and order a cachaça (Brazilian rum). The journalist turned to the man asking "Would I by any chance be standing face to face with the great composer Cartola?" "The Great Composer" had been around the corner, washing cars.
Here, in his own voice (on the first record he ever recorded himself), is the song of a man who'd endured much, and who in the manner of an oyster protecting itself by the creation of a pearl (which is what Brazilian music is at its base after all), prevailed to write songs like
Samba became the quintessential musical soul of Rio, but
The National Music of Brazil
...was born in Bahia, on the sugarcane plantations of the Recôncavo, the fertile, concave-shaped region around the Baia de Todos os Santos (Bay of All Saints). Hence our logo depicting a cortador de cana (sugarcane cutter).
This proto-samba is analogous to the delta blues in the United States, but unlike the blues, which is played, sung and storied, Bahian chula (nowadays often referred to as samba-de-roda) is a dying art played by groups of mostly older practitioners in backwater little towns, and by a handful of professional musicians.
One of the great samba songs of Rio implores "Não deixe o samba morrer!" (Don't let the samba die!"). Truth be told, that's not likely to happen anytime soon. Samba is absolutely flourishing in Brazil. But what kind of florescence lives on and thrives when its roots are dead and gone? That would be a sad thing, the world losing a beautiful and important part of its cultural heritage. Não deixe a chula morrer.
Listen to Bahian Samba-Chula
More on chula and other Bahian regional music!
Bahian samba is profoundly linked with the Afro-Bahian religion of candomblé, and one group -- from the town of Cachoeira, Bahia -- which mined the riches of candomblé for secular music was Os Tincoãs.
Unfortunately their records are out of print, BUT, we are in contact with EMI about re-releasing their release of 1973 (from which the selection immediately above was taken). Powerful! (And by the way, Mateus Aleluia, last of the Tincoãs and their principal songwriter, was raised within the fold of the Ventura house of candomblé -- of the Gêge nation -- just outside of Cachoeira.)
Listen to Os Tincoãs
I'm often asked about the name "Cana Brava". The source is an imaginary record shop (based on Sikhulu's Record Shack on Harlem's 125th Street in New York City) in the screenplay THIS DANCE CAN KILL. Joe (the immigrant father) is conversing with his American-born son Zoom (from "Zumbi", a name the kid, in his desire to be All-American, had long rejected). Zoom asks where the name Cana Brava came from (the relevant exchange is on page 109)...
Son... We're making a new start. We're gonna be real partners now. Cana Brava is a heavy name. Maybe you got another idea...
What's so heavy about it?
In the old days it was used for a lot of the big sugarcane plantations. The owners in the manor houses didn't want the people they forced to sweat in the fields for it to keep any of it for themselves.
With João do Boi of Samba Chula de São Braz, per the film clip above
..there lived the indigenous people now commonly referred to as "Indians", and we can follow human recordings as far back as a people called the Gé. The Gé were pushed out by a people called the Tupinambá, and these were the people who were here when the first Europeans arrived (the coastal village of Olivença, Bahia remains home to a number of Tupinambá to this day).
Pinzón landed near near the location of present-day Recife.
Those first Europeans were Spaniards under the command of Vicente Yáñez Pinzón, who on January 26, 1500, landed to the north of what is now Bahia, close to the location of present-day Recife (capital of the state of Pernambuco). Pinzón had also been the captain of the Niña (as in the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria) when Christopher Columbus made his maiden voyage to the New World.
Next to arrive was the fleet of Pedro Álvares Cabral, who was actually on his way to India via a wide southernly swing out into the Atlantic Ocean (to avoid unfavorable currents) before heading east around Africa's Cape of Good Hope. Cabral's fleet landed in the territory which would come to be called "Brazil" (in English anyway; in Portuguese it's "Brasil") on the 21st of April, 1500, anchoring at a site he named "Porto Seguro" (or "Safe Port"; Porto Seguro is now a town located in present-day Bahia).
Cabral hadn't planned on landing there, at least not openly so. Common wisdom is that he was blown off course, but some people believe that he'd been secretly instructed by King Dom Manuel I to land for purpose of securing Portugal's rights to the territory. Whatever the case he did claim for Portugal the ground upon which he stood (this was on the 22nd of April, the day he himself went ashore), calling it the Ilha da Vera Cruz (Island of the True Cross). When it was discovered he'd actually been standing on a continent -- not an island -- the name was changed to Terra da Vera Cruz (Land of the True Cross).
How Cabral got to Brazil while on his way to India.
Then on November 1st in 1501, a ship captained by Amerigo Vespucci put into an enormous bay (November 1st is All Saints Day, and for this reason Amerigo named the bay "Bahia de Todos os Santos" -- "Bay of All Saints"). Amerigo also gave his own name to the entire continent via the use of a latinized form of it by mapmaker Martin Walseemüller in 1507. "America" at first applied only to the continent of South America.
Moving backwards in time somewhat, in 1493 Spain and Portugal had agreed that all of the Earth's territory west of Africa would be divided between themselves at a north-south line 100 leagues west of the Cape Verde islands (a league is 3 nautical miles, and a nautical mile is about 15% longer than a statute mile). In 1494 the line was moved 270 leagues further west.
The French weren't a party to this deal (called the Treaty of Tordesillas) and not wanting to be left out they began to exploit the South American coast. In order to counter the French incursions the Portuguese Crown divided Brazil up into 14 capitanias (this was between 1534 and 1536), all with straight, horizontal, north and south borders. The grantees of these capitanias were to be responsible for the administration and defense of their lands. Most of them failed miserably at it.
The Capitanias of Brazil
One of those who failed was the captain of Bahia, Francisco Pereira Coutinho, who arrived in 1536 and founded a village -- Vila Bahia -- on the site where the fort São Diogo and the church of Santo Antônio da Barra now stand. Both the fort and the church are readily visible from the beach at Porto da Barra. More about Captain Coutinho after another digression...
Paraguassu? Well it's the Brazilian movie version of her anyway...
Sometime between 1509 and 1511 a ship sank off the coast of Bahia, and one of the few survivors was a man named Diogo Álvares Correa. Diogo was well-treated by the Tupinambás (after supposedly coming very close to being eaten by them) and from them he received the Indian name "Caramuru" (caramuru was the Tupinambás' name for a type of fish, and it is supposed that the new name had something to do with its owner having been found in the water).
Caramuru came to be so highly regarded that he was given Paraguassu -- daughter of the Tupinambá chief Taparicá -- as a bride. Salvador's first church -- Nossa Senhora da Graça -- was built by Caramuru and it is there that Paraguassu's body was eventually laid to rest. The church still stands (much grander than it was originally) and it was from the church that the neighborhood which grew up around it took its name: Graça ("Grace"). Catharina Paraguassu's mortal remains (she received the European name upon being baptized in France) are there to this day.
[The church is located in the Largo da Graça and is open Monday to Friday from 8 to 11:30 a.m. and from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Masses are Monday to Saturday at 7 a.m., and Sunday at 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. The church's phone number is 247-4670.]
In the year 1537, a year after his arrival, Captain Coutinho -- the man whose word was law -- was on a boat which went down on the reefs off the southern end of the island of Itaparica. He was fished out of the water by Tupinambás but they weren't impressed by the position he held (they had a problem with it rather), and his fate was not to be that of the venerable Caramuru. After saving Captain Coutinho, they ate him.
The general failure of the captaincy system spurred the Portuguese Crown (in the person of Dom João III) into setting up a governorship of Brazil to be led by Thomé de Souza (often spelled "Tomé" nowadays). De Souza arrived in Bahia on the 29th of March, in 1549, and he went to work building a capital for Brazil and a place for himself to live (or for the governor-general to live and administrate from, rather). The latest incarnation of his palace, now called Palácio Rio Branco, sits on a commanding position overlooking the bay, on the same public square giving onto the Elevador Lacerda which takes one down to the lower city. The palace, in all its neo-classical glory, is open to the public.
One strange twist in this complicated tale is the origin of a common Brazilian-Portuguese word. De Souza was accompanied by a group of Jesuits intent on spreading Christianity to the heathen natives of the "new" lands. The leader of the Jesuits was a padre by the name of Manoel da Nóbrega, and at a later point in history Salvador honored Nóbrega by bestowing his name upon a city street. Along this street grew up a string of places of ill-repute -- brothels and low-class bars -- and with time a shortened form of the street's name became synomynous with such places (and with a style of music commonly heard inside them): brega. (The name of the street -- Rua Padre Nóbrega -- has since been changed to Ladeira da Misericórdia).
What was the worry about converting the Indians? Their souls? Not exactly. Portugal's claim to Brazil was supported by the Catholic Church, the Treaty of Tordesillas having been recognized by Pope Alexander VI under the condition that the parties to the Treaty would convert the Indians to Christianity. The Church also allowed that those Indians who did not convert could be enslaved.
Well, up until now the principal source of wealth provided by Brazil had been pau brasil, or brazilwood (a source of a reddish dye). This was about to be supplanted by white gold -- sugar -- grown and harvested on immense plantations in Brazil's Northeast. Bahia's fortune was in the making, but it was to be a product of the sweat and blood of people who spent their lives producing and not partaking -- enslaved Africans and their descendents.
An estimated 1.3 million slaves were imported into Bahia before slavery was abolished in Brazil in 1888, double the number imported into the entire United States of America.
Why enslave Africans and not Indians? To keep a longer story short, the successful conversion of Indians diminished the "pool" of available slaves. One result of this was such an outcry that Mem de Sá (the third governor of Brazil) approved a "just" war against the Caeté Indians for their treatment of Brazil's first bishop (they'd eaten him) allowing the Caeté (who lived in the interior of Bahia) to be taken as slaves. But things got out of hand and converted Indians were taken as well. Epidemics of smallpox, influenza, and measles followed, and then famine. These factors, combined with resistance and flight, led the Portuguese to (largely) abandon the enslavement of natives and to adopt the importation of Africans in chains. These people were to have an immeasurable impact on what Bahia was, and is.
It was Jorge Amado who asked why a man should be so conspicuously commemorated in one of Bahia's most public places when this man had nothing to do with Bahia beyond having been eaten there.
And so Bishop Sardinha's noble and prominently positioned visage greets arrivers to Praça da Sé, while the remains of his avenger Mem de Sá (whose sanctioning of the enslavement of the Caeté Indians was based upon the bishop's unsavory demise) lay entombed within the church in the background (the Catedral Basílica).
Uprising! Revolt of the Malês
"Abadá" is a word familiar both to people who do capoeira and to people who've marched in Bahian Carnival blocos. In capoeira it refers to the pants worn (and to an organization named for those pants), and in Carnival terms it refers to the shirt/shorts combination which marks one as a member of a particular bloco. The word is derived from the Yoruban "agbada", which in Africa meant a long robe of the type worn in Islamic countries (or areas).
In Bahia, "abadá" had assumed its present linguistic form by the early 19th century, but its association with capoeira and Carnival still lay a century in the future. It denoted at that particular point in the past a long, flowing, white robe, a manner of dress expressly forbidden on the streets of Salvador and which would not be seen in public until the Malês were to rise up in revolt against their enslavement.
Another short digression: The Mali of today is an impoverished African republic, one of the poorest countries in the world. But at one time there was a vast Mali empire sustained by commerce in gold and salt, with Timbuktu as its principal city. "Mali" is derived from the Yoruban "imale", or "Muslim", a reference to the empire's religion. The part of the empire encompassing part of what is now northern Nigeria was the provenance of the Malês of Bahia.
And yet another digression: The Lavagem de Bonfim is a huge yearly festa which takes place in Salvador during the month of January, but in 1835 it was only one in a cycle of religious festas, and it was during the early morning hours of January 25th, during the festival of Nossa Senhora da Guia (Our Lady of the Guide), that the Malês planned to attack.
Maybe there was confidence born of language, a feeling that loose talk in Nagô (a dialect of Yoruban) was safe. This was a mistake. Talk of the insurrection down at the pier, and of its leader Ahuna, reached the ears of a freed Nagô by the name of Domingos Fortunato. Domingos engaged someone to write down what he'd heard and had the letter immediately delivered to his ex-master, Fortunato José da Cunha. Sr. da Cunha apparently didn't take the threat seriously.
Shortly later Domingos's wife Guilhermina -- also a freed Nagô -- was standing at the window of their home on Rua do Bispo (a side street which runs into Praça da Sé) when she gathered from the talk of several passing Nagôs that at the sound of the 5 a.m. alvorada (a wake-up chant sung in the street, when slaves were to rise and fetch water from the fountains) the revolt would begin. Guilhermina went straight to her ex-master -- Souza Velho -- and told him what she'd heard. And she wasn't finished.
On her way home she was met by her friend Sabina da Cruz. Sabina had had an ugly fight with her husband -- Vitório Sule -- that morning, and upon arriving home after work (she sold food in the lower city) she saw that Vitório, together with his clothes, was gone.
The distraught woman set out to find the father of her children, finally managing to locate him in the basement of a house on the Ladeira da Praça where he was crowded in together with 50 or 60 other men and some sort of leader (basements of this sort were referred to as armazens -- storage areas; they were the undivided, unfurnished, and poorly ventilated living quarters of city slaves, the master and his family living on the floors above).
Guilhermina passed this new development on to her neighbor André Pinto da Silveira, who had in his salon at that very moment two important visitors with government connections. The government palace was informed and at one a.m. a team of armed men entered the house on the Ladeira da Praça. The revolt was off to an early start. Vitório Sule was one of the first to die.
The crux of the matter now was to unite forces, and Malês ran from house to house, beating on doors to wake up and alert their colleagues. As this was happening the main contingent moved up the street to the Câmara Municipal (city hall), where esteemed Malê leader Pacífico Licutan was being held prisoner in the jail beneath the building. Caught in crossfire from the câmara itself and from the governor's palace across the street (now the Palácio Rio Branco), the Malês were forced to retreat.
They moved on, skirmishing along the way, moving to reinforce their numbers with a sizable contingent of Malês coming from the neighborhood of Vitória. Their trajectory eventually took them past the Largo da Lapa (Salvador's Colégio Central is located on this spot now) where another skirmish took place, and eventually down to the cidade baixa (lower city). The idea was to make their way to an area called Cabrito (today a poor neighborhood; "cabrito" denotes a small goat or -- perjoratively in Brazil -- the offspring of a mulatto and a negra, or vice versa).
Here in Cabrito the Malês of Salvador were to meet up with Malês of the Recôncovo region (the land surrounding the bay) and together they would establish themselves somewhere on the bay's far side. It's not clear what their intentions were after this; a couple of marginal participants are on record as having said the the Malês intended to take Salvador. But the Malê leaders were intelligent men, some of whom almost certainly had experience with military campaigns in Africa before being apprehended and shipped off to Brazil, and they undoubtedly would have wanted to know what kind of force and organization they would be facing before launching what could be futile attack.
This now was the most dangerous part of their trajectory -- with the sea to the left and high cliffs to the right -- the men had to pass the Quartel of the Calvary -- and the calvary was ready. The Malês were charged, scattered, chased and hunted down down by a superior force of mounted soldiers, and this effectively was the end of the Malê Revolt. It was also the beginning of the repercussions.
It's important to note that during the three hours of the revolt itself, not a single citizen who was not a part of the constabulary or armed forces was harmed. There was no looting, no wanton violence. With the exception of one house set fire to by the slaves escaping it, nothing was damaged.
But in the aftermath of the revolt, violence, beatings, hysteria and murder -- directed against innocent Africans -- ruled. Much, although not all of it, was at the hands of soldiers, so much so that commanding officers were afraid of a serious breakdown of order in the ranks.
On May 14th, 1835, four leaders of the uprising were shot dead by firing squad in Campo da Pólvora (in front of where Salvador's forum, or courthouse, stands today). Sixteen participants were sentence to between 5 and 20 years of prison. Eight participants were sentenced to perpeptual forced labor (although some sentences were eventually remanded at the requests of the slaves' masters). Thirty-four participants (all freed slaves) were deported to Africa, probably Nigeria or Dahomey. And forty-five participants were sentenced to be whipped at the post (Pacífico Lutan received a sentence of 1,000 lashes).
These whippings were not like the movies, where a person is flogged maybe ten or twelve times. The number of lashes meted out ranged from 250 to 1,250 - at a rate of 50 per day until the total was met. As one might imagine, wounds and sores became infected, ulcering and festering, and the beatings went on nevertheless, day after day, until the lesions became life-threatening. Only then was punishment was temporarily halted in order to give the castigated time to recuperate, before the lashing would again be renewed. Sometimes the slaves never did recuperate.
In any event, the uprising of 1835 was the last in Brazil, but it wasn't the end of the resistance.
Malê de Balê (a bloco afro) was inspired by the Malês of Bahia
(Lots more on the way!)
For a wide-ranging and scholarly description of the Malê revolt I recommend the excellent Rebelião Escrava no Brasil: A História do Levante dos Malês (1835), by João José Reis (available in English as Slave Rebellion in Brazil: The Muslim Uprising of 1835 in Bahia). My source for the very condensed narrative above was the copy of the book in Salvador's Biblioteca Central.
A work-in-progress history of the Filhos de Gandhy is here.
There are certain countries, the names of which fire the popular imagination. Brazil is one of them; an amalgam of primitive and sophisticated, jungle and elegance, beating drums and luscious jazz harmonics -- there's no other place like it in the world.
And while Rio, or its fame anyway, tends toward the elegant and sophisticated end of the spectrum, Bahia tends toward the other. Bahia is the land of the drum, of capoeira and candomblé.
Bahia's capital of Salvador (the name of the city was "Bahia" until it was changed by officious meddlers at the beginning of the twentieth century*) sits on a spit of land sticking south south-west into the Atlantic Ocean. And although it sits well within the tropics at a southern latitude of thirteen degrees, it receives a refreshing sea-breeze which seldom falters until the wee hours of the morning when things have generally cooled off anyway. The city sits on a huge bay, a Baia de Todos os Santos (the Bay of All Saints), and the topography is predominently hill and valley.
* See an interesting article from the New York Times dated July 14, 1874, in which "our own correspondent" (the Times', that is) refers to the "town" as "Bahia"...
It's for this reason that people speak of a cidade alta (upper city) and cidade baixa (lower city). Both are connected on the bay side by the famous Elevador Lacerda, a "marvel" hailed mightily in most guide books. Forget the marvel (you'll see what I mean when you're on it), but the elevator does beat walking up down the steeply inclining streets which serve the same function of connection. There is a five centavo charge for the ride. That's about two cents as I write, so who's complaining.
Elevador Lacerda from the Praça Municipal
(Since writing the above the elevator building has been refurbished and it's actually quite nice now -- lots of polished Brazilian granite. It's also air-conditioned, something of a blessing during peak periods. The best part of all however is still what was always there: the magnificent view from the upper level.)
And it's this rugged geography which is so disorienting to people new to the city. Neighborhoods (bairros) tend to be built on the heights, with thoroughfares twisting around and between. Streets zigzag and change names, and a lot of them are one-way, necessitating roundabout ways of arriving at any given destination. It can take a long time to catch on, but by the same token it can add even more of an element of mystery to the place.
One of the principal characteristics of the city is the outgoingness of the people. People talk to strangers here, are friendly to them. People are not divided by that initial suspicion of strangers that marks so many other places, at least as far as where sociability is concerned. It's easy to meet people.
But there's another characteristic which often takes first-time visitors to Salvador by surprise: I'm referring to the city's urbanscape, its architecture, building and home styles. Colonial Pelourinho was built while Bahia was the economic powerhouse of South America, and many of the buildings are splendid. Most of the rest of Salvador was built on a shoestring, and the results range from the unpainted claybrick shacks of the poor to the reinforced concrete buildings one sees everywhere (usually in need of a painting), to the more expensive modern and generally undistinguished apartment towers found in the middle and upper-middle class neighborhoods. People expecting leafy tropical bungalows may be disappointed. This is an urban, third-world city, with plenty of crowds and traffic jams. It does, however, retain its renowned Bahian soul, and tropical serenity (along with those leafy tropical bungalows) is very close at hand.
Schubert's Ave Maria is traditional in Salvador at 6 p.m. Here is a streaming excerpt of a lovely, unusual, and uniquely Brazilian version of it played in Cantinho da Mara ("Mara's Little Corner") in one of Salvador's older neighborhoods on Saturday evening, September 11th, 2004.
Lastly, perhaps the quality most fundamental, most elemental to Salvador and Bahia, most striking in the sense of setting this place apart and making it its own -- is its zeitgeist. Bahia's timeframe runs independently of the (developed) world's decade-defined stages of development. Music here, for example, isn't 70s, 80s, or 90s. It is, rather, measured in its distance from -- or more precisely by its proximity to -- the senzalas (slave compounds) of centuries past, to the quilombos (communities formed by runaway slaves) of both past and present. Likewise for Bahia's lovely and deadly Afro-Brazilian martial art of capoeira, continuing to grow and develop without abandoning the ethos of struggle that spurred its creation in the first place. Oxalá, Oxóssi, Xangô -- Yemanjá and Iansã -- all virtually forgotten on their native ground across the Atlantic -- are known to everybody here, determining to a large degree the makeup and timing of Salvador's yearly social calendar. The zeitgiest of Bahia is that its time is its own, a time in many ways above and independent of the carryings on of the rest of the world.
Moreover these manifestations of popular culture are current, now, modern. They hearken back to the past but aren't stuck in it. They are not continually re-enacted museum pieces but rather a part of a continuing flowering and evolution. Put simply, they are a part of life here.
The Old City Salvador, Bahia
Excellent maps to Salvador (guiaPRATICUS Mapa Turística de Salvador) can be bought at Bahiatursa in Pelourinho (the address is Rua das Laranjeiras, 12; any policeman or shopkeeper can point you in the right direction) for R$3.00. The maps are accompanied by a useful pamphlet/guide. The Praticus maps are also available online, at www.praticus.com, though the hard copies are a lot easier to understand and use.
And in that Bahia is a land of festivals (festas), quite often religious in origin though often quite secular in accompaniment, I'm including here (Festas in Bahia) a page with festival dates, descriptions, and other scraps of pertinent information.
Carnival in Bahia is it, baby! That is, of course, if parties and crowds are
your thing. Nowhere else comes close. Carnival Bahia is not nubile women in feathers high up on floaters à la Carnival Rio. It's YOU out there on the streets doing it 'til you drop.
*"The World's Largest Party" is an appellation that I often hear or see ascribed to our brothers and sisters down in Rio de Janeiro (for example, one entity listing Carnival in Rio as the world's biggest is Forbes.com).
Carnival in Rio encompasses 700 meters of street (Rua Marquês de Sapucaí), with grandstands. Now that's like seven football stadiums in a row, and that's pretty big!
Carnival in Bahia encompasses kilometer after kilometer of streets filled to the brim, practically bursting with people, not to mention block after block lined with camarotes (stands).
With all due respect and more to A Cidade Maravilhosa and its magnificent Carnival history, it's no contest!
(And perhaps Forbes should stick to something they know about, like money!)
Carnaval (as it's spelled in Portuguese) 2010 starts Thursday, February 11th, and it runs through Tuesday, February 16th -- officially. Unofficially (and actually) it runs to the morning of Ash Wednesday, February 17th, and then continues in the arrastão (roundup) of Timbalada, which starts Wednesday morning at the Farol da Barra and winds its way along Avenida Oceanica to Ondina. The arrastão, which started several years ago and was only Timbalada has now seen other people and blocos jump on the the bandwagon (quite literally). It's grown to include at least three trios and blocos, winding up early Wednesday afternoon, and then there you are at Ondina's lovely beach, where the party continues at the barracas. Whew! I'll be at Heinz's.
Salvador Carnival Modus Operandi
Carnival in Salvador basically has two parts: the parade of trio elétricos (more about them in a moment), and the barracas. A trio elétrico is a done-up semitrailer, loaded with thousands of watts of sound equipment and with a band playing on top. They parade very slowly along one of two circuits; one closer to the city center, running from Campo Grande (literally "Big Field", Salvador's central park) to Praça Castro Alves (named for Antônio Frederico de Castro Alves, the Bahian poet who, among other things, wielded his mighty pen against the injustices of slavery and political oppression) and the other running from Barra to Ondina, along the Atlantic Ocean. They are called "trios" because the first one was an old car ('29 Ford) with a driver and two musicians (Dodô and Osmar) in the back (the car can be seen in the museum at the Lagoa da Abaeté in Itapoan; it debuted in 1950).
Encanto de Itapoan
The trios form the nucleus of the blocos (with the exception of the blocos afros). One pays to join a bloco and is given an abadá (a getup consisting of a t-shirt and shorts, usually), which allows one to parade with the bloco inside the cordão (rope carried by security personnel). The people who aren't in blocos, and who are hence outside of the roped-off areas around the trios, are called pipoca (or popcorn).
An exception to the ubiquitous abadás can be found in Margareth Menezes' bloco, Os Mascarados (“The Masked Ones”). In a not-so-reverent nod to another time, members of this bloco dress in their own costumes (more further down)!
The other part of Carnaval is the barracas. They are everywhere, turning Salvador into a city of ten thousand parties. A lot of them have their own sound systems. And where there isn't a barraca, there'll be somebody with an isopor (styrofoam cooler) selling beer or batidas (cachaça/fruit mixtures; killer strength).
On the Thursday evening which is the beginning of Carnaval, the city's mayor turns the key to the city over to Rei Momo at Campo Grande (rei is "king", and although " Rei Momo" is a different person every year "he" always looks like an overweight Nero). Thursday is generally kind of a slow Carnaval night ("slow" is a very relative term here, I must warn you), a lot of people still have to get up and go to work on Friday. Friday night picks up, and then on Saturday (Sábado do Carnaval) all hell breaks loose. Watch out for crushes of people, especially on closed-in areas when trios pass, because it can get truly scary.
A lot of people with the money to spend rent camarotes (kind of like boxes along the parade route) from which they can watch the activity and then descend into the muvuca (madness) when they feel like it.
So, What's Up With All These Carnival Circuits?!
The three Carnival Circuits are:
• The Campo Grande - Praça Castro Alves Circuit, also called the “Osmar” Circuit, or simply the “Avenidas”.
• The Barra - Ondina Circuit, also called the “Dodô” Circuit.
• The Pelourinho Circuit, also called the “Batatinha” Circuit.
Carnival at Praça Castro Alves
1. The Campo Grande - Praça Castro Alves Circuit is the original Salvador Carnival Circuit (going as far back as the 50's anyway; the where and what of Carnival is actually something of a complicated story). Carnival's official opening is at Campo Grande, and this is where the political bigshots sit and where the Carnival blocos are judged. The trios move away from Campo Grande and down Avenida Sete de Setembro (usually called “Avenida Sete” by the locals) to Praça Castro Alves. From there they swing around the corner and make their way back to Campo Grande by Rua Carlos Gomes, which runs parallel to Avenida Sete. The course takes six hours or so to run (“crawl” might be a better word!).
The denomination “Osmar” is in homage to one of the two creators of the trio elétrico.
2. The Barra - Ondina Circuit was added in '92 (when it was very much secondary to the Campo Grande - Castro Alves circuit). The trios start at the Farol ( Lighthouse ) da Barra and wend their way up along the ocean to Ondina. The course takes some four hours or so.
Nowadays there is a tendency for the bigger names to play this circuit, as it is seen as more desirable (a view I don't necessarily share) by a lot of Salvador's middle-class youth, the ones with the money to join the bigger blocos.
The denomination “Dodô” is in homage to the other creator of the trio elétrico.
3. The Pelourinho Circuit is a late-comer, having been added in the last several years (though it might be more rightly said that this circuit experienced a rebirth). No trios here, rather a lot of old-time marching bands and people with kids in costume.
The denomination “Batatinha” is in homage to Batatinha (Oscar da Penha), a sambista and composer of wonderful music. Batatinha died in 1997 at 72 years of age, and if you're close to Campo Grande you can stop in at Bar Toalha de Saudade -- owned and run by Batatinha's son Vavá -- on the Ladeira dos Aflitos (not too far from the top of the street, on the right-hand side as one descends). As a matter of fact, the bar was named for a song of Batatinha's wherein he recounts the true story of a chance meeting during a Carnival years ago...a lovely young woman emerging from nowhere, asking Batatinha if she might borrow the towel he was carrying (which was a part of his samba-school kit) to dry her face. She thanked him for his kindness and melded back into the crowds, leaving Batatinha filled with nothing but longing, her sweet fragrance, and thoughts of what might have been...
Listen to Batatinha's "Toalha da Saudade"
And before moving on to the modern Bahian Carnival, how about lingering a bit in the past and reprising THE BIG Carnival hit of 1930? The song was written by a young composer (he was nineteen when it was recorded) by the name of Noel Rosa, who would go on to become one of Brazil's most prolific composers ever in spite of dying at 26 years of age.
Noel was a white kid from a not-poor-but-far-from-rich neighborhood (Vila Isabel, on Rio's north side) who moved freely up in the morros (hills where the poor people lived) and among the lowest-class botecos (bars), where he was accepted as one of theirs in spite of his own disadvantage. During a difficult birth he'd been pulled from the birth canal by forceps, suffering a broken jaw in the process. The jaw never did heal correctly, remaining crooked and underdeveloped for the rest of his life (there was some paralysis of the facial muscles on one side too), and although he was uncomfortable with his odd visage, that unmistakeable profile would become iconographic to the point where nowadays who would want Noel (setting his personal feelings aside) to have been one more guy with boring, standard-issue good looks? Brazil, from the sophisticated jazz-influenced bossa novistas in Ipanema to the roots sambistas in the morros, LOVES him the way he was, and is!
Noel's mother wasn't too happy with all this samba stuff (she wanted him to study medicine instead, something he briefly tried), and knowing that he was planning to go out to a festa with his friends on what would become one propitious evening, hid his clothes. When the galera (gang of friends) showed up at the house yelling up for him to come down, he leaned out of the window (I imagine him plaintively bare-bottomed, but it probably wasn't quite like that ) asking "Com que ropa eu vou?" (With what clothes will I go?). The question inspired a monster Carnival hit!
I've included two recordings below, the first being the original, sung (in September, 1930, by Noel himself, and the second (so that the song can be heard with modern recording values) by the Grooveria galera of now-defunct Trama Records).
One bloco which has for years now been a Carnival staple (formed in 1980) and which offers a good example of the typical big, synthy, commercial bloco sound all too prevalent during Carnival is Cheiro de Amor (Smell of Love; I would imagine that the original idea was Cheio de Amor -- Full of Love -- and then the more provocative sound-alike popped into somebody's Carnival-fevered brain).
Below is an example of this sound, although I've chosen, in order to attenuate the fluff, a rendition of a b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l song from the Bahian interior, really a combination of three songs, two in the public domain plus one which was thought to have been in the public domain but which actually turned out to have been composed in 1964 by Manoel de Isaías. The song is entitled "Quixabeira" and if I may digress a bit there is an interesting history behind it...
A Powerfully Moving Bahian Anthem
Manoel de Isaías, who is in his mid-seventies now, was a fieldhand who on market days sang in the marketplace of Riachão do Jacuipe -- a small town in the Bahian interior -- an activity for which he was never paid and for which he didn't expect to be paid. Then, some years ago, as he and a friend were riding through the countryside in his friend's beat up old Volkswagen Beetle listening to the radio, up came Quixabeira (the song's title comes from Manoel's contribution). "Isn't that your song?" his friend asked. Manoel was dumbstruck...Quixabeira had become the big hit of Carnival, a regular anthem. His name even made up a part of the lyrics (he worked it into his songs sometimes).
It turned out that a couple of music researchers (Bernard Von Der Weid was one of them) had heard fieldworkers singing the song and had been taken by its power. They circulated it and it was picked up by Carlinhos Brown and recorded, to be followed by other recordings by Maria Bethânia and Cheiro de Amor. Looking into the matter, Manoel was advised by a lawyer that he would be going up against the powerful music industry and that he would certainly lose and that he should forget trying to claim any rights to the song...Manoel took this incompetent's advice and dropped the matter.
Several years later Manoel's story was heard by yet another researcher, Josias Pires (of FUNARTE), who contacted his friend (royalty specialist and music lover Rita Cajaiba), who worked to get Manoel the money he was entitled to (his rights were not contested by anybody who'd recorded the song). And today, after adding a couple of rooms onto his small house, Manoel continues to live as modestly as before in the community on the sertão where his music was first heard.
And, some may find it interesting to hear the first of the three songs incorporated into Quixabeira sung in its original, rustic form. Below is "Amor de Longe" (Love from Afar), sung by a group called "Quixabeira de Lagoa da Camisa", originating in a small municipality (Lagoa da Camisa) outside of the town of Feira de Santana, Bahia.
Os Mascarados, as has been stated, is Margareth Menezes' bloco. The quality of the music is, generally speaking, excellent. This bloco has a substantial GLBT following.
Below is one of Margareth's Carnival hits from a couple of years ago, Dandalunda being the Bantu equivalent of the Ketu Yemanjá (goddess of the seas).
Timbalada is another generally excellent bloco, usually much more creative than most of the others (although Timbalada has fallen into the common Carnival custom of playing over and over other blocos' popular songs irregardless of those songs' intrinsic quality). The song below was a particularly nice one which was the hit of Carnival '96.
Ara Ketu began as an afoxé in the Salvador suburb of Periperi, but the musical element was popularized and grew in popularity until Araketu (featuring lead singer Tatau) became one of Salvador's biggest acts. Ara Ketu's Carnival bloco is puxado ("pulled", as they say here) by a really top-flight band.
Ilê Aiyê is a bloco afro that is very roots oriented (as a matter of fact, if you don't have the right roots, you won't get in), their heralded passing being one of the highlights of (a lot of people's) Carnival. The song below asks "What bloco is this?"
Chiclete Com Banana is a huge Carnival favorite, a band which generally goes out with bloco Nana Banana. Just because they're popular doesn't mean their music would hold up to any scrutiny though, and the bloco is unfailingly accompanied by a flurry of petty thieves, pickpockets, and trouble-makers (outside the cordão ). If you get caught in that crowd with anything in your pockets you'll get cleaned out and fast!
Olodum is another bloco which unfortunately attracts (outside of the cordão ) many the same ilk. That is no reason not to see Olodum “go out” (as they say here) though because the music and drumming are excellent and the float (with African-attired dancers) is beautiful. Just be careful if you get caught up in the crowd.
As Muquiranas (a pretty good translation of "muquirana" would be "bar slut") look like the ugliest group of women you've ever seen! Big, strong, hairy men in miniskirts and lipstick, parading together or hanging around in small groups blowing kisses at other men. It's all in fun though, and these guys aren't gay nor would they be caught dead like this any other time of the year. The inspiration for their dress and behavior originally came from the houses of ill-repute in an area (Gameleira) adjacent to their neighborhood (Preguiça, from the Ladeira de Preguiça; preguiça is "lazy", and a ladeira is a sloping street) just off of Praça Castro Alves.
* In 2007 the "Muquis" paraded as...Cat Women!
Filhos de Gandhy, the “Sons of Gandhy” (as in Mahatma) are an afoxé group and one of the pillars of Carnival in Bahia. Many of the members join this group less out of reverence for the great Indian leader than because the group's attire is considered very attractive to women here in Salvador. The participants play a rhythm called ijexá -- beautiful and calming -- and they spray spectators along the parade route with perfume.
They have a guy who plays the role of Gandhy and really looks the part. This results in the occasional extremely odd appearance of Matahma Gandhi hanging out in Pelourinho having a smoke and a drink!
(Raimundo Queiroz Lima -- the Brazilian "Gandhy" mentioned above -- passed away on March 17th, 2006. He was a good man and a beautiful symbol, and is sorely missed in both capacities.)
Expresso 2222 isn't a bloco, it's a trio. And it's not just any trio, it's Brazil's Minister of Culture's trio (Brazil's Minister of Culture is the great Gilberto Gil , in case you didn't know!).
Alerta Geral ("General Alert", kind of like "All Points Bulletin") is a bloco devoted to samba (in contrast to the majority of the axé music blocos). They parade to really top-notch music (Fundo do Quintal, Jorge Aragão, etc.) and wear malandro-type straw fedoras. They are muito, muito legal (very, very cool). Founder (and Salvador bamba) Nelson Rufino has since gone on to found another samba bloco -- Amor e Paixão.
Carnival is heavily policed. Stands with five or six seated police officers are erected everywhere and the streets are constantly patrolled by police groups moving in single file.
These patrols cut through Carnival crowds like Moses through the Red Sea, and this is good. The downside is that if a patrol approaches you from behind and you are not aware of it you may find yourself shoved out of the way, or worse yet, poked in the back with a nightstick. That'll get you to clear the way fast!
The upside to all this is that the police cut down on a lot of violence, usually arriving quickly to break up the fights which are not so infrequent during Carnival.
In one way things are better than they used to be: It used to be that when the police broke up a fight, or caught a thief, a bloody beating was in order. This seldom happens nowadays, and it is our suspicion that part of this change in behavior is due to the fact that most of the patols include one woman in their number. This seems to inhibit the more violent tendencies of the men.
How to Avoid Being Robbed During Carnival
The words “ Land of Happiness ” are often used to describe Bahia. While there is a strong element of truth in this, the reality (as in the cast of most things we learn) is a little more complicated. The larger truth of the matter is that you are in a poor city with plenty of inhabitants who would happily finance their own Carnival happiness at your expense.
This means pickpocketing in an often grossly unsubtle manner, i.e. hands jammed into your pockets with no pretense at all made to disguise the fact that somebody is trying to relieve you of your money (and/or your keys or anything else you may have in there).
How to avoid this? One way is to stay out of and away from the pipoca ( the Carnival crowds; the name comes from people jumping up and down -- like popcorn popping -- to the music). But who wants to come all the way to Bahia and do this?!
• Tie your key or keys into your shoelaces and keep your money stuffed into your sock.
• Better yet: keep your money either in an inside pocket or in a change purse attached by a strong safety pin (or somesuch arrangement) to the inside of your Carnival shorts.
• Better yet: do the former using gym pants with no outside pockets at all.
The last is by far the best arrangement, eliminating (for the most part) worries about pocket picking along with the bad feelings engendered by even unsuccessful pickpocketing attempts!
Other Things to Watch Out For!
Common Carnival behavior also includes the stroking of women's hair by passing men. Blonde hair is an extra attraction.
As boorish and irritating as this may be, it's best not to see it as any big deal, because it isn't. It may be especially galling to boyfriends or husbands but it's better to just move on and forget about it…until it happens the next time. Then keep calm and keep on movin'! The guys who do this usually don't mean anything by it and probably would never be so bold if it weren't Carnival and they didn't have a number of beers under the belt.
Carnivals to Come
If you can't get here for Carnival 2010, Carnival 2011 begins March 3rd, Carnival 2012 begins February 16th, Carnival 2013 begins February 7th, Carnival 2014 begins February 27th, Carnival 2015 begins February 12th, Carnival 2016 begins February 4th, Carnival 2017 begins February 23rd, Carnival 2018 begins February 8th, and Carnival 2019 begins February 28th!
Salvador has its own cuisine. You'll see baianas de acarajé everywhere, usually dressed in white (the color of Iansã, goddess of the wind), tables spread with a spicy and exotic assortment of Bahia's own version of fast-food. Let me tell you about acarajés, etc.:
An acarajé is basically a deep-fried "bread" made from mashed beans from which the skins have been removed (reputedly feijão fradinho -- black-eyed peas -- but in reality almost always the less expensive brown beans so ubiquitous in Bahia).
The mash is deep fried in dendé oil (derived from a nut found on the dendé palm) and the resulting acarajés are usually eaten accompanied by camarão (small sundried shrimp), pimenta (hot pepper sauce), vatapá (a paste made from sundried shrimp, peanuts, cashews, coconut milk, and dendé), caruru (kind of an okra stew), and salada (or salad, usually just diced tomatoes). These "fillers" can be included or left off at will, and the camarão will cost a little extra.
A variation on the acarajé is the abará. An abará is fundamentally the same as an acarajé except that rather than being deep-fried it is boiled in a banana leaf.
Not all acarajés are created equal, in that not all baianas are equally adept and conscientious cooks. Some are downright bad and their acarajés (and customers) likewise suffer. So if you don't know, it's a good idea to borrow from the seasoned highway traveller who dines at the truckstop with plenty of trucks parked outside: go to where the baianos are standing in line.
* (One well-known baiana with a deserved reputation for excellent acarajés is Cira, in Itapoan.)
Speaking personally, it's hard to beat a good acarajé with just the right amount of pimenta, washed down with an ice-cold Antarctica. É isso ai meu irmão! The cost of an acarajé in a working-class neighborhood is 1 real (hay-ow) sem (without) camarão and R$1.50 with. A more middle-class price is R$2 without and R$2.50 with. Some baianas-with-reputations and baianas in touristy places will charge more. Price and quality have nothing to do with each other.
If you're just looking for a meal, workingman's lunches are easy to find. Just about every bar on the street serves decent food at lunchtime. What you'll usually get is rice and beans, and chicken or beef, and maybe a salad. It's good to know that frango is chicken and carne is beef. Sometimes you'll see the word "bife"on the menu ("menu" is cardápio by the way; that's a good word to know), but in Portuguese it doesn't mean beef, it means that the meat is sliced.
Unless you are starving, or there are two of you and you want to share a meal, you should order a prato feito (often referred to by the initials PF ("pay-ehfee"). That means that the meal is served on one plate, rather than on several platters, although in practice it's common that a PF will be rice and beans on a plate, with meat and salad coming on little individual platters. One of these meals will set you back the sum of three or four reais (less than a couple of bucks).
Getting back to typically Bahian cuisine, and to the top of my (and almost everybody else's) list, there are a couple of dishes which you should definitely know about: moqueca and bobó. These are essentially the same except that bobó is thickened with the addition of mashed aipim (manioc). The flavor base of these two dishes (by the way, one of the things that accent mark in bobó means is that that particular syllable is stressed) is similar to the ingredients in acarajés, including the ubiquitous dendé and coconut milk. Bobós, muquecas, and most other traditional Bahian dishes are generally prepared and served in a bubbling panela de barro (clay pot).
There are a lot of them, many of them excellent in different manners and ways. For now this section is going to be free-form, rather than comprehensive, the criteria being that the restaurants set out here have (in my opinon or in the opinions of others) significant elements to recommend them.
Celebrated Porto do Moreira -- an unprepossessing but interesting place with history -- was opened in 1938 by Portuguese immigrant José Moreira da Silva in the Largo do Mucambinho, across a side street from the Pharmácia Luz at the entrance to Largo Dois de Julho (the largo, farmácia, and the restaurant itself all figured in Jorge Amado's novel Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands). Now run by the founder's two sons Antonio and Francisco, the establishment remains to this day a redoubt of old Bahian bohemianism, a place redolent with history, conversation, and the pungent odor of dendé.
Listen to Batatinha, second from the right above and no kid himself anymore, sing the praises of Jajá of Gamboa, an older woman who's lost none of her considerable charm...
Typical Bahian dishes are served at 20 to 40 reais (servings suitable for two) as well as steaks, chicken, and seafood (half-portions of these latter are generally available). Tiragostos (appetizer-type food meant to accompany drinks) may also be had.
The address is Largo do Mucambinho, 488 (a largo popularly referred to as "Largo das Flores" for the flower sellers there, on Avenida Carlos Gomes, several blocks from the Centro Histórico). Phone numbers are 3322-4112 and 3322-2814. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Manoel dos Santos Pereira was a guy who liked to cook for friends and family. He had a simple summer house on the island of Itaparica, with a big veranda which on weekends he liked to set up with tables for extensive gatherings of kith and kin. The house was close to the beach in the village of Conçeicão, which in turn is next to Itaparica's Club Med.
So one fine day a Frenchman decided to leave the self-contained confines of the Club Med for a look around at the local life. His wanderings brought him to what appeared to be a lively restaurant packed with customers and with a wonderful aroma of seafood emanating from the kitchen. The Monsieur stepped up, found himself a table, sat down, and ordered the dish of the day (moqueca de aratú -- aratú is a kind of crab). The man was welcomed and happily served.
When the check was asked for Manoel explained as best he could that this was in fact was a private domicile, that the meal was a gift, and that the man should consider himself among friends. To this day Manoel is not sure whether he succeeded in making his point clear.
Whatever the gentleman's understanding, the following the weekend he was back, this time accompanied by friends, and this time determined to pay. Thus was born Axego (derived from aconchegado, something like "sheltering").
Some years later Axego moved across the bay to the mainland, first onto Rua dos Adobes in the neighborhood of Santo Antônio, and then into a space with a wonderful view overlooking the water, across from the Convento do Carmo. Manoel himself went out daily and purchased the ingredients for his dishes. He himself prepared the foods. And it was he who waited on his customers (aided by his wife, Maria do Carmo Santos Pereira, and his son Fabrício). The restaurant's reputation grew by dint of word-of-mouth, and it prospered.
Prospered to such a degree (within its modest bounds) that when the lease was up the landlady figured she'd throw Manoel out and open up her own restaurant in the space. The result for this woman was, as one might imagine, a well-deserved disaster.
After occupying a small place on the Largo do Pelourinho for several years Manoel finally found what he was looking for -- a well-appointed place with a big kitchen and plenty of space for guests. Thus Axego will now be found just off of the Terreiro de Jesus on Rua João de Deus, 1 (one floor up).
Hours are from 12 noon until 11 p.m., seven days a week (if Manoel looks tired, that's why!). Lunchtime is extremely busy, so it's better to go after 2 p.m. If no music is playing and you'd like some atmosphere, just ask them to put something on (there's a great selection of Brazilian music on the premises and não é problemo!). As a matter of fact, check out Manoel & the divine Rosa Passos to the right!
The menu changes daily, with prices varying from 20 reais or so for carne do sol and carne do fumeiro, to a little more for steak, to 30 for the fish dishes, and 40 or so for dishes including shrimp (the moqueca de camarão is wonderful!). These are e-x-p-a-n-s-i-v-e meals which include accompaniments and serve two hungry people very amply.
In keeping with local tradition Friday is a day for traditional Bahian caruru. A lovely feijoada is served on Sundays.
* One of Manoel's recipes appeared in the September, 2005 version of Gourmet Magazine!
What: Beco de Rosália (Rosália's Alley) is a swinging bar/restaurant with excellent live music seven nights a week.
What Time: Open from 7 p.m., with music starting up around 8 p.m. and running to sometime between 10 and 11.
Location: The neighborhood of Barris, in central Salvador, on the bairro's main street Rua General Labatut, across the street and up a bit from the Biblioteca Central (Central Library)...a taxi ride from the nearer side of Pelourinho (the Praça da Sé side) will (should!) set you back 8 or 9 reais. Telephone: Cover: 2 reais when the music is playing...can you believe it!
Notes: The Beco is located in a courtyard just off the street, in the open air but with a tentlike covering a couple of stories overhead so people don't have grab things up and squeeze inside (like so many place in Salvador) if it starts to rain.
Owner Fabrício is almost always on hand, quick to grab the telephone and offer an impromtu prize for whoever can name the title of a song the band will play a few bars of , or whoever is first to name the capital of Burundi or some such place, all in good fun. The Beco is also a musicians' hangout and you're as likely as not to have some really talented people scattered around you.
The food is very good and very reasonably priced, medium-sized pizzas (one size only) running some 12 to 16 reais or so, and there's good artesenal cachaça on the premises as well as beer, etc.
Sorriso da Dadá (Dadá's Smile) has within a relatively short period of time become part and parcel of the lore of Bahia. Dadá is Aldacir dos Santos, who arrived in Salvador from the town of Conde in the interior of Bahia at fourteen years of age to work as domestic servant. She opened her first restaurant -- Tempero da Dadá -- behind a house in the working-class neighborhood of Alto das Pombas (Dove Heights) and from there became famous for the magic she put into traditional Bahian dishes.
The restaurant moved to a small space in Pelourinho and eventually came to assume the name it bears today, becoming de rigueur for anyone wishing to experience the cuisine of Bahia at its most subtly delicious.
Time has passed, however, and a couple other restaurants in Dadá's name have opened (Caranguejo da Dadá: on the beach at Patamares, and Varal da Dadá: in her old neighborhood of Alto das Pombas -- both of which I'll be covering shortly). Meanwhile the restaurant in Pelourinho has taken on an upscale look (white tablecloths and wine glasses), and Dadá is seldom on the premises. The food is okay nowadays, but without Dadá around the magic isn't there anymore.
Prices are in general 60 reais or so for dishes which serve two people.
Sorriso da Dadá is located at Rua Frei Vicente, 5, and is open daily from noon 'til midnight. The telephone number is (71)3321-9642.
The Cruz do Pascoal is an oratório, a column crested by a niche housing a saint. In this particular case the column was erected in 1743 (by Pascoal Marques de Almeida, an immigrant from Lisbon) and the saint on top is (was rather, she's been stolen) Nossa Senhora do Pilar. The Cruz do Pascoal, however, which is specifically of interest here, is not the oratório, but rather the bar by the same name across the street.
Situated on the Largo do Pascoal and vested in the same blue tile, Bar Cruz do Pascoal looks like a small nondescript stand-up place with maybe a couple of cheap folding tables set up out front. But the trick is to move past the bar, through the doorway, past the refrigerators, and on out to the expansive terrace behind the bar with its truly marvelous views of the bay.
This is a place which is exceedingly popular with the locals, and on a Friday or Saturday evening there may be a wait for a table (though you'll probably find temporary respite at one of the several tables inside, just off of the terrace). Later in the day is the best time to show up. Beach-type umbrellas are set up while the sun is still high enough in the sky for patrons to want protection from the glare, and as the sun sets, the umbrellas do as well.
The house specialty is carne do sol accompanied by purê de aipim, generous portions of which are priced at 9 reais. The beer is usually ice-cold.
The Largo do Pascoal is located in the bairro of Santo Antônio (behind Pelourinho and itself a part of Salvador's Centro Histórico) on the principal street which connects Pelourinho to the Largo to Santo Antônio (the official address is Rua Joaquim Tavor, no. 2). Locals tend to call Bar Cruz do Pascoal by the name of its Spanish owner: Porfilio.
Alaíde do Feijão (Alaíde of the Beans) is a small restaurant located in Pelourinho and named for the owner, Alaíde (Ah-lah-EE-gee) da Conceição, who began cooking at her mother's side over forty years ago (at a table set up in Praça Cayru, in front of where the Mercado Modelo is now located). Even under such simple circumstances Alaídes' mother (Maria das Neves) achieved a certain esteem, deservedly passed on to her dutiful daughter. Alaídes' restaurant is particularly well-known and appreciated among local congnoscenti of Afro-Bahian heritage.
The food is traditional Bahian, and it is also eminently affordable, with dishes running between 5 and 10 reais (caldo de feijão -- bean soup -- is priced at 2 reais). Feijoada, rabada, and mocotó are served seven days a week, and Bahian dishes such as vatapá and caruru are served on Fridays. The address is Rua 12 de Outubro, 2 (down the small street to the left of the Igreja de São Francisco, and around the corner), and hours are daily from 11:30 a.m., with closing time at 7 p.m. (or so) on Sunday, 8 p.m. (or so) on Monday, and 11 p.m. (or so) Tuesdays through Saturdays. The telephone number is 3321-3634.
Aconchego da Zuzu (Zuzu's Cozy Place) is located in the bairro popular (working class neighborhood) of Garcia, where it is nestled in behind a wall running between two houses, occupying a plaza-like area. The name's intimation would indicate something on the small side, but the area the restaurant occupies is actually quite spacious and is felicitously presided over by an enormous mango tree. Dona Zuzu, at 97 years of age, doesn't cook or wait tables anymore, her extended brood attends to these chores, but the menu is hers and it features the classics of Bahian cuisine at extremely reasonable prices.
Friday and Saturday nights are given over to live music, Bossa Nova on Friday nights and Chorinho and MPB on Saturday nights, from 9:30 p.m (5 reais cover charge). This is an excellent spot and the place draws a good and well-behaved crowd from inside and outside the bairro.
Hours are from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. The address is Rua Quintino Bocaiúva, 18, and the telephone numbers are 3331-5074 and 3331-8149.
Okay, this isn't a restaurant, but a category rather ("Food by Weight"), and within this category I'd like to mention a couple of places which stand out for different reasons...the first being an establishment (which by my reckoning) was at one time
THE GREATEST BAR IN THE WORLD!
Now granted, there are many, many bars on this planet of ours, including many that I haven't been to, but a grooving place with hot music (live), and hot samba on wooden floors between beat up tables, in a hot (metaphorically as well as literally) place like Salvador da Bahia... well, that place can't be too far down the list.
The place of which I speak is Cantina da Lua, on the Terreiro de Jesus in Salvador's neighborhood of Pelourinho...
Cantina da Lua (Cantina of the Moon) has for the past thirty-five years been run by Clarindo Silva, and it was for years (together with Porto do Moreira) a hangout for Bahia's bambas. Then, beginning in 1994, Pelourinho was rebuilt (in stages, and in typical Bahian style the final stage has -- twelve years later -- yet to be finished). In this process Cantina da Lua was also reformed (adapting the Portuguese way of putting it to English, and I haven't utilized this adaptation lightly; "reformed" is right on the money). But why reform the greatest bar in the world?
Because money makes the world go 'round. In Cantina da Lua it made the samba go away, to be replaced upstairs by comida a kilo. The food is good there, and inexpensive, and you can eat it under ersatz street signs delineating the byways of bambas past. And if you don't have the cash in your pocket there's an ATM right out front, and they take every credit card under the sun, and who am I to feel that Clarindo should have kept the place the way it was and earned less? Still, while lunching there regularly, I live with my memories of the place the way it was.
And to give Clarindo his very substantial due, when Pelourinho was at its lowest ebb ever, having fallen to a state of degradation below even that lived by Jorge Amado's roaring cast of bohemians and gamblers, prostitutes and misfits, it was Clarindo who initiated the area's rehabilitation in part by the creation of the Tuesday night bêncão (blessing), a weekly Pelourinho-wide party. And it was Clarindo who worked tirelessly to see that the heart of this great South American city wasn't completely destroyed, this place which has seen it all...riches, poverty, feast, famine, war, peace, slavery, liberty...a place which ironically came very close to being felled by one of the most insidious destroyers of all...neglect.
Address: Praça Quinze de Novembro (this is the official name, which nobody ever uses, the original and commonly used name being Terreiro de Jesus), 2Telephone: 3322-4041
Then there is another place within a two-minute walk of Cantina da Lua, and with not nearly so noble a history...but the place does have a wide variety of very good food indeed, a little more expensive than that at Cantina da Lua but very affordable nevertheless. It's called "Coliseu" (Coliseum), and it's set on the second floor (1st floor, British style) of a building on the Praça Cruzeiro do São Francisco (to the right as one faces the church of São Francisco at the end of the square), the square itself being set just off of the Terreiro de Jesus. Lunchtime hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday (they are also open for dinner, with a folkloric show, but I've never been there for that). Phone numbers are 3321-6918 and 3321-5585.
A trapiche is a warehouse for goods to be shipped. And Adelaide was the sister-in-law of the man who built this particular trapiche (that's to say, the one which stood here around the end of the nineteenth century). Nowadays the establishment is quite a bit more upscale and is run under the guiding hand of Italian chef Luciano Boseggia. Trapiche Adelaide is considered by many to be Salvador's finest restaurant dealing in "international" cuisine.
Lunch is served from 12 noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and likewise on Sunday. On Saturdays the restaurant is open continuously from 12 noon to 1 a.m. Dinner is served from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Friday.
The bar is open from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 6 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Trapiche Adelaide is located in the Bahia Design Center (Cidade Baixa), down a bit and across the street from the Igreja da Conceição. The address is Praça Tubinambás, 2, Avenida Contorno, and the phone number is 3326-2211.
Ramma is a natural foods restaurant in Barra, occupying an open and very tastefully done space, with food so delicious that you don't have to be natural foods "type" at all to thoroughly enjoy the place. "Rama" is "shoot" in English (in the sense of "plant shoots"), the extra "m" having been added by owner Marina Neves upon the advice of a numerologist.
Food is buffet-style per kilo, with fish and chicken served in addition to the salads and vegetarian fare. Location is several blocks up from the beach at Rua Lord Cochrane, 76 (Rua Lord Cochrane is a cross-street running between Rua Princesa Isabel and Avenida Marquês de Caravelas). Hours are Monday to Friday, 11:30 a.m. 'til 3 p.m., and from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. An average meal runs 10 reais or so. Telephone is 3264-0044.
Boi Preto (Black Bull) is a churrascaria, and a churrascaria is pretty much the polar opposite of a natural foods restaurant ("churrasco" being Brazilian barbecue, minus the sauce). At most churrascarias -- including this one -- the meat is served "rodizio" style, meaning that waiters continually circulate with various cuts of beef, offering you all you want.
Boi Preto happens to be a chain out of São Paulo, but it doesn't have the ambience of a chain restaurant. The service is fabulous and, in addition to the rodizio, Boi Preto offers a sumptuous buffet with salads and smoked salmon and lobster and shrimp and an extensive array of cheeses, and lots and lots more. And you eat all you want and all is included in the price of the rodizio (a little over 40 reais). It's a very good deal.
Boi Preto is located across from the Aeroclube Plaza on the Orla (Avenida Otávio Mangabeira, no number) in Armação. Hours are Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and from 6:30 p.m. 'til midnight; Saturday and holidays from 11:30 a.m. 'til midnight; and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. The telephone number is 3362-8844.
Recanto da Lua Cheia (Hidden Away Place of the Full Moon) is located in an area called Pedra Furada (Rock With a Hole in It) -- I know, sometimes the poetry in a phrase or expression gets lost in the translation -- on the peninsula of Itapagipe not too far from the Igreja do Bonfim. It's an informal, outside place (though a part of it has overhead covering), set among coconut palms and with a striking view of the bay. It's also another place very popular with the locals.
Seafood is the specialty here, including crab (siri-bóia and caranguejo), lambreta, muqueca de camarão and more, all to be washed down with cold beer. The address is Rua Rio Negro, 2, Montserrat, and the place is open Wednesdays through Fridays from 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Telephone is 3316-3986.
Picui is a restaurant (several of them, actually, named for a small bird) serving the cuisine of the Northeast of Brazil (Bahia is a member state), the interior of which is a hot, dessicated land of grinding poverty. And in the manner of Brazil's renowned national dish feijoada, which rose from its humble origins as the food of slaves making do with what wasn't wanted in the Casa Grande (Big House), the food of the Northeast has via the creativity of its denizens risen beyond mere expediency to become something truly delicious and fully satisfying.
One of the mainstays of this cuisine and a Picui specialty is carne do sol (literally "meat of the sun", salt-preserved meat which is no longer sun-cured, as in the days of yore), born of a lack of refrigeration and maintained both because it has become a part of the regional lore and because it is so highly appreciated. Surubim no espeto (surubim on a spit) is another popular Picui favorite (surubim is a meaty freshwater fish without small bones, somewhat like catfish; it's served breaded). Aipim frito or cozido (fried or boiled yucca), feijão tropeiro (beans with cassava flour), and manteiga da garrafa (bottled, or clarified, butter) are common accompaniments. One order will serve two people to busting! Prices are extremely reasonable.
The Picui most accessible to those in the Barra area is in Barra at Rua João Pondé, 1 (João Pondé is several blocks up Avenida Princessa Isabel from the beach, at the stoplight) and the restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m. until midnight. Telephone is 3264-7638.
Picui continues to operate during Carnival and is a great option for this period (as well as for any other time!).
Koisa Nossa is a lively Thursday and Friday night tradition in Salvador, lambreta (steamed clams, a dozen for R$4.90) being the specialty (accompanied by cold beer at less than 3 reais for a big bottle), served at tables set out on the street. Location is the central Salvador neighborhood of Mouraria, on Travessa Engenheiro Alione, 3 (behind the Quartel General; everybody in the neighborhood knows where it is).
Pizza has not traditionally been one of Bahia's strong points. Flavorless cheese on a soggy crust, no sauce and so completely devoid of flavor that locals are accustomed to eating eat it topped with (equally flavorless) catchup and mayonnaise. Beats me why they bother!
Chef Alessandro Narduzzi -- creator of La Lupa, the excellent Etrusacan wolf-themed Italian restaurant in Pelourinho -- has opened an Italian pizzaria just down the street from his first establishment, one in which the theme continues: Pizzeria Romolo e Remo.
Chef Narduzzi's pizza is uma maravilha, with crust no ponto and sauces and toppings bem saborosos (in deference to local customs, however, catchup and mayonnaise continue to be served). *And Americans might be forewarned that the term pepperoni on the menu refers to red bell peppers, not to a variety of sausage. They got me on that one too.
The restaurant has an open area out back where it's possible to take in the air and not be hassled by street vendors, and more, prices are very reasonable -- between 8 and 18 reais for a "medium-sized" pizza cut into 8 slices (which for most people would be an individual serving). Calzonis and crostinis are also on the menu, as are sweet pizzas (nutella, and banana and cinnamon) and antipastos.
The address is Rua das Laranjeiras, 27 (at the end of the street, on the right), and the telephone number is 3321-8060. Opens at 6:30 p.m. from Tuesday through Sunday.
The Power of the Amazon! The Forbidden Fruit! Açai (ah-sah-EE) has grown to become very popular in Brazil -- it's served all over the place in Salvador -- and efforts are underway to promote the spread of this popularity to Europe and the United States.
Açai is a small, very dark-blue berry for which great claims are made, the fruit of a palm tree found in the region of the Amazon (though the tree can be found as far afield as Venezula and the Brazilian state of Maranhão). The berry can be served in a variety of ways, but is most often put into a blender with ice, guaraná, and other fruits, where it is beaten to a sherbet-like consistency and then served in a bowl. One of the claims for the berry is that it is "energizing". I personally doubt that açai in and of itself is any more "energizing" than any other fruit happens to be, and my unscientific assumption is that the origin of this claim lies with the guaraná that goes into the blender along with the rest of the stuff. Guaraná energizes in (much) the same way that coffee does.
But this isn't meant to be disparaging; açai is delicious and refreshing. It goes down well on hot days and the pick-me-up is one those "ahhh" moments. I'm glad they have it here and I think it's deserving of wider fame, irrespective of any hyperbole.
Many visitors with an inkling will be under the impression that the drink most often served in "Brazilian" bars outside of Brazil, the caipirinha, is the drink of choice here. After years of nights at Sounds of Brazil (or S.O.B.'s) in New York City I certainly had that impression. And I was almost disappointed to find that the most common alcoholic beverage served here is beer. But then that's not such a bad thing.
Brazilian beer is (or should be anyway) served ice-cold (bem gelada). And it goes down well on those hot, starlit nights; or those long hot afternoons on the beach. And if it's Carnival, it can even go down well on those brilliantly lit mornings.
The two big national brands are Brahma and Antarctica. Brahma, in this context, has nothing to do with India by the way. The name is an acronym having to do with its German origins. Though Brahma is the bigger seller, in the estimation of most people who ever stop to think about it Antarctica is generally thought to be superior. I'm of that opinion, though if the Brahma is good and cold I have no qualms about drinking it. If anybody tries to sell you Schincariol run the other way. It's terrible. And if they have the temerity to try to sell you Dias D'Avila, hit them with a chair. I'm surprised that they even have the courage to call it beer.
If you spend anytime hanging out in Pelourinho, and most vistors do, watch out for the cravinho. Cravinho, or cravo, is made by soaking clove (cravo) in cachaça (the standard Brazilian sugar-cane based alcohol) and sweetening it with sugar. It's cheap, delicious, and deadly. It takes very little to knock one for a big loop, so remember that as you're going "Mmmm..." and thinking about heading over for another one.
Another drink served at the little stands in Pelourinho (and which can be found at all the festas as well) is the capeta. A capeta is, literally, a devil. A good capeta is made with chocolate, ground peanuts, condensed milk, vodka (usually cheap, but you can ask for Smirnoff or Orloff and hope that that's actually what's in the bottle), and guaraná. Guaraná is a powder derived from ground seeds and it's an upper, kind of like coffee. Capetas make good Carnival drinks.
Getting back to the caipirinha (the name means little hillbilly, by the way), it is basically a daiquiri except that the rum is replaced by cachaça, the standard Brazilian sugarcane-based rocket fuel. And unlike the United States, where "mix" is used to provide the lime-flavor, real crushed limes and sugar are used here (presumably as in the original daiquiris).
A note about cachaça: The standard brand one sees served in the U.S. and Europe is "Pitu" (prawn, hence the logo). Pitu is just about the worst cachaça available in Brazil; it goes for about a buck a bottle, literally. A step up is "51", "A good idea!" according to their advertising. I don't know about that, but it's a better one than Pitu.
The best cachaça is reputed to come from the state of Minas Gerais, and a lot of barzinhos serve cachaça brewed in the interior of Bahia, in the pequenas cidades (small towns) or on the roça ("out in the sticks" is the best way I can think of to translate it), and this cachaça is commonly poured from unmarked glass bottles or even big plastic jugs. It is quite often, in great contrast to appearances, of very good quality (though you can't depend on that).
A very popular variation on the caipirinha is the caipiroska, which is a caipirinha with the cachaça substituted by vodka. And with Brazil's surfeit of tropical fruits, there are numerous variations on this theme, wherein other fruits take the place of lime (or limão).
What is this contraption? It's a cafezinho cart. "Cafezinho" is "little coffee", and Brazilians tend to be fond of their cafezinhos, generally taken several times throughout the day. These particular cafezinhos come to you!
The thermoses hold black coffee with sugar (preto, or puro), coffee with milk and sugar (com leite e açucar), and hot chocolate (Nescau). Cigarettes (cigarros) can also be bought, and sometimes chewing gum and candy as well. Most of these carts also carry their own ambience via a jammin' radio or tape player. Price for a coffee? Thirty centavos is the going rate.
Afoxé (ah-fo-SHEH) is basically candomblé with the religion taken out...the use of candomblé rhythms and "songs" in social, non-religious settings like Carnival and weekly dances. The principal rhythm associated with afoxé is ijexá (ee-zheh-SHAH), a more subtle and complicated version of what you might hear pounded out on the Maxwell House coffee can for a late-hours Manhattan cocktail party conga line (a simplified midi version is here as an example). On terreiros de candomblé ijexá is associated with Oxalá (the father) and Oxum (goddess of sweet waters).
Embaixada Africana (African Embassy) was the first afoxé, parading in the Carnival of 1895. The next year afoxé Pândego da África (African Hijinks) went out, and in 1905 an afoxé climbed the Ladeira da Barroquinha to parade up the Ladeira de São Bento, thereby breaking a tacit understanding that the Carnival groups from the lower (and darker) economic classes had their areas (Baixa dos Sapateiros, Barroquinha, Pelourinho) and the upper classes had theirs (Avenida Sete de Setembro, Piedade). Salvador's largest and most widely known afoxé -- Filhos de Gandhy -- was formed in 1949 by a stevedore whose inspiration was the great Indian leader and pacifist (who had been assassinated the year before). Other afoxés include Filhos de Korin Efan, Badauê, and Filhas de Oxum.
Blocos Afros are Carnival blocos (groups) which, put simply, celebrate cultural manifestations of African origin. The rhythms are African -- though usually not ijexá -- and the dress is African-inspired (in contrast to afoxé Filhos de Gandhy, whose robes draw their inspiration from the Indian subcontinent). Olodum, Ilê Aiyê, and Ara Ketu are the three biggest and best-known blocos afros...Ara Ketu -- and in international terms Olodum to an even greater degree -- having achieved significant commercial success. Other blocos afros include Muzenza (from Liberdade), and Malê de Balê (of Itapoan), who drew the inspiration for their name from the Malê Revolt.
Listen to Bloco Afro Ilê Aiyê
FILHAS DE GANDHY
Address: Rua Gregório de Matos 51 - Pelourinho
FILHAS DE OLORUM
Address: Rua do Passo 12, Edf. Orion - Carmo
FILHOS DE GANDHY
Address: Rua Gregório de Matos 53 - Pelourinho
FILHOS DE KORIN EFAN
Address: Ladeira do Paço 26 - Carmo
Telephones: 321-1023 / 322-2404
FILHOS DE OGUM DE RONDA
Address: Praça de Oxum 01 - São Bartolomeu - Plataforma
Telephones: 408-6971 / 217-2041
FILHOS DO CONGO
Address: Fz. Grande IV, Setor 07, Cam.48 03 - Cajazeiras
Telephones: 219-5944 / 9937-5731 /
Address: Rua Benjamim Franklim 75 - Barros Reis
Telephones: 234-3955 / 389-1261
Address: Rua Rocha Leal 49
Telephones: 242-8097 / 381-8470
Address: Travessa Rodrigues Castro Alves 18
Engenho Velho de Brotas
OLORUN BABA MI
Address: Rua Guaiba 18 - Caixa de Água
Telephones: 388-6704 / 326-6077
TENDA DE OLORUM
Address: Rua Lopes Trovão 146 - Massaranduba
Telephones: 314-3109 / 3495-4629
Address: Largo do Pelourinho 02
Telephones: 326-7166 / 326-2887 / 9156-8780 /
ABI SI AIYÊ
Address: Parque Vista Alegre, Rua H, Apt. 00
Bl.144G - Coutos
Address: Fazenda Grande 4, Setor 5 - Cajazeiras
Bl - 54 Apt. 202, Boca da Mata
Telephones: 389-6755 / 305-0062 / 9143-0925
Address: Rua do Curuzu 282 - Liberdade
AMIGOS DO BABÁ
Address: Rua Santa Luzia 44 - Pau Miudo
Address: Rua Afonso Celso 161 - Barra
Telephones: 264-8800 / 264-8804
ARCA DO AXÉ
Address: Travessa São Francisco 214, Engomadeira
Telephones: 383-3901 / 230-4650
AXÉ BABA / SAMBA DE COZINHA
Address: Tv. Guaiba 30 - Caixa de Água
Telephones: 242-8942 / 9917-5669
Address: Rua Queira Deus 78 Portão - Lauro de Freitas
Telephones: 369-2813 / 9153-9478 /
BLOCÃO DA LIBERDADE
Address: Rua Lauro Vilas Boas 03 - Liberdade
BLOCO DAS BAIANAS
Address: Rua Portugal Edf. Senador Dantas, Sala 502 Comércio
Telephones: 334-1703 / 334-9715 / 8817-1730 /
Address: Av. Oceânica 3719, Sala 08, Ondina
Telephones: 3494-7169 / 3494-1322 / 8807-0064 /
Address: Rua Inacio Aciole 27 Pelourinho
Telephone: 331-9732 / 9134-2751
Address: Rua Grégorio de Mattos 19/21 - Pelourinho
Telephones: 321-2042 / 8804-4807
FILHOS DE JHÁ
Address: Rua Artur Orrico (no number)
Campinas de Pirajá
Address: Rua Benjamim Franklim 75 - Barros Reis
Telephones: 316-9829 / 234-6061
Address: Rua Vera Cristina, 3 Portão - Lauro de Freitas
Telephones: 393-3596 / 245-8922
Address: Rua do Curuzu 197 - Liberdade
JOGO DO IFÁ
Address: Trav. Cambira 43, 1º Andar
Cosme de Farias
Telephones: 383-0095 / 383-0068 / 9159-6414 / 9916-7871
KAYÁLA DA BAHIA
Address: Rua Alameda Junior 57 A Faz. Coutos III
Telephones: 397-0466 / 217-3217
Address: Parque Metropolitano do Abaeté (no number) Itapuã
Address: Rua Manuel Rufino
Trav. Osvaldo Pereira 22 E - Beiru
Address: Av. Floresta 119 - Casa 03 - IAPI
Telephones: 383-5361 / 8813-3652 /
Address: Rua das Laranjeiras 22 -Pelourinho
Telephones: 306-5089 / 8811-8981
Address: Rua Manoel Faustino 6
Eng. Velho de Brotas
Address: Rua das Laranjeiras, 30 - Pelourinho
Telephones: 321-5010 / 321-4154
ORIOBÁ / RELIQUIAS AFRICANAS
Address: Av.Leocadio 27 Curuzu - Liberdade
Address: Rua Monte 2 Av. Vasco da Gama 400
Telephones: 332-8301 / 3489-1246
Address: Rua Alfredo Brito, 39 1º Andar - Pelourinho
TEMPERO DE NEGRO
Address: Rua Cambira 12 - Cosme de Farias
Telephones: 9949-9899 / 9955-1985
Two Great Spirits of Capoeira: Masters Pelé (left) and João Pequeno (right) on the 456th anniversary of the founding of Salvador
Capoeira has moved from the senzalas and quilombos of Brazil to New York, Berlin, Australia, and just about every place in between. But Bahia is capoeira's cradle, and the following is a list of masters teaching here now, and their provenance.
Comes from a generations-long line of capoeiristas and was a student of both Pastinha and of his own father (who is 106 years old and still -- after his own fashion -- plays!). The mestre teaches in Pelourinho at his Escola de Capoeira Angola: Irmões Gêmeos (located on Rua Gregório de Mattos, 9, to the right of where the Balé Folclórico da Bahia practices). The telephone number there is 321-0396. There's also a cell phone: 9963-3562.
Mestre Curió also teaches special classes for senior citizens, and he teaches kids out at Ara Ketu's center in Periperi. When the mestre himself isn't teaching this duty is handled by his young protégé, the very able and amiable Mestra Jararaca.
Mestre Nô comes from an exceptionally strong lineage of Capoeira Angola which emerged from the teachings and traditions of great Mestres who never achieved the fame of Mestre Pastinha because they lived, played and died in lesser known neighborhoods of Bahia. Mestre Nô teaches in Boca do Rio, in an enclosed area in front of his house. For capoeiristas staying in or close to the city center it is a bit of a journey (45 minutes or so by bus), but it's worth it. Nô is a great spirit, which is to say that he is an open, friendly, funny, wonderful guy. He's a master's master but he doesn't act like it at all. There's no putting on airs here. He concentrates on music, and part of the class is everybody picking up instuments and playing. Nô was Mestre Ombrinho's (Ombrinho teaches in New York City) master, and I love the slinky sinuousness their style.
Mestre Bamba teaches at Bimba's academy in Pelourinho, in the original space. Bamba has put the fight back into capoeira, which was where it started in the first place, and his rodas can be rough. (If you are a beginner, don't worry; you won't get beaten up. If you are strong (and a guy) and know what you're doing, get ready to rumble.) Of course the rodas can be elegant and beautful as well, exhibiting Bimba's penchant for beautiful, well-controlled moves. There's a lot of singing and energy at the academy.
The training system is you (non-locals) pay seventy reais for ten days of training. That comes to less than three dollars per day, so although it's more than at some other places you'd have to be really cheap to complain too much. For this you train, at your own discretion, up to three hours per day any time Monday through Friday from 9 a.m to noon and/or from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m; Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. You choose what you want to train. Rodas are Tuesdays and Fridays from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m.
Mestre Boca Rica studied with Pastinha, Waldemar, and Bimba, and was christened "Boca Rica" ("Rich Mouth) by Pastinha because of his gold teeth. He is a member of the Council of Masters of the Associação Brasileira de Capoeira Angola, and is a very sweet and approachable man and a veritable font of capoeira history. He teaches capoeira at the Association's headquarters in Pelourinho on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m [The seat of the Associação Brasileira de Capoeira Angola is located on Rua Gregório de Matos, 38, in the Casa da Capoeira Angola da Bahia. The phone number is 321-9538 (* if this telephone isn't working call 381-1505 or 252-5419 in the evening, and be ready to speak Portuguese; these numbers are the house of Mestre Môa, one of the Association's directors.)] . Classes are also held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:30 to 5:30 (I don't know who teaches them). The prices for classes are R$10 each, or R$60 a month. Rodas are Friday evenings from 7:30 to 9:30. Mestre Boca Rica also has a stall in the huge open-air market Feira de São Joaquim.
Leader of Capoeira Porto da Barra. "Cabeludo" means "Hairy", but since receiving that name he's gotten his more or less under control. Was a student of Mestre Bamba. His group also trains in a space in the bairro (neighborhood) of Barris.
Was a student of Mestre Nô's. Mestre Alabama is one of the founders of Nação Capoeira and he has a large and modern academy in the bairro of Barris. The academy's address is Rua Junqueira Ayres, 33, and the phone number is 329-1888.
Highly respected grandmaster who studied with Pastinha. Grande Mestre João Pequeno teaches in the Forte de Santo Antônio. (João Pequeno means "Little John", a comparison to João Grande -- "Big John" -- who now lives and teaches in New York City.)
A student of Pastinha's. Teaches in the Forte de Santo Antônio. His students wear the traditional colors of Pastinha's students. Telephone 226-2726.
Now spends most of his time in the United States (he's a resident of New York City), but Jelon constantly returns to Salvador and has an active group in his neighborhood of Boca do Rio. Jelon and his friend, the irrepressible Loremil Machado (now deceased) have the distinction of being the first to introduce capoeira into the U.S. Jelon studied with Mestre Bobó, under Ezequiel at Bimba's academy, and with Mestre Acordeon (now based in San Francisco).
Studied with Mestre Bimba, and now practices as a dentist, though still active (and highly respected, both as a master and as a scholar) in capoeira.
Studied with Mestre Gato and lives in the area called "Vale das Pedrinhas" ("Valley of the Little Stones). Mestre Boa Gente is an active member of the Associação Brasileira de Capoeira Angola.
Director of the Centro de Cultura da Capoeira Tradicional Bahiana in the bairro of Nazaré, author of "A Capoeira Angola na Bahia", and an active member of the Associação Brasileira de Capoeira Angola. Mestre Bola Sete was a student of Pastinha's. Telephone 321-8151.
Founder of the group Capoeira Topázio. Studied with Mestres Fiínho and Nô. Classes are held at Ladeira do São Cristovão, 42, in the neighborhood of Liberdade. The phone number is 386-6133. There is now another, very beautiful, teaching space within a five-minute walk from Pelourinho, at Ladeira de Santana, No. 2 (phones: 321-3366, 321-2075, 9129-3443). This space (run by Linda) manages to be excellent in the sense that a good dance-school space would be, without a dance-school atmosphere. The price for classes is 35 reais per month.
Is the teacher of the Grupo de Capoiera Angola do Acupe, located at Boulevard Copacabana,12, (near Brotas Center on Rua Dom João VI) in the bairro of Brotas. The phone number is 356-8527.
Teaches at Arte Bahia in Pelourinho, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The address is Rua Frei Vicente, 32, and the phone number is 322-2343. The price for classes is 30 reais per month and there is a 10 real enrollment fee.
* A place to be wary is behind the Mercado Modelo. The capoeiristas there "ask for donations", which in practice quite often amounts to what could only be called extorting money from the unsuspecting. These guys can also be found playing in the Terreiro de Jesus in Pelourinho, though a lot of "legitimate" capoeiristas play there as well.
It's night in Salvador and you hear drumming. It may be coming from one of the numerous terreiros de candomblé scattered throughout the city. Most terreiros will permit visitors to attend their ceremonies. Should you go, dress respectfully. Trousers for men, and women should wear longer skirts. White is best because it is respectful to all the orixás.
("Orixá" is commonly translated as "god". A more accurate representation would perhaps be "saint". Candomblé posits a monotheistic supreme being -- usually referred to as Olodumaré -- with the orixás being called upon as intermediaries between earthbound humans and the all-powerful, much as a Christian will pray for a saint's intercession on his or her behalf.)
If you speak Portuguese and would like to find information with respect to various houses of candomblé, where they are located, what nights they hold their ceremonies, and when they have their special festas, a good place to go is the FEDERAÇÃO BAIANA DE CULTO AFRO BRASILEIRO, located at Rua Portas do Carmo, 39 (1st floor) in Pelourinho.
Following are addresses and telephone numbers for some of Salvador's principal terreiros de candomblé. I think that intending observers should be aware of the fact that, from their point-of-view, the ceremonies may last a long time without a lot of the dramatic highlights they may be expecting.
CASA DE OXUMARÉ
Address: Rua Pedro Gama, (no number) - 2nd Travessa - Federação
The address for this terreiro is in Federação, but unless you know the winding backstreets of the neighborhood you'll never get there. The terreiro is very easy to get to from Avenida Vasco da Gama, however (there is an entrance at Vasco da Gama, 343), and thus the locale is located conveniently close to the city center. Arriving from the Vasco end, however, means climbing steps, lots of steps -- one hundred and four of them to be exact.
The full name of the house is Ilê Axé Oxumaré. It was founded around 1900 and is descended from the Ketu Nation. Ceremonies begin at 8:00 p.m. (or so) on Wednesday nights, and last two to three hours. Visitors are welcome.
Address: Av. Vasco da Gama, 463 - Vasco da Gama
*Mãe Altamira Cecília dos Santos
Casa Branca (White House), or Ilê Axé Yá Nassô, is usually cited as Salvador's first house of candomblé, but it might be better said to be Salvador's oldest continually functioning house of candomblé because candomblé was practiced in the senzalas and on the terreiros of the sugarcane plantations both before (and after) the house was established. The "house" (in an organizational sense) was first located on the Ladeira do Berquo -- now known as Rua Visconde de Itaparica -- behind the Igreja (Church) da Barroquinha (the church is easily visible from Praça Castro Alves; it burned in 1983 but the structure still stands). Ceremonies are on Sunday nights, beginning at 8 p.m.
Mãe Menininha GANTOIS (Ilê Axé Yá Massê)
Address: Alto do Gantois, 23 - Federação
Gantois was the house of famous Mãe Menininha, mother of the yalorixá now presiding over the terreiro (...and a lovely song in her honor was composed by Dorival Caymmi; Dona Ivone Lara -- first lady of samba -- sings the version below)
Listen to "Mãe Menininha"
Xangô (in Cachoeira)
ILÊ AXÉ OPÔ AFONJÁ
Address: Rua Direta de São Gonçalo, 557 - Cabula
ABAÇA DE AMAZI
Address: José Ramos, 165, Vila América - Vasco da Gama
Address: Travessa de São Jorge, 65 E - Mata Escura do Retiro
CASA DE BABÁ
Address: Av. Beira Mar (no number) - Ponta de Areia
*Pai Domingos dos Santos
CENTRO DE ANGOLA MENSAGEIRO DA LUZ
Address: Rua Ferreira Santos 53 - Federação
Address: Rua 3 de Maio, 25, Cosme de Farias
Address: Rua 6 de Janeiro, 29 - Sete de Abril
Address: Rua Apolinário Santana, 48 - Engenho Velho da Federação
Address:Rua Queira Deus, 78 - Lauro de Freitas
Address: Rua Hélio Machado, 108 - Boca do Rio
Address: Rua Pedro Gama, Ladeira, 13 de Julho, 74 - 3rd Travessa - Federação
*Mãe Ana Maria dos Santos
ILÊ ASE ODE OLUAMI
Address: Travessa Manuel Rangel, 49, Vila Matos - Rio Vermelho(Travessa next
to the Clínica Corpus).
*Pai Jailton Bispo dos Santos
ILÊ AXÉ OYÁ MESI
Address: Conjunto Habitacional de Coutos - Casa 07, Caminho 11
Tel: 3397-2330 / 9981-7120
*Mãe Carmem França
ILÊ AXÉ AJAGUNA
Address: Rua Genesio Sales, 11 - Massaranduba
*Pai Luís Roberto
ILÊ AXÉ ALAKETU
Address: Rua José Orlando, 26 E, Entrada de Cajazeira 7 - Águas Claras
ILÊ AXÉ E BÁ OGUM
Address: Rua Sérgio de Carvalho, 39 - Vasco da Gama
*Pai Luís da Muriçoca
ILÊ AXÉ MAROKETU
Address: Rua Antônio Viana, 65 - Cosme de Farias
*Mãe Arcanja Moreira de Brito (Mãe Pastora)
ILÊ AXÉ NINFÁ OMIM
Terceira Travessa, Geraldo Martins 7E
Reference: After the Catholic church
Jardim de Guiomar
*Pai Raimundo de Oxum
ILÊ AXÉ OPÔ AJAGUNÃ
Address: Jardim dos Diamantes, 14, Areia Branca - Lauro de Freitas
ILÊ OTÁ OMIN AXÉ NILÁ
Address: Parque Metropolitano do Abaeté - Itapuã (Across from Música da Bahia)
Tel: 3249.7059 / 3375-4723
*Mãe Dejanira Barbosa da Soledade
ILÊ AXÉ YÊYÊ IPONDA IMIN ONILÊ
Address: Rua Direta de Santo Antônio, 665, Portão - Lauro de Freitas
*Pai Paulo Roberto Pinheiro da Cruz
ILÊ TOOYÁ LONI
Address: Ferreira Santos, 164 - Federação
*Mãe Maria Célia
MANSO DANDALUNDA OYA KSIUBI DE UNZAMBI
Address: Rua Direita do Jambeiro, (no number), Areia Branca - Lauro de Freitas
* Mãe Augusta OBÁ TONI
Address: Ladeira da Paz, 29 - Engenho Velho da Federação
OGUN RE SI OMEN
Address: Rua Heitor Dias, 34 - Cosme de Farias
OLGA DE ALAKETU
Address: Rua Luis Anselmo 67 - Matatu de Brotas
Address: Rua Coronel Felisberto Caldeiro, 24 - Macaúbas
Address: Rua Professor Luiz Pinto, 5 E - Santa Cruz
*Pai: José Maria Araujo de Souza
Address: Estrada Cia Aeroporto - Km 5,5. Rua Manoel Jovino, 67- Alto do
CEPEL (close to CEASA), Simões Filho
Address: Rua Antonio José Silva, 01, Estrada das Barreiras, Cabula
Tel: 3257-0583 / 3385-0012
VILA SÃO ROQUE
: Rua Direita do Beiru, 884 E (next to the police module)
Tel: 3461-2790 / 9129-4472
There are two neighborhoods in Salvador that just about every visitor gets to know. One is Pelourinho (Pillory), which has its own "chapter" in the "Table of Contents", and the other is Barra (Bar, as in reef, and pronounced "BA-ha"), which has a number of hotels and the two beaches closest to the city center (with the exception of some very small beaches frequented only by very local people).
Itapoan -- mentioned in the "Beaches" section. An interesting seaside village (with several alternative spellings). You can get great acarajés from Cira (the Baiana's name), across from a praça that's very lively at night. The Baiana next to Cira is not as famous, but her acarajés are great too. Itapoan runs the gamut from poor to rich, has a good beach, great barracas, and a great feira (open-air market). It also has a lot of music and dancing on the weekends, both along the seafront and at the Lagoa (lagoon) de Abaeté, a few blocks away.
Itapoan is where Dona Flor (from the Jorge Amado novel Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands) gave up her virginity to the scoundrel who was to become her first husband. It was also home to poet/playwright/lyricist Vinícius de Moraes for a number of years, and composer Dorival Caymmi. Vinícius, together with his collaborator Toquinho, wrote and performed an evocative hymn to the bucolic village of the time...
Listen to "Tarde em Itapoã"
* Liberdade (Liberty) -- low-middle class to poor. It's kind of the Harlem of Salvador in that it is a huge, bustling neighborhood with a rich cultural background. A lot of capoeira came out of this area, and Liberdade is home to the African blocos Ilê Aiyê and Muzenza. I lived there for a year.
Speaking of Ilê Aiyê, the group's provenance is a specific area of Liberdade called "Curuzu" (their headquarters being situated on the Ladeira do Curuzu)...and given this it is fitting that Curuzu came into existence as a quilombo. The neighborhood where Timbalada came into existence also started as a quilombo (I'm speaking of Candeal, an area of Brotas), as did the neighborhoods of Calabar (a part of Federação) and Alto da Sereia (in Rio Vermelho).
* Boca do Rio (Mouth of the River) -- on the Atlantic side, is not quite as far out as Itapoan. It is home to capoeira mestres Nô, Lázaro, and Jelon Vieira, and is for the most part lower-middle class to poor. I like Boca do Rio.
* Engenho Velho de Federação (Old Mill of Federation) -- is a mostly poor neighborhood set on the territory of what was a sugarcane plantation (hence the engenho, or mill, which served to process the cane). What this neighborhood lacks in material prosperity it more than makes up for in culture, Engenho Velho de Federação being home to 23 houses of Candomblé (including Bogum [Zoogodô Bogum Malê Rundó] and Casa Branca [Ilê Axé Yá Nassô] ).
* Cabula -- is a neighborhood named for a quilombo which was finally destroyed in 1807, the quilombo's name deriving from a rhythm (example below) used in candomblé angola (brought and elaborated by the the Bantus, first group of slaves to arrive in Bahia). This area -- the character of which ranges from poor to middle-class, numerous concrete apartment buildings and houses having been constructed in the 1970s -- is home to terreiros de candomblé Ilê Axé Opô Afonjá and Bate-Folha.
Listen to Cabula... and, if you'll listen closely enough to cabula...
...you'll hear the precursor to chula, and hence to samba.
* Dois de Julho (2nd of July) -- is the area around Largo (Place) Dois de Julho, close to the city center. This is where Dona Flor's first husband Vadinho died dancing samba during Carnival, and one of the streets in this area -- Rua do Sodré ("Sodré" is a Portuguese surname) -- is where Dona Flor lived with both her first and second husbands and where she had her cooking school. The junction of Rua Carlos Gomes and Rua do Cabeça (which is one of the access streets to Dois de Julho; "Rua do Cabeça" is "Street of the Head, or Head Street", which in this sense -- given the masculine "do" rather than the feminine "da" -- denotes the head of something as opposed to a head unattached) was the fictional location of Dona Flor's second husband's pharmacy. That pharmacy -- like so much local color in Jorge Amado's fiction -- was based on an actually existing pharmacy (Amado locating his fictional establishment upon the site of the real one -- Pharmácia Luz -- which is there on the corner to this day).
During the time in which Amado's novel was set (early 1940's I believe) the area was, as described by Amado himself in the novel, lower middle-class, and for the most part it continues to be so today. At the top of Rua do Sodré -- which leads from Dois de Julho down to the Museu de Arte Sacre (Musem of Sacred Art) -- are several small and very typically Bahian bars, one of which serves batidas and where my friends and I like to sit and observe the local life. As sunset approaches this area becomes very questionable.
* Preguiça (Laziness) -- The far end of Rua do Sodré (from Dois de Julho) runs into the Ladeira da Preguiça (a "ladeira" is a sloping street), which in turn winds its way down to the lower city. The ladeira (the descending or ascending of which would nowadays invite robbery of anybody obviously a tourist) was in Salvador's early years the principal thoroughfare for the transportation of arriving cargo from the lower city to the upper. Slaves did much of this work (their compatriots in this being burros and donkeys) and in return for their backbreaking labor they were made to constantly endure cries and accusations of laziness. "Ladeira da Preguiça" is the title of a Gilberto Gil song written in 1971.
Saude (Health) -- is an old, interesting, somewhat crumbling neighborhood in the style of Pelourinho but with no commercialization for the tourist trade. From Pelourinho it lies just across from the Baixa dos Sapateiros (Cobbler's Low Area, so called because it traces the divide between the hills of Pelourinho and Saude and because of a common trade once practiced there). Nowadays the Baixa dos Sapateiros is given over to cheap shops with hawkers calling out to potential customers as they pass on the sidewalk, but in the 1930's the area -- or presumably a lovely young thing in the area -- inspired the great Ary Barroso to write what has become Bahia's most enduring "theme song", Na Baixa do Sapateiro ("In the Baixa do Sapateiro"; for some reason the song title is in the singular).
Listen to "Na Baixa do Sapateiro"
Moving back in time, before the Baixa dos Sapateiras was a street it was a stream called Rio das Tripas (Tripe River)...where the unwanted refuge of Salvador's slaughterhouse district (Barroquinha) was tossed (Barroquinha's slaughterhouses are long gone, the area since having become a city bus terminal).
Barroquinha was named for a church (Nossa Senhora da Barroquinha) behind which, incidentally, the precursor to Salvador's oldest continually existing house of candomblé was founded (Casa Branca). The church was also the seat of the Confraria de Nossa Senhora da Boa Morte (Sisterhood of Our Lady of the Good Death), a group which subsequently departed for the town of Cachoeira (where their festa is held yearly, in August).
* Pituba/Itaigara -- are two neighborhoods which in fact merge to form one, and doing likewise with Caminho das Árvores (Trail of the Trees) they form a triumverate of middle and upper-middle class Salvador, home to doctors, engineers, and lawyers. These areas are usually not interesting to visitors seeking local flavor, though even here one may see rodas de capoeira in open areas in the evenings. I lived in this area for a year.
* Barris (Barrels) -- ...Hey! That's where I live now! I like it because it's right smack in the center of the city and close to a lot of good stuff. Plus it's quiet, in spite of being a three-minute walk to Carnaval. Around the corner, on Saturdays, when the high school gets out, there's usually samba da roda (making that high school doubly different from mine in Indianapolis -- we didn't have classes on Saturday and we sure as hell didn't have any samba de roda!).
The name comes from the fact that people would fetch water (or send to have it fetched) -- in barrels -- from a freshwater spring located in a valley between what is now Barris and what is now the neighborhood of Tororó (that valley is now the Lapa city bus terminal).
* Santo Antônio (Saint Anthony) -- is pretty much of an extension of Pelourinho, though much more given to residencial living. Santo Antônio is part of Salvador's Centro Histórico and and most of the houses date from the colonial era. At the far end from Pelourinho is the Largo (square) de Santo Antônio, banked by a church (Santo Antônio of course) and a fort (well just guess; oh alright, the Forte de Santo Antônio), the fort being home to a lot of capoeira angola. A very cool area.
Igreja Da Terçeira Ordem do Carmo, in Santo Antônio
* Rio Vermelho (Red River) -- is where the great Festa da Yemenjá (goddess of the sea) takes place on February 2nd. It was home to the writer Jorge Amado and is currently home to singer Gal Costa (who bought her house overlooking the Praia da Paciéncia -- Patience Beach -- from musical colleague Caetano Veloso). Gilberto Gil has a home in the area too. Lots of bars and restaurants. My bairro (neigborhood) for a year.
The name comes from a "river" giving onto the Atlantic Ocean (I use quotes because what was at one time a small river has become a concretized gutter), the name of this river being "Camurujipe", a Portuguese twisting of the original Tupí "Camarajibe" -- or "River of the Camarás". Given that a camará is a small red flower which in earlier times grew in abundance here in Salvador, a more accurate rendering would be "Rio das Flores Vermelhas" ("River of the Red Flowers"), but that's quite a mouthful of syllables.
* Ondina -- Carnival ends here (see the "Carnival" section), several kilometers up from Barra. Ondina has a nice urban beach and some of the big, standard-style hotels (Othon Palace, etc.). Up on a bluff overlooking Ondina proper is the Alta da Ondina (Ondina Heights) with a lovely, windswept, and almost lonely-feeling view of the Atlantic and city below. There's a restaurant up there taking advantage of that view, the eponymous Alta da Ondina. I haven't eaten there, so although I can recommend the vista, I'm not in a position right now to say anything about the establishment itself (other than it looks good). A large part of the Federal University of Bahia campus is in Ondina, as well as the city zoo.
* Subúrbio (Suburbia) -- is, as the name implies, not a single neighborhood, but comprises rather the neighborhoods on the city's perimeter. And, in great contrast to Europe or the U.S., this is not where the working middle-class flees to; it is where the vast majority of the city's poor people live. Some of the neighborhoods encountered as one follows Avenida Suburbana along the inside of the bay are Alagados (literally "Flooded"; these are the houses on stilts that one sometimes sees in photographs or paintings), Plataforma, Ilha Amarela ("Yellow Island", which isn't an island at all but was christened during an epidemic of yellow fever, when the area was quarantined), Periperi, and Paripe.
Most of this area looks like the Garden of Eden after having been scattered by God with clay-red dice. The dice are where people live, their dwellings (the humbler ones are called "barracos") built up a little bit at a time (finances permitting) using the clay block ubiquitous to Brazil. It is very rare that the outside of the block is finished, people preferring to devote their limited resources to the inside. The main streets are usually (badly) paved, but most of the others are dirt paths populated by children, dogs, and roosters. The immediate impression is usually not of grinding poverty, but this is almost a trick of the light. People make do and get by, barely; conversation, radio, TV, dominoes, family, the occasional beer and get-together making up the day-to-day activities. Public education in these areas is a national disgrace, the government pleading poverty while earning salaries, benefits, and retirement packages worthy of King Midas (in addition to the perks of rampant and endemic corruption).
Periperi is home to and seat of bloco afro/musical-social organization Ara Ketu.
* Campo Grande (Big Field) -- is not strictly a neighborhood, but the name of what is essentially the Central Park of Salvador is used for the surrounding area. The park is the beginning and end point for the Campo Grande - Praça Castro Alves Carnival circuit. (one of two, the other being Barra - Ondina). At Carnival time Campo Grande is full of barracas, Port-A-Potties, and, up in the reviewing stands, government bigwigs anxious to demonstrate that they are a part of the povão ("people", with overtones of riffraff) too.
Cosme de Farias -- was originally called Quinta das Beatas due to the fact that a large part of the land on which the neighborhood was founded belonged at one time to a nunnery ("quinta" is an expanse of land, and "beatas" is akin to "religious", per "beatified"). Sometime during the 1960s a man small in stature and great of heart moved from the Rua da Independência -- close to the Baixo dos Sapateiros -- to Quinta das Beatas, and this neighborhood eventually came to bear his name. The name was something unneeded by writer Jorge Amado...he took rather the life and personality of his friend and upon these built the character Damião de Souza in his novel Tenda dos Milagres (Tent of Miracles)...a thin disguise in that the twin saints Cosme & Damião are an important part of life in Bahia. Sr. de Farias' funeral procession in 1972 -- from Pelourinho to the cemetery at Quintas do Lázaros -- was the largest to ever have taken place in Bahia.
More to come on the fascinating life of Cosme de Farias...
* Alagados (Flooded) -- * Note: This is taken from the "Volunteer Work" page. -- Alagados means "flooded", and refers to shacks built over water on stilts, a scene frequently and picturesquely displayed in a lot of guide books. These "houses" are not picturesque at all; they are horrid and dangerous both in terms of human violence and health and sanitation conditions. "Jardim Cruzeiro" means "Garden Cross", and this is an area built over garbage landfill set just in from Alagados, over what used to comprise Alagados itself. Jardim Cruzeiro now looks like any other poor neighborhood in Salvador, and for longtime residents that is a big step up.
Salvador is a big, beautiful (in its way), poor city. Most people who come here never feel threatened, and most leave without anything unfortunate having happened. But keeping a few things in mind can improve one's chances for experiencing only the good even further.
I'll start with Carnival. My advice in three words is: Don't use pockets. Carnival is CROWDED! More likely than not you will occasionally find yourself in the midst of virtual crushes of revelers. And you will almost certainly have hands in your pockets, sometimes surreptitiously, but usually very blatantly. And if there's nothing in your pocket to steal, all the better, but still it's a very unpleasant experience. I NEVER go out to Carnival wearing pants with pockets -- on the outside that is. I have something like gym trunks with a simple pocket sewn into the inside. I have friends who use a strong safety pin and a small change purse. However you do it it's the only way to fly. You breathe a lot easier in those crowds knowing that nobody is going to try to finance their next round of beers at your expense.
It's good to be careful the rest of the year as well. And one thing that helps is looking as little like a "gringo" as possible. Looking like a tourist is advertising that one is walking around with money in one's pocket. A few things you can do are:
* Don't wear black (or dark) socks with shorts. NOBODY here does that, except for European gringos (you German and Scandinavian guys mostly). It's a dead giveaway.
* The socks you do wear with shorts should not be pulled up high like a football (soccer) player. They should be pulled down loose around the ankles.
* Hair is another dead giveaway. The guys here don't have hair that is spiky or sticks up or swooshes back. Anything between Johnny Rotten and James Dean means you're a definite out-of-towner. A baseball cap is a good idea. They are really common here, and they are also very practical under the glare of the strong tropical sun.
* Dressing down doesn't make you look poor; it makes you look like, again, a gringo. Brazilians, even poor Brazilians, like to dress decently. Their clothes are clean and pressed, even t-shirts. I'm not saying not to wear what you like to wear (read: old, faded clothes with holes), but again, be aware that it sets you apart.
* Oh, and you German guys (I swear I'm not picking on you) who like to show off your legs in those short jean cutoffs, if you wear them here everybody will think you're gay. Hey! If you are gay, or have no problems with being seen as such, no problem!
* Avoid walking around with a backpack firmly planted between your shoulderblades. If you do for any reason go out and around with a pack, and it's not too heavy, wear it slung over one shoulder. If it's too heavy or bulky for that, and you're walking down a crowded sidewalk or taking a city bus, wear it in front, like a baby carrier. That's what people here do. It's not uncool; to do otherwise makes you look like an otário (sucker).
Something else: Watch your watch! Most people don't know how easily a wristwatch can be snatched from a wrist until it's too late. The pins holding the band to the watch bend and pop right out. This happens to (obvious) tourists all the time here, particularly at crowded festas. I've seen it happen on a bus. So leave your Rolex at home, and either stick with something cheap or forget the rigid constraints of the twenty-four hour day.
Barra & Pelourinho
These are the areas which get the most tourists, and consequently they are the areas which attract those who would prey upon those tourists. Barra (and more to the point Porto da Barra) while generally safe enough during the day, is very iffy late at night and in the wee hours of the morning, particularly on the back streets. Most robberies are of the grab-and-run or the give-it-up variety and hence aren't physically dangerous. But things can get dicey -- and hurtful -- if resistence is put up.
The Cristo (the hill with the Christ statue just north of the beach at Farol da Barra) should definitely be avoided at night, as should walks around and behind the Farol (lighthouse). There have even been incidents at the Farol and the Forte Santa Maria (to the side of the beach at Porto da Barra) during the day lately, so conspicuous jewelry and display of expensive (or expensive looking) cameras should be avoided.
As for Pelourinho, the heavy policing of past years which kept the area safe has been diminished, and the presence of police nearby can't be taken as evidence of security (not all of them take what one would presume to be the precepts of their job equally seriously). One can also expect to endure constant, insistent, and maddening entreaties to buy or give. On top of this there is an area which should be off-limits to anybody who doesn't know what they could be getting into by entering it, and that is the area to the right of Praça da Sé as one enters the praça, and to right of Terreiro de Jesus as one enters from Praça da Sé. The first street parallel to Praça da Sé is okay during the day, it's the electronics shop district, but by night this street and certainly those deeper into this area should definitely be avoided. Quite frankly, they look like they should be avoided, and it's beyond me what runs through the minds of those hare-brained tourists who consider wandering these unwelcoming-looking streets at all!
The far side of this area (called vinte-e-oito -- twenty-eight -- by the locals, after one of the principal streets running through it -- Rua 28 de Dezembro -- also known as Rua dos Tijolos) is defined by the Ladeira de São Francisco. This is the street that descends from the Igreja de São Francisco to the right as one faces the church, heading straight down to the infamous Rua 28 de Dezembro. You definitely enter at your own risk!
Ironically enough, one is far less likely to encounter problems in the vast majority of Salvador's innumerous poor neighborhoods than in (or on the outskirts of) the tourist magnets. I don't mean that a gaggle of camera-toting tourists looking like they've lost their way wouldn't attract unwanted attention. Rather that where the money is, those that would have it go.
Like most cities in the world, taking a taxi here is a gamble on the honesty of the driver, but there's one place where the odds are definitely stacked against passengers, and that's the Terreiro de Jesus, in Pelourinho.
Ruses include the usual suspects in many cities of the world, those being 1) dictating a fixed fee above what the fare should be, 2) the old standby of taking an extended, roundabout route, and 3) messing with the meter (which is against the law here).
And non-natives are definitely at a disadvantage in terms of 1) knowing what a fair price should be, 2) being able to argue for that fair price, and 3) even being certain whether they are being ripped off or not. The best tactic is to simply move on a bit and catch a taxi further towards the Elevador Lacerda (the big elevator connecting the upper and lower cities), where the chances of being well and honestly treated are better.
I'd like to emphasize that not ALL of the drivers who work from the Terreiro de Jesus are dishonest... (simply that a good percentage of them tend to be)!
Well, you've basically got three ways to go: by taxi, by bus, or by rented car. With Brazilian currency being so weak, taxis are cheap and buses are practically free (fifty cents a ride). I'll fill you in some more and I'll start with the buses --
First, you don't enter via the front door. You get on through the back door. (The executivos, the more expensive and easily distinguishable alternatives to city buses, are entered at the front. They don't have rear doors.)
In order to get from the airport into town you can go by any of the three means above: taxi, executivo, or city bus. Taxi, of course, is the most expensive. The fare is around seventy reais, which would be about twenty-five dollars as I write (November 15th, 2004). The executivo is R$4.00, and the city bus (ônibus coletivo) is R$2.00. The advantage to the executivo is that it will accommodate as much luggage as you have.
The end-of-the-line for the executivo is Praça da Sé, at the entrance to Pelourinho, the old colonial city center. To be more exact, the bus stops a couple of blocks before reaching Praça da Sé (the end-of-the-line used to be Praça da Sé itself, but a public plaza was built there a couple of years ago). A lot of the route encompasses a beautiful ride along the orla, or seafront. Oh, and by the way, you don't pay the fare for the executivo when you board the bus. It will either be collected along the way by a fare-collector, or collected by the bus-driver when you get off.
Getting back to taxis, Salvador has many honest, hardworking and honorable taxi drivers, but like most cities in the world it has dishonest taxi drivers as well. Somebody I can wholeheartedly recommend as trustworthy and an all-around excellent person is Marcio Pereira (click to be taken to his page), who speaks English, French, and Spanish, and who also works as a guide.
Another good guy is Vilela. Vilela speaks English (not fluently, but well-enough; he took a one-year course and worked hard at it). His cell phone number is 9105-9360.
Beaches, Villages, Towns, and Etc. Within Range of Salvador
Running up and down the coast, and inland into the heart of Bahia, are a number of beautiful and interesting places. So, I'm going to divide this page into 1), places organized by geographical position with respect to Salvador, and 2), places within the Recôncavo (the fertile, crescent-shaped region surrounding the Baia de Todos os Santos). I'm also including places across the bay.
The buses referred to leave from the Rodoviária (bus station), easily reachable by city bus or taxi. Tickets can be bought at either the Rodoviária itself, or at various and sometimes more convenient in-town agents (see the bottom of the page, above the Table of Contents). Ticket prices rise with time, and some of the prices listed below may be outdated. You won't pay much more than the prices quoted though.
Bus schedules (and lots of other information) not listed can be had by dialing Telemar's (that's the phone company) InformaçãoTuristica (Tourist Information) -- 131. Information is available in English and Spanish. A telephone card is required if one is calling from a public telephone.
I'm adding information as time permits, and places with pages devoted to them are linked in red.
Running north from the Farol (lighthouse) de Itapoan are hundreds of kilometers of wonderful beaches. These beaches are accessible via the Linha Verde (Green Line), a (toll) road (kept in excellent condition) running parallel to the coast, with access roads leading off to the coast itself.
The road runs along dunes of snow-white sand, and the coast itself is an almost unbroken line of coconut palms. The communities along this coast range from primitive fishing villages to sophisticated Praia do Forte.
Buraquinho: Just north of Lauro de Freitas, which is just north of Salvador, Buraquinho is located where the river Joanes flows into the sea. A charming area of beach houses and well-built barracas. There is a seaside beach, and a surf-protected riverside beach (salt water) perfect for kids.
Busca Vida: Just north of Buraquinho. No barracas here, the beach is lined by private homes.
Jauá: Just north of Busca Vida.
* Arembepe: The so-called Aldeia dos Hippies (Hippie Village). Bus company Santa Maria - Catuense (450-4004). Ticket price (one-way) is R$4.26, and the journey takes one hour. Buses leave at 5:40 a.m., 8:50 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 12:10 p.m., 4:40 p.m., and 6:30 p.m., seven days a week.
Jacuipe: Next stop north, Jacuipe is a village at the mouth of the Jacuipe River.
* Praia do Forte: A fishing village which has become a well-developed resort. On the route of bus company Santa Maria - Catuense (450-4004). Ticket price (one-way) is R$7.40, and the journey takes one hour and forty minutes. Buses leave at 5:40 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 12:10 p.m., 4:40 p.m., and 6:30 p.m., seven days a week.
Imbassaí: On the route of bus company RD Turismo (450-5149). Ticket price (one-way) is R$6.30 and the journey takes an hour-and-a-half. Buses leave at 6:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m, and 5:45 p.m., seven days a week. They are comercial, which means no air conditioning.
Diogo: Several kilometers north of Imbassaí. A very small and primitive village, with a pristine beach accessible only via a lovely trek over dunes of snow-white sand.
Service with a smiiiile, on the beach in Diogo...
To the South of Salvador
Morro de São Paulo: Boats to Morro de São Paulo leave from the Centro Náutico da Bahia, the beautiful blue-and-white building on the water behind the Mercado Modelo. Tickets can be purchased at the L.R. Turismo window (telephone: 216-7045) in the lobby. One-way is R$45.00 to R$50.00 reais. A launch leaves daily at 8:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., and a catamaran leaves daily at 1:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. The journey takes two hours for both type of craft.
Another choice is to go by air. Aerostar (204-1335 or 377-4406) has flights from the Salvador Airport to a landing strip near Morro de São Paulo's Third Beach. The trip is twenty minutes in duration, with planes leaving daily (including weekends) at 8:00 a.m and 12:30 p.m. Depending on demand, aircraft seating five, nine, or nineteen passengers are used. Ticket price is R$135.00 either way, or R$270.00 round-trip (no price break).
* Boipeba: A jewel, certainly one of the most beautiful places on earth; exuberant nature -- jungle and beach -- leavened with civilized comforts.
Beach at Velha Boipeba, at the confluence of the estuary and the Atlantic
Beach at Moreré, on the Atlantic side of the island
Back window of restaurant Santa Clara's kitchen
Baia de (Bay of) Camamú:
On the way out for evening fishing on Camamú Bay
* Maraú Peninsula:
Looking inland (across the peninsula) from the lighthouse at Taipus de Fora
The other direction from the lighthouse at Taipus de Fora -- out over the Lagoa Azul (Blue Lagoon) to the Atlantic Ocean
Porto Seguro: On the route of bus company Águia Branca (450-4400). Ticket price (one-way) is R$66.10, and journey takes 10 hours. Buses leave at 9:00 p.m., seven days a week. The buses are air-conditioned, so dress accordingly. Water and coffee are available for free on the bus. For a small charge and upon request, tickets will be delivered to anywhere in Salvador (it's R$2.50 for delivery to Barris, in the city center, for example).
Westward: Into the Great Interior
* Lençois: On the route of bus company Real Express (450-9310). Ticket price (one-way) is R$33.41, and the journey takes around seven hours. Buses leave at 7:00 a.m. on Monday through Saturday, and at 11:30 p.m. seven days a week. The morning buses don't have air-conditioning, but the night buses might. The air-conditioning on these buses is usually turned up full-blast, so dress accordingly or suffer.
Cruz das Almas: On the route of bus company Cidade Sol (450-7290).
The Recôncavo Region
Cachoeira: On the route of bus company Santana (450-4951). Ticket price (one-way) is R$8.62, and the journey takes two hours. Buses leave, from Monday through Saturday, at 5:30 a.m./6:30 a.m./7:30 a.m./7:50 a.m./8:30 a.m./9:20 a.m./10:10 a.m./10:50 a.m./ 11:40 a.m./12:30 p.m./1:50 p.m./2:10 p.m./3:40 p.m./4:30 p.m./5:20 p.m./6:10 p.m./7:00 p.m./and 9:30 p.m. On Sundays, they leave at 5:30 a.m./7:30 a.m./8:30 a.m./9:20 a.m./10:50 a.m./12:30 p.m./1:50 p.m./2:50 p.m./4:30 p.m./6:10 p.m./7:30 p.m./and 9:30 p.m.
The railway, automobile, and foot bridge connecting Cachoeira and São Felix, across the Paraguaçu River.
Mar Grande: Pequenas lanchas (small boats; small only by comparison to the big ferry boats, really) leave the Centro Náutico da Bahia, the blue-and-white building on the water behind the Mercado Modelo, every half hour, seven days a week, from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., then there's one last boat at 6:40 p.m. Coming the other way, from Mar Grande to Salvador, they likewise leave every half hour, from 5:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The trips (which are fun) take a half-hour or so either way. The price is R$2.00 Monday through Saturday, and R$2.80 on Sundays and holidays.
Tickets for bus companies Águia Branca, Bomfim, Itapemirim, and São Geraldo, as well as the Ferry Boats and Catamarans to Itaparica, can be bought at the two Ticket Center outlets, one located at Piedade (across from Shopping Piedade), on Rua Junquiera Ayres, 148, telephone 329-5433, and the other located in Shopping Iguatemi on the second floor, telephone 450-0144. There is a website at www.tktcenter.com.br.
Most visitors to Salvador get to know two areas: Pelourinho and Barra. Some will get up the the coast a bit to the praia (beach) of Piatã. But there's a whole lot more to Salvador than this. Here I'm going to talk about some areas where you'll be unlikely to see anybody but locals:
Tucked into a small alley (beco) is a very local place run by Gal (Maria das Graças da Silva Oswaldo), samba singer and afficionado extraordinaire. The tunes (live) are top notch and the vibe is very chilled. Wednesday night is the big night here, the music starting around 10:30 or so and running until 3 a.m. (why Wednesday? that story's here). Getting on towards midnight the pace usually picks up and the dance "floor" is jammed with gyrating bodies (and they gyrate very well indeed!).
Beco de Gal is located at Avenida Vasco da Gama, 2893, next to Transporte Ondina (not far from the Dique de Tororo, if you know where that is). Any taxi driver will know how to find it. Keep in mind that this the real Salvador; it hasn't been sanitized up for tourists (and it's wonderful this way!). Entrance is 5 reais.
And while I'm on the subject of samba, there's also this place...
It's the football (soccer) field of the Esporte Clube Tejo (Tejo Sports Club) in the neighborhood of IAPI. On Mondays, after the game is over and the sun has set... the samba begins. Details are here.
Garcia -- [* Note: The outside pagodes described here have been prohibited by the prefeitura (city government). They had become too popular and the influx of people into the neighborhood was disturbing some of the local residents. This area nevertheless remains an interesting and lively place to go (for those so inclined, anyway) on Saturday nights.]
Garcia has two ends: The fim de linha (end of the line; the bus line, that is) end, and the Campo Grande end. The Campo Grande end is middle-class, while the fim de linha end is a bairro popular (working-class neighborhood) that cooks on Saturday and Sunday nights with pagode fundo de quintal. Pagode is a popular samba form, and "fundo de quintal" means "backyard". It's a style where the players sit around informally and play for themselves, their friends, and families. Two sides of the square in this part of the neighborhood have such bands, and the bands are surrounded by people dancing (get into the mix and you'll see some really good moves!) and having a general good time. This is Salvador at it's most fundamental. It's beautiful. Buteco de Farias is a restaurant on the square (Farias is the owner's last name, as in Rubens Farias) with great and inexpensive and very-typical-for-this-sort-of-area food. It's a simple place, but that's the beauty of it.
The music starts between 8 and 9:00 p.m. on Saturdays and 7 and 8:00 p.m. on Sundays. Saturdays wind up around 1:00 a.m. and Sundays an hour or so earlier. A cab from Campo Grande will cost you five reais or so (I'm guesstimating there), or you can get a bus (the sign on the front will say Fazenda Garcia; that's "Garcia Farm") at the bus stop on the street (Avenida Leovigildo Figueiras) to the right of Teatro Castro Alves (as you face the theater), across the street from the theater. That's also the best place to get a cab (getting a cab at the wrong spot will mean taking a huge spin around Campo Grande, and possibly several other blocks as well). Garcia is great, and it's a huge change from the usual tourist areas.
Ribeira -- Is a neighborhood or bairro (ba-EE-ho) on the bay side of the city, not too far from the Igreja (Church) de Bonfim on the peninsula of Itapagipe in the lower city (cidade baixa). It has a long stretch of beach and barracas and barzinhos (literally: little bars; this term is used to denote the simple unpretentious bars that Salvador is full of). Sunday is the big day, with seemingly endless streams of people eating, drinking, listening to music, dancing, and socializing. The view across the bay to islands and hills on the far side is lovely, and the boats on the water are usually moving under the power of either wind or human muscle (as opposed to waters off Barra).
Getting to Ribeira is easy by bus. Just take the Elevedor Lacerda in the Praça Municipal (very close to Pelourinho) down, get off, and walk to the bus stop directly in front of you. Buses going to Ribeira (with big signs on the front saying so) pass every several minutes. Ribeira is the end of the line. Now, getting back by bus can be a different matter; if you leave in the afternoon you'll probably be forced to battle your way onto the bus with hoardes of unruly kids. Once your on, any bus which passes through Comércio (or downtown, where the bottom of the Elevador Lacerda is located) will get you close to where you started out from. Or if you are feeling more gentil (and have some change in your pocket), you can take a taxi.
São Tomé -- Is another beach on the bay side. It's beyond the peninsula where Ribeira is located and, again, is the end of the line. You can get the bus at the same place you get the Ribeira bus, and getting back by bus is no problem (each way takes the better part of an hour). One of the interesting things about getting to São Tomé is getting there. The bus follows Avenida Suburbana, and the suburbs in Brazil, in great contrast to the U.S. or Europe, are where the have-nots live. These are favelas (shantytowns), scattered up in the hills like houses-of-cards, wherein reside the majority of Brazil's population. Most visitors to Salvador never see this and leave with a mistaken impression of Brazil's living standards.
Anyway, the beach at São Tomé is beautiful in its small-community way (in spite of a ship-loading pipeline located off to the beach's left) and on Sundays it's very lively. If one wishes to go a bit further, there is a long pier (you can't miss it) and from there you can get a boat to the island of Maré ("maré" means "tide"), about twenty minutes away. There's no pier in this area, so everybody jumps out into waist-deep water (in terms of the average adult) and wades up to the beach. It's fun! There are plenty of boats back; you just wade back out and jump on. More information on Maré is located in the "Islands in the Bay" section.
Disembarking at the Ilha (Island) of Maré
At Sete Portas: Some of the Primary Ingredients in Bahian Cooking
Sete Portas (Seven Doors)-- Is the smaller of Salvador's two primary "open air" markets, the larger being the Feira de São Joaquim, located down on the water just beyond the ferryboat terminal. Both are cornucopias of local life and color, with one very noticable difference -- the level of cleanliness. Sete Portas wins handily on this account. Both markets sell -- in addition to many other things -- fruits and vegetables from the interior, fresh fish, meats (and other animal parts; not for the squeamish), tobacco (in big, sausage-like rolls), a wide variety of medicinal leaves and roots, beads, statues, incense, and other items for use in candomblé ceremonies, handcrafted items (brought into São Joaquim from the little town of Maragogipinha on colorful sailboats which look like they could be pre-Phonecian), live chickens, and, at São Joaquim, live goats.
The ceramics in Salvador's feiras begin here, in Maragogipinho, along the Rio (River) Jaguaripe, close to Nazaré das Farinhas.
Lunch (almoço) at Sete Portas can be grand. Mocotó and sarapatel are popular, the latter being Bahian-style chitlins; the former made using cow legs as a base (these foods are remnants of the slave days, when the meat went to the "big house", leaving the leftovers to go to the senzalas). You can get stews (ensopadas) served up with great heapings of aipim (similar to manioc), or typical workingman's lunches of chicken or beef served with rice, beans, and salad, all in the most traditional of ambiences. Nothing will set you back more than the equivalent of several dollars, and if it's hot inside, well, the beer is cold.
Sete Portas is within walking distance of Pelourinho for the adventurous stroller (via Baixa dos Sapateiros), and it's even closer to Santo Antônio.
Acessórios de candomblé are easy to find in Salvador. There are two shops (each with an annex) dealing in such located on the ground floor of Edifício Themis (the Themis Building), on the southern side of Praça da Sé in Salvador's Centro Histórico. These shops are an interesting walk-through even if you're not planning to buy, something in the vein of mercantile museums.
Cristiano Nogueira won the North American Travel Journalists Association's (NATJA) 2005 Grand Prize for Travel Writing for his knowledgable and irreverant insider's (Cris is a Carioca) guide, Rio for Partiers.
The book won out over writings in the National Post, the National Geographic Magazine, American Heritage, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Morning News, Travel Savvy, Lifestyle + Travel, SmartMoney, the Hanford Sentinel, Travel + Leisure, and a lot of others.
"Cristiano Nogueira has written a humorous, practical, and lavishly illustrated guide for young travelers planning a visit to one of the world's great party cities."
-- Jason Scorza, North American Travel Journalists Association judge and Director of the School of English, Philosophy & Humanities at Fairleigh Dickinson University
Now Cris has a companion volume, Salvador for Partiers: a Visual Travel Guide to Salvador, an excellent choice for anybody wanting a knowledgable guide (with maps), sized to be conveniently carried around.
And if you're planning on visiting Rio, or just want to read about the place, the website for Cris's award-winning Rio for Partiers is here.
If you're here in Salvador, there's a good chance that you'll run into Cris somewhere like Beco
The interior of Bahia is home to the great sertão, a dry, hard-scrabble area where people work laboriously to eke out a living from an uncompromising and unyielding land. But as hard-scrabble as the sertão is, and as far away as it may seem, it isn't nearly so far away as the real-estate pictured in the photograph above (hover your cursor over the photo if you'd like to see where it was taken).
What does this place have to do with Bahia? Thomas E. Thorpe is what. Mr. Thorpe, in addition to being an astronomer, is the Project Manager for the Mars Surveyor Project at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (and is therefore responsible for flight operations for the Mars Surveyor series of missions). And as it this weren't enough, Tom Thorpe is also a writer of fiction. The latest addition to his work is a tautly plotted and well-researched historical mystery entitled Night Wind to Bahia, set around the time of the Malê Revolt of 1835.
Mr. Thorpe has a website where this book and others in his Darmon series may be purchased.
Doctor Jaçanã Costa (her friends call her "Jaça" (pronounced "Jassa") is an English-speaking dentist and dental surgeon who is available for both scheduled and emergency dental treatment.
She's an excellent practitioner, a very nice person, and is very highly recommended. If a call to her office isn't answered her cellular telephone may be called in an emergency.
There are a couple of organizations that promote the "sister", or "twin" cities concept ("sister" in North America and "twin" in Europe), those being Sister Cities International and the Council of European Municipalities and Regions...
To the best of my knowledge Salvador has yet to gain a twin in Europe...but it has been declared a sister city of Los Angeles, California, making it one of some twenty cities having that somewhat watered-down distinction.
So setting officialdom aside, and municipal councils and chambers of commerce and speech-making goodwill delegates on taxpayer junkets, I'd like to propose that in the larger sphere Salvador is already joined at the hip with a couple of cities to a degree that these are more like soul sister cities...these two cities being New Orleans, Louisiana and Havana, Cuba.
And in that human culture isn't isolated like a germ in a petri dish, the culture that permeates these cities may in many respects be considered to encompass in the first case much of the American Deep South, and in the second that of Puerto Rico, from there making the crosswater jump to parts of New York City.
"I’d describe the decor as a cross between an elegant Cajun fishing camp mixed with a turn of the century Storyville bordello, or maybe your favorite grandmother’s living room."
This elegance-made-all-the-more-eloquent-by-its-having-faded isn't so much in evidence in the room below, but it's certainly conjured up by the music being played there...
The Nicholas Payton Quintet at Piety Street in New Orlean's Ninth Ward, recording a composition entitled "'Drucilla" for Nonesuch Records:
And Mark Bingham... This guy was a Mr. Gone founder of a way-far-out-there musical ensemble called The Screaming Gypsy Bandits many years ago (I was a fan). Time passed, and I moved on, and the calendar pages flipped like a '40s movie and I'm sitting in Cana Brava Records in Salvador, Bahia one fine day holding a CD of music from New Orleans in my hand. Checking the liner notes I see that it was recorded in a New Orleans studio owned by a fellow by the name of Mark Bingham, and I have an inkling it might be the same Mark Bingham...
Turns out it was (and is). Some cats don't just always land on their feet, they walk away with style.
Juke Joints were/are ramshackle places, usually out on the edge of a town -- or a field -- in America's Deep South, where poor (black) people would socialize and dance to the blues or to blues-based music (a lot like the ramshackle places in Bahia where people socialize and dance to Afro-Bahian samba-chula and samba-de-roda)...
Migratory laborers outside of a juke joint in Belle Glade, Florida, photographed by Marion Post Wolcott in 1944
In both Bahia and in the American South these places are blinking out like the last flashes of fireflies at the end of a long hot summer, but in both cases there are still a few survivors and in the case of juke joints there is a chronicler out there on the back roads and in the small towns, frequenting these places and telling their stories online...a man by the name of Junior Doughty. Junior speaks for himself...
"I'm a cultural anthropologist who lives in the Mississippi Delta, Louisiana side, and I spend lots of time in Delta juke joints. You're about to take a trip inside the places where the blues began. I'm not talking about white people blues bars filled with college students. I'm talking about edge-of-a-cotton-field juke joints filled with real Delta folks."
How many kids sitting in front of the TV watching I Love Lucy re-runs knew that when Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz) would pick up his drum and pound out a tattoo, calling "Babalooooo", he was beating out a rhythm particular to the oricha Babalú Ayé? Well Bobby Sanabria, sitting up there in the South Bronx did! He even knew that the type of drum itself (not a conga, like everybody seems to think; see below) was exactly what in Cuba was used for such calls to another world. Bobby went on to pick up the drums himself and play with a gilded who's-who of the greatest of the greats (Mario Bauza, Dizzy Gillespie, Mongo Santamaria, Chico O'Farrill, and Tito Puente, among others), and now is one of the world's most respected percussionists -- and teachers -- in his own right.
My neighbor Bobby "the Source" Sanabria (neighbor during my NYC days anyway) is one more grooving embodiment of living history! Check him out!
The Buena Vista Social Club was a touching film with great music...but the premise that struck such a sympathetic chord in so many places around the world -- that of venerable but forgotten musicians getting a well-deserved second chance -- can also be found up to the north and west of Cuba, in and around a great city that has recently seen so much suffering and neglect, New Orleans.
The Ponderosa Stomp Foundation was founded by the Mystic Knights of the Mau-Mau (was Screamin' Jay Hawkins the inspiration for their rococo, hanging-moss name?), a group located right there in the Crescent City and devoted to bringing back the forgotten greats of American roots rock 'n' roll. They have a KICKIN' internet radio station, and if you're gonna have a party that's more -- or pretty much way -- to the wild side, all you gotta do is hook Stomp Radio up to your speakers, take your shoes off, grab a drink, and find somebody to dance with!
That's "us" in the royal sense, although "we" make no claim to royalty (much to the contrary rather). Here at Bahia-Online we -- okay, I -- seek to the best of my ability to give an outsider's inside view of Bahia (and more specifically Salvador), this particular inside/outsider having arrived from New York City in April of 1992 and having lived continuously in Bahia (that is, without having left Bahia) since May of 1992. I make no claims to be an expert on Bahia, or anything else for that matter, but I do write what I've seen with my own eyes, heard with my own ears, or have in some way experienced. If I'm not writing from first-hand knowledge then I'm generally presenting my own version of what has been imparted to me from knowledgable first-hand sources, or in the case of history going back more than one generation, gleaned from knowledgeable academic sources.
The impetus behind the website came of a desire to divulge what I believe is a beautiful (in its way) part of our planet (irrespective of myriad faults, failures, imperfections, and irritants) and its distinctive culture (that culture of which Bahia is palpably redolent, born of the struggle to in some essential sense prevail -- and not simply survive -- in the senzalas and quilombos of the region's past).
From 2001 until 2005 Bahia-Online was run out of a back room in the central Salvador neighborhood of Barris (no space, but a great view out over the bay to the peninsula of Itapagipe and the islands of Maré and dos Frades beyond) . Then an epiphany: Pérola Negra (Black Pearl) -- a record store in Pelourinho -- was up for sale. Why not scrape and beg, borrow and buy the place and make it into something of a "headquarters" for Bahia-Online? With lots of great Bahian roots music... And great Brazilian music of all genres (or most anyway, no roqueiros)... Ergo Cana Brava Records! And paperwork and bills and accounting and taxes... Man, as much as I love the music, I miss the simplicity of life in that back room!
Tougher rows to hoe there are, I know... I'm living in a society that has had and continues to have more than its fair share of them...
Hence the point: If this particular Sparrow (which translates to "Pardal" in Portuguese, that's what I'm called here) or any of the content herein manages to get off the ground at all, that's because it's being hefted on the strong wings of innumerous unknown souls who've walked, worked, sung, suffered, danced, lived and died here in Bahia, people who in their own small but meaningful way have prevailed.
"Pelourinho" means pillory. And Salvador's pelourinho last stood at the top of the sloping Largo do Pelourinho, final point in a journey which began in the city's first open market in the Praça da Feira (today known as Praça Municipal -- the open square at the top of the Elevador Lacerda). The pelourinho stood at the market's center.
Then sometime between 1602 and 1607 -- period of the Governorship of Dom Diogo Botelho -- the pelourinho was moved by governor's decree to the Terreio de Jesus.
But the Terreiro de Jesus was the site of the Jesuits' church and school, and the screams and groans interfered with church services and teaching. So it was removed again and repositioned at the bottom of the Ladeira de São Bento (where Praça Castro Alves is now located).
Again it was removed, for the penultimate time, in 1807, and taken to the largo which would come to bear its name. It would stand there for another 28 years.
Anybody visiting Salvador winds up spending at least some time in Pelourinho. Pelourinho is the Old City, the old heart of Salvador, with colonial-era buildings and winding cobblestone streets. Cana Brava Records is located there (here).
If you are in Pelourinho and looking for information, a good source is Bahiatursa. The organization has an information center (with maps and other resources, and attendants speaking a number of languages) at Rua das Laranjeiras, No. 12. Any policeman or shopkeeper can tell you where it is, or point you in the right direction.
The Balé Folclórico da Bahia (this is a nice site, very well done) presents a wonderful and amazing show of dance and capoeira in the Teatro Miguel Santana in Pelourinho, at Rua Gregôrio de Mattos, 49. Performances are Monday through Saturday -- with the exception of Tuesdays -- at 8:00 p.m., and they run an hour or so in duration. Tickets are R$20 and half-price for students. Advance purchases of tickets can be made at the theater on show days, beginning at 2 p.m. during the week and 4:30 p.m on Saturdays.
Interested in cachaça? Cachaça is to Brazil what rum is to the Caribbean, it's the national distilled spirit (okay, I know the Caribbean isn't a "nation"!). Pelourinho has an interesting place called "O Cravinho" (literally: "The Little Clove") where the approach to cachaça is something akin to that of a Frenchman to his wine, or a German to his beer, or a Scotsman to his whiskey.
O Cravinho is owned and run by Julival Santos Reis, a gentle man with the manner and appearance of a field biologist. Sr. Reis will gladly and knowledgeably discuss (in Portuguese) distilling methods and the various types of woods utilized in barrels used to age cachaça, pointing out which of the barrels lining the walls in his establishment are constructed from which type of tree (massaranduba is a common one).
Sr. Reis' establishment consists of a bar/restaurant in ambient amber-colored wood and a small annex to the right of the restaurant entrance where bottled cachaça may be purchased. The restaurant is a popular place where entering often means squeezing past patrons gathered at the very popular bar towards the front. (Curious about what those people are drinking out of those little cups? There's something on that here.) Further back, behind the restaurant section, is a courtyard (shared by various other establishments) with live music seven nights a week (the entrance is one store-front to the left of O Cravinho's entrance, under a sign reading Fundo do Cravinho (Back of O Cravinho). Sunday is the most animated night back here, with music (pagode fundo de quintal) starting up at 5 p.m. (or so) and running until 10. Cover is 2 reais. O Cravinho's address is Praça 15 de Novembro (Terreiro de Jesus), No. 3. The phone number is 3322-6759.
Another interesting place to have a lean and a cravinho is at the hole-in-the-wall establishment Preto Velho, operated out of a doorway at Rua Gregório de Mattos, 38, across the street from the Filhos de Ghandy headquarters. Preto Velho is owned and operated by Domingos Teixeira Lemos, a man who was born and raised in Pelourinho and who has lived every one of his 87 years there. At one time his establishment was a restaurant, but with the death of his wife several years ago the place shrank to a simple bar. Sr. Lemos occasionally has other batidas on hand as well (jatobá and erva doce, for instance).
Speaking of the Filhos de Gandhy headquarters, it's a culturally jamming place to be on Sunday evenings, from 4 p.m. (or so) until 10 p.m. (or so). Men dance as if in a house of candomblé, to live music -- percussive ijexá -- in the big downstairs hall, while friends and family eat abarás and drink soft drinks and beer on the mezzanine. The vibe is very, very good and the place gets very, very packed. Admittance is free.
Berimbaus are on display and for sale all over Pelourinho. One interesting place which deals in berimbaus and more is Mestre Lua's Atelier Percussivo, located at Rua Inácio Ociole, No. 3 (a small street close to the Igreja São Francisco). Mestre Lua is a capoeira master who crafts percussion instruments (berimbaus, atabaques, bongôs, timbaus, cuicas, congas, djembês, and more) of great beauty and quality, and his shop looks like something of a living museum. The difference is that these instruments are made to play. They are also pricier than others to be had, but even so they are far less expensive than anything similar purchased in the United States or Europe. The phone number at the shop is 3488-3600, and Mestre Lua's home phone is 3636-8118. Should you stop by the shop (or call) you may be attended by Mestre Lua's protogé Gigante ("Giant"). Gigante isn't really all that big, but he was a tall boy back when he started studying capoeira with Mestre Lua's group. Mestre Lua also organizes percussion classes and workshops, sometimes on his property on the island of Itaparica.
Somebody else who sells berimbaus in Pelourinho -- and who you'll almost certainly see if you're in Pelourinho anytime during the day -- is Mestre Gajé, who, in his pre-mestre days, is pictured below, third from the left. The photo was taken over 40 years ago so the mestre has undergone some of the changes natural to our species over time (for one thing his belly is bigger!). The hippie to the left is venerable Mestre Bola Sete, author of a book bearing this photo on its cover. The two players are João Pequeno and João Grande.
Mestre Gajé sells berimbaus in the Largo do Pelourinho...painted (for tourists; a practice originated in the '50s by Mestre Waldemar da Paixão, another story; actually a lot of other stories) and unpainted (for people who will actually play them).
Want to see berimbaus and drums (and the human spirit and body) in action? There's an excellent high-energy two-hour (7 p.m. to 9 p.m.; 10 reais cover) demonstration/show of capoeira on Tuesday nights (night of the above-mentioned benção) at the renowned Academia de Mestre Bimba (located at Rua das Laranjeiras, 01, just off of the Terreio de Jesus). These beatboy (and girl) Baryshnikovs clap, sing, wield the ancient art of capoeira and its accoutrements, and soar!
Depending on where you're staying in Bahia, on where you've gone, what you've seen and done, it may have crossed your mind that Old Bahia -- that Bahia of myth and magic -- hasn't been much in evidence. You may have wondered whether it even exists anymore. Well setting that question aside for now (the answer being: it does) Bahia is lucky to have been the home a marvelous chronicler who worked in the medium of black & white photography.
I'm speaking of Pierre "Fatumbi" Verger, born in Paris on the 4th of November, 1902, passed away in Salvador on the 11th of February, 1996. A small sample of Verger's vast work hangs in the Galeria Pierre Verger at the entrance to Praça da Sé (on Rua da Misericórdia) -- resonantly beautiful prints which truly capture the soul of Bahia. The Galeria also sells T-shirts with Verger photos on them, and this is one place in the Cento Histórico where the presence of T-shirts doesn't seem to cheapen or lessen the authenticity of the area. The Fundação Pierre Verger has a comprehensive site here, showcasing Verger's photos not only of Bahia but of a plethora of other places around the world.
High Pelô fashion ("Pelô" is the local abbreviation for "Pelourinho") in hair may be had at a number of places both on the street and in small, storefront shops. Natalice Passos (pictured below), Queen of bloco afro Ilê Aiyê in the year 2000, weaves hair (for women, men, people black, white, in-between, and otherwise) in a shop called Negra Jhô on Rue Frei Vicente, 4.
Pelourinho's senzala was located behind the Colégio dos Jesuitas (which stood on the site currently occupied by the old School of Medicine), where it stretched out and across the hillside descending from behind the houses on Rua Alfredo de Brito (originally Rua Portas do Carmo) to the cidade baixa (lower city). Nowadays the area is called "Roçinha" (ho-SEEN-ya), and although enforced servitude was abolished (in Brazil) in 1888, poor Roçinha hasn't managed to climb much above a standard of living laid down for it centuries ago.
Entrance is via an archway set on the left-hand side of Rua Alfredo de Brito as one descends towards the Largo do Pelourinho from the Terreiro de Jesus, a couple of doors down from the A Cubana Sorveteria (ice-cream shop), and just past a clearly marked address -- #16. The area used to host music, reggae mostly, several nights a week, but that's not happening anymore, and sightseeing isn't recommended.
From its first location in the Igreja dos Quinze Mistérios (Church of the Fifteen Mysteries) in 1832, to its present location in Pelourinho (acquired in 1883), this society of black men and women has for 172 years endeavored to help others in need by everything from purchasing freedom from slavery then to buying medicine and paying funeral expenses now. More to come...
And finally, if you're curious, a square of broken marble at the top of the Largo do Pelourinho (in front of what is now the Casa de Jorge Amado) marks the spot where the pillory stood, that stone column to which slaves were bound, beaten, humiliated and tortured, the pelourinho which was eventually to give Salvador's first neighborhood its name.
Camafeu de Oxossi was a force-of-nature. Born in 1915 in Gravatá (across the street from Pelourinho), his father died when Camafeu was seven years old, and not liking the way he was treated by his new stepfather he lit out to fend for himself in the streets in and around Pelourinho.
Camafeu was baptized Ápio Patrocínio da Conceição, but according to Jorge Amado "Ápio Patrocínio da Conceição did not exist, it was just a nickname they gave him when he was born." The christening was struck after a lucky run in a jogo de sorte, a gambling game, in Pelourinho. The guy he cleaned out called him "Camafeu" (a camafeu is a bas-relief cameo) after a lucky character in a film in town at the time. The Oxossi part came later, for this: Camafeu had a stall called Barraco de São Jorge in the old Mercado Modelo and São Jorge, or Saint George, is syncretised with the orixá of the hunt in candomblé, Oxossi. Voilà! A name fit for a legend!
Camafeu studied at the Escola de Aprendiz de Artífice close to Praça da Piedade, sold shoelaces, shined shoes, worked as a sailor and then later on the docks of Salvador, eventually coming to own a barraca (stand) at the Mercado Modelo (the first Mercado Modelo, which burned down in 1969, some say at the hand of the mayor).
Camafeu didn't take the business seriously, partied with friends there, and wound up having to sell the place. The mercado's administrator allowed him to put a couple of boards over an old fountain and at this makeshift stall Camafeu sold clothes and used shoes, eventually earning enough money to get back into the game, buying a couple of barracas, and then a couple more, all side-by-side, joining them together. Here he sold materials for candomblé (he was an Obá de Xangô in house of candomblé Ilé Axé Opô Afonjá) and wandered the mercado aisles, berimbau in hand, singing the cantigas de capoeira (he was a highly respected capoeira master). His barraca was, according to Jorge Amado, a meeting place, a nexus, a musical conservatory. Sr. Amado went on to say that culture in Salvador is born, nurtured, and affirmed in some pretty strange places. With his illustrious pen he immortalized Camafeu in several of his books, including O Sumiço da Santa (The War of the Saints), Pastores da Noite (Shepards of the Night), and Dona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos (Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands).
Camafeu was a Filho de Gandhy and was the afoxé's president from 1976 to 1982. He died in 1994 and at his funeral, while being interred in the cemetery of the Ordem Terceiro de São Francisco to the accompaniment of Catholic prayer, a song in Yoruban was lifted to the skies by babalorixá Luís da Muriçoca, and all present joined in.
The fellow sitting next to Camafeu de Oxossi in the photo in the preceding section is (should you not know) the best known of Brazil's writers, Jorge Amado. Sr. Amado got off to an early start, publishing his first novel O País do Carnaval (Carnival Country) in 1931, when he was just eighteen years old. His second novel Suor (Sweat) was written while he was a student living in Pelourinho (at Largo do Pelourinho 68 -- the old address -- which is actually located on Rua das Portas do Carmo, just around the corner from where Batatinha -- see further down -- lived), and Pelourinho, with its wild and colorful cast of characters and misfits, would become the setting for many of Amado's novels and short stories.
This is a song with an interesting provenance, a true story: Batatinha as a young man was out in the surging crowds that are part of Carnival in Bahia, when out of the multitudes emerged a lovely young woman, asking if she might borrow Batatinha's small embroidered towel, a standard component of samba school carnival kits back then. Batatinha complied. The moça delicately dried her face, handing the towel back to Batatinha, politely thanking him before disappearing back into the crowds, never to be seen (by Batatinha) again...leaving behind in the towel's weaving her beguiling scent and sweet memories of what might have been...
This is Ben Paris, on his way back from the island of Paty (see further down, and that's pronounced pah-TEE) in the Baía de Todos os Santos (Bay of All Saints). Originally from New York City, Ben has been living in Salvador for most of the past 16 years (he's married to a Baiana), and he knows the city inside and out, like the proverbial back of his hand. He's also an inveterate traveller* into the Recôncavo, the region around the bay which was the birthplace of Bahia's culture.
If you're looking for somebody to get you where you're going and then tell you about it when you get there (or even tell you where you ought to be going), Ben's your man! This is something he enjoys doing! Plenty of tour guides will get you to the places in the guidebooks, and Ben can as well. But he can also get you to places the guidebooks never knew existed!
Dinner in Santo Amaro? There's one restaurant you won't find unless you're taken there -- situated in the back garden of Pai Raimundo's house, close to Santo Amaro's Praca da Purificação (Pai Raimundo is pai-de-santo of a caboclo house of candomblé). Regional food, moderately priced.... and if you can't find the place on your own you can always ask Ben how to get there.
What you are hearing is nothing more, and nothing less, than the unadulterated joy of simply being alive..."
What's on (and the intensity of what's on) in Salvador tends to ride a seasonal wave, with the wave cresting during Carnival and the trough coming during the (Brazilian) winter months of July, August, and September, after the June festivities have passed. With the advent of October the wave -- of people seated outside at the simple streetside bars and moving on the dancefloors of places ranging from chic and sleek to rustic down home slapdash-- begins to build again.
One-off affairs are listed first below, followed by weekly or regularly scheduled happenings. Please keep in mind both that cover charges may change and that things generally get going later than they are supposed to in Bahia.
And, my guide is not all-inclusive. Things are very scattershot here in Salvador, in the sense that there are few places where such-and-such type of music happens on a regular basis. Parties are scheduled, things come and go, and happenings that don't engage my interest at all happen (the kind of stuff I ran away from in downtown Manhattan, or maybe in the case of dancehall, Brooklyn) so I don't bother to acknowledge them here.
In addition to the personal annotations below I'm including a link here to Helder Barbosa's site Aldeia Nagô ("Nagô Village"; the Nagôs were a subgroup of Yorubans whose culture remains profoundly influential here in Bahia). The "Música" link in the column on the left hand side should take one to a daily listing of musical events (this service depends on the musicians themselves putting up notices of their performances, so it is not all-inclusive, but it is nevertheless a good guide). And I say "should" because lately this section of the site has been continually hacked by cretins.
Below that link is online guide Agenda Pelourinho Cultural, courtesy of the state of Bahia.
Below both these links I'm including a link to the Google Translator. Non-Portuguese speaking users can copy and paste the relevant page's URL into the Google window and get a for-the-most-part understandable translation.
Aldeia Nagô's site is here: http://www.aldeianago.com.br/
Agenda Pelourinho Cultural is here: http://www.pelourinho.ba.gov.br/
Google's translation page is here: http://translate.google.com/translate_t
Nightly in Salvador, Monday Through Saturday
What: Balé Folclórico da Bahia
Where: Teatro Miguel Santana in Pelourinho, at Rua Gregôrio de Mattos (also and originally called Rua Maciel de Baixo), 49
When: Monday through Friday, with the exception of Tuesdays
What Time: 8 p.m., duration one hour
Entrance: 25 reais, half-price for students
Notes: This exuberant show should most definitely not be missed by anybody coming to Bahia! It is an elegant, breathtakingly athletic exhibition of Afro-Bahian beauty and prowess, and in the small theater the audience almost melds into the space through which the dancers fly.
Tickets at the door, but frequently the show sells out and so advance purchases of tickets may be made at the theater on show days, beginning at 2 p.m. during the week and 4:30 p.m on Saturdays.
Daily & Nightly in Salvador, Mondays Through Saturdays
A Plethora of Musical Richness at...
About Our Logo
Where: Rua João de Deus, 22, in Pelourinho
What: Marvelous Brazilian music
What Time: From 10 a.m. 'til late, Monday through Saturday
Entrance: All you gotta do is blow through the door.
Notes: Well, this isn't a show or a dance or anything...it's Bahia-Online's record (CD) shop and budding production facility. But there is much more than a mere measure of entertainment in here so I hope I won't be judged too harshly by its inclusion on a what-to-do page. And between the sambas and the beaches, and whatever else you find to do here in Salvador, you may find it worth your while to spend an off-moment with us, and Cartola, and Ilê Aiyê, and Vinícius de Moraes, and Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Rosa Passos, and Raimundo Sodré, and Maria Bethânia, and Bule-Bule, and João Gilberto, and Carlinhos Brown, and Margareth Menezes, and Dorival Caymmi, and Caetano Veloso, and Ramiro Musotto, and Gilberto Gil, and Gal Costa, and Ary Barroso, and Luiz Gonzaga, and Paulinho da Viola...and even Luciano Calazans (below)!
And in case you're wondering what the "Recôncavo" in the sign to the right is, it is the great concave-shaped region around the Bay of All Saints (Baia de Todos os Santos) where the majority of Bahia's sugarcane plantations were (and are) located. It was on these plantations that the Bantus brought unwillingly to Bahia would sing out, clap, and dance to their music -- a wonderful and uplifting music which would come to be called "samba-chula" or "samba-de-roda" and which would go on to become the national music of Brazil.
Where: In the Teatro Vila Velha, which is located in the Passeio Público on Avenida Sete de Setembro, close to Campo Grande. You go through the arch and straight back to the theater (blocky and unprepossessing)...the entrance is down an inclining walkway to the right as one is directly in front of the theater. Once inside one must wind around a bit to get to where the choro takes place, but that's where most of the activity in the theater is at that hour and so it's easy to find. What Time: From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Entrance: 10 reais, 5 with student I.D.
Notes: Excellent choro played by a group of young musicians together with eighty-something year old pandeiro master Cacau do Pandeiro, and guest artists. The ambience of the room is kind of informal university theater, with a bar at the back where one can buy beer, soft drinks, snacks, etc. The crowd tends towards polite grey-haired heads (not rowdy grey-haired heads like mine and Cacau's).
What: Grupo Afro-Batá, Afro-Cuban-Candomblé-Samba music featuring Aloísio Menezes and Portela Açucar from Cortejo Afro.
Where: Pelourinho's Praça Tereza Batista
What Time: Begins at 9 p.m.
Notes: I haven't seen these guys yet, but their publicity says that their material includes songs by Nelson Cavaquinho and Geraldo Pereira, so as far as I'm concerned they get an automatic thumbs up!
What Time: From 8 p.m.
Location: In Boca do Rio at Rua Dom Eugênio Sales, 11
How to Get There: By taxi. From Barra or Pelourinho the fare should come to between 25 and 30 reais.
Notes: A very strange bar run by an androgynous pai/mãe de santo (Anísio Augusto Pimenta Filho, nicknamed and hence Pimentinha) who ritualistically blesses patrons as they enter with water cast from shaken leaves. Live music, a group called Tropikola nowadays, playing salsa, merengues, cumbias, etc. (the group consists of Spanish-speaking Latin American immigrants to Salvador). Monday night is the big night here, and the only night. Bizarre and popular.
Mural in front of Pimentinha
What: Benção ("Blessing")
Where: Pelourinho, of course!
What Time: Begins shortly after sunset
Notes: The general Tuesday night madness in Pelourinho. The first and last Tuesdays of the month are generally the biggest nights (that's when people get paid), and things also heat up as Salvador does in general moving into the Brazilian spring and summer.
Don't Miss Gerônimo and Banda Mont Serrat!...
Part of the above, beginning at 7 p.m. or so and running to sometime between 10 and 11 p.m., is the live music on the steps leading up to the Igreja (Church) do Passo from the Ladeira do Carmo (the sloping street connecting Pelourinho to the neighborhood of Santo Antônio). Gerônimo (writer of É d'Oxum --a beautiful ijexá-based composition which has become Salvador's unofficial theme song -- along with a lot of other great material which has been recorded by a host of Brazilian greats) sets up a stage these nights at the bottom of the steps for a free show of music featuring his band Mont Serrat (top flight; great horn section, excellent rhythm section, killer jazz guitar!) and various friends who sit in, the steps serving as an amphitheater. It's a really nice scene, and it's really nice that Gerônimo goes out of his way to do this -- the sound equipment is his own -- particularly in light of the fact that the coin he receives for his considerable efforts consists of nothing beyond the good will he and his compatriots garner.
The show opens with a padê to Exu -- the orixá responsible for opening the pathway allowing the other orixás to descend -- and closes with an homage to Oxossi (the hunter). It is extremely popular! (And being so, in addition to the very nice crowd it attracts, it also attracts pickpockets, so be suitably prepared!)
Gerônimo and Banda Mont Serrat
Listen to Gerônimo (from Agô - Cantos Sagrados do Brasil e Cuba)
Two interesting points about the steps: They were built over the church's ossuary, and they were the locale of an important scene (below) in the film O Pagador de Promessas ( The Payer - or Keeper - of Promises), which won the 1962 Palm d'Or at Cannes.
Protagonist Zé do Burro after carrying his cross up the stairway in front of the Igreja do Passo, endpoint of an odyssey from the Bahian hinterlands made in fulfillment of a promise sworn to Santa Bárbara (syncretized with Iansã) on a terreiro de candomblé.
Clicking on the image will bring up an interesting segment of the film (the entire film is interesting!) taking place on this stairway on the day of the Festa de Santa Bárbara (to this day Pelourinho's biggest, taking place on the 4th of December).
And while you're there you might cast a glance a bit further up the hill to the yellow house at number 35. A toddler by the name of Dorival Caymmi lived there before his family moved up to Itapoan.
Sankofa African Bar and Restaurant
DJ George in his club; owner, host, and just one of the Sankofa DJs
Sankofa is a West African word meaning "to take from the past and build on it", this being the impetus for Ghanian native and Bahian resident George's Pelourinho establishment of the same name. (George, being from Ghana, speaks fluent English, by the way, convenient for our Portuguese-impaired friends.)
Sankofa is open on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday nights, from 10 p.m. or so, and the multilevel club features hot dance music, African, Brazilian, and Latin, both live with crack bands and with DJs. There is a restaurant as well serving African dishes, with lunches (daily) of African and Bahian dishes priced at 10 reais.
The establishment is located right around the corner from Cana Brava Records, on Rua Frei Vicente 7, and the telephone there is 3321-7236.
The Friday night band is particularly hot...that would be Magary (the band's leader and singer) with his band Black Semba (semba is an Angolan musical style). Magary tore 'em up at the world's largest arts festival this year in Edinburgh, Scotland, (see below) and is now in Hamburg. But when the man is pack, he'll pack the place!
Magary (and Paloma!) at the Edinburgh Festival, 2008
More information on everything can be had on Sankofa's website:
Sankofa African Bar e Restaurante
What: Alex Mesquita, The Man from Monkey Heights (Alto do Macaco), and friends
Where: Casa da Mãe (Mother's House, the mother in this case being Yemanjá, goddess of salt waters), in Rio Vermelho, on the Orla (coast road), Rua Guedes Cabral 81, across from the north end of the Praia da Yemanjá.
What Time: 9 p.m.
Entrance: 7 reais
Notes: Alex Mesquita is a killer guitar player with feet firmly planted in at least two worlds. He was born and raised in the Recôncavo, in the small community of Alto do Macaco, close to São Francisco do Conde, and studied guitar as far afield as the Guitar Institute of Technology in Los Angeles.
Casa da Mãe is an intimate establishment with a great vibe, great food (Recôncavo-style, owner Stella Maris is from Santo Amaro), cold beer and inexpensive drinks.
Casa da Mãe
What: Chorinho (describing it simply, I'd simply say "chamber samba"...this is a style which originated in Brazil around the same time that ragtime originated in the U.S.
Where: Boteco do Dy, on Rua Chile, close to Pelourinho, just up the street from the Praça da Sé bus stop, a bit beyond the Elevador Lacerda...
What Time: From 6 p.m. till 10 p.m.
Notes: This is excellent music in a working-class bar/restaurant (with extremely accessible prices) opening onto Rua Chile, the music played by percussionists Paulinho and Jiló and a couple of their friends. It really is a very nice scene, and if you go you'll probably be the only non-local(s) there (other than perhaps myself and maybe a couple of other expats).
If you're in Pelourinho, just walk out from Praça da Sé, past the Elevador Lacerda, and up the street maybe another 100 meters...Boteco do Dy is there on the right (Dy is the owner, he's also a pandeiro (tambourine) player.
What: Bossa Nova
Where: Aconchego da Zuzu, in the neighborhood of Garcia (fim de linha), at Rua Quintino Bocaiúva, 18
What Time: 9:30 p.m.
Telephones: 3331-5074 and 3331-8149
Cover: 5 reais
What: DJs, playing blues, soul, samba, acid jazz...
Where: The Borracharia (tire-fixing place), on Rua Cons. Pedro Luiz at101 A, in Rio Vermelho
What Time: late
Cover: 15 reais for men, 10 for the fairer sex
What: Samba to live music at Nego Fua's Bar Galícia. Inside this bar there's a sign hanging on the wall, a photograph of which is reproduced below...
Tough (Nice) Guy and more...
For those of you who don't read Portuguese, the sign reads:
"The community of Maciel - Pelourinho reveres its hero, tough guy and big f***er, Black Fua, the "Rooster of Maciel". Fua (right), ex-professional boxer and a survivor of multiple street fights involving knives and guns (and with the scars to prove it) is actually a very agreeable fellow!
Where: At the corner of Rua João de Deus and Rua J. Castro Rabelo, in Pelourinho
What Time: From 10 p.m. until 2 a.m.
Notes: This bar gets a local (which is to say poor people) crowd and is highly animated, with excellent samba (provided by band Caxambu and its leader Gordinho; Note: As of late Gordinho and several other members of the band haven't been there, and their replacements aren't nearly as good...don't know if this is a permanent situation or not but I'll find out). It gets v-e-r-y packed later on, with people practically falling out the doors, and the ambience of the place always reminds me of (this is for Americans who weren't born yesterday) the painting that used to come up at the end of the Good Times TV show. Don't be offended if I say that it ain't for your average tourist! Fua's wife Morena sells churrascos (kebabs) on the corner.
What: Afro-Bahian Music and Drumming
Exactly What: Bloco afro Ilê Aiyé
Where: Ladeira do Curuzu, 197, in Liberdade
What Time: 10 p.m.
Telephones: 3256-1013 and 3388-4969
Entrance: 30 reais
What: Chorinho & MPB (Música Popular Brasileira)
Where: Aconchego da Zuzu, in the neighborhood of Garcia (fim de linha), at Rua Quintino Bocaiúva, 18
What Time: 9:30 p.m.
Telephones: 3331-5074 and 3331-8149
Cover: 5 reais
What: MPB (Música Popular Brasileira) and samba
Where: Aconchego da Zuzu, in the neighborhood of Garcia (fim de linha), at Rua Quintino Bocaiúva, 18
What Time: From 1 p.m.
Telephones: 3331-5074 and 3331-8149
Cover: 5 reais
What: Peu Meurray e os Pneumáticos
Where: O Galpão Cheio de Assunto, on Rua Djalma Dutra 40 (around the back), between the Dique de Tororó and Sete Portas...very close to Pelourinho.
What Time: From 6:30 p.m.
Entrance: 10 reais
Telephones: 3322-3056 / 9991-7740
Notes: Peu Meurray is a composer/percussionist of note who came up with a brilliant idea for disposed tires...he makes rolling drums out of them (I first ran across Peu's group during Carnival some years ago; man it was something to see!).
What: Afoxé-based dance music
Where: Filhos de Gandhy headquarters in Pelourinho on Rua Gregório de Mattos (more on the Filhos de Gandhy here...)
What Time: From 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Notes: Very cool and very cultural. The Filhos de Gandhy headquarters has three floors...an entrance and administrative floor, a lower floor with table and access to food and drinks, and a still lower floor with a stage. To see what the lower floor looks like on Sunday afternoons, go there, or go here...).
Where: Pelourinho's Praça Pedro Arcanjo
Entrance: 20 reais (this price is highly variable)
Where: Filhos de Korin Efan headquarters on Ladeira do Passo, 26, in Carmo
What Time: From 6:30 p.m. to midnight
Notes: Korin Efan is an afoxé, and their headquarters is in the leftover hulk of a building in the Centro Histórico, where they've been for years. The effect is of authentic old Bahia, which stands to reason because that's exactly what it is! The music is candomblé-style, and in keeping with the theme the inside walls (the ceiling is open air) are lined with large painted images of the orixás. The dancing as well is right out of a house of candomblé. The percussion is excellent and the singing unstudied but moving, the only downside being the volume of the voice amplification -- more overwhelming than necessary. This is, nevertheless, a fascinating stop for people whose taste runs to the cultural and exotic. Beer and drinks are sold on the premises. Axé!
The quantity of festas in Bahia is often remarked upon, often together in the same cliched breath along with "Terra da Alegria" ("Land of Happiness") or some such other similar hyperbole. Happy? That's debatable, certainly improbable given the widespread economic conditions here. But buoyant, resiliant, appreciative? Among the various traits and qualities which form the general ethos of Bahia, these three could be said to run wide, and deep.
And the buoyancy of the common people bubbles to the surface in part in the form of the festas populares (the largest and best known of which is of course Carnival), parties where the vicissitudes of life are temporarily cast off and old as well as young vão no pé (get up on their feet), moving in Bahian expression to the rhythms of Africa (albeit often layered under a sheen of sythesizers and pop stylings). I'll take the festas in the order in which they appear from the beginning of the year.
(Note: In Portuguese the term festa profana is often used, in contrast to festa religiosa. "Profana" simply means a non-religious component of something religious (i.e., a festival), unlike the English-language connotation of something vulgar or irreverent.)
Reveillon (New Year's Eve)...
...is traditionally celebrated by dressing in white, lighting votive candles set into depressions in the sand on the beach, and tossing flowers into the sea in offering to Yemanjá, goddess of the salt waters. Then in common with much of the rest of the world, the turning of the year is marked by spectacular shows of fireworks (at the Farol da Barra and at various points northward along the seafront). Following this, in front of the farol (lighthouse), on an enormous stage set up for the purpose, are musical performances by some of the best musicians Brazil has to offer (2003/2004 featured Toquinho, among others). These performances are televised throughout Brazil.
During the hours leading up to midnight the whole stretch from the farol to Porto da Barra is packed with people, while the beach at Porto da Barra is set up for partying: barracas decorated with palm fronds, tables on the beach, sound-systems, etc. The party at Porto continues on for hours after midnight.
But another, even better place to be after midnight is on and around Boa Viagem, a beach on Itapagipe (the peninsula where the Igreja do Bonfim is located), close to the fort of Montserrat. The party there (which is very much of the povo, or common people) moves into the daylight hours, and then a yearly ritual takes place, the...
.Festa do Senhor Bom Jesus dos Navegantes
This is the movement of a boat aptly called Gratidão do Povo (Gratitude of the People) -- carrying an image of Senhor Bom Jesus dos Navegantes -- into the water of the bay from a church there, by means of rails, to be accompanied in a maritime procession by a flotilla of other boats. By now it's well into a new day and a new year, and probably time to go home.
Festa da Lapinha (or de Reis)
Takes place from the 3rd through the 6th of January in the Largo da Lapinha, in remembrance of the Three Wise Men of the Nativity.
...takes place on a to-be-announced date in January, along the seafront from Boca do Rio to Patamares. It's basically a pre-enactment of Carnival, with Carnival blocos parading their trio elétricos. The event originally took place in Barra, close to the Farol da Barra (hence the name), but the residents of that area could only stand so much non-stop partying and the event was moved further up the coastline.
Lavagem do Bonfim
This is Salvador's second biggest festa, falling on the first or second Thursday (depending on who you ask; it seems to vary according to the whim of some power-that-be) after the Dia de Reis (the Epiphany...the day the Christ-Child was visited by the Three Wise Men led by the star) on January 6th. The Lavagem do Bonfim is a paragon of Bahia's syncretism and merging of the sacred and the irreverent, wherein a group of flower-carrying Baianas -- followed by tens of thousands of people (a cortejo) -- walks from the Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição in the cidade baixo, to the Igreja do Bonfim (a Catholic church) -- and where upon arrival the Baianas wash the steps of the church in honor of the Senhor do Bonfim (who is either Jesus Christ, or Oxalá, or both, depending on how you look at it).
It's a huge party the whole way, with lots and lots of batucada (drumming), and a huge party around and behind the Mercado Modelo (earlier in the day), and a monstrous party around the Igreja do Bonfim (later in the day and into the night).
Festa da Ribeira...
...or Segunda-Feira Gorda (Fat Monday), the Monday immediately following the Lavagem do Bonfim. The barracas (drink stands) around the Igreja do Bonfim pull up and move down the way to the neighborhood of Ribeira, where there is another huge party along the waterfront.
Festa de São Lazaro (Saint Lazarus)
January 25th through 28th. Celebrated at and around the Igreja de São Lazaro in the neighborhood of Federação. São Lazaro is syncretized with Omolu -- the orixá governing sickness and health -- and during mass inside the church worshippers receive a banho de pipoca (popcorn bath), a ritual common in candomblé.
Lavagem de Itapoan
January 27th, 2005. Big. Takes place in Itapoan (or rather, it stretches along the seacoast from Piatã to Itapoan). This is the last lavagem before Carnival (and it can be kind of rough).
Lavagem de Santo Amaro
Celebrated for over 200 years (originally by slaves) in the town of Santo Amaro, in the Recôncavo (73 km distant from Salvador), this festa is historically set on the first Sunday before the Festa de Nossa Senhora de Purificação, but has grown to encompass the week or so before that Sunday and several days after. Lots of samba de roda.
Festa de Yemanjá
February 2nd. One of Salvador's most beloved (and beautiful) festas, and another exemplar of Salvador's melding of the sacred and not quite profane. The morning of the 2nd is announced with the sound of fireworks (at 5:00 a.m.), and the faithful arrive early to the seaside neighborhood of Rio Vermelho, bringing flowers and other gifts for Yemanjá, Yoruban goddess of the salt waters. The offerings are left in the Casa do Peso (the weighing house used by the local fisherman) after the givers have endured the long lines leading up to the repository, the gifts to be gathered up and placed into boats which at 4 p.m. or so will make their way 6 miles out into the waves to place floating, gift-bearing baskets upon the water. Offerings which do not return to shore are deemed accepted.
This all takes place to the accompaniment of wandering troupes of drummers, street capoeira, and general merriment and abandon. As the day wears on the festa becomes more and more carnivalesque -- thousands of people pouring in -- inexorably evolving into a dancing, surging street party of gargantuan proportions.
Listen to "Presente a Iemanjá"
This recording is of Grupo Sultão das Matas, from Cantigas de Iemanjá, made under the aegis of Fundação Gregório de Mattos, produced by Alex Pochat.
... begins on January 31st in 2008. This king of festival is deserving of its own section and is covered here.
Festa de Arembepe...
...takes place in Arembepe, 42 km to the north of Salvador, on a determined date during the month of February.
Bembé do Mercado...
...takes place in the town of Santo Amaro (in the Recôncovo, 73 km from Salvador) from the 10th through the 14th of May (these are the dates for 2006).
The festa ("Bembé is a corruption of "Candomblé"; "Mercado" comes from "Praça do Mercado" -- or "Marketplace") was first celebrated (in Santo Amaro's marketplace, of course) on the 13th of May, 1889, by Santo Amaro's black populace in recognition of the abolition of slavery in Brazil one year before (more specifically, João de Obá took his people's newfound liberty to task by openly playing the rhythms of candomblé in a public square, whence grew a festa around him), and the festa has been celebrated every year since with the exceptions of 1958 (when an explosion/fire killed 300 people) and 1989 (when the biggest flood in the history of the city took place). The festa is now regarded as protecting the city!.
Bembé do Mercado is replete with folkloric presentations, including samba-de-roda, nego fugido, maculelé, capoeira, and bumba-meu-boi. On the morning of the 14th Santo Amaro's terreiros de candomblé gather up offerings to Yemanjá, releasing them into the waters of the bay from the praia (beach) of Itapema on the Baia de Todos os Santos (until 2002 the offerings were released at São Bento das Lajes, a district of São Francisco do Conde).
The 10th of June. Celebrated in Pelourinho.
Festa de Santo Antônio
June 13th. Celebrated in the Largo de Santo Antônio, at the far end of Salvador's neighborhood of Santo Antônio além do Carmo (Pelourinho being at the other end). Santo Antônio is the patron saint of matrimony, his assistance sought by young women hoping (praying) for husbands. This festa opens the June celebrations.
São João (Saint John)
June 24th is the official date for the festa, but the buildup runs all through June. This buildup consists of forró (foHO) -- hillbilly music, sometimes of great artistry (Luiz Gonzaga, and his son Gonzaginha, both now deceased, are excellent examples) from Brazil's Northeast -- and dances to forró . The traditional instruments in a forró band are accordeon, hand-drum, and triangle, (sanfona, zabumba, and triângulo), but the music has become very commercialized and you'll hear synthed-up forró on the radio and at the big shows. For an example of old-time forró played by the genre's giant, put on your straw hat and...
Listen to Luiz Gonzaga!
São João is a harvest festival, and in a sense it feels a lot more like Christmas than Brazil's "real" Christmas (or Natal). This is because it's a family-and-friends gathering, the tradition being to head into the interior, to the pequena cidade (small town) one or one's family hails from. If you don't have your own pequena cidade there are plenty of them in the interior promoting parties in June -- putting on shows and hosting quadrilhas (square dancing) for the general pubic. Amargosa is one of the best-known.
Traditional accompaniments to São João are foods made from corn (milho), licor de genipapo (sweet liquor made from the genipapo fruit), bonfires, and firecrackers (the latter tending to go off all during June, to the chagrin of many good citizens!).
During the festas juninas the Parque de Exposições (Exhibition Park) north of Salvador is all fixed up like a town in the interior and shows -- extremely popular shows primarily featuring the big, commercial forró bands -- are staged. Should you go, stick to the crowded areas; wandering off alone is an invitation to your money being taken in order to finance somebody else's partying.
Festa de São Pedro (Saint Peter)
This festa in honor of the patron saint of widows and fishermen, held on the 29th of June (more forró), winds up the June celebrations.
2 de Julho, Independência da Bahia (Bahian Independence Day)
Celebrated in Campo Grande.
Festa da Boa Morte
Takes place in the town of Cachoeira, Bahia (110 km from Salvador, on the Paraguaçu river), on the 13th, 14th, and 15th of August, under the auspices of the Irmandade da Boa Morte (Sisterhood of the Good Death).
Festa de São Roque
Celebrated on the 16th of August in the São Lázaro area of the neighborhood of Federação.
7 de Setembro, Independência do Brasil (Brazilian Independence Day)
Features a military parade down Avenida Sete de Setembro (which happens to be named for this particular date).
São Cosme e São Damião
On the 27th of September, the f esta of the two Arab saints, a day when everybody eats carurú, a kind of vegetable stew made from quiabo (okra). When people say they are having a carurú however they mean that guests are served a traditional plate including this food (and vatapá, among other things ), something representative of people coming together in family and friendship.
Dia da Baiana (Day of the Baiana)
November 25th. Participated in by dozens of Baianas traditionally dressed in white hooped lace dresses and colored beads representative of various orixás, Dia da Baiana opens with a mass at church Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos (Church Our Lady of the Rosary of the Blacks) on the Largo do Pelourinho...and continues with a lunch of traditional Bahian food, samba de roda and other activities at the SENAC restaurant, also located on the largo. This festa is not traditional, having been started by state tourism agency Bahiatursa in the '80s.
...is a march -- from Ondina to Barra -- which takes place sometime during (or close to) the Brazilian summer. No trio-elétricos, lots of drumming and folklore.
Dia do Samba
December 2nd. Dia do Samba was created by the Câmara Municipal (Salvador City Council) in the 1940s to honor composer Ary Barroso (who was born on this day), the first show in commemoration of the day taking place in 1972 with the participation of Gilberto Gil. Subsequent years have included and continue to include Bahia's greatest sambistas.
Festa de Santa Bárbara
December 4th. Santa Bárbara is syncretized with Iansã, wife of Xangô and goddess of the winds. A mass is celebrated in her honor at church Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos (7 a.m.), and later (11:00 a.m.) a procession proceeds through Pelourinho to the Corpo de Bombeiros (Fire Station) in the Baixo dos Sapateiros, where participants are greeted by the sounding of sirens (Santa Bárbara is the patron saint of firefighters) and a grand carurú to be served to the public. From there everything moves on to the Mercado de Santa Bárbara where the stallholders have prepared their own carurús to be served to the public (5 p.m.), and where it is very, very crowded.
Red and white are the colors to be worn.
Festa da Nossa a Senhora da Conceição da Praia
Nossa Senhor da Conceição da Praia is the patron saint of Bahia. Held on December 8th, this festa in the cidade baixa (in the area of the Mercado Modelo and locally referred to simply as "Conceição") kicks off the festival season (December 8th being the day of the Catholic Church's Festa da Nossa Senhora da Conceição).
A Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos (The Church Our Lady of the Rosary of the Blacks) is located in and dominates the Largo do Pelourinho. The church was built over a period of a hundred years or so beginning in 1704, by the enslaved members of O Irmandade de Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Homens Pretos do Pelourinho (The Brotherhood of Our Lady of the Rosary of the Black Men of Pelourinho) for their own use (they weren't allowed inside the other churches, you see). One probably would be hard-pressed to find many other churches with statues of black saints so prominently and forthrightly displayed. Work on the church was always done at night so that the slaves' normal daytime work would carry on uninterrupted.
The Tuesday evening Mass (6 p.m.) is accompanied by (in part) African drumming and Yoruban liturgy.
Plunder and Splendor
A Igreja de São Francisco (The Church of Saint Francis) and its attached convent are up the cobbled streets and to the left at the far side of the Terreio de Jesus, standing at the end of an adjacent square (Praça Anchieta), beyond a large stone cross. This is where sweat was turned into splendor, and where the descendents of those not allowed to enter in centuries past now gather en masse for Tuesday evening masses (held at 6:00 p.m.). The place is awash in gold leaf, and it hosts a rococo gallery of saints and angels which, again, one would be hard-pressed to find in any other church -- pregnant cherubs and saints with protuberant manhoods -- all carved, of course, by slaves.
Azulejos in the Convento (Convent) do São Francisco
Snow, Sugar, Tides, and a place to run away from...
As for Bahia's oldest church (or more accurately, oldest still existent church), that would be A Igreja da Nossa Senhora das Neves (The Church of Our Lady of the Snows) -- built in 1552 and situated on the Ilha de Maré (Tide Island, itself set in the northern end of the Baia de Todos os Santos). Construction was mandated by Bartolomeu Pires, a catholic priest and owner of one of the island's sugarcane plantations, and, not surprisingly, on the far side of the island a Nagô quilombo was founded (still existent today as the fishing village of Praia Grande -- "Big Beach").
Hangin' at the Mercado
The Mercado Modelo is, in my estimation, and in spite of being a tourist trap, pretty cool. It is located in the lower city across the street from the Elevador Lacerda, and is the old Customs House now transformed into a warehouse of handicrafts stalls. The rear part of the structure is given over to bars (very local) and restaurants (on the street level, and upstairs on a huge balcony). If you want to buy in the Mercado Modelo be prepared to haggle, and be prepared to shake off vendors insistent on selling something to you whether you want to buy or not. I like the (again, very local) scene behind the Mercado Modelo on the lower level, though I could do without the noise level produced by the capoeira there; the drumming reflects from the overhanging roof and can make conversation difficult.
In case you're interested, Salvador's first customs house was built in the upper city by governor Tomé de Souza in 1550. Eventually somebody figured out that it would be easier to have one down by the water, within easy access of incoming ships, and a new customs house was built on the current site in 1861. It functioned there until 1914, when new harbor warehouses were constructed and customs tasks transferred to them. The abandoned and unused customs house (the third actually, the second having been demolished to create a public square) was taken over by handicrafts sellers who moved over after the original Mercado Modelo (which was built in 1912) burned down (in 1969). There was a two-year wait while the customs house was refurbished, and it (or the new Mercado Modelo rather) has been operating since 1971.
The original Mercado Modelo
The site of the old Mercado Modelo is now occupied by a statue by Mario Cravo, the statue officially entitled "Fonte da Rampa do Mercado" ("Fountain of the Market Ramp") but more commonly referred to by locals as "A Bunda" ("The Butt").
Fonte da Rampa do Mercado
And a couple of hundred yards beyond this aptly nicknamed construction, out in the bay, there lies another christened comparison to a human part -- Jorge Amado's "belly button of Bahia" (o umbigo da Bahia) -- the Forte São Marçelo.
The Igreja do Bonfim
The Igreja de Bonfim commands a high position on the peninsula of Itapagipe (an area of land which spreads out from the cidade baixa into the bay) and is notable for being a place of veneration not only for Catholics but for Candomblistas. It is the endpoint of a yearly procession called the Lavegem do Bonfim (Washing of Bonfim), which is more accurately a reference to the washing of the church's steps by mães de santo (candomblé priestesses) who lead the procession from the Mercado Modelo to the igreja. This happens in mid-January, and the procession following the mães de santo is actually an enormous party, with drumming and dancing and eating and drinking slowly spreading from the area around the Mercado Modelo to the area around Bonfim. The church houses a curious room called Sala dos Milagres (Room of Miracles) where people leave votive offerings in thanks for cures, the votives forming a rather bizarre collection of hanging plastic replicas of multitudinous problematic body parts.
The Igreja do Bonfim is closely associated with fitas do Senhor do Bonfim ("fita" is "ribbon", and the Senhor do Bonfim is both Jesus Christ and his syncretized counterpart Oxalá), which are sold by wandering vendors both in Pelourinho and in front of the Igreja do Bonfim itself (unhappily, "sold" isn't really a very good way to put it, "pushed" and "foisted" being more like it). The idea behind the fitas is that they are tied around one's wrist with three knots, the knots corresponding to three wishes made as the knots are tied, and when the fabric wears out and the fita drops off...the wishes will be granted.
The length of the fitas (47 centimeters) corresponds to the length of the right arm of a wooden statue of Jesus positioned on an altar within the church, the statue having been carved in Setúbal, Portugal during the 18th century. The original fitas do bonfim were first produced in 1809, in accordance with common Portuguese custom. They were made from silk, worn around the neck, and were hung with small medallions bearing saints' images. And they were used after a cure via miraculous intervention, after the placing of an image or wax representation of the affected body part within the church (per above).
You see them all over nowadays, one very common place to hang them being the rear view mirror of Salvador's taxi cabs (quite often together with a figa, a good luck charm used to ward off the evil eye).
Cacique's Fitas (white) and Figa
Faculdade de Medicina (The Old Medical School)
The Faculdade de Medicina, located on the Terreiro de Jesus in Pelourinho, was the first medical school in Brazil (founded in 1808). It's a beautiful structure (originally the Colégio dos Jesuitas and currently in the process of being renovated), and it houses a couple of museums, the most interesting being the Museu Afro-Brasileiro (to the left as one enters the building).
The museum's collection deals principally with artifacts and explanations (in Portuguese) having to do with the arrival of Africans in Bahia and the resulting cultural links between Bahia and Africa. Of particular interest are the enormous wood carvings of orixás by Carybé in a back room (you may have to ask how to get there).
Salvador is literally surrounded by beaches. They are where people go to relax, cool off, chill, socialize, eat, drink, dance, exercise, surf, and of course swim. They vary from crowded city beaches great for meeting people to tropical idylls up and down the coast.
Porto da Barra
One of the first beaches that most people get to know in Salvador is Porto da Barra. Porto da Barra was, interestingly, the site of Bahia's first European settlement, Vila Velha, or the Old Village. During the 1960's it was a hangout for Tropicalistas Caetano Veloso (who sang of the beach in his song "Qual é Baiana?") and Gilberto Gil and their crowd, and it continues to be very much of a hangout today.
On weekends, especially Sundays, the beach can get very crowded, and you have to be careful about where you put your stuff. Sandals, sunglasses, and like items can disappear in an instant, quite often by innocent-enough looking kids playing around in the sand near you. The beach is set within the bay and the water is much calmer than on the oceanside beaches; it's good for swimming.
Porto da Barra, like all Salvador beaches, has its barracas (baHAcas) where beer and whatnot can be bought. The city passed an ordinance recently decreeing that at Porto (as the beach is commonly called), beer must be sold in cans, and not in the usual 650 ml. bottles. This is supposedly so that the jagged edges of broken beer bottles won't be used in fights, though in the hundreds of times I've been on that beach I've only seen one altercation, and that wasn't a fight. It was a drunken policeman, out of uniform, trying to provoke something.
Moving out, the next beach is Farol da Barra. Farol means a beacon; here "lighthouse" (the word "farol" is derived from "Pharos", the name of the small island of the coast of Alexandria, Egypt, where a great lighthouse, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was built). At Farol da Barra the barracas are the more standard Bahian issue -- tropical-looking thatched huts. The end of the beach closest to the lighthouse is rocky, with protected pools making it a good place for kids to safely play in the water. The far end of the beach is usually surfer territory.
Farol da Barra and the rocky end of the beach.
Praia de Itapoan
From here the beaches run in a more-or-less solid line up to, oh I don't know, Venezuela probably. But the next important point-of-reference within the context of what I'm laying out here is Itapoan (also spelled Itapuã). Itapoan used to be a village quite apart from Salvador, but it has since been aborbed into the greater Salvador metropolitan area, and you fans of Brazilian music may have heard the place mentioned in the eponymous (and nonpareil) Tarde em Itapoan (Afternoon in Itapoan) by Toquinho and Vinicius de Moraes.
The beach at Itapoan starts at almost right angles to the general lay of the beaches running up the coast, then it rounds a bend and a bit further up is another lighthouse, the Farol de Itapoan. The waters off the first stretch ofbeach are protected by rocks and reefs and tend to be calm and good for swimming, while the waters on the far side of the lighthouse are strong, unprotected Atlantic surf. A lot of locals surf here but there are powerful currents in the waters off the lighthouse and they are only recommended for strong swimmers who know the area.
But don't let me scare you out of the water; I'm not Peter Benchley. Moving back in the direction we've come from there is the long, lovely, arcing, coconut-palm backed praia (beach) of Piatã ( a very broad beach with hard-packed sand). The waters of Piatã are generally safe in that the slope of the sand into the water is very gentle and the depth of the water accordingly increases very gradually (however, the currents around the rocky area at the beach's far end -- to the left as you face the water --can be strong and dangerous).
The next beach to the north of Piatã, just around the point at the right side of the photo to the left, is Plakaford. The beach is so called because some years ago there was a big sign along the road there for Ford automobiles, and the Portuguese name for "sign" is placa. (I don't know where the "k" -- now officially banished from Brazilian Portuguese -- came from.) Plakaford is good for families with kids in that the waters are gentle, protected by rocks and reefs. The beach lays between Piatã and Itapoan.
On the other side of Itapoan, immediately to the north, are, in succession, the beaches of Stella Maris and Flamengo. Flamengo in particular is a great beach, beautiful and palm-lined, with varied and interesting barracas. One barraca in particular is recommendable for the Portuguese-impaired (not that a Portuguese deficiency really presents much of a problem in selecting drinks and/or food at these places), and that is Barraca Chileon, notable for two flags flying overhead -- the Union Jack and flag of Jamaica. The place is run by Jamaican native Leon Bowes-Smith, Salvador resident for the past three years and a very nice guy. Leon's barraca is located close to the fim de linha dos ônibus (end of the bus line) in Flamengo, and the telephone number there is 9995-8858 (cellular). Next time I'm there I'll have to see if he serves Jamaican rum!
Moving south out of Salvador takes one down to three coastal islands: Tinharé, Cairu, and Boipeba. Cairu, though verdantly lovely, is surrounded principally by mangrove forests and hence is not a beach island. Tinharé and Boipeba, on the other hand, are home to extensive palm-lined beaches protected from the strong Atlantic surf by virtue of either their orientation or their offshore structure. Tinharé's principal community of Morro de São Paulo is generally far better known than that of the island upon which it sits, while the name of Boipeba's principal community is identical to that of the island as a whole (although the village is usually referred to as Velha Boipeba -- "Old Boipeba"; it was founded by Jesuits in 1537).
* Rio do Inferno -- Hell River, photo at right -- is not (for the information of anybody who may be planning to travel along it) a scary place. Forming the southern boundary of Tinharé and traversed when en route to Boipeba from point-of-embarkation Torrinha (on the island of Cairu), the name was derived from the difficulty of navigating through shifting sandbars where the river (actually a saltwater estuary) gives onto the open sea.
Salvador sits on a vast bay -- a Bahia de Todos os Santos (the Bay of All Saints), which at 1,100 square kilometers, 70 kilometers from north to south, and 60 kilometers from east to west (at its widest point) is the largest in Brazil. A Bahia de Todos os Santos is fed by the Paraguaçu river (among numerous smaller sources), which opens into the smaller bay of Iguape, which in turn gives onto the principal bay. The largest town along the Paraguaçu is Cachoeira.
What appears to be the other side of the bay as you look out over the water from Salvador, is actually the ilha (island) of Itaparica. Itaparica is the largest of the bay's 56 islands.
There are several ways of getting there: the ferryboat, the catamaran, and the pequena lancha, or small boat. The latter has my vote, unless you're taking a car across.
The pequena lancha leaves from the Terminal Marítimo -- a blue-and-white building behind the Mercado Modelo -- and takes you right across to Mar Grande. It's not a small boat like, say, a rowboat or something like that; but it's small enough that the ride across the bay feels like an adventure in itself -- sun, sea, and air. Mar Grande (Big Sea) is a small town with a nice beach and some great barracas. The beach scene is especially hot (people-wise) during the summer months of January and February. There's a really funky nice cool inexpensive pousada in Mar Grande called Arco Iris (Rainbow), seat of an old mango plantation.
Ponta de Areia (Sandy Point) is a huge, wide beach close to the northern tip of the island, kind of like the Daytona of Itaparica (in terms of the beach itself anyway). It's a good place to spend a day, again and more particularly, during Brazilian summer.
And by the way, transportation from place to place on the island is available in the form of kombis (a word familiar to German-speakers), usually Volkswagen vans which tend to congregrate at disembarkation points and which will drop one off anywhere along their routes. Likewise they will pick up anyone flagging them down at any point along those routes. There are also city-type buses running from Bom Despacho, the island's landing point for the big ferry-boat and the catamaran.
The larger ferry boat (which also carries cars) and the catamaran leave from the Terminal São Joaquim, close to the Feira de São Joaquim. A schedule is below. But...
...the Salvador ferry boat system is having big problems with maintenance and upkeep, and therefore with the schedule. There are hours-long waits for crossings. Unless you absolutely have to get a car across you are better off taking the pequena lancha from the Terminal Marítimo.
Of the smaller islands (meaning not Itaparica), one of the most popular as a destination via schooner or ferry boat is the Ilha de Maré (Tide Island) , located in the northern area of the bay. Boats generally pull up to the praia (beach) of Itamoabo, and because there is no pier one reaches the beach by getting off the boat into waist-deep water and wading up to dry ground. Itamoabo is nice, though not particularly beautiful in and of itself, and it is lined by the usual Bahian assortment of slap-dash barracas and bars serving beer, carangeijo (crabs), and fish.
Some three hundred meters or so along the island's coast to the left (as one faces out to the water) is a truly lovely little beach called Praia das Neves (Beach of the Snows, not much frequented except during high Brazilian summer) which has several houses set up as beachbars, very sweet and organized.
Maré is home to a small population of fishermen. Their communities are not visible from either of the two beaches described above, and are only reachable by boat or walking (not that I'm suggesting an excursion unless one happens to be curious). From Itamoabo a small sidewalk wends its way up a hill, then back down to the community of Santana where, on the weekends, the inhabitants will be doing what the visitors on Itamoabo are doing -- sitting in simple bars drinking beer and talking.
The next community along -- Praia Grande -- is only reachable by following the water's edge (or wading if the tide is high). From Praia Grande on one may (or could rather, I'm not recommending this) continue to follow the island's shoreline and circumnavigate; or there is a "shortcut" (a trek along a narrow twisting trail with some very muddy spots, also not recommended!) up through Atlantic rainforest, over the deserted center of the island, and down to the peaceful (and poor) little community of Botelho on the island's far side.
Botelho sits directly across from the Port of Aratú (an industrial boil on what would otherwise be a beautiful landscape) and is home to Maré's only pier. On weekends when the weather is nice Botelho's small, open-air bar is packed with off-islanders who've arrived by speedboat.
Continuing along the coast takes one past the island's high-walled brothel and on to the community of Neves, and thence back to Itamoabo.
A lovely song called "Ilha de Maré" was written by Bahian sambista Walmir Lima. Clicking the play button below will stream (Salvador band) Conexão Negra's version of the song.
alvador, like the rest of the planet, needs help. And like a lot of other places on the planet, poverty is a determining factor in the nature of a lot of the problems. There are several programs that I know of which accept volunteer workers and/or donations: Projeto Axé, Action for Brazil's Children (the ABC Trust), Didá, Bagunçaço, and Mãe Preta being five of them.
Mãe Preta is not a program in the usual sense. You may have heard the expression "hooker with a heart of gold", and this pretty well sums up Mãe Preta (Black Mother -- that would be Maria Davina Rodrigues), an angelic eighty-two year old ex-prostitute (her birthday was August 8th) whose life for the past forty years has been dedicated to caring for and raising abandoned street children -- many of them themselves the offspring of the world's oldest profession. She does this completely on her own, in a falling down hovel on Salvador's infamous Ladeira da Montanha, a sloping street along which may be found houses of prostitution of the lowest order (virtually all of which have 5-star views of the bay through the back windows). Maria's school-age children make a daily trek down the hill and then back up the Ladeira de Taboão (a street described so heart-wrenchingly by Jorge Amado in his Bahia de Todos os Santos: A Guide to Streets and Mysteries; Maria was in fact a friend of Jorge Amado's) on their way to public school Marquês de Abrantes -- the end of the school day bringing them back to their dank and makeshift habitat.
Donations are of course welcome, as are visitors (the house is located about half-way up the ladeira), but be forwarned that there is nothing picturesque about poverty on this order. And anybody thinking about walking to Mãe Preta's house (which is located in the city center) should think again; the chances of your making it there without a request to give up your belongings is extremely slim.
There is a (public) telephone on the premises now; the number is (71) 3321-6709.
Maria does now receive some assistance from goodhearted local people, and the goodheartedness even extends as far afield as England, where the organization Friends of Maria has been set up (http://www.friendsofmaria.com).
The ABC Trust (Action for Brazil's Children) is also England-based, the English connection being Jimmy Page and the Brazilian connection being Jimmy's wife (and the project's energetic organizer) Jimena Page. Complete descriptions of the Trust's projects and how you can help out are set out on their website at http://www.abctrust.org.uk.
The Trust will be the beneficiary of funds raised in what sounds like a hugely entertaining manner: Samba Challenge Brazil 2004, taking place in Salvador from October 23rd through November 7th. Everything you need to know can be found on their website at http://www.sambachallengebrazil.co.uk.
The name "Bagunçaço" comes from the word "bagunça" (bah-goon-sa), which means "mess". It is a group of kids from the neighborhood of Alagados/Jardim Cruzeiro who play rhythm instruments made from found junk. Now, the neighborhood names are pertinent here. Alagados means "flooded", and refers to shacks built over water on stilts, a scene frequently and picturesquely displayed in a lot of guide books. These "houses" are not picturesque at all; they are horrid and dangerous both in terms of human violence and health and sanitation conditions. "Jardim Cruzeiro" means "Garden Cross", and this is an area built over garbage landfill set just in from Alagados, over what used to comprise Alagados itself. Jardim Cruzeiro now looks like any other poor neighborhood in Salvador, and for longtime residents that is a big step up.
Bagunçaço has grown into a community organization under adult supervision, with a "center" consisting of a couple of spacious enough but simple and very unadorned buildings which share a compound with an elementary school and a children's daycare center (also community projects). And they've found their measure of success, if such is measured in terms of widening horizons. From the slums of Salvador (some of) these kids and their junk have made it as far afield as Germany, Japan, and Sweden (where they will perform for the queen tomorrow -- as I write -- April 15th, 2002). After the accolades and applause and return from the airport, however, it's back to the shacks, or the houses constructed over landfill.
Volunteers can help in terms of supervision and language teaching. The address is Rua Rosalvo Barbosa Romeu (there is no number), Paróquia de São Jorge, Jardim Cruzeiro, Salvador, Bahia, Brasil 40430-500. The phone numbers are 55 (country code) 71 (city code) 314-2580, or 313-7207 (Portuguese may be the only language of whoever answers the telephone).
The following is a list of Non-Governmental Organizations in Salvador, registered with the Instituto Brasileiro do Terceiro Setor:
ABC - ASSOCIAÇÃO BENEFICENTE CRISTÃ
Endereço: LADEIRA DO AQUIDABÃ, 08 - SANTO ANTONIO
Fone / Fax: 712414067
ABRIGO DO SALVADOR
Endereço: RUA CAMPINAS DE BROTAS, 754 - BROTAS
Fone / Fax: 712440633 713812821
ABRIGO DOS FILHOS DO POVO
Endereço: RUA LIMA E SILVA 453 - LIBERDADE
ABRIGO SÃO FRANCISCO DE ASSIS
Endereço: RUA PROFESSOR SANTOS REIS, N 32 - BONFIM
AJUDA SOCIAL À CRIANÇA DESAMPARADA
Endereço: RUA WANDRELEY DE PINHO, 03 - ITAIGARA
Fone / Fax: 3581144
ARA-KETU SOCIEDADE RECREATIVA E CULTURAL
Endereço: AV. OCEÂNICA, 683 SALA 06 BARRA CENTRO COMERCIAL -
Fone / Fax: 713975210 712451778
ASSOCIAÇÃO ARTÍSTICA E CULTURAL DIÁSPORA
Endereço: PRAÇA ANCHIETA, 21 3º ANDAR - PELOURINHO
Fone / Fax: 713225961
ASSOCIAÇÃO BAHIANA DE EQUOTERAPIA - ABAE/BA
Endereço: AV. DORIVAL CAYMME,S/N. ESQD.P.MONT-PQ.DE EXPOSIÇÕES-
ITAPUÃ - ITAPUÃ
Fone / Fax: 712321643 713751584
ASSOCIAÇÃO BAHIANA DE RECUPERAÇÃO DO EXCEPCIONAL - ABRE
Endereço: RUA FREDERICO COSTA N 89/93 - BROTAS
Fone / Fax: 712441142 712334559
ASSOCIAÇÃO BAIANA DE DEFICIENTES FÍSICOS - ABADEF
Endereço: AV. SETE DE SETEMBRO, 281- ANEXO DO PALÁCIO DA
ACLAMAÇÃO - CAMPO GRANDE
Fone / Fax: 713218385
ASSOCIAÇÃO BAIANA DE CEGOS - ABC
Endereço: RUA MESQUITA DOS BARRIS 28 - BARRIS
Fone / Fax: 713282659
ASSOCIAÇÃO BAIANA DOS HEMOFÍLICOS
Endereço: AVENIDA VASCO DA GAMA S/Nº - VASCO DA GAMA
Fone / Fax: 713570900
ASSOCIAÇÃO BAIANA DOS TRANSPLANTADOS DE FÍGADO E PORTADORES DE DOENÇAS HEPÁTICAS - HEPÁTICOS
Endereço: AV, D. JOÃO VI, 1100 ED. RUBI AP. 806 - BROTAS
Fone / Fax: 713574604
ASSOCIAÇÃO BAIANA PRÓ IDOSOS - ASBAPI
Endereço: RUA DO IMPERADOR, 353 - MARES
Fone / Fax: 713817649
ASSOCIAÇÃO BENEFICENTE 15 DE JULHO
Endereço: RUA SAO PEDRO 14 CX.P.41-2 - VILA CANARIA
ASSOCIAÇÃO BENEFICENTE DOS AMIGOS DE ÁGUAS CLARAS
Endereço: RUA H LOTEAMENTO NOGUEIRA 76 - AGUAS CLARAS
ASSOCIAÇÃO BENEFICENTE DOS AMIGOS DE CAJAZEIRAS VII
Endereço: RUA ORLANDO JOSÉ RIBEIRO 30 - ÁGUAS CLARAS
Fone / Fax: 712267916
ASSOCIAÇÃO BENEFICENTE DOS MORADORES DA FAZENDA COUTOS PRIMEIRA ETAPA
Endereço: R. D. PEDRO I, N 23 E - FAZENDA COUTOS PRIMEIRA ETAPA
Fone / Fax: 755212001
ASSOCIAÇÃO BENEFICENTE E SÓCIO-CULTURAL
Endereço: RUAA SANTA CLARA ,28 LARGO DA MARIQUITA - RIO
Fone / Fax: 713356849 713359107
ASSOCIAÇÃO BENEFICENTE FLOR DE MÃES E CRECHE ESCOLA FRUTOS DE MÃES
Endereço: TRAVESSA PRINCESA ISABEL RUA LOPES TROVÃO, 54 -
Fone / Fax: 713137143
ASSOCIAÇÃO BENEFICENTE LAR DA CRIANÇA
Endereço: RUA VICENTE CELESTINO 27 1 ANDAR - MARECHAL RONDON
Fone / Fax: 712462992
ASSOCIAÇÃO BENEFICENTE PENA DOURADA
Endereço: ESTRADA CAMPINAS AEROPORTO KM 07 RUA C QUADRA 08
LOTE 04 - VILA DOIS DE JULHO
Fone / Fax: 713663483
ASSOCIAÇÃO BENEFICENTE RECREATIVA DA VELHA SUSSUARANA
Endereço: RUA HAROLDO CAINO DA SILVA 05 E - SUSSUARANA
Fone / Fax: 713060598
ASSOCIAÇÃO COMUNITÁRIA DA BOA VIAGEM - LAR XILA
Endereço: AV.LUIZ TARQUINIO 56 CASA 05 - BOA VIAGEM
Fone / Fax: 753121002
ASSOCIAÇÃO COMUNITÁRIA SOMAR UNIDADES - ACOMSU
Endereço: PARQUE RECREIO DOS BANDEIRANTES Q. 03 LOTE 01 ( RÓTULA
AEROP - SÃO CRISTÓVÃO
ASSOCIAÇÃO CRECHE JOÃO PAULO II
Endereço: RUA 1º DE NOVEMBRO, S/N - NOVOS ALAGADOS - PLATAFORMA
Fone / Fax: 713986529
ASSOCIAÇÃO CULTURAL BRASIL-ESTADOS UNIDOS
Endereço: AV. SETE DE SETEMBRO , 1883 - CORREDOR DA VITÓRIA
ASSOCIAÇÃO DAS COMUNIDADES PAROQUIAIS DE MATA ESCURA E CALABETÃO - ACOPAMEC
Endereço: RUA SAO MATEUS, 06 - MATA ESCURA
Fone / Fax: 713921817
ASSOCIAÇÃO DAS MÃES CRISTÃS DA PARÓQUIA DE NOSSA SENHORA DA VITÓRIA
Endereço: RUA FLÓRIDA, 134 - GRAÇA
Fone / Fax: 713368751 713368751
ASSOCIAÇÃO DAS SENHORAS DA CARIDADE
Endereço: RUA GOES CALMON,10 - SAÚDE
Fone / Fax: 712431351
ASSOCIAÇÃO DE CLUBE DE MÃES UNIÃO DA BOCA DO RIO
Endereço: RUA DO CAXUNDE 11 - BOCA DO RIO
Fone / Fax: 712313729
ASSOCIAÇÃO DE DESENVOLVIMENTO COMUNITÁRIO E RECREATIVO DE VALÉRIA - ADCREV
Endereço: R. BOCA DA MATA-02 - VALÉRIA
Fone / Fax: 713019257
ASSOCIAÇÃO DE MÃES DO BAIRRO DE JARDIM NOVA ESPERANÇA
Endereço: RUA SIMONE BARRADAS 51 - JARDIM NOVA ESPERANCA
Fone / Fax: 713933331
ASSOCIAÇÃO DE MORADORES DA ESTRADA DA COCISA
Endereço: RUA ARATU-54 - VILA REAL - ESTRADA COCISA
ASSOCIAÇÃO DE MORADORES DO CONJUNTO SANTA LUZIA
Endereço: CONJUNTO SANTA LUZIA Q 05 18 - URUGUAI
Fone / Fax: 713142148
ASSOCIAÇÃO DE PAIS E AMIGOS DE CRIANÇAS E ADOLESCENTES COM DISTÚRBIOS DE COMPORTAMENTO - EVOLUÇÃO
Endereço: AV JORGE AMADO-500 - IMBUÍ
Fone / Fax: 712311502 2311502
ASSOCIAÇÃO DE PAIS E AMIGOS DE DEFICIENTES AUDITIVOS DO ESTADO DA BAHIA - APADA
Endereço: RUA ILHÉUS , 110 - PARQUE CRUZ AGUIAR - RIO VERMELHO
Fone / Fax: 713459017 713596704
ASSOCIAÇÃO DE PAIS E AMIGOS DOS EXCEPCIONAIS - APAE
Endereço: RUA RIO GRANDE DO SUL-545 - PITUBA
Fone / Fax: 713592683 713592683
ASSOCIAÇÃO DE PAIS E MESTRES DA COMUNIDADE DE SARAMANDAIA
Endereço: RUA SANTA RITA 31 - SARAMANDAIA
Fone / Fax: 713593856
ASSOCIAÇÃO DE PAIS E MESTRES DO CENTRO EDUCACIONAL IMACULADA CONCEIÇÃO DO JARDIM LOBATO
Endereço: RODOVIA ''A'' , 3399. CX.P. 237 - JARDIM LOBATO
Fone / Fax: 712468097 712468097
ASSOCIAÇÃO DOS APOSENTADOS E PENSIONISTAS DOS INSTITUTOS E CAIXAS DA PREVIDÊNCIA DA BAHIA
Endereço: RUA CAMPINAS DE BROTAS, 15 - BROTAS
Fone / Fax: 713584854
ASSOCIAÇÃO DOS EDUCADORES DAS ESCOLAS COMUNITÁRIAS - AEEC-BA
Endereço: RUA JOÃO DE DEUS, N. 17, SALA 104 - PELOURINHO
Fone / Fax: 713219834 713219834
ASSOCIAÇÃO DOS GRÊMIOS ESTUDANTIS SECUNDARISTAS
Endereço: RUA MOCAMBO ILHADO, 6 - A TÉRREO - PARABELA
Fone / Fax: 3577911 3667039
ASSOCIAÇÃO DOS MORADORES DA INVASÃO DOM AVELAR
Endereço: RUA SÃO ROQUE, 354 T - URUGUAI
Fone / Fax: 713120408
ASSOCIAÇÃO DOS MORADORES DO BEIRU
Endereço: RUA CASTRO DE ARAÚJO 5 -E - BEIRU
Fone / Fax: 713626298
ASSOCIAÇÃO DOS MORADORES DO CONJUNTO HABITACIONAL VISTA ALEGRE
Endereço: RUA A3, 02 CONJ. HAB. VISTA ALEGRE - ALTOS DE COUTOS
Fone / Fax: 713079455 713079455
ASSOCIAÇÃO DOS MORADORES DO MIRANTE DE PERIPERI
Endereço: RUA MANOELITO TEIXEIRA N*55-E - MIRANTES DE PERIPERI
Fone / Fax: 5215052
ASSOCIAÇÃO DOS MORADORES DO RIO NILO
Endereço: RUA RIO NILO 61-E - RIO SENA
Fone / Fax: 715213501
ASSOCIAÇÃO DOS PAIS E AMIGOS DOS FISSURADOS - APAF
Endereço: AV.BONFIM 161 - ROMA
Fone / Fax: 713101280 713101180
ASSOCIAÇÃO DOS SERVIDORES DA ASSEMBLÉIA LEGISLATIVA DO ESTADO DA BAHIA - ASSALBA
Endereço: AV. LUIZ VIANA FILHO, S/N SALAS 13/14 - CENTRO ADM DA
Fone / Fax: 713707210 713715274
ASSOCIAÇÃO E CRECHE SANTA IZABEL
Endereço: R. DALVA SANTOS ARAÚJO, 05 - NOVA SUSSUARANA
ASSOCIAÇÃO LIVRE DE MORADORES DE MANGUEIRA - ALMM
Endereço: RUA MAJOR MARIVALDO TAPIOCA 09 - MANGUEIRA
Fone / Fax: 713125749
ASSOCIAÇÃO MENSAGEIRA DO AMOR CRISTÃO - AMAC
Endereço: RUA DO CORTE GRANDE S/N - ONDINA
Fone / Fax: 712357133
ASSOCIAÇÃO NACIONAL DE AÇÃO INDIGENISTA-BAHIA - ANAI - BAHIA
Endereço: RUA SANTA ISABEL, 4 - PELOURINHO
Fone / Fax: 713224320 713224320
ASSOCIAÇÃO OBRAS SOCIAIS IRMÃ DULCE
Endereço: AV.BONFIM, 161 - ROMA
Fone / Fax: 713101100 713101100
ASSOCIAÇÃO OFICINA DE INVESTIGAÇÃO MUSICAL DA BAHIA - OIMBA
Endereço: RUA ALFREDO BRITO, 24 - PELOURINHO
Fone / Fax: 713219722 712439537
ASSOCIAÇÃO PARA O DESENVOLVIMENTO DA EDUCAÇÃO ESPECIAL - ADEP
Endereço: RUA BOULEVARD COPACABANA, 112 - BROTAS
Fone / Fax: 713570205
Endereço: LOTEAMENTO PARQUE SUICO R-A-QD-B-LOT 3E4 - FEDERACAO
ASSOCIAÇÃO SANTA BEATRIZ
Endereço: RUA TRAVESSA CRISTOVÃO FERREIRA NO 97 - NORDESTE
Fone / Fax: 713456893
ASSOCIAÇÃO SÃO FRANCISCO DE ASSIS
Endereço: RUA SANTA MÔNICA, 43 - COUTOS
Fone / Fax: 713972478
ASSOCIAÇÃO SÍTIO POLICARPO
Endereço: ESTRADA VELHA DO AEROPORTO, KM 04 - SETE DE ABRIL
Fone / Fax: 2351141
ASSOCIAÇÃO UNIVERSITÁRIA E CULTURAL DA BAHIA
Endereço: PRAÇA ANA NERY S/N CONVENTO DA PALMA - NAZARÉ
Fone / Fax: 713361369 713217199
BLOCO ILÊ AIYÊ
Endereço: RUA DO CURUZU, 197 - LIBERDADE
Fone / Fax: (71) 388.4969 / 256.1013
CÁRITAS DIOCESANA DE SALVADOR
Endereço: PRACA DA SE 01 - SE
CASA SANTA MARIA
Endereço: RUA SANTA TEREZINHA, 02 E - NOVA SUSSUARANA
Fone / Fax: 713061935
CASA DE APOIO E ASSISTÊNCIA AO AIDÉTICO - CAASA
Endereço: RUA ARTUR BERNARDES, 10 - DENDEZEIROS
Fone / Fax: 713123021
CASA DE ORAÇÃO BEZERRA DE MENEZES
Endereço: RUA DR. BEZERRA DE MENEZES ,S/N - BROTAS
CASA NOSSA SENHORA DAS MERCÊS
Endereço: AV. SETE DE SETEMBRO, 1105 - MERCÊS
Fone / Fax: 713211469 713211644
CASA PIA E COLÉGIO DOS ORFÃOS DE SÃO JOAQUIM
Endereço: AV. FREDERICO PONTES, 375 - CALÇADA
Fone / Fax: 713133339 713135783
CENTRO AUTOMOBILISTA DO ESTADO DA BAHIA
Endereço: RUA INACIO ACIOLI 6 - AUTODROMO
Fone / Fax: 712422176
CENTRO COMUNITÁRIO BATISTA CLÉRISTON ANDRADE - CECOM
Endereço: PRAÇA LORD COCHRANE, SN GARIBALDE CX.P. 201 - SALVADOR
Fone / Fax: 712358184 712353777
CENTRO COMUNITÁRIO CRISTO REI
Endereço: RUA ALTO DA CAPELINHA 02 - MADRE DE DEUS
CENTRO COMUNITÁRIO EVANGÉLICO BATISTA EMANUEL - CCEBE
Endereço: RUA C QD. 6 - Nº 464 CONJ. BA. DE TODOS OS SANTOS -
Fone / Fax: 713900116 713900116
CENTRO COMUNITÁRIO IRMÃO DANIEL ALBUQUERQUE - CCDA
Endereço: RUA ALTO DA ALEGRIA ,5 - AMARALINA
CENTRO DE ASSISTÊNCIA SOCIAL PIO XII
Endereço: RUA RIO SÃO FRANCISCO, 46 - MONTE-SERRAT
CENTRO DE CULTURA E DESENVOLVIMENTO - CCD
Endereço: RUA ODILON DOREA 67 APT 101 - DESCONHECIDO
Fone / Fax: 713594807
CENTRO DE DEFESA DA CRIANÇA E DO ADOLESCENTE DA BAHIA
Endereço: RUA CONCEIÇÃO DA PRAIA,32 1ºANDAR - COMÉRCIO
Fone / Fax: 712438499
CENTRO DE DOCUMENTAÇÃO DO PENSAMENTO BRASILEIRO
Endereço: R.MIGUEL CALMON 57ED.CONDE P.MARINH03ºANDAR -
Fone / Fax: 712426302
CENTRO DE EDUCAÇÃO E CULTURA POPULAR - CECUP
Endereço: RUA GREGÓRIO DE MATOS, 52- 2º ANDAR- PELOURINHO -
Fone / Fax: 713212604 713212604
CENTRO DE FORMAÇÃO CRISTO É VIDA
Endereço: RUA ANTÔNIO CARLOS PEREIRA, S/N - CHAPADA - RIO
CENTRO DE GIRO SANTO ANTÔNIO DE PÁDUA
Endereço: RUA VENEZUELA 232-E - PARIPE
Fone / Fax: 715210479
CENTRO DE PESQUISA E ASSISTÊNCIA EM REPRODUÇÃO HUMANA - CEPARH
Endereço: RUA CAETANO MOURA, 35 - FEDERAÇÃO
Fone / Fax: 712454799
CENTRO DE REFERÊNCIA INTEGRAL DE ADOLESCENTES - CRIA
Endereço: RUA GREGÓRIO DE MATOS, 21- 1º E 2º AND. - PELOURINHO
Fone / Fax: 713213041 713221234
CENTRO ECUMÊNICO DE APOIO AO DESENVOLVIMENTO - CEADE
Endereço: RUA DA GRACA 164 FUNDOS CX.P.164 - GRACA
Fone / Fax: 713366795 713367085
CENTRO ESPÍRITA CAMINHO DA REDENÇÃO
Endereço: RUA JAYME VIEIRA LIMA, Nº 1 - PAU DA LIMA
Fone / Fax: 713932018 713932855
CENTRO ESPÍRITA CELEIRO DA PAZ - CECEP
Endereço: RUA SÃO FRANCISCO, 35-BAIXA DE SANTA MÔNICA - IAPI
Fone / Fax: 713888843
CENTRO ESPÍRITA CRISTO REDENTOR
Endereço: RUA TEIXEIRA DE BARROS, 93 - BROTAS
Fone / Fax: 713517469 713517469
CENTRO ESPÍRITA UNIÃO AMOR E LUZ
Endereço: RUA TRÊS IRMÃOS, 161 - NORDESTE DA AMARELINHA
Fone / Fax: 712405017
CENTRO INTEGRADO DE AÇÃO SOCIAL - CIAS
Endereço: VIA COLETORA 1 N² 66 QUADRA 03 - CAJAZEIRA-4
Fone / Fax: 715342116 71358589
CENTRO PROJETO AXÉ DE DEFESA E PROTEÇÃO À CRIANÇA E AO ADOLESCENTE
Endereço: AV. ESTADOS UNIDOS, 161 ED.SUERDIECK - 9º ANDAR -
Fone / Fax: 712425815 712413110
CENTRO SOCIAL DE SAÚDE ESMERALDA DA NATIVIDADE
Endereço: PRAÇA RODRIGUES LIMA, 75 - LARGO DA VITÓRIA
Fone / Fax: 713363020 713366000
CENTRO SOCIAL IRMÃ ELISA MARIA
Endereço: ESTRADA VELHA DO AEROPORTO SN - NOVA BRASILIA
Fone / Fax: 713933981
CEPAM - CENTRO EDUCACIONAL E PROFISSIONALIZANTE DE ADULTOS E MENORES
Endereço: PRAÇA GENERAL LABATUT, S/N - PIRAJÁ
Fone / Fax: 713922408 713924566
CIPÓ - COMUNICAÇÃO INTERATIVA
Endereço: RUA GENERAL BRÁULIO GUIMARÃES, 560 - JARDIM ARMAÇÃO
Fone / Fax: 714614340
CLUBE DE MÃES ABELHAS MESTRAS DE CAJAZEIRA XI
Endereço: CAJAZEIRA XI QD. D CAMINHO 29 CASA 5 - CAJAZEIRA XI
CLUBE DE MÃES CARENTES DO BAIRRO DE JARDIM CRUZEIRO
Endereço: RUA DO AMARO, QD. 16 LOTE 09 N° 30 - JARDIM CRUZEIRO
Fone / Fax: 713131181
CLUBE DE MÃES DO BAIRRO DE PERNAMBUÉS
Endereço: AVENIDA HILDA, 185 E - PERNAMBUÉS
Fone / Fax: 712546500
CLUBE DE MÃES ROCHA VIVA
Endereço: LADEIRA CANDINHO FERNANDES-25 - SAN MARTIN
COLÉGIO DO SAGRADO CORAÇÃO DE JESUS
Endereço: AVENIDA JOANA ANGÉLICA, 1.380 - NAZARÉ
Fone / Fax: 713220749
COLÉGIO DOIS DE JULHO
Endereço: AV LEOVIGILDO FILGUEIRAS 81 CX P 350 - GARCIA
Fone / Fax: 712352103
COLÉGIO SÃO JOSÉ
Endereço: RUA DA IMPERATRIZ N 170 - ITAPAGIPE
Fone / Fax: 713122777
COMUNIDADE FRANCISCANA DA BAHIA
Endereço: PRAÇA ANCHIETA S/N - TERREIO DE JESUS
Fone / Fax: 712432367
COMUNIDADE PAROQUIAL PAULO VI
Endereço: RUA SANTA LUZIA 120 - PAU MIÚDO
Fone / Fax: 712448950
CONGREGAÇÃO DAS RELIGIOSAS FRANCISCANAS IMACULATINAS
Endereço: RUA GENERAL LABATUT, 373 - BARRIS
Fone / Fax: 713217388 713220257
CONGREGAÇÃO DAS ANCILAS DO MENINO JESUS
Endereço: RUA CANDEAL PEQUENO, 248 - BROTAS
CONGREGAÇÃO DAS IRMÃS FRANCISCANAS HOSPITALEIRAS DA IMACULADA CONCEIÇÃO
Endereço: RUA RIO NEGRO, 15 CX. P. 374 - MONTE SERRAT
Fone / Fax: 713141725 713144126
CONGREGAÇÃO DAS FILHAS POBRES DE SÃO JOSÉ CALAZANS
Endereço: ESTRADA DA MURIÇOCA, 676 CX.P. 480 - VALE DOS LAGOS - PAU DA LIMA
Fone / Fax: 713934135
CONSELHO DE MORADORES DO CONJUNTO HABITACIONAL DE CAJAZEIRAS XI
Endereço: CAMINHO 12 CASA 01 QC - CAJAZEIRAS XI
CONSELHO NACIONAL DOS BISPOS E PASTORES EVANGÉLICOS DO BRASIL - CNBPEB
Endereço: RUA SIMPLÍCIO DA SILVA, 29 - SARAMANDAIA
CRECHE CENTRO EDUCACIONAL DR. HERALDO ROCHA
Endereço: 2 º TRAVESSA TENENTE MARIA ALVES, 30 - LIBERDADE
Fone / Fax: 712439582
CRECHE COMUNITÁRIA BEBEZINHO
Endereço: RUA A N-371 CASTELO BRANCO 3ETAPA - CASTELO BRANCO
CRECHE E ESCOLA COMUNITÁRIA PEQUENINOS DE JESUS
Endereço: AV.LACERDA 48 - S.CRISTOVAO DO LARGO TANQUE
CRECHE ESCOLA COMUNITÁRIA CULTURAL E BENEFICENTE SÃO JERÔNIMO
Endereço: RUA MELO DE MORAIS FILHO, 374 - FAZENDA GRANDE
Fone / Fax: 713031721
CRECHE ESCOLA COMUNITÁRIA FONTE DE LUZ
Endereço: RUA VITÓRIA, 08 - PARQUE SÃO CRISTÓVÃO
Fone / Fax: 713439084
CRECHE ESCOLA PAROQUIAL NOSSA SENHORA DA BOA VIAGEM
Endereço: RUA RIO ITAPICURÚ 17 - BOA VIAGEM
Fone / Fax: 3139725 3129532
Endereço: RUA EDÍSTIO PONDÉ, 353, S 1101/1104 - STIEP
Fone / Fax: (71) 3415344
Missão e/ou Atividades Desenvolvidas: Desenvolvimento de projetos de energias renováveis com impacto social e ambiental.
EDUCANDÁRIO SÃO RAIMUNDO
Endereço: RUA SÃO RAIMUNDO S/N - POLITEAMA
Fone / Fax: 713213643
ESCOLA MEDALHA MILAGROSA
Endereço: TRAV. LIDIO DE MESQUITA N-15 - RIO VERMELHO
Fone / Fax: 712471473
FEDERAÇÃO ESPÍRITA DO ESTADO DA BAHIA - FEEB
Endereço: RUA CEL. JAYME ROLEMBERG, 110 - BROTAS
Fone / Fax: 713593323 713593323
FUNDAÇÃO BAHIANA DE CARDIOLOGIA
Endereço: AVENIDA ESTADOS UNIDOS, 528 SL, 1215/1216- 12º ANDAR -
Fone / Fax: 712455811 712375025
FUNDAÇÃO BAHIANA PARA O DESENVOLVIMENTO DA MEDICINA
Endereço: AV DOM JOÃO VI-275 - BROTAS
Fone / Fax: 712441817
FUNDAÇÃO CASA DE JORGE AMADO
Endereço: RUA ALFREDO BRITO , NO 49/51 - PELOURINHO
Fone / Fax: 713210070 713210720
FUNDAÇÃO COLOMBO SPÍNOLA
Endereço: PRAÇA CONSELHEIRO ALMEIDA COUTO,02,NAZARÉ - NAZARÉ
Fone / Fax: 2433511
FUNDAÇÃO DE ADMINISTRAÇÃO E PESQUISA ECONÔMICO-SOCIAL - FAPES
Endereço: RUA SILVEIRA MARTINS, 68 - CABULA
Fone / Fax: 713874477 713874477
FUNDAÇÃO DOM AVELAR BRANDÃO VILELA
Endereço: RUA MARTIM AFONSO DE SOUZA -
Fone / Fax: 712475088
FUNDAÇÃO FACULDADE DE DIREITO DA BAHIA
Endereço: RUA DA PAZ, S/N 2 ANDAR SALA 64/65 - GRAÇA
Fone / Fax: 2451288
FUNDAÇÃO FRANCO GILBERTI
Endereço: CONDOMÍNIO RECANTO DO LAGO, S/N - FAZENDA GRANDE II
Fone / Fax: 713951977 713951585
FUNDAÇÃO INSTITUTO FEMININO DA BAHIA
Endereço: RUA MONSENHOR FLAVIANO, 02 - POLITEAMA (CENTRO)
Fone / Fax: 713295522 713295522
FUNDAÇÃO JOSÉ SILVEIRA
Endereço: RUA BENTO GONÇALVES, SN CX.P. 635 - FEDERAÇÃO
Fone / Fax: 713395000 713395171
FUNDAÇÃO LAR HARMONIA
Endereço: RUA LIMA BORGES S/N - PATAMRES
Fone / Fax: 713634485
FUNDAÇÃO LUIZ SIMÕES
Endereço: RUA SANTA EURIDES 232 - BROTAS
Fone / Fax: 712343180
Endereço: ALAMEDA DAS ESPATÓDIAS, 915 - CAMINHO DAS ÁRVORES
Fone / Fax: 713401556 713401668
FUNDAÇÃO PARA O DESENVOLVIMENTO DAS CIÊNCIAS
Endereço: AVENIDA D. JOÃO VI, 275. - BROTAS
Fone / Fax: 713561430 713564615
FUNDAÇÃO PARA O DESENVOLVIMENTO DE COMUNIDADES PESQUEIRAS ARTESANAIS - FUNDIPESCA
Endereço: ENG. EVERALDO FREITAS MAGNAVITA 5 A - ITAPUÃ
Fone / Fax: 713755535 713752975
FUNDAÇÃO RÔMULO ROMANO
Endereço: RUA WILSON PALMEIRAS, 52 - AMARALINA
Fone / Fax: 713451995
GRUPO CULTURAL QUIMTACI - QUIMTACI
Endereço: PRAÇA JOSÉ DE ALENCAR, 09 - 1º ANDAR - SALA 02 - PELOURINHO
Fone / Fax: (71) 241-0788
Missão e/ou Atividades Desenvolvidas: Promoção de qualidade de vida para crianças e adolescentes carentes atraves das artes: Dança Afro Conteporanea, Teatro, Canto Coral, Artesanato e Pintura. Formar cidadães comprometidos com a vida na sua totalidade
Outras Informações: Possuimos um grupo profissional de dança e de Teatro esperamos poder apliar o nosso campo de interelacionamento e intercambio Social e Cultural.
GRUPO DE JOVENS LIBERDADE JÁ
Endereço: PRAÇA DA REVOLUÇÃO, 49 - PERIPERI
Fone / Fax: 715212671
GRUPO ESPÍRITA DEUS, CRISTO E CARIDADE
Endereço: LADEIRA DOS TUPYS, 84 - MATATU DE BROTAS
Fone / Fax: 713817273
GRUPO DE APOIO À CRIANÇA COM CÂNCER
Endereço: AVENIDA OCEANO PACÍFICO, 210 - RECANTO DA ILHAS
Fone / Fax: 55-71-399.2000/ 55-71-399.2007
HOSPITAL DA SAGRADA FAMÍLIA - HOSFAM
Endereço: RUA PLÍNIO DE LIMA , 01 - MONTE SERRAT
Fone / Fax: 713109100
HOSPITAL EVANGÉLICO DA BAHIA
Endereço: AVENIDA D. JOÃO VI,1291 - BROTAS
Fone / Fax: 712444955 712444955
INSTITUIÇÃO CRISTÃ DE ACOLHIMENTO E INSTRUÇÃO AO MENOR - ICAIM
Endereço: RUA RIO NEGRO,27 - MONTE SERRAT
Fone / Fax: 713120589
INSTITUIÇÃO CRISTÃ DE AMPARO AO JOVEM - ICAJ
Endereço: RUA PRADO MORAES, 29 - ACUPE DE BROTAS
Fone / Fax: 713569307
INSTITUIÇÃO ESPÍRITA CASA DE EMMANUEL
Endereço: RUA CASSIANO LOPES, 61 - SANTO ANTONIO
Fone / Fax: 2422774
INSTITUIÇÃO JOANNA DE ÂNGELIS - CASA DE BETÂNIA
Endereço: AV. BUERAREMA,Q.11 LT. 01 KM.13 AEROPORTO - SÃO
INSTITUIÇÃO LAR IRMÃ BENEDITA CAMURUGI
Endereço: RUA GENERAL ARGOLO, 44 - BAIXA DE QUINTAS
Fone / Fax: 712441794
INSTITUIÇÃO LAR IRMÃO JOSÉ
Endereço: RUA AUGUSTO GUIMARÃES 140 - SOLEDADE
Fone / Fax: 712425926 713136577
INSTITUTO BAHIANO DE REABILITAÇÃO - IBR
Endereço: AV PRESIDENTE VARGAS 2947 - ONDINA
Fone / Fax: 3363155 3363068
INSTITUTO BOM PASTOR
Endereço: RUA WALDEMAR FALCAO, 82 - BROTAS
Fone / Fax: 713560880
INSTITUTO BRASILEIRO DE OFTALMOLOGIA E PREVENÇÃO DA CEGUEIRA - IBOPC
Endereço: RUA PEDRO LESSA, N. 118 - CANELA
Fone / Fax: 713368211 713365698
INSTITUTO CULTURAL DE PERÍCIA TÉCNICO-CIENTÍFICA DA BAHIA
Endereço: RUA W LOTE 04 QUADRA 43 - JARDIM ARMAÇÃO
Fone / Fax: 713624110 713624110
INSTITUTO DA IRMÃS FRANCISCANAS DA IMACULADA
Endereço: RUA JACÓ DE CARVALHO, S/N LOT. NOGUEIRA CX. POSTAL 512 - ÁGUAS CLARAS
Fone / Fax: 713958095 713958095
INSTITUTO DAS IRMÃS DE CARIDADE DE SANTA CRUZ - INCRUZ
Endereço: AV. CARDEAL DA SILVA, 1098 - FEDERAÇÃO
INSTITUTO DE CEGOS DA BAHIA
Endereço: RUA SÃO JOSÉ DE BAIXO, 55 - BARBALHO
Fone / Fax: 712421073 712421073
INSTITUTO DE HOSPITALIDADE - INSTITUTO
Endereço: AV. TANCREDO NEVES, 450 ED. SUAREZ DAS ÁRVORES 29º
ANDAR - CAMINHO DAS ÁRVORES
Fone / Fax: 713401688
INSTITUTO DE ORGANIZAÇÃO NEUROLÓGICA DA BAHIA - ION
Endereço: AV PROF SABINO SILVA 549 JARDIM APIPEMA - ONDINA
Fone / Fax: 713362699 713362792
INSTITUTO DE RADIODIFUSÃO EDUCATIVA DA BAHIA - IRDEB
Endereço: RUA PEDRO GAMA, 413/E - ALTO DO SOBRADINHO
Fone / Fax: 713391241 713391224
INSTITUTO FAMÍLIA - AIDS EM SALVADOR
Endereço: RUA TUIUTI, 131 AP. 402 - CENTRO
Fone / Fax: 713296590
INSTITUTO FREI LUDOVICO
Endereço: RUA HELIO DE OLIVEIRA, 114 - MATATU
Fone / Fax: 712446721
INSTITUTO GUANABARA - IG
Endereço: RUA FREDERICO COSTA 93 - PERIPERI
Fone / Fax: 712445118
INSTITUTO HERCÍLIA MOREIRA
Endereço: RUA MONTE CONSELHO, 121 - RIO VERMELHO
Fone / Fax: 712480917
INSTITUTO KARDECISTA DA BAHIA - IKB
Endereço: RUA JOÃO DE DEUS, 06 - PELOURINHO
Fone / Fax: 713213042
INSTITUTO MANOEL NOVAES PARA O DESENVOLVIMENTO DA BACIA DE SÃO FRANCISCO
Endereço: RUA CONS. SARAIVA, 26 ED. 15 DE JULHO 11º ANDAR - COMÉRCIO
Fone / Fax: 712135371 713936328
INSTITUTO NOSSA SENHORA DA SALETTE
Endereço: RUA DO SALETE, 47 - BARRIS
Fone / Fax: 713227303 713222317
INSTITUTO ROERICH DA PAZ E CULTURA DO BRASIL - PAZ
Endereço: RUA MIGUEL GUSTAVO 18 E SALA - BROTAS
Fone / Fax: 713577086
INSTITUTO SOCIAL DAS MEDIANEIRAS DE PAZ
Endereço: RUA G, QD. I Nº.1 JD.STA.MÔNICA - IAPI
Fone / Fax: 713863216 713860168
LAR ASSISTENCIAL FRANCO BELCARO
Endereço: RUA ROCKFELLER 50 - BARRIS
Fone / Fax: 713211979
LAR BENEFICENTE NOSSA SENHORA DE LOURDES
Endereço: CAMPO DO CARLITÃO, S/N - RIO SENA
Fone / Fax: 713955907
LAR DA CRIANÇA
Endereço: RUA ARTUR D'ALMEIDA COUTO,72 VILA LAURA - MATATU
Fone / Fax: 712443795
LEGIÃO DA BOA VONTADE - LBV
Endereço: AVENIDA PORTO DOS MASTROS - RIBEIRA
Fone / Fax: (71) 326 0592
Missão e/ou Atividades Desenvolvidas: Contribuir para o dessenvolvimento solidário através de por meio de programas e ações de educação e promoção humana e social que promovam cidadania ecumênica,valorizando a pessoa humana e seu Espírito Eterno
Outras Informações: Atividades voltadas às crianças, Jovens e idosos .
LICEU DE ARTES E OFÍCIOS DA BAHIA
Endereço: RUA GUEDES DE BRITO, 14 - CENTRO HISTÓRICO
Fone / Fax: 713219159 712414947
LICEU SALESIANO DO SALVADOR
Endereço: PRAÇA ALMEIDA COUTO, 374 - NAZARÉ
Fone / Fax: 712432955 712437618
LIGA ÁLVARO BAHIA CONTRA A MORTALIDADE INFANTIL - LABCMI
Endereço: RUA JOSÉ DUARTE, 114 - TORORÓ
Fone / Fax: 712412892 713210276
LIGA BAHIANA CONTRA O CÂNCER
Endereço: AVENIDA DOM JOÃO VI, 332 - BROTAS
Fone / Fax: 713576800 713563090
LIGA DE ASSISTÊNCIA E RECUPERAÇÃO - LAR
Endereço: AV.ANTONIO CARLOS MAGALHÃES S/N PARQUE DA CIDADE -
Fone / Fax: 3583534 3582580
MONTE TABOR - CENTRO ÍTALO BRASILEIRO DE PROMOÇÃO SANITÁRIA
Endereço: AVENIDA SÃO RAFAEL 2152 CX.P.0566 - SAO MARCOS/PAU DE
Fone / Fax: 713996142 713933937
NÚCLEO ASSISTENCIAL PARA PESSOAS COM CÂNCER - NASPEC
Endereço: RUA SIMÕES FILHO, 32 - BOCA DO RIO
Fone / Fax: 713624391 713624391
NÚCLEO DE ASSISTÊNCIA À CRIANÇA COM CÂNCER
Endereço: RUA JANIPAPEIRO, 31 - SAÚDE
Fone / Fax: 713224198
OBRA DE ASSISTÊNCIA AOS POBRES E AOS MENORES VENDILHÕES
Endereço: PRACA CONSELHEIRO ALMEIDA COUTO 134 - CENTRO
Fone / Fax: 712434991
ORGANIZAÇÃO DE AUXÍLIO FRATERNO - OAF
Endereço: RUA DO QUEIMADINHO, 17 - LAPINHA
Fone / Fax: 712423699 712421996
Endereço: RUA CHILE, 03 - SUBSOLO - CENTRO
Fone / Fax: 713228890 713217994
REAL SOCIEDADE ESPANHOLA DE BENEFICÊNCIA - RSEB
Endereço: AV. SETE DE SETEMBRO, 4161 - BARRA
Fone / Fax: 713391999 713391579
REAL SOCIEDADE PORTUGUESA DE BENEFICÊNCIA DEZESSEIS DE SETEMBRO
Endereço: AV.PRINCESA ISABEL 02 - BARRA AVENIDA
Fone / Fax: 712035125 712455579
SANTA CASA DE MISERICÓRDIA DA BAHIA
Endereço: RUA DA MISERICÓRDIA, 06 1º ANDAR - SÉ
Fone / Fax: 713260666 713260415
SISTEMA M-COM - MOVIMENTO COMUNITÁRIO EM SÃO CAETANO
Endereço: RUA CORONEL JOSÉ TIBÉRIO 1107 - BOA VISTA DE SÃO CAETANO - SÃO CAETANO
Fone / Fax: 99943459
SOCIEDADE BENEFICENTE E DESPORTIVA SANTA CRUZ
Endereço: RUA CLÓVIS ALMEIDA MAIA, S/N RIBEIRA - RIBEIRA
Fone / Fax: 713140168
SOCIEDADE BENEFICENTE E RECREATIVA DO CALABAR
Endereço: AVENIDA CENTENÁRIO-RUA NOVA DO CALABAR, 67 - CALABAR
Fone / Fax: 712358032
SOCIEDADE BENEFICENTE EDUCATIVA SÃO JOSÉ
Endereço: ESTRADA VELHA DO AEROPORTO KM. 5,5 - NOVO MAROTINHO
Fone / Fax: 713933310
SOCIEDADE BENEFICENTE SÃO JORGE
Endereço: RUA ROSALVO BARBOSA ROMEU, S/N - JARDIM CRUZEIRO
Fone / Fax: 713131837
SOCIEDADE CULTURAL RECREATIVA BENEFICENTE E ESPORTIVA SÃO SALVADOR
Endereço: RUA TEIXEIRA MENDES, 09 ALTO DAS POMBAS - FEDERACAO
SOCIEDADE DE DEFESA DOS MORADORES DO GANTÓIS E FERREIRA SANTOS DO BAIRRO DA FEDERAÇÃO E ADJACÊNCIAS
Endereço: RUA FERREIRA SANTOS 75 - FEDERAÇÃO
Fone / Fax: 712375554
SOCIEDADE DE ESTUDOS DA CULTURA NEGRA NO BRASIL - SECNEB
Endereço: RUA BAMBOCHE, 247 - PITUBA
Fone / Fax: 712400082
SOCIEDADE DOS AMIGOS DE PRAIA GRANDE DA ILHA DE MARÉ E ADJACÊNCIAS
Endereço: PRAIA GRANDE, 127 - ILHA DE MARÉ
Fone / Fax: 719226445
SOCIEDADE DOS ARTESÃOS DE ALAGADOS DE SALVADOR
Endereço: RUA REZENDE COSTA QUADRA 18 NR. 06 - JARDIM CRUZEIRO
SOCIEDADE EUNICE WEAVER DA BAHIA
Endereço: RUA CARLOS GOMES, 103 SALA 105 ED. CASTRO ALVES - CENTRO
Fone / Fax: 713261072
SOCIEDADE NACIONAL DE INSTRUÇÃO
Endereço: RUA DO TIMBÓ, 262 CX.P. 7243 - CAMINHO DAS ÁRVORES
Fone / Fax: 713538926 713583278
SOCIEDADE PESTALOZZI DA BAHIA
Endereço: AV. BEIRA MAR, 263 - ITAPAGIPE
Fone / Fax: 713121254 713121254
SOCIEDADE PRIMEIRO DE MAIO
Endereço: RUA NOVA ESPERANÇA, 1 - SÃO JOÃO DE PLATAFORMA
Fone / Fax: 713981190
UNIÃO DAS PREFEITURAS DA BAHIA
Endereço: AV.LUIS VIANA FILHO 320 - CENTRO ADMINISTRATIVO
Fone / Fax: 713710763
UNIVERSIDADE CATÓLICA DE SALVADOR
Endereço: PRACA 2 DE JULHO 07 - CAMPO GRANDE
Fone / Fax: 712413421
VALORIZAÇÃO INDIVIDUAL DO DEFICIENTE ANÔNIMO - VIDA
Endereço: AV. ALIOMAR BALEEIRO KM 05 - EST VELHA DO AEROP. SÍTO
IPIRAN - NOVO MAROTINHO
Fone / Fax: 713933342 713933342
VOLUNTÁRIAS SOCIAIS DA BAHIA
Endereço: 3 AVENIDA-370 - CAB
Looking for Portuguese lessons here in Brazil? A Portuguese course?
There are a number of teachers and schools here for anyone wishing to study the Portuguese language. I have no personal experience with any of them, having learned the language on my own (not a good way to do it; if you're over the age of ten you'll learn much faster under a teacher's guidance), but my aim here is to present what is available and what, if anything, I know about them. And I'll state what should be obvious: The fewer the students, the better; one-on-one is best. This list is certainly not exhaustive, and I'll be adding other teachers as I become aware of them.
YNAÊ SODRÊ (that's pronounced "ee-nai-EY saw-DREY") gives private classes in Portuguese, and she will come to you, showing you the city and its cultural spots depending on the personal taste of the student.
Ynaê is also a great singer and can be heard on a CD of fundamental importance in Bahia (DENGO, the work of samba-de-roda's master Raimundo Sodré; and no, the last names are not a coincidence: father/daughter).
Ynaê's telephone number is 55 (Brazil) (71) Salvador 3245-9115, her cell phone is 9192-6188, and her e-mail address is email@example.com. (In case you're curious about that modified name in the e-mail address, some years ago the Brazilian government banned "y" and "k" from the alphabet, "Tony" officially morphing into"Toni" and "Ynaê" into "Inaê". As as far as I'm concerned she's still Ynaê!
Inaê Sodré is in her final year of "Letras", which is the Brazilian equivalent of studying Portuguese literature and language -- at the Federal University of Bahia. She's taught Portuguese at Curso Conexão Idiomas and at PROPEEP (Programa de Pesquisa, Ensino, and Extensão de Português: Research, Teaching and Extension of Portuguese) at the same university. She currently teaches Portuguese for Foreigners at Salvador's Alliance Francaise. Depending on her students' needs, she works with grammar, conversation, and pronunciation by way of writing dealing with Bahian and Brazilian culture, literature, and poetry, along with the lyrics of great Brazilian musicians.
FALA-BRASIL is a one-on-one Portuguese course taught by Augusto Pondé. Professor Pondé has a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Languages, speaks English and some French, and has been teaching Portuguese to foreigners since 1980. His website is at www.fala-brasil.com.
TERRA BRASILIS is located in Barra, a couple of blocks away from the farol (lighthouse). The school offers both individual and group Portuguese classes, and fluent English and German are spoken on the premises. Their website may be found at www.portuguesecourseinbrasil.com.br.
CASA DO BRASIL is located in Barra at Rua Milton de Oliveira, 231. The telephone/fax number is 264-5866, and there is a website at www.casa-do-brasil.net. E-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. English and German are spoken.
DIÁLOGO is located in Barra at Rua João Pondé, 240. Telephone is 264-0007, and fax is 264-0053. There's a website at www.dialogo-brazilstudy.com, and the e-mail address is email@example.com.
SHEILA WAKSMAN, a carioca (native of Rio) living in Salvador and a fluent English-speaker, has a range of courses which are delineated on her website at www.basicalingua.com. Sheila teaches in Barra.
SONIA-PORTUGUESE is a website (run by Sonia, of course) for English-speakers, dedicated to teaching the Portuguese language. Lots of good information and excellent tips for free, and Sonia's book and course on CD ROM are also available. The website is at www.sonia-portuguese.com.
* A few notes for those intending to learn Portuguese (I will, as a matter of necessity, approach this from an English-speaker's point-of-view):
I'll start with the English language r. It doesn't exist in Portuguese. And when it creeps (or blares) its way in it sounds terrible. It's what Brazilians imitate when they make fun of English-speakers (particularly Americans, who pronounce it in a more, well, a more pronounced manner).
In Brazilian Portuguese an r at the beginning of a word is pronounced like an English-language h. When talking about a cidade maravilhosa they say "Hio". Conversely, a Brazilian with a little knowledge of English tends to pronounce red as "head": "This pencil is head!" Pretty ridiculous, but that's how a lot of us sound to them too. And it gets worse...
The English-language r does happen to be approached in one region of the country -- the interior of São Paulo -- where the accent is perceived by the rest of the country the way a Manhattanite might perceive, say, Billy Bob Thornton's accent: It makes us sound like hicks who can't talk right.
Property and real estate purchases in greater Salvador and up the coast along the Linha Verde (and in other parts of Bahia as well) are taking place as people realize that they can have their place in the sun here. To anticipate a couple of very frequently asked questions: yes, non-Brazilians can buy real estate and own property here in Brazil without becoming legal residents; and yes, real estate and property costs here in comparison to Europe and the United States are low.
Meet Bahia-Online Real Estate Agent Alain Zamrini from Los Angeles, California. Alain is an American realtor living here in Salvador -- licensed in Bahia -- and handling local properties and all aspects having to do with purchases, development, legalities, and finance.
For listings and further information with respect to the acquisition of or dealing with real estate in Bahia, Brazil via Bahia-Online... click to go: PROPERTY BAHIA.
...and others not quite so frequently asked!
* Q: Who is the most famous foreigner to have "lived" in Bahia?
* A: Robinson Crusoe. He was a plantation owner before setting out from the Baia de Todos os Santos, shipwrecking, and washing up on a desert island off the coast of Venezuela.
"We had a very good Voyage to the Brasils, and arriv'd in the Bay de Todos los Santos , or All-Saints Bay, in about Twenty-two Days after. And now I was once more deliver'd from the most miserable of all Conditions of Life, and what to do next with my self I was now to consider."
"To come then by the just Degrees, to the Particulars of this Part of my Story; you may suppose, that having now lived almost four Years in the Brasils, and beginning to thrive and prosper very well upon my Plantation; I had not only learn'd the Language, but had contracted Acquaintance and Friendship among my Fellow-Planters, as well as among the Merchants at St. Salvadore, which was our Port; and that in my Discourses among them, I had frequently given them an Account of my two Voyages to the Coast of Guinea, the manner of Trading with the Negroes there, and how easy it was to purchase upon the Coast, for Trifles, such as Beads, Toys, Knives, Scissars, Hatchets, bits of Glass, and the like; not only Gold Dust, Guinea Grains, Elephants Teeth, &c. but Negroes for the Service of the Brasils, in great Numbers."
* Q: Is it safe to drink the water here?
* A: Not out of the tap it isn't. The water is treated with chlorine (you can smell it) but its potability is unreliable. Everybody has a water filter at home, and most people simply pour water from the tap into the filter. More fastidious people first boil the water and then filter it, and a lot of people buy their water in 20 liter bottles. Bottled water for drinking can be bought cheaply everywhere.
* What is the voltage in Bahia?
* That depends on where in Bahia you are. In Salvador, Cachoeira, Ilheus and Itabuna the voltage is 127. In Lençois, Praia do Forte, Morro de São Paulo, Boipeba, Santo Amaro and Maracangalha the voltage is 220.
* Maracangalha?! Where the hell is that?!
* Maybe you don't know...but Dorival Caymmi (Bahia's most celebrated composer, born 1914) certainly did. He was going to go there, with Anália or without! (Maracangalha is a small community outside of the slightly larger community of São Sebastião do Passé, which is close to Santo Amaro, which sits just north of the Baia de Todos os Santos).
Listen to Jussara Silveira sing "Maracangalha"
Eu vou pra Maracangalha eu vou
Eu vou de uniforme branco eu vou
Eu vou de chapéu de palha eu vou
Eu vou convidar Anália eu vou
Se Anália não quiser ir eu vou só
Eu vou só, eu vou só
Se Anália não quiser ir eu vou só
Eu vou só, eu vou só sem Anália mas eu vou
I'll go to Maracangalha, I'll go
I'll go dressed in white, I'll go
I'll go in a straw hat, I'll go
I'll invite Anália, I will
If Anália doesn't want to go, I'll go alone
I'll go alone, I'll go alone
I'll invite Anália, I will
If Anália doesn't want to go
I'll go alone, I'll go alone without Anália but I'll go
* Q: Does Salvador have a theme song or hymn?
* A: As far as I'm concerned it does...and that would be É d'Oxum, a paean in ijexá by wonderful Gerônimo and his writing partner Vevé Calazans.
(Oxum is the Yoruban divinity associated with sweet water, depicted as aware of her considerable beauty and charms. "É d'Oxum" would be "It's Oxum's".)
Listen to "É d'Oxum" as sung by Baiana Gal Costa
(Gerônimo & Vevé Calazans)
Nessa cidade todo mundo é d'Oxum
Homem, menino, menina, mulher
Toda a cidade irradia magia
Presente na água doce
Presente na água salgada
E toda a cidade brilha
In this city we are all Oxum's
Man, boy, girl, woman
The entire city radiates magic
Present in the sweet water
Present in the salt water
And the entire city shines
Seja tenente ou filho de pescador
Ou importante desembargador
Se der presente é tudo uma coisa só
A força que mora n'água
Não faz distinção de cor
E toda a cidade é d'Oxum
Whether lieutenent or a fisherman's son
Or an important judge
If a present is given we are all the same
The force that lives in the water
Doesn't doesn't distinguish between our colors
And the entire city is Oxum's...
The city is hers...
* Q: So the song above says "The force that lives in the water doesn't doesn't distinguish between our colors..." Would it be then that Brazil is truly a society of racial harmony, without prejudice?
* A: Unhappily not everyone here shares Oxum's sensibility (as expressed by Gerônimo and Vevé Calazans); there is plenty of prejudice here. But there is a way in which Brazil is way ahead of the United States, and this is that the lower economic classes mix, mingle, marry, and live side-by-side as if, surprise!, it were the most normal thing in the world. And there are a lot of families whose roots are an impossibly tangled mixture of African, Indian, and European bloodlines (and Arabic and Jewish to boot). But the upper echelons of society tend to be of European lineage, and there are carnival blocos in Salvador wherein the obvious absence of darker skin is no accident.
* Q: Why do so many race-car drivers come from Brazil?
A: I don't know, but a large part of the population drives like they think they are chasing glory at Hockenheim or Indianapolis. So the watchword(s) are watch-your-everlovin'-ass-when-you're-crossin'-the-street, baby! I've heard numerous times that Brazil has the highest accident rate in the world, and I'm inclined to believe it. It really is necessary to be careful if you or anybody you know values your life.
Indy Racing League 2004 Champion Tony Kanaan leads the pack at the Indianapolis 500. Where's Tony from? Absolutely right! Salvador da Bahia!
* Q: Is the weather summertime-great all year round?
* A: A lot of people have that impression; I'm embarrassed to think that I was one of them. And no, it isn't. There are seasonal variations. It can even snow at higher elevations in the south of Brazil during the winter. That doesn't happen in Salvador of course, but the winter months (June, July, August) can be very rainy, and some days are out-and-out jacket weather. In the interior these months feel like brisk autumn in the United States and nights are often cold enough that heavy blankets are brought out. But unless you plan to be on the beach every day, none of this is bad. This is the season of São João (a big festa which falls on the 24th of June) and forró (funky Brazilian hillbilly music). Hey, this is Bahia! Did you think the partying was going to stop? (And whatever the case, don't worry, there are still plenty of decent beach days during this time of the year.)
* Q: Speaking of the weather, is the tropical Bahia sun really all that much stronger than the European or North American summer sun?
* A: You bet your blisters it is! It's easy to think otherwise because the seabreeze and lower humidity generally keep things fresh. But you've got to remember that it's like having a nuclear reactor up there, and if you don't remember it, you're going to fry. (You can translate this to "sunblock & sensibility".)
* Q: Is it true that you can't throw toilet paper into the toilet in Brazil?! What do you do with it?!
* A: Generally speaking, and with few exceptions, you carefully place the "soiled tissue" into a trash receptical sitting next to the toilet, where one would hope it doesn't stew too long before somebody gets around to cleaning the thing out. The unfortunate truth is that the Brazilian Plumbing Ethos is part of the general Brazilian Construction Ethos, ergo: nobody's going to see it; why waste money doing it right? Narrow pipes cost less than fat pipes, never mind that they are also easier to clog up.
* Q: So that's why they so often have that little water-pistol-on-a-hose gizmo next to the john?
* A: That and for "feminine hygiene".
* Q: Okay, as long as we're being open about things, are Brazilians as sexually liberated as they are reputed to be?
* A: In a nutshell: yes. But that doesn't mean it's okay to come here and act like a horny jerk. A lot of guys get here (I'm going to tackle this from a man's POV) and fall prey to a misconception based on the locked eyes and meaningful lingering glances, of the sort that James Bond gets, directed at them. It's like presto chango! somehow they've been miraculously transformed into Very Desirable Males, and all it took was a plane trip! Well, maybe they are desirable in the dark eyes which behold them, but more often than not they are being naive tourists and the owner of the dark eyes is not staring into their souls, but rather their pockets. So far no problem really, but some of these guys, instant Lotharios, adopt a completely unsuitable attitude towards all Brazilian women, assuming that they are fair and easy game. That's not only not true, it's disrespectful. Brazilians generally do have a more easy-going attitude towards sex than their North American or Western European counterparts, but charm, good humor, and above all a sense of the limits of decency are a part of the mix. Guys who don't understand this and assume otherwise are, well, jerks!
* Q: What kinds of trees line the streets in Salvador?
* A: Almond and tamarind are the most common. Mango and avocado are common backyard trees. Of course there are plenty of coconut palms around as well, and lots of the lush dendé trees which provide the "nut" from which the oil so essential to Bahian cuisine is derived.
* Q: What's the difference between a sambista and a sambador?
* A: I knew you were wondering that! Their hats. And the hats they wear are a function of the type of music they play. A sambista plays Rio-style samba and wears a jaunty white straw fedora appropriate for a street-smart city slicker. A sambador plays Bahian samba-de-roda and wears a darker hat appropriate for a salt-of-the-earth field-worker.
* A: Those are cangaçeiro hats. Cangaçeiros were, depending on your perspective, either bloodthirsty bandits or antiestablishment Robin Hoods (the most notorious being Lampião), who, in either case, terrorized the backlands of Brazil's Nordeste. And whatever your opinion of the cangaçeiros might be, you can't take away from them the fact that their hats were very cool, so cool in fact that the style was adopted by the great Luiz Gonzaga, and hence by others who play the music of this part of Brazil.
* Q: Moving along then, what exactly is the connection between the American midwestern state of Indiana and Bahian samba-de-roda?
* A: Anything Goes! The Cole Porter song in the musical of the same name uses a clave (okay, that's a Cuban and not a Brazilian term) identical to that used in Bahian roots samba (and that of Luiz Gonzaga's baião forró rhythm too). The clave came to Cole Porter by way of the Charleston, a dance which (incidentally) originated in a community with roots in West Africa. And the urbane Mr. Porter was (of course) from Peru, Indiana.
* Q: What kind of jokes do Brazilians tell?
* A: In the spirit of Americans telling Kentucky jokes, Canadians telling Newfie jokes, the English telling Irish jokes, and the Irish telling Kerryman jokes, the Brazilians tell, among other things, Portuguese jokes.
* Q: Why are your pages so red?
* A: Red is the color of Xangô. White is too. Red and white! I think that's pretty cool!
Current Brazilian currency is called the real (or "royal"; pronounced: "hey-OW"); the plural is reais ("hey-EYES"). One real is divided into one hundred centavos. And now that this fundamental has been established, I must say that as much as I love Brazil, there is one disconcerting (to put it nicely) national characteristic having to do with everyday commerce, and that is the problem with troco (change).
Your average retailer from Peking to Paris to Peoria starts the day with a "drawer", meaning change. Not so here. They start with nothing and wait for the change to accumulate, meaning the entire day they are short of it (this applies to buses as well). And most bank machines (although this has changed at least as far as Bradesco is concerned) will give you 50 real notes only if you withdraw any substantial money. Trying to unload a 50 real note at most places here is like trying to drop a thousand dollar/euro/pound/etc. bill on the counter at your local candy store. No go. Sometimes even a ten real note will mean that a kid will be summoned by whoever is selling to run around trying to break it into smaller currency. In this sense, in these parts, smaller is better!
The best rates of exchange are not to be had by exchanging money at the banks, and not even at the doleiros (more on them below). They are to be had by pulling money out of ATMs. There are several bank machines conveniently located in areas frequented by visitors, from which international transactions may be handled.
One is a 24 hour-a-day machine located in the enclosed area in front of bar/restaurant Cantina da Lua, in Pelourinho's Terreiro de Jesus. This machine handles Cirrus, Plus, Mastercard, Visa, Visa Electron, and American Express transactions.
The Pelourinho branch of Banco da Brasil also has ATMs capable of handling Cirrus, Mastercard, Maestro, and American Express. The bank is located on a square adjacent to the Terreiro de Jesus (that square being the Largo do Cruzeiro de São Francisco) on the right-hand side of the square as one faces the church at the square's end (the Igreja de São Francisco). This Banco do Brasil also exchanges dollars, but a hefty fee is charged for the service, and on top of that the bank pays a low rate.
The Banco do Brasil is the mustard-colored building on the right, with the yellow-and-blue sign. The ATMs are just inside the doors.
There is a 24-hour Banco do Brasil ATM in Porto da Barra, located under a Tamarind tree on a square at the right end of Porto as one faces out to the water, in front of the Instituto Mauá. The kiosk is next to a police modulo.
Banco do Brasil ATM in Porto da Barra
Across the street from this ATM, behind the bus stop, there is a Bradesco kiosk with an ATM inside. This ATM handles Visa transactions.
There is another Banco do Brasil ATM located in front of the Mercado Modelo, as well as a Banco Itau kiosk.
Citibank has a branch close to the Farol da Barra, on Rua Marques de Leão, 71. The ATMs accept Cirrus, Diner's Club, Mastercard, Plus, and Visa. There's another branch in comércio (downtown), at Rua Miguel Calmon, 555.
HSBC has a branch on Avenida Marquês de Caravelas, 355, in Barra. The ATMs accept Cirrus, Maestro, Mastercard, and American Express.
If you need to exchange actual currency, the place to go is to a doleiro. You'll get a (substantially) better rate-of-exchange than you will at a bank. These guys will trade, as the name implies, dollars, but they also handle euros and other European currencies in addition to Traveller's Checks (although these are paid at a somewhat lower rate you'll still get more than you will at a bank; Banco do Brasil charges a fifteen real transaction fee).
Not all doleiros will pay the same rate. In my experience the top rates generally (but not necessarily 100% of the time) paid can be found at Colon, in Pelourinho, and at Farol Barra Turismo e Cámbio (locally called "Figuereido" after the owner) in Porto da Barra. Carlos Colon (a Spanish immigrant to Bahia) has been around longer than anyone else in his area and his establishment is easy to find: It's the third storefront down from the Banco do Brasil in the Largo do Cruzeiro de São Francisco. The number (address) is 17, and a clearly marked sign hangs over the front of the shop. I've been going to Colon for years. Colon has something of a branch (run by his son) on Praça da Sé, at number 4. The name of the establishment is Bahia Dourada and the rate paid there is the same as at the father's place.
Colon occupies the right side of the ground floor of the blue building in the middle.
Figueiredo, like Colon, has been around for a long time. His Farol Barra Turismo e Cámbio is across from the beach, in a storefront under the Praia Mar Hotel (to the left of the hotel entrance, as you face the hotel), at Avenida Sete de Setembro, 3577. The telephone number is 264-0000.
For currency conversion purposes, here's a link to Yahoo Finance, where the current rate is shown. This rate corresponds closely to the commercial rate, which is (very close to) the conversion rate paid when money is withdrawn from ATM machines here in Brazil. The doleiros pay somewhat less. http://finance.yahoo.com/m5?a=1&s=USD&t=BRL
Well what am I gonna do? If he doesn't start pullin' his weight then pretty soon somebody's gonna have to start shovin' it into place...
Yeah... But I mean that name business. Look at us...Wilson and Percival. Where do we get off? Sounds like we're butlers...or boyfriends...
Walker Smith. Tell me that don't sound like a fifth huggin' a thirty-eight...an' I ain't talkin' about tits. Nothin' sweet about it. And the toughest sonofabitch to ever come out of a tough state...Jersey Joe Walcott. The only thing that ever stopped him was Rocky Marciano's right hand. A lucky shot. Got any idea what his real name was?
JOE LOUIS!!! The Brown Bomber! Louis was his middle name. His real name was Joe Louis Barrow. Now what was the problem with "Barrow"? And come to think of it...what was the problem with "Black"? The Black Bomber!
Too heavy for them times. But look...the way I see it...there's a difference here. It's one thing if you don't like the way a name sounds, or what it stands for. But it's somethin' else if you don't like a name because what it stands for...is you.
Rhakeem pulls up an old 45 rpm vinyl and holds it aloft:
He throws it on the turntable and lowers the tonearm. A song from an era of different technical recording values fills the store, Johnny Wakelin & The Kinshasa Band's --
BLACK SUPERMAN - MUHAMMAD ALI
Salvador's current weather conditions (updated every several hours or so; measured at the airport) are brought to you here courtesy of weatherunderground.com. As the banner suggests, clicking will bring up a (nine day) forecast (and plenty of advertising!).
Salvador da Bahia is, of course, a tropical city, with a southerly latitude of 12 degrees 58 minutes (the Central American country of Guatemala is positioned at a corresponding northerly latitude). So while the weather tends towards glorious, there are seasonal variations, and the tropical sun is a force to be reckoned and dealt carefully with (this and some common misperceptions are dealt with in Frequently Asked Questions).
Bahian nights are the stuff that dreams are made of, like nights in the Garden of Eden. This isn't true one hundred percent of the time of course (they can be rainy, or occasionally too humid), but the vast majority are soul-nurturing meteorlogical perfection.
...the former Talking Head is doing plenty of writing these days. All sorts of stuff. Everybody knows he's a big Brazilian music fan...right? (He's a fan of LOTS of kinds of music). He was in the music store last January (2009)...his hair has gone so white that I didn't recognize him at first. If he'd known me back in my NYC days he might be able to say the same thing! Mr. Byrne's a good read!
This is the blog of the conglomeration of government entities charged with bettering Old Salvador, an area stretching from Vítoria to Santo Antônio and of course including Pelourinho. Strange name, I must say...I'm going to try to find out what it's supposed to mean. Em português, of course.
Fundação Cultural do Estado da Bahia
(Cultural Foundation of the State of Bahia)
Secretaria de Turismo da Bahia
(Bahian Secretary of Tourism)
IPAC: Instituto do Patrimônio Artístico e Cultural da Bahia
(Bahian Institute of Cultural and Artistic Patrimony)
It’s hot. Too hot. Small beads of sweat are forming on my forehead as the heavy weight of humidity presses in around me. The power has gone off in the school, and the kids sit fidgeting, struggle to complete their science experiments with the air conditioning turned off.
Last night, Vivi and I strolled past the noisy avenues of our Rio Vermelho neighborhood, searching for some place to grab a bite to eat after work. We ducked in and out of busses, lamenting at the accumulated aches and pains of our twelve hour day. How nice it would be to have a car, to escape the purgatory of public transport, to jump in a little Fiat and cruise around the city with the wind whipping through our hair.
With a frosty draft gripped listlessly between my fingers, a light foam mustache glistening on my face, I have begun to appreciate the brief respite of a Thursday night out. Time is short when you work full time, a kind of floating void of space that lives to be filled. Which activities shall I divert my attention to, what shall I do when I finally get home?
On this Thursday, time was chicken fingers smothered in garlic, hot pimenta sauce with some Arabian sides. Vivi sipped on a beer, as I glared lazily into my choppe. When I stop to think (on the rare occasion that I do), it is intimidating to think how fast life can change. Just over a year ago, I had arrived in Salvador with no job, no prospects, no girlfriend, and no Portuguese. My apartment was a cockroach infested dirty little corner of the universe, void of furniture or other complimentary marks of civilization. I was stressed, but free, hungry, but determined, swimming in the desire to find another life. Now, sitting on that stout totem of future earned, my life is much changed. I have a job, career prospects, a girlfriend, and hard won fluency. I have a new apartment full of stuff, blessedly free of rodents, and plenty of material trappings to gather dust on my shelves. Is this the natural way of things, to move from wanderer to a sedentary man—to sling oneself from the void of space to the material matrix of planet and place?
I do not know. I know little for sure with this sweat on my brow. Life remains, concrete or otherwise, a mystery better left unsolved. Strolling down the black and white sidewalks of Portuguese stone, the warm generosity of a woman marching at my side, I remain a butterfly floating through this silly world.
A huge shout out to Adam from Eyes on Brazil for translating this for me. This is my girlfriend's post, Back to Black - beautifully rendered into our native tongue.
"Attending to a request from my boyfriend, I decided to transform into words a little of the feeling that permeates human beings, and in this particular case, myself, when we are exposed to a very obvious reality, however vehemently negated: in spite of being thrust into an era of diversity, where multiculturalism and personal differences should supposedly be celebrated, we still seem rigidly affixed to our stereotypes and 'pre'judice. I say 'pre' in parenthesis to highlight how we are induced to a precursory judgement even when we do not have sufficient elements for such a thing. We mold the information which we are exposed to in accordance with our previous conception and we put aside any possibility for error or for a new reading of the facts. The most surprising thing still is that we never would imagine being the target of this prejudice, even when we are part of a group which is historically discredited: in my case, the black community. Even as such, I find myself terrified in the face of such attitudes, even though it serves as a stimulus for my critical sense and has awakened in me a sarcastic position that until then I did not know I was able to adopt.
It could have just been one more day at work. As I do every Friday, I leave the university heading towards Pituba (a high-class neighborhood of Salvador) where I work in one of the best schools of the city as an English teacher. It was a sunny day, and as the sun in Salvador delivers a certain inertia, I broke away from my normal style of high heels and a nice purse and instead used something a little more relaxing: jeans, a white shirt and a backpack. Sandals and a hippie ribbon in my hair completed my summer look. All in all, I never imagined that they would be the match for the most charged situation I have gone through in a long time. Charged, let alone ridiculous. Ridiculous and funny.
As is my habit, on the way to school, I stopped in front of a traveling street seller to buy some CDs. The vendor didn't have change and needed to go to the nearest store to get some. Meanwhile, I waited patiently in front of the place where he sold his CDs. In this moment, I noticed someone staring at me--a man, apparently 50 years old and of good ancestry, who with no reason kept observing me. I left the CD seller and started heading towards a self-service Japanese restaurant where I normally eat. I left my backpack on one of the tables and upon returning with my meal, to my surprise, I found the 50 year old man at the table right next to mine. From then on, there proceeded a succession of "pardon me's" and attempts at reversals of badly-said words all because of the blessed pre-judgement: upon seeing me sit at the table, a bit terrified, the man couldn't contain himself and kept staring at my backpack at my side, and finally directed the following question at me:
Me: Well, in my backpack I have books and personal items. As far as the films, I can tell you about those that I have already seen and about those I just bought. Would you like to see them?At that moment, the situation turned rather strange. Upon seeing me with some CDs in my hand, he presumed that I was the seller and was surprised to see that I was having lunch in the same restaurant as him. I, in a calm fashion and with a smile on my face, took from the backpack the videos that I had purchased and continued: well, these I bought for personal use, and these for my students. Would you like to know how much I paid?
Already at a loss for words, the man started to say sorry and the more he tried to make little of the situation the more errors he made. In the end, he knew that aside from an English professor and work colleague of some of his personal friends, this supposed "seller of CDs" was a lot more intelligent and well connected than he had imagined. I concluded the conversation with the following phrase:
Certainly, you never thought a "street seller" could do so much, right? Be careful, because next time it might be a judge you are talking to instead of a professor, and then you'll really find yourself in an embarrassing situation.
Interesting to note, at this exact moment in Rio de Janeiro, one of the biggest festivals of black culture worldwide was happening. While we live in a city that without a doubt is recognized as the birthplace of Africa in Brazil, I see a distinctive looking man with a good education, administrator of one of the largest international companies in the country, allow himself to be caught up in prejudice and stereotyping, at the point of verbalizing his unfounded and discriminatory ideas. And what if I was a CD seller? What is the problem in being in that restaurant and sharing the same space? My money and my skin color are given freedom through my profession or my social status? Being black in a land of blacks doesn't always mean being recognized as an individual. The so-called back2black is more of a stepback.
It's Friday and I'm stuck inside. The wind is whipping outside my apartment, high on the alto de ondina side of Vila Matos. I love watching the city at night, it's glorious view displayed on the buzzing landscape beneath me. From my new place, I can watch the sea, can glimpse the far north end of Rio Vermelho. The casa de Iemanja is a small speck on the horizon, a tiny dot of worship where Candomble practicioners pay reverance to the sea godess for all of her blessings.
Well, how is Brazil treating me of late? Not too badly I suppose. This place that was once so strange to me, so foreign and vibrant and scary and challenging, has fastly become solid and normal. I have launched myself into space and made Pluto my home, and now, that great blue dot in the sky once known as earth has become far removed and the strange. I dream at night of walking through my woods in Michigan, of feeling the fall weather descend around me, it's brilliant red and yellow greenery now set to flame.
Salvador has begun to get hot again, begun to swirl into a summer mirage of tropical heat. These are the hottest months of the year, where the movement of sweat becomes the constant norm. At school, things are busy as ever. I just finished another intense masters class, and now have a 8-10 page paper to crack away on for the rest of the week. Though my salary is little, I count my work a great blessing after fighting so hard to get a job. My work is, how to put it, simple. I play with kids all day, talk to them about math and science, cut out laminated pieces of paper and take attendance. I consider it, naturally, a bit beneath my abilities, but figure it a means to an end until I can get my degree.
As far as after, that's a whole nother story. As I walk the fields during break and recess, playing soccer with my fifth grade kids, I wonder what will become of my life. Am I to become a highschool teacher, a writer, a guy who never stops running? Am I to line my shelves with trophies, of memories hard won and lands explored. Will I ever step out of this poverty and turn, ever so graciously, into a capitalist?
These things are a swimming, and my head is mess, but I find comfort in the small things in life, the warmth of the sun on my back, the feeling of fresh grass between my toes, and sleep. Life is busy, I am healthy and alive, and I suppose there is little more I should expect. For now, I'll craw into bed and dream of home, dream of my friends, brothers, dogs, and all other living matter that I feel close to. This is it, the stream, and I am wading in.
Ladies and germs, please put your hands together for my first guest poster, Vivi, who recently exprienced a rather eye opening bout of racial stereotyping. Despite the common claim that Brazil is a racial democracy, the very words and actions of her people often speak otherwise.
Lest I speak for one who speaks better than I speak myself, lets go ahead and raise the curtain. If I ever have any free time, then I'll try and get this commentary translated for my english speaking audience. Enjoy.
"Atendendo a um pedido do meu namorado, resolvi transformar em palavras um pouco do sentimento que permeia o ser humano, e neste caso em particular a mim mesma, quando somos expostos a uma realidade tão óbvia, porém veementemente negada: apesar de estarmos inseridos na era da diversidade, onde a multiculturalidade e a diferença supostamente deveriam ser enaltecidas, ainda somos regidos pelos estereótipos e pelo ‘pré’conceito. Digo ‘pré’ entre aspas para enfatizar como somos induzidos a um julgamento prévio mesmo quando não temos elementos suficientes para tal. Moldamos as informações a que somos expostos de acordo com o nosso conceito precedente e descartamos qualquer possibilidade de erro ou de uma nova leitura dos fatos.
O mais surpreendente ainda é que jamais imaginamos ser o alvo deste ‘pré’ conceito, mesmo quando fazemos parte de um grupo historicamente desprestigiado: no meu caso, a comunidade negra. Ainda assim consigo me estarrecer diante da atitude humana, mesmo que ela sirva de estimulo para o meu senso crítico e tenha despertado em mim uma posição sarcástica que até então não sabia ser capaz de adotar.
Poderia ter sido apenas mais um dia de trabalho. Com faço todas as sextas feiras, saí da faculdade em direção a Pituba (bairro nobre de Salvador) onde trabalho em uma das melhores escolas da cidade como professora de inglês. Era um dia ensolarado, e como sol em Salvador remete a ‘maresia’ resolvi abrir mão do estilo salto alto e bolsa social e usar algo mais descontraído: calça jeans, camiseta branca e backpack nas costas. A sandália rasteira e a faixa hippie no cabelo completavam o meu look verão. Contudo jamais imaginei que eles seriam o estopim para a situação mais vexatória que vivi nos últimos tempos. Vexatória para não dizer ridícula. Ridícula e engraçada.
Como de hábito, a caminho da escola parei diante de um vendedor ambulante para comprar alguns CDs. O mesmo não tinha troco e precisou ir a uma loja próxima. Enquanto isso, eu aguardava pacientemente em frente à banca de CDs. Neste momento percebi um olhar insistente em minha direção e ao voltar-me notei que um senhor, aparentando 50 e poucos anos e de boa estirpe, sem motivo aparente persistia em me observar.
Deixei a banca de CDs e rumei para o restaurante japonês self-service que costumo almoçar. Deixei minha mochila em uma das mesas e ao retornar com a minha refeição, para minha surpresa, o mesmo senhor se encontrava na mesa ao lado. Daí em diante o que aconteceu foi uma sucessão de ‘ me desculpe-s’ e tentativas de reversão de palavras mal ditas por conta do bendito ‘pré’ julgamento: ao me ver sentar a mesa, estarrecido, o senhor não se conteve e encarando minha mochila posta ao lado, dirigiu-se a mim com a seguinte pergunta: Mas você não era a mocinha que estava na banca dos CDs?
I'm sitting here at school with a few minutes to kill. The air conditioner is whirring hypnotically over my head, and my allergies are acting up. Since I have been back from my trip, life has been wonderfully routine. I get up for school at 6 in the morning, take a quick shower, and head out into the quiet early morning streets for a quick bite to eat. At the bakery next to my house, I order an "Americano" (cheese, ham, and egg sandwich with ketchup and hot sauce) and a large jar of freshly squeezed orange juice. After that, I wait in front of the Pacienca beach, watching the sun bleed of the water break as it crawls over the horizon.
I never thought that I would be one to enjoy running the rat race, and surely living one day the same as the next can be rather depressing. But what I notice in this so called adult life, when one works full time, is that time becomes the most precious of all resources. The older one becomes the less time one seems to have to do what needs to be done. And when you start thinking about getting "ahead in life", whether it means putting time into your profession, your relationships, your passion or pastimes, time management becomes imperitive to the betterment of all things.
In this sense, the adult life becomes like a well oiled machine. The rat race provides daily continuity so that one can tweak the small things in order to benefit a greater goal. Three days a week at the gym, martial arts on the weekends, extra time for money making plans. Each day presents the opportunity to perfect the system, as one crawls slowly forward into the so called "progress" of ones own life.
Will I tire of this, yes. Rather quickly I imagine. Half of me yearns for a life far removed from these mundande affairs. Hopefully summer break will offer some reprive, and I may continue my adventuring for a time. But for now, for just awhile, I look forward to oiling the machine, and running the alleyways and crossroads of my supposed adult life.
Yes my dears, what a summer it has been. I arrived in Salvador but two weeks past, a bit out of my mind with exhaustion. Three months of solid travel, of one dazed foot in front of the other, is certainly not for everyone. Even with my gypsy soul, my desire for liberation, for a life lived a thousand times, a thousand ways over, neh, I too reached my limit. And of all the strange things that might come out of my mouth, home sweet home, dare I say, might indeed be one of them.
So to begin, I'm going to have to stick to pictures until I can find some free time to sit in front of my laptop and think. Still too much swirling about the old noggin, and masters degree classes are just a few degrees around the corner.
First thing on the list, tall icy cold glasses of Guinness. Oh gawd. Lest I beergasm right now. It was wonderful.
Back home with the folks. Nice to see they are still vibrating industriously. Their house just gets prettier and prettier, filling up ever so slowly with my mothers stained glass projects. Being home is truly time warpy, but a nice break from the noise and heat of Salvador.
So then it was a 2o hour motorcycle ride to mother state New Mexico. The journey was hard as I peeled my way through the wind, a KLR 650 between my legs and some energy drink down my gullet, I felt liberated by the thought that my life was still free.
And then there was Taos Outback Pizza with green sauce, and it was good, and God saw that it was good, and then he ate it.
And then there was.....flash the f*@k forward, Dragons Orientation! God I could write a book about that experience. High Sierra Nevada Mountains, snow topped sunny days and blistery cold nights. I can't begin to explain how strange it was to hang out with really smart plugged in people from all around the world. I had my tattoos translated, I played sloppy guitar by a midnight fire, I jumped around half-professionally.
And after ten days, my crew finished off the final night by cooking dinner for well over a hundred people. I made rediculously good beans of the bald guy (a recipe I gaurd with pride), and we did some other Brazilian tasties as well. After competing with other crews for the previous nights, I must admit to feeling pretty awesome when we took home 1st place.
So, I will admit, this post is a total cop out. I could have, should have, documented my experience from the beginning. For a writer, pictures just don't do a blog justice. That said, posting over these last few months was pretty damn impossible, and I am left, the road MORE traveled, with little to show but my memories.
Who would have thought that 3 months of heavy travel would be so exhausting. Well it's me, finally back home, a little bit shaky from my circumnavi..........uggg. Always interruptions. Life is busy. Back in a flash.
Sorry guys for the lack of posts. Dragons Orientation has been a crazy adventure of 10 hour days, dusty California hikes, random language exchanges with people from all over the world. I am dead tired but excited to throw my kids into the enlightenment vortex that is Brazil.
For the next six weeks I will be in the field, traveling around northern Brazil and to the Amazon. With all of my course responsibilities, I will have little time to think, let alone post.
If you would like to follow my group, and see what Brazil can do to American youth, follow me hre:
Scroll under the "Current Courses" bar and click "Brazil, Summer 2009". Posts will display on the right.
In August I'll hopefully be back in Bahia. Hope to see all you Salvadorian folks soon thereafter.
Posted by Leo at 3:24 PM 2 comments
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Well, I`m here. Back in the States. First impressions? Jesus my country is wealthy. I know that I am stating the obvious, that blah blah blah, people always say that when they get back from their boy scout adventures in the third world. Obvious or not, perhaps it bears repeating. 4 door cars, massive food portions, width and state of the roads, lap tops, black berries, iPhones, flat screen tv`s. Mcy Mcy Mcy D`s. Jesus my country is wealthy.
So the trip in was painful but fun. I had a 12 hour layover at Miami International, and found, to my everlasting delight, an airport bar that served Guinness on tap. I have been craving a dark frothy beer since I landed in Brazil, and have patiently waited for my return so that I could binge on the Irish brew. As I sat at the bar drinking my Guinness, two playboy Brazilian guys from Sao Paulo sat next to me, getting their last gulps of all American Budweiser before heading home. E ai cara, tudo bem? Our conversation lasted over three hours. To my surprise, I not only led the tête-à-tête, but kept them laughing and falling out of their seats the whole time – AND ALL IN PORTUGUESE. Coming back has really made me reflect on all I have accomplished in a year and a half in Brazil, and the language proficiency is definitely the most gratifying.
So, you know how you know when your back in Oklahoma? When your dad drives up the driveway with a new 2500 Dodge Ram truck, and exits the vehicle to show you his newly purchased pawn shop Shotgun. When just about every woman you see is missing teeth, talks with a draw, and is about 150 pounds overweight. When the latest and greatest news of the day is the color of your neighbors calf’s. Oh Oklahoma, how I’ve missed you.
But I`m not complaining. Feels good to be back. It`s so quiet and peaceful around our Wichita mountain farm. I can`t remember the last time that clean natural air brushed my face, that I didn`t cringe at the sound of a yappy city dog, that I could run around listening to bees and smelling flowers. Last night, my mother treated me to a steak dinner, with spinach in homemade vinegar dressing, garlic bread, and a desert of vanilla ice cream with raspberries. Wow!
Here we go. The fog horns are blaring from the docks, the ships about to set sail. These last few weeks have been busy. Hours upon hours, stacked into oblivion, have been spent in front of the computer. My fingers gain dexterity as my body withers away—my eyes red and drying as I stare into my digital world, typing away papers, planning Dragons curriculum, getting my shit together. Now, with my list fully checked, I begin the pensive crawl back to my homeland and away from my city by the sea.
How will things look this time around? Will they be larger, fuller, fatter than before? How about the frenzy, franchises, french fries, or maybe a tap of star and stripe diversity? How about the beer?
The most salient change that travel demands is a reexamination of one’s own society. Will I be more/less critical than before? Have I fasted on America for too long?
Often times, when things go wrong, assaults end in violence. Not only do the victims get hurt, but when the thugs make a mistake or are somehow over powered, people will turn on them as well. Countless times I have watched news broadcasts of bus robberies, where the public has cornered the thief (usually 16 years old) and are collectively beating him to death.
Consider it bottled up rage. When you work your ass off for R$ 400 a month, and someone tries to take it from you, your reaction is usually less than sympathetic. And as much as I would like to play anthropologist, living here changes you. Something about watching a thief get a taste of his own medicine feels good. It's karma, and somehow deserved.
Check out this video. I find it so fascinating. This is one of those joke shows where guys go out on the street and mess with people on film. The guy is running up to people and yelling, "ASSALTO"! (ROBBERY!) and then pulling out a newspaper to complain about high grocery prices. I'm sure that if this was taped in the US, people would have a totally different reaction. Here in Brazil, crime is no joke.