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Rhythm-A-Day Blog for February 26, 2020: Last Day of Carnival in Brazil

Posted by Wolf Murphy on

Last Day of Carnival in Brazil

Carnival ends on Ash Wednesday at noon. This marks the beginning of Lent, the forty-day period preceding Easter. This is where the term Carnival came from—originally carnelevare, which means "to remove meat," as during Lent, Roman Catholics and some other Christians traditionally abstained from the consumption of meat and poultry.  

Carnival in Rio, 2019
(Photo: Kimsey Grace/Wikimedia Commons)

Carnival is a six-day party where dancing and singing crowds follow brightly lit floats through the city streets—all to celebrate before the long 40-day fast of Lent begins. 

Ilê Aiyê is a bloco (street bands that mobilize crowds on the streets ) from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. It is located in the largest african-descended neighborhood in Salvador. The name is from the Yoruban language: ilê, home plus aiyê, life. This can be interpreted as 'house of life' or 'eternal heaven'. It was founded in 1974, making it the oldest Afro-Brazilian block.

Ilê Aiyê also works to raise the consciousness of the Bahian black community and pioneered the bloco afro, focusing on black culture and history, and celebrating the aesthetic beauty of African heritage. They have influenced all other blocos afros including groups such as Olodum.

Bloco Ilê Aiyê, Salvador, Bahia, Brasil
(ArtMechanic/Wikimedia Commons)

For this last day of Carnival in Brazil in 2020, we are going to learn a Call and Response Break from Bloco Ilé Aiyé that can be used to call a transition in, or an end to, the drumming.

Today's Video Lesson

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