Title

Era das Batucadas: O Carnaval Baiano das Décadas 1930 e 1940

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Winter 2013

Keywords

carnival, Bahia, Brazil, batucadas, afoxes, candomble, samba, Afro-Bahian culture, baianidade, regional identity

Abstract

This article examines mid-twentieth century African-Brazilian carnival culture in Bahia, Brazil, and how the batucadas and afoxés briefly supplanted Bahia’s three elite carnival clubs and ritualized the presence of working-class African-Bahian culture and sociability within Carnival. At this point, politicians and especially journalists celebrated both the batucada and samba as central to Carnival, contributing to the consolidation of African-Bahian musical practices as vital elements of what Bahia meant and what "Bahian" had come to mean during the Vargas era. Although the trio elétrico and the revival of the elite clubs after 1950 ended the "Era of the Batucadas," the batucadas had played important roles within the reformulation of baianidade between 1930 and 1950 and provided a bridge of ethnic identification and cultural agency between the afro-centric clubs of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century on the one hand, and the afoxés and blocos afros of the late twentieth and twenty first century.