Costumes, choreography and well-crafted cars thrilled in Sapucaí. Theme remembers the 125th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the country.
With the theme “Negra, Pérola Mulher (Black Pearl Woman)”, the Império da Tijuca Samba school exalted the black woman of today and the past on Saturday (February 9) in the Marquês de Sapucaí (1).
The Carnavalesco (2) Junior Pernambucano, debuted in Rio’s Carnival, wanted to remember the theme of 125 years of the abolition of slavery in the country. Junior was champion three times for the Samba schools of the city of Três Rios and wants to repeat the feat in the Sambódromo (1).
The school, seventh in the Serie A parade in Rio began its parade at 2:52 am and brought to the Samba parade 2220 components, distributed in 23 wards. The four allegories honored black women who were queens, warriors, slaves, quilombolas (maroons) (3), muses, writers, singers and actresses at various times in history.
The front commission, consisting only of black women representing African warriors, impressed with their choreography, costumes and makeup that included crowns studded with rhinestones. Each costume had 400 plumes another 60 of feathers on the head and 40 on the wing. Some of them wore little wheels on their feet, to slide down the avenue.
The baiana (Bahian women) costumes also stood out. They represented Ìyámìt the great, ancestral African mothers. Behind the abre-alas (first/opening/welcoming float), which represented the natural beauty of Africa, came a large baobá tree that represents the creation of human life in the tradition of the Yorubas.
The percussionist troupe, commanded by the Capoeira master, came characterized as the courtship of Negra Chica (Black Chica) and in front had Laynnara Cristina as the Queen of the Drumbeat (4). To excite the public, Império da Tijuca featured the voice of Pixulé, the school’s singer since 2009. The “First Couple” of mestre-sala(master of ceremony) and porta-bandeira(flag bearer of the Samba school) was formed by Peixinho and Jaçanã Ribeiro. One of the cars featured in its base exhibited photos of black women of various ages living in the community of Morro da Formiga.
The last float was a tribute to Our Lady of Aparecida, patroness of Brazil, “the most beloved black woman of Brazil,” according to the school. Shortly before the end of the parade, a black dog “invaded” the Sapucaí and mingled with the nursery children, but didn’t disturb the progression of the school.
Founded in 1940, the Império da Tijuca is one of the oldest samba schools of Rio de Janeiro, the result of the union of Recreio da Mocidade and Estrela da Tijuca. It was the first school to use the word Império (empire) in the name, the reason why it has a crown as a symbol. In 2012, the association took third place in the old Access A Group.
1. The Sambadrome Marquês de Sapucaí or simply Sambadrome is a parade area located in downtown Rio de Janeiro where samba school competitions occur every year during Rio’s Carnival.
2. The professional responsible for the production of a Samba school parade progression
3. Quilombolas is the common name for runaway slaves who took refuge in quilombos (maroon societies) or descendants of black slaves whose ancestors fled during slavery escaping mills sugar cane farms and properties where they performed various menial jobs to form small villages called quilombos. Over two thousand maroon communities throughout the Brazilian territory remain alive and active today, fighting for the right of ownership of lands dedicated by the Constitution since 1988. Source: Wikipedia
4. Queen of the Drumbeat: The website Brazil Carnaval describes “Queen of the Drumbeat” or “Drum Queen” this way: “Carnaval Drum Queens are essentially muses that parade in a highlighted fashion, in front of every Drum Section within a samba-school in Brazil´s Carnaval….The Rainhas de Bateria (or Queen of the Drumbeat/Drum Queen) are at the top of the social status chain (for women) within Brazil´s Carnaval and are responsible for “opening and welcoming” the percussionists of the drums section in every major samba school in Brazil. The post is extremely sought after and sparks lively competition within possible candidates….Apart from being young and marvelous, the Rainhas de Bateria also have to be very photogenic, as to attract as much attention as possible by specialized media and general public. Carnaval Drum Queens are photographed all year long, and this media interest and exposure adds popularity and glamour to the final showing of the samba school during the official parade. Within all attributes, charisma is probably the most important one.