Scriptum

  • Viola Machete

    Posted February 21 re: Randy Roberts

    Viola Machete The Brazilian Kora The viola machete is the quintessential samba-de-roda stringed instrument, going so far as to give its name to one of the principal types of samba in the region of Santo Amaro -- samba de viola. The viola machete up top was made by Rodrigo Veras, above, reside...

  • The Beaches of Bahia

    Posted September 26, 2016 re: Randy Roberts

    Beaches of Salvador & Bahia Salvador is literally surrounded by beaches. They are where people go to relax, cool off, chill, socialize, eat, drink, dance, exercise, surf, and of course swim. They vary from crowded city beaches great for meeting people to tropical idylls up and down the coast. On...

  • The Saint in the Devil's Workshop

    Posted September 18, 2016 re: Randy Roberts

    Zé Diabo Zé Diabo (and notice the beautifully unintended Exu trident here!) Zé Diabo is a metalworker...maker of the agogôs used by the Filhos de Gandhy and other afoxés here in Salvador. He also makes stylized representations of the orixás for houses of ca...

  • Dancing Gods

    Posted June 27, 2016 re: Randy Roberts

    Dancing Gods Did you know that Brazil has gods (football aside)? In the sense that the Greeks and the Romans did? The Greek and Roman gods were done in by Constantine (first blow) and Theodosius (final blow). The gods of Brazil were born in Africa and arrived in Brazil within the negreiros making t...

  • Safety in Salvador

    Posted June 12, 2016 re: Randy Roberts

    The Sunny Side of the Street Brazil, which in the "international mind" was for long associated with exoticism and romance, carnival and mighty jungles, beaches both idyllic and urban, the latter populated by flowering hard-bodied youth (including the Girl from Ipanema, now the Grandmother from Ipan...

  • Salvador's Afoxés & Blocos Afros

    Posted June 12, 2016 re: Randy Roberts

    Salvador's Afoxés and Blocos Afros Afoxé (ah-faw-SHEH) is basically candomblé with the religion taken out...the use of candomblé rhythms and "songs" in social, non-religious settings like Carnival and weekly dances. The principal rhythm associated with afoxé ...

  • Bahian Cuisine, Salvador Restaurants

    Posted June 11, 2016 re: Randy Roberts

    Establishments High Class, Low & In Between Salvador has its own cuisine. You'll see baianas de acarajé (ah-kara-JEH) everywhere, usually dressed in white (the color of Iansã, goddess of the wind), tables spread with a spicy and exotic assortment of Bahia's own version of fast-food.An...

  • The Beaches of Salvador, Bahia & Environs

    Posted June 11, 2016 re: Randy Roberts

    Beaches of Salvador & Bahia Salvador is literally surrounded by beaches. They are where people go to relax, cool off, chill, socialize, eat, drink, dance, exercise, surf, and of course swim. They vary from crowded city beaches great for meeting people to tropical idylls up and down the coast. On...

  • Festas in Bahia, Brazil

    Posted June 11, 2016 re: Randy Roberts

    The Sacred & the Profana The quantity of festas in Bahia is often remarked upon, often together in the same cliched breath along with "Terra da Alegria" ("Land of Happiness") or some such other similar hyperbole. Happy? That's debatable, certainly improbable given the widespread economic conditions...

  • Capoeira in Bahia, Brazil

    Posted June 11, 2016 re: Randy Roberts

    Capoeira in Salvador & BahiaDance Like a BaryshnikovHit Like a Kalashnikov Capoeira. You, dear reader, may have never heard of it, or maybe you're one of the legion who can pick up a berimbau and play the toques, handle the pandeiro (a tambourine, kind of) and atabaque (a conga, kind of), sing the ...

  • Ubiquitous Deities

    Posted June 11, 2016 re: Randy Roberts

    Ubiquitous Deities: Candomblé Oxum It's night in Salvador and you hear drumming. It may be coming from one of the numerous terreiros de candomblé scattered throughout the city. Most terreiros will permit visitors to attend their ceremonies. Should you go, dress respectfully. Trousers...

  • Salvador's Neighborhoods

    Posted June 11, 2016 re: Randy Roberts

    Neighborhoods and Streets and Backstreets and Byways There are two neighborhoods in Salvador that just about every visitor gets to know. One is Pelourinho (Pillory), which has its own "chapter" in the "Table of Contents", and the other is Barra (Bar, as in reef, and pronounced "BA-ha"), which has ...

  • Salvador Sites

    Posted June 11, 2016 re: Randy Roberts

    Salvador SitesBlood & Sugar, Places & History Blood, Sweat, and Prayers A Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos (The Church Our Lady of the Rosary of the Blacks) is located in and dominates the Largo do Pelourinho. The church was built over a period of a hundred years or so beginnin...

  • A Brief History of Salvador da Bahia, Brazil

    Posted June 7, 2016 re: Randy Roberts

    Palpable History in Places & People In Bahia, in the beginnning...there lived the indigenous people now commonly referred to as "Índios", and we can follow human recordings as far back as a people called the Gé. The Gé were pushed out by a people called the Tupinambá, an...

  • Salvador's Centro Histórico: Pelourinho

    Posted June 3, 2016 re: Randy Roberts

    What is nowadays called "Pelourinho" is Salvador's Old Town, the most extensive architectural conjunction of colonial-era churches and houses in South America. The yellow house in the middle here - No. 35 on the Ladeira do Carmo - was a childhood home for Dorival Caymmi, who would go on to so magn...

  • The World's Biggest Carnival

    Posted June 1, 2016 re: Randy Roberts

    Carnival in Salvador! The World's Biggest Party: No Contest! Carnival in Salvador is it, baby! That is, of course, if parties and crowds are your thing. Nowhere else comes close. Carnival Bahia is not nubile women in feathers high up on floaters à la Carnival Rio. It's YOU out there on the ...

  • The Music of Bahia

    Posted May 30, 2016 re: Randy Roberts

    There's a lot of spectacle in Bahia... Carnival with its trio elétricos -- sound-trucks with musicians on top -- looking like interstellar semi-trailers back from the future...shows of MPB (música popular brasileira) in Salvador's Teatro Castro Alves (biggest stage in South America!) ...

  • A Short History of Brazilian Music

    Posted May 30, 2016 re: Randy Roberts

    ONCE UPON A NIGHT IN BRAZIL... In Rio de Janeiro, in the house of a Bahia-born ialorixá (priestess) who had arrived in Rio as a young woman (part of the exodus of emigrating Bahians leaving for the capital in search of work around the time of Brazil's abolishment of slavery), the music (in t...

  • Massapê

    Posted May 28, 2016 re: Ben Paris

    Where better to write than in a land where myth and reality are so intersheaved that they often meld into one and the same?   Massapê by Ben Paris Ben Paris lives in Salvador's seaside neighborhood of Itapoan, where he eats, sleeps, drinks, swims, fights and writes, his fiction having...

  • Exu's Fedora

    Posted May 1, 2016 re: Ben Paris

    Where better to write than in a land where myth and reality are so intersheaved that they often meld into one and the same?   Exu's Fedora by Ben Paris Ben Paris lives in Salvador's seaside neighborhood of Itapoan, where he eats, sleeps, drinks, swims, fights and writes, his fiction having ...