Quilombo Santa Rita do Bracuí

Intangible Cultural Heritage - Angra dos Reis


 

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Santa Rita do Bracuí "Quilombo" (hinterland settlement founded by fugitive slaves, mostly, but also revolutionaries and refugees during colonization) keeps African traditions alive in Angra dos Reis. A partnership with Pelos Caminhos do Jongo (a unit of the project Ponto de Cultura) maintains cultural activities and training workshops on audiovisual, "capoeira" (a Brazilian martial art that combines dance, acrobatics and music), "jongo" (a dance and musical genre of communities of African origin from southeast Brazil), music, percussion, ecotourism and handicraft.

Santa Rita do Bracuí

Descendants of slaves, old and young residents do their best to strengthen their ancestors' identity among the younger generations. To "quilombolas" (a resident of a quilombo, a descendant of Afro-Brazilian slaves who escaped from slavery) the earth is like a mother, it cannot be not leased nor sold. The land where the community is set now has already been  Santa Rita do Bracuí farm, which belonged to Commander Jose de Souza Breves, Joaquim Breves's brother, known as the king of coffee in Brazil during the Colony and Empire periods.

In his will, opened in 1879 nine years before the abolition of slavery, the Commander Breves freed all his slaves and made ??a formal donation of the property for those who were living in Bracuí, that is, ancestors of current residents of the community. Despite the donation, since the 1960s the "quilombolas" struggle against land grabbers and try to avoid the construction of luxury condominiums so they can stay on the land inherited by law.

Currently, 130 families live in the Quilombo, which has in its central area a beautiful waterfall surrounded by palm trees "Juçara". There also runs the Quilombo de Santa Rita Remaining Members Association which is decorated with graffiti of Saint Rita, patron saint of the community, and it is also the official space for meetings and traditional festivals. Among the achievements of the Quilombo de Santa Rita Remaining Members Association there is a documentary entitled Bracuí: Velhas Lutas, Jovens Histórias (Bracuí: Old Fights, New Stories) with testimonials of older residents, as José Adriano and Celina Cirilo.

The chapel of Saint Rita, built on the Commander's property in honor of his wife Rita Clara, remains preserved.


General Information

Address: Santa Rita Road, 1, Sertão do Bracuí, Angra dos Reis.
Phone: (+55 24) 99902-1264 (Luciana da Silva) / (+55 24) 99259-7888 (Angélica Pinheiro) / (+55 24) 99839-2884 (Emerson Ramos)

Secretaria de Cultura do Estado do Rio de Janeiro Petrobras

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