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 Photo: Cris Isidoro/Diadorim Ideias
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The oldest Three King's Day Parade Group in Itaocara is Branca de Neve, 106 years old, and it is led by Master Fernandão, 59. The group has 36 members and Fernadão's wife, dona Benedita (Ms. Benedita), is its "Pastorinha" (a folk tradition of Portuguese origin that celebrate Christmas, in which groups composed of women make the theatrical staging of the birth of Jesus). He has participated in parades since he was 8, when he was accompanied by his parents and grandparents. For 26 years, he was Branca de Neve's clown, but he will perform and do whatever is needed in the parade, including manufacturing the instruments. The reco-reco (percussion instrument) made of springs and the drums covered with goat skin were made by the master.

Fernandão, named Fernando Antonio Teodoro de Araújo, has an illustrated Bible he inherited from his father. That's where he takes the verses from, which are memorized and sung in the parade and in the religious teachings he transmits to the devotees. "Some relatives became evangelical, including my mother. I do not oppose, by I don't accept anyone criticizing or speaking ill of me", he complains. Devoted to the Saint Kings and Saint Sebastian, he says his father died during a parade. Fernandão promised he would continue the tradition. "When he died, I went to Campo Grande, in the State of Rio de Janeiro, to pick up Branca de Neve's flag that was with some masters who lived there. I realized that going on parading until I die was also my destiny".

General Information

Address: Benedito Rocha da Silva Street, Laranjais District, Itaocara.

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