Caninha Verde do Morro da Vaca Dance and Group Music

Intangible Cultural Heritage - Vassouras


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Caninha Verde do Morro da Vaca Dance and Group Music. Photo: Isabela Kassow/Diadorim Ideias
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Cana verde, this type of dancing in pairs of Portuguese origin, popular in several Brazilian states, where it acquired local forms, is preserved in Vassouras by the group Caninha Verde do Morro da Vaca, led by retired cook Manoel João dos Santos, known as Manoel de Ferreiras, who inherited the family tradition.


His nickname comes from the fact that Manoel organized for 20 years, a cana verde in Ferreiros. At the age of 79, he performs and is accompanied by accordionist José Carlos Nascimento, or Manjica, and a children's group of eight boys and girls between 12 and 13 years of age, which he mentors with the help of José Luis Tavares.


He teaches the children for old times' sake. The three of them, who attend parties three times a week to dance and play, have participated in three different adult groups of cana verde in Vassouras.

Caninha Verde do Morro da Vaca. Foto: Isabela Kassow / Diadorim Ideias


"The groups had 12 couples, besides an accordionist, percussionist, and a "surdo" (a large bass drum used in many kinds of Brazilian music) player. This was about 15 years ago. Seeing this tradition disappear was something very sad to me and, in 2010, I decided to put together the Caninha Verde only with children from the neighborhood of Ponte Funda", says Manoel, who nourishes the project of having a group of adults again.

In a circle, with the accordionist in the middle, the participants - all using straw hats - turn from one side to the other, knocking pieces of wood, representing the sugarcane. "The dance comes from Portugal, but the singing was a Brazilian adaptation", Manoel explains. Rehearsals with the kids for the presentations and events are held once a month, in his backyard.

General Information

Address: Bingue Street, 1321, Vaca Hill
Phone: (+55 24) 2471-8731/99261-7830 (Manoel João dos Santos) / (+55 24) 2471-6458 (José

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