João Gaiato

People - São João da Barra


João Antônio Cajueiro Gaiato, born in 1963, was pioneer in many areas of the local Carnival and theater. He created arts workshops, directed theater plays, made ten stages for the "Festival São Joanense da Canção - Fescan" (São João Music Festival), performed nude in the "Apareceu a Margarida" play, created, directed and produced the play "Auto da Paixão de Cristo", which has been part of the local calendar for 25 years and he created the Baile dos Cafonas (Tacky Ball).

Artist João Antonio Cajueiro Gaiato - Photo: Tasso Marcelo/Diadorim Ideias

He also made big changes to the local Carnival. "The schools used to have cars to carry the costumed people. I made the cars into floats. In 1995, I made a car out of PET bottles. I came from a generation which went through more hardships than today's generation", says Gaiato. And the public loves his work. "If your history isn't told by the public, you haven't made history", he says, proudly. 

Gaiato, who was a dancer at "Grupo Folclórico São Joanense" (São João Folkloric Group), directed by his mother Eliete, left the arts scene in 1993. He says he got tired of it. "The play 'O Auto da Paixão de Cristo' became commercial. The actors ask for money to locals for a religious performance. And in the pubic area, they all want to boss around", he says. 

The former Carnival artist became a local folkloric character. His eloquence and irreverence are now in service of God. The art gave way to saints and angel sculptures which he sells. The house he shares with Eliete became a prayer area open to the public. Nine yearly ceremonies are promoted, dedicated to Our Lady and Jesus. Eliete, says her son is a precious stone and says: "everything in life has its price and time".

João Antonio Cajueiro Gaiato asks to be called by his full name. "Saying only part of one's name makes one's guardian angel weaker", he warns. He is now part of the audience in the local Carnival, which he joins "in prayer to strengthen the faithful".

General Information

Address: Joaquim Thomaz de Aquino Filho Street, 198, Downtown, São João da Barra
Phone: (+55 22) 2741-1348

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