N'Zinga Group

Highlights , Intangible Cultural Heritage - Volta Redonda


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N'Zinga Group. Photo: Isabela Kassow/Diadorim Ideias
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N'Zinga Group. Photo: Isabela Kassow/Diadorim Ideias.


The N'Zinga Group of African dance is formed only by girls dancing with painted bodies and African clothing with steps inspired by the Orishas. Created in the 1970s, the N'Zinga Group was born from the desire of its founder, Nilzete Xavier, to increase the visibility of black women. "I have always appreciated the African beauty and the self-esteem of my girls," explains Nilzete who asks underage girls' parents for permission to join the group. "The maintenance of African culture is the mission of my life," he says.

The name N'Zinga is a tribute to the queen Ana de Souza, or Rainha Ginga, who lived in South West Africa in the 17th century and rebelled herself against Portuguese domination in the region. Nilzete's group has already accepted about 100 different women of numerous ages over the past decades. Currently, 28 girls are part of the company, who travel the state to perform at African festivals.

"It is not necessary for someone to know how to dance in order to join the group. One just have to want to be part of it. There are grandchildren and grandparents dancing together. People just need to want to," explains Nilzete, born in 1961 and someone who also performs with the group. "The day I stop dancing, I die," she confesses.

General Information

Address: Reharsals at Zumbi dos Palmares Memorial, 16th Street, Santa Cecília Village, Volta Redonda.
Phone: (+55 24) 3342-9870

Secretaria de Cultura do Estado do Rio de Janeiro Petrobras

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