Where does the sound of Brazilian drums come from?

Hello everyone!

Today, I would like to share with you two dances mainly of black people to the sound of drums that are called Tambor de Crioula and Capoeira.

1. Tambor de Crioula

Tambor de Crioula is a dance of African origin practiced by descendants of African slaves in the Brazilian state of Maranhão, in praise of São Benedito, one of the most popular saints among black people.

The reasons that lead groups to dance the tambor de crioula are varied and include the payment of a promise to Saint Benedict, birthday party, arrival or farewell of a relative or friend, celebration for the victory of a soccer team, birth of a child, slaughter of a bumba-meu-boi, party of an old black man, or simple gathering of friends.

The Tambor de Crioula of Maranhão is a form of Afro-Brazilian expression that occurs in most municipalities of Maranhão, involving a circular female dance, singing, and drum percussion. For my final project, we will be doing something similar in our cultural local event that will occur in November.

Women dancing Tambor de Crioula. Photo from Luiz Fernando via the culture trip.

The dance of the Creole drum, usually performed only by women, presents a very free and varied choreography. One dancer at a time evolves in front of the tambozeiros, while the others, completing the circle between players and singers, make small movements to the left and right, waiting their turn to receive the punga and replace the one in the middle. The punga is usually given on the abdomen, the thorax, or passed with the hands, in a kind of greeting. When the person who is dancing wants to be replaced, she goes toward a companion and gives her the punga. The one who receives it, goes to the center and dances for each one of the players, bouncing in front of the big drum, the middle drum, and the small drum, and repeats everything again until she looks for a substitute.

2. Capoiera

Capoeira is a dancelike martial art of Brazil originated in 16th-century.

If you are interested in learning more about this dance, visit the link https://www.britannica.com/sports/capoeira and the secret history of Capoeira.

I was impressed to see these women drumming and singing capoeira, with no martial art associated to it.

I found it to be like what we will be presenting to our local community in our cultural event. Here is a video of me training a rhythm that I will be playing at the event. It is not easy, but it comes with practice. I have at time the impression that I will lose to rhythm.

See you next week for a new post.

Thank you for your time.

5 thoughts on “Where does the sound of Brazilian drums come from?

  1. Hi Jean-Paul. Your post was very informative for me! I gained a lot of new knowledge by reading it. Lots of things that you spoke about, such as the reasons behind certain dances, are things that I have never heard of before, so thank you for that! I also loved your video of you playing the drums. Great job!

  2. Hi Jean Paul, It’s good to read your blog post I learned about a lot of new things. I was familiar with Afro-dance, It’s quite famous in India and I am a very big fan of the afro dance form. And your drumming skill is already amazing as we can see in your video. Keep it up.

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