9 Mar

Land of musicality: sounds of drums, sounds of unity.

The city of Mazagan located in Amapá, Brazil, is a lovely place, your inhabitants are blessed by nature and mainly by the musicality contained in city spaces. This is due to historical and cultural aspects that accompany it, from African Mazagan to the development of the Mazagan Amazon.

The love feeling of music is worshiped by the people through musical rhythms, like some Marabaixo and Batuque, that have African roots and a typical place, Vominê. Such rhythms are held during the festive celebrations of the city, and each has specific rhythm, for example, the rhythm of Batuque is performed during the feast of the Mãe de Deus da Piedade, the Vominê is played in the feast of Saint James and Marabaixo, in the feast of the Divino Espírito Santo.

Drawing made by Jacy Correa Neto

The information we were given while visiting the place where is performed the rhythm rehearsals. There, we talked with the drummer and music producer Jozué Videira, who is a native of Mazagan. He coordinates a cultural project called “Raízes do Marabaixo” which has the support of the FUNARTE (National Endowment for the Arts, linked to the Ministry of Culture of Brazil). The project purpose is to contribute to cultural enrichment in Mazagan, through workshops that include Batuque and Marabaixo and percussion instruments homemade that accompany such rhythms.

We were lucky to arrive just before the inaugural performance of the project. The place was completely empty, until the people, music lovers, were coming. The age groups were diverse, children, youth, men and women who see a musicality in the way of learning more about the customs of their people and strengthen their social ties.

The group singing and dancing the Marabaixo Rhythm

The performance begins with a “ladrão”, a kind of chant rhythm Marabaixo, which is mainly characterized by its execution, the singers take turns during its execution, doing it in a makeshift way, while a singer is over, another continues adapting it to his rhyme.

The involvement among people during music and dance exudes harmony, while some others sing and dance, some sit and claps to cheer. The pace is lively and the lyrics usually refers to some praise for a saint or the Mazagan stories.

Membranophone instruments, which help in the sound, are made so interesting, are made by some people who use skins of wild animals such as deer and fallen tree trunks found in the forest. Among these objects are the amassador¹, repinicador², caixa de marabaixo³, taboca or pau-de-chuva4 and cassetes5.

Percussion instruments

The manufacturing process of these instruments is done with the aid of tools that help the artisan to carve the trunk of a tree, until it’s hollow. After that the wood is sanded and ready to receive the animal skin for later use.

Manufacturing process of caixa de marabaixo

These are cultural events that combined with the gentleness of a warm people, let us know the customs of a city that has crossed the Atlantic and be sure that its inhabitants have the satisfaction of their cultural identity, worrying about passing it on to future generations and consequently bring much joy to everyone living and visiting the city of Mazagan.

REFERENCES

Araújo, Renata Malcher de.  As Cidades da Amazônia no Século XVIII:Belém, Macapá;Mazagão.Porto,Faup,1998.

Vidal, Laurent. Mazagão a cidade que atravessou o Atlântico.São Paulo, Martins Fontes,2008.

Group The Roots of Marabaixo’s  folder.

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