Afro Jongo Caxambu Renascer Association

Intangible Cultural Heritage - Vassouras


 

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Women wear flared, flowery skirts, adorned with ribbons; white cotton blouses with puffy sleeves; and chintz or colored turban on their heads. Men shall wear pants and white gowns with flowers or ribbons applied, and, on the head, a "bioco", a type of hat.

 

With their orisha "guias" (beaded necklaces used by Umbanda practitioners, each color of bead represents a different orisha) around their necks, they form a circle and the drums set the rhythm to the couple that goes to the center, dancing and singing.

 

This is how the Associação Afro Jongo Caxambu Renascer (Afro Jongo Caxambu Renascer Association) preserves its traditions. "We do not practice the 'jongo de engolomentos', the type of jongo danced and sung by wizards.

 

We practice the 'jongo de visaria', which is to have fun, play, flirt", says the leader Luis Carlos Rodrigues, Cacalo, 54, who created the association in 1998, when he discovered that his paternal grandfather was a great jongo dancer (jongo is a dance and musical genre of communities of African origin). The group, now, is composed of 50 members, who develop activities in schools, aiming to disseminate the black culture.

 

Afro Jongo Caxambu Renascer Association. Photo: Isabela Kassow / Diadorim Ideias

 

They distribute nine DVDs produced in partnership with the Fluminense Federal University (UFF) and they also promote jongo workshops at Esporte Clube 15 de Novembro (on Tuesdays and Thursdays, at 7pm).

 

To play the jongo, two types of drums are necessary: the "grande" (large) and the "candongueiro", which are played on several tunes. "It's a questions and answers game. Someone enters the circle, asks a question and somebody else must respond.

 

That is how the slaves used to plan their escapes, in codes", Cacalo explains. The jongo was brought to Brazil by the Bantu people, enslaved in ancient kingdoms of Angola and Congo. It was in the Paraíba Valley region that the tradition became expressive.

 

Generally, the instruments used were the "urucungo" (an arc that originated the "berimbau" - used to play capoeira music), the guitar, and the tambourine, besides the drums, called "tambu", "caxambu", "candongueiro" and "ngoma-puíta", still used nowadays.


General Information

Address: Esporte Clube 15 de Novembro - João XXIII Street, 310, Residência
Phone: (+ 55 24) 99249-0930 (Luis Carlos Rodrigues or Cacalo)

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