The National Park of the Chapada Diamantina is one of the most fascinating natural parks of Brazil. The mountain scenery contains an extraordinary variety of ecosystems, like Cerrado, Mata Atlantica, and Stone fields, Caatinga. The bromeliads and orchids find a privileged ambiance, adapting themselves to the differences in climate and altitude. The mountain tops reach a height of 5,660 feet and they offer shelter to the Jaguatiricas (local breed of feline) pumas, mocós (local rodents), deer’s, teiús (local reptile) and seriemas (local little ostrich) .
The massive quartz pieces, have undergone and resisted erosion, forming towers of minerals known as “TEPUY” by the local Indians of the Maracas and Cariris tribes, who dominated the region before the arrival of the first settlers or bandeirantes, around the year 1750. The most astonishing tepuis reach a height of 4,830 feet and they run across the municipalities of Palmeiras, Lençois e Mucugê . Read more
Central to a program composed of all night vigils, masses, processions and Samba de Roda, is the sisterhood of Nossa Senhora da Boa Morte in Cachoeira. The commemoration is held annually beginning on the 13th of August and continues until 17th. The festival of Nossa Senhora da Boa Morte, founded in 1821, is one of the most important religious traditions in Brazil, which represents today a living document of the African experience in the new world.
The commemoration was begun at the beginning of Abolition and preserves those ties to the motherland which are characteristic of freedom-seeking African-descendent people. The ceremonies are rare and very rich, from the clothing and jewelry the women use in each ceremony, to the food offered at the house of the sisterhood, and the Samba de Roda which personalizes the non-religious part of the festival.
This devotion of the Sisterhood of Boa Morte was begun in the senzalas where the slaves came together at the end of day and seized the the opportunity to the discuss abolition, and to pray for the slaves who died during the struggles for the freedom. They asked Nossa Senhora to end slavery in Brazil.
Want to see this celebration in person? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-877-980-1717 to get more information.
The drumming of the rhythm of the orixás is heard coming from the municipal market. For three consecutive nights, the steady beat celebrates the stength of Afro-Brazilian culture in the region of Bahia around all Saints’ Bay, known as the Recôncavo. It echoes throught the squares, streets and alleyways of Santo Amaro da Purificação.
It is the sound of 100-year-old tradition, Bembé do Mercado, the only Candomblé ceremony that takes place in outdoor public space, the Municipal Market. Candomblé high priests known as babalorixás and priestesses known as ialorixá, as well as the spiritual sons and dughters “of the saints” from 40 different Candomblé houses and ethnic groups, meet to commemorate the end of slavery in Brazil in 1888.
The Bembé is a linguistc corruption of the Word Candomblé, does not have the slightest link to subservient gratitude to Princess Isabel for abolishing slavery. Instead it stands as a piece of historical evidence of the popular revolt against captivity. “It is the Candomblé of freedom.”
The sacred atabaque drums beats on the nights of May 10, 11 and 12, heralding and holding vigil over the offerings left by Candomblé worshipers and followers at the market. On the morning of the 13th, fireworks and the aroma of lavander signal the hight point of the festival, when people carrying baskets filled with gifts for Yemanjá and Oxum form a procession to Itapemba cove, on the beach in the Acupe district.