Boi Bumba or Festa do Boi - Paje, Sinhazinha, Tuxaua, Curupira, batucada, marujada


Agecom: the communications agency at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN),

Alegoria: an artistic structure or a large puppet used as scenery .

Alvorada: a party held during late hours that precedes an event.

Alvorada do Boi: the party that anounces the beggining of the Boi Bumbá festival.

Amo do boi: in the Boi plot, he's the farm owner and Sinhazinha's father. He demands that the cowboys protect his Boi and recites poetry extolling its qualities .

Anavilhanas, ou Arquipélago das Anavilhanas: the largest river archipelago in the world, 100km North of Manaus, where the Negro river is more than 20km wide. It is a protected environmental reserve.

Apresentador: master of ceremonies, spokesman of his Bumbá . He is in charge of leading the supporters and cheering up the galera. He is the conductor who orchestrates all the elements of the show.

Arraial: trade of typical foods and promotion of social and cultural activities.

Asa dura: airplane.

Auto: the folklore presentation.

Baixa: a short name for Baixa de São José .

Baixa do São José: place where Boi-Bumbá Garantido was created .

Batucada: the musicians of Boi Garantido. The name (meaning drum beat) is due to prevalence of percussion.

Boi: Means many things. It is the central character of the show; a large ox puppet, raison d'être of the Boi Bumbá folk festival; the whole ensemble: musicians, tribes, brincantes and the Boi itself; Boi Garantido ; Boi Caprichoso ; the bumbás .

Boi-bumbá: a folcloric phenomenon and a complex cultural event. Experts have two versions for its appearance: in one of them, it was created by slaves and poor people; in the other, it is related to the Boi-de-Canastra in Portugal. It is based on a legend of a farmer who had an ox that could dance and was cherished by everybody.

Boiuna: means black snake in Tupi. The great Sucuriju (anaconda), one of the largest snakes in the world, it can attain lengths of up to 10m. It is nonvenomous but has great muscle strength, used to break the bones and suffocate its prey. Several legends exaggerate its powers.

Brincante: each of the participants of the show that follow the Boi in the Bumbódromo . The word means “player” in Portuguese, probably because the Boi is considered a game.

Bumbá: The ensemble of all participants in the show - musicians, tribes, brincantes and the Boi itself. Boi Caprichoso ; Boi Garantido ; Bois from Parintins ; onomatopoeia associated to a banging sound. It means “hit” or “hit with your horn, my Boi ”.

Bumbódromo: the place where the Bumbás perform. It is the Parintins Culture Center , located between Avenida das Nações and Rua Paraíba. It opened in 1988 and has a capacity of 35 thousand. During the school year it houses a school with 18 fully equipped classrooms. .

Caboclo: someone whose ancestry is a mixture of Europeans an aborigines.

Capacete: Indian feathered headdress that measures from 2 to 3 meters and represents one of the elements of the performance. The brincante who wears it is known as tuxaua.

Caprichoso: Boi from Parintins, born in 1913. Its colors are blue and black .

Carapanã: mosquito.

Catirina: Mãe Catirina.

Contrário: the name given to the opposing Boi . Supporters of a given Boi never mention the name of the other Boi .

Cuca: folklore character, a "boogie-woman".

Cunhã: girl, young woman.

Cunhanporanga, Cunhã Poranga: the most beautiful woman in the tribe, who conquers the heart of Indian warriors. Cunhã Poranga: beautiful young lady. Cunhã = young woman, poranga = beautiful.

Cunhatã: child; girl; young lady.

Curimatã: popular name of some river fish who eat slime.

Curral: the places where Bois rehearse. Curral da Batucada is Garantido 's curral and Curral da Marujada is Caprichoso 's curral.

Curumim: boy.

Curupira: He is red-haired, very smart and protects the forest. His feet point backwards, so whoever tries to follow him eventually gets lost in the woods.

Encarnado: red, the color of Boi Garantido.

Estandarte: a flag which is the symbol of each Boi.

Evolução: presentation of the Boi puppet in the Bumbódromo

Fantasia: richly ornamented dress or a costume used in the festival.

Figura: any festival character: the Boi , Pai Francisco , etc.; symbol of legends and local folklore.

Forró: popular dancing parties.

Francesa: a neighborhood of Parintins.

Galera: the group of official supporters of each Bumbá . The galera is a part of the Boi and is subject to evaluation by the jury. It has the colors of its Boi . The galeras war is one of the amazing features of the Festival. According to the rules, during the presentation of each Boi , the other galera should remain in complete silence.

Garantido: Boi born in 1913 from the promessa of Lindolfo Monteverde, founder of the Boi ; Boi “do povão” (of the people); red and white Boi.

Gingado: steps that is followed in all Bumbá songs, characterized by two steps to each side.

Guarani: a South American Indian tribe and its language.

Jaraqui: a tasty fish of the Amazon, it is popular, cheap and abundant. According to a popular saying, he who eats Jaraqui never leaves the Amazon ("Quem come jaraqui não sai mais daqui").

Juruna: of the Tupi tribes from the Xingu Park.

Juteiro: jute farmer.

Kuarup: funeral ceremony performed for chiefs or dignitaries.

Lapada: a half-full bottle of cachaça, a white Brazilian rum made from sugar cane .

Lendas amazônicas: usually from Indian origin, Amazon legends are part of the Bumbás presentation in Parintins. They are sang and enacted and illustrate the folklore.

Mãe Catirina: wife of Pai Francisco , a burlesque character of the Bumba meu Boi legend.

Manaus: capital of the Amazon state, the word came from the Indian tribe who lived where the city is today, by the Negro River. The time zone is one hour late relative to Brasília, the country capital.

Maranhon, ou Marañon: name of the Peruvian river that has its sources in the Andes and is a tributary of the Amazon River.

Marujada: the Marujada dictates the rhythm along the whole presentation of Boi Caprichoso in Parintins Festival, led by two or three maestros. A group of musicians who play percussion instruments while the Boi performs. The name comes from a folk toy from Northern Brazil , the Marujo .

Marujada de Guerra: Marujada.

Maués, ou Mawé, ou Sateré-Maué: Indian people from the region of Maués, Barreirinha, Parintins, Itaituba and Aveiro, in the middle Amazon. They were the first to cultivate and process guaraná, which is today sold throughout the world. They speak both Saterá-maué and Portuguese. Sateré means “fire lizard”, a reference to their clan; Maué means “smart and curious parrot” and has no hierarchical meaning

Pai d´égua: nice fellow .

Pai Francisco: a farm worker, and husband of Mãe Catirina . Fearful that his son's health will suffer if he doesn't concede to his wifes's wish of eating beef tongue, he kills one of the ox of his master.

Pajé: Indian shaman; top authority; knowledgeable of spells that cast away evil spirits (chants, rituals, herbs, roots, seeds, etc.); a mix of priest, doctor, shaman and witch doctor. Supposedly responsible for the introduction of some drugs in modern pharmacopoeia. He knows about poisons, narcotics, sedatives and stimulants. During the evolução of the Bumbá, the pajé is an Indian sorcerer, one of the most important characters in the show. Using his dances and calling the spirits, he revives the Boi.

Palmares: traditional neighborhood in Parintins.

Palminha: a most simple "percussion instrument" consisting of two rectangular wood blocks.

Parque Nacional do Xingu: Indian reserve in Mato Grosso state. It is the home to several different tribes and indian villages.

Parintins: a city in Amazonas state, near the border of Pará state. It is located on the island of Tupinambarana, and is accessible by boat or airplane.

Parintintin: an indian from the parintintins group.

Parintintins: indian group who lives between the rivers Madeira and Marmelos, in Southeastern Amazon.

Pávulo: local Parintins slang for snobbish. The same as metido or fanfarrao.

Perreché: a bad person; someone who is a nuisance. The same as caboclo do pé rachado .

Pico da neblina: the highest mountain peak in the country, altitude 3,014m. It is located in the county of São Gabriel da Cachoeira , in the Northeast Amazon.

Pirarucu: The largest river fish. This carnivore weighs up to 160kg and reaches to over 2m in length. Its rough tongue is used as a grinder for products such as guaraná. Its large scales are used in ornaments .

Popear: to row while in the stern of a canoe.

Porantim: wooden artifact, similar to a wooden club, covered in drawings that are very important to the Sateré-Maué, who refer to it as their constitution, their legislator, their Bible. It powers are allegedly magical, religious an mystical.

Porta-Estandarte: the female indian who carries the estandarte, the symbol of a Boi. She is supposed to move very graciously in order to dignify the estandarte.

Putiranga: An admiration or amazement interjection (local slang).

QG: headquarters; each one of the currais where the Bumbás gather. That's where boards and supporters meet, and also where alegorias and fantasias are manufactured.

Remanso: the waving movement of river waters.

Rio Negro: the dark-colored tributary of the Amazon River. The spot where the Amazon light-colored waters meet the waters from Rio Negro is famous (it is known as encontro das aguas; from Manaus you can get there by boat in 20 minutes).

Ritual: a ceremony conducted by the pajé, it is the highlight of the presentation. It triggers fireworks and special illumination effects. It is a beautiful display, the Bumbódromo lights are turned off and the audience lights up candeias , which was originally aim at resuscitating the Boi . In the indian view, this is the moment when the Pajé fights against evil spirits.

São João: the saint who baptized Jesus, an who was chosen by the founders of the Bois in Parintins for their Promessas .

São José: the husband of Mary, mother of Jesus.

São José Operário: name of the neighborhood where Boi Garantido was founded.

Saritó: see tucandeira.

Sateré-Mawé: see Maués.

Sete-estrelo: legend about the origin of the Pleiades constellation..

Sinhazinha da fazenda: the daughter of Amo , the farm owner. The beautiful young lady, who was daddy's little jewel, is one of the traditional Bumbá characters and is always a prominent feature in the evolução . At a given point, she places her hands under the chin with her palms down, adding a very graceful touch to her choreography.

Tacacá: typical food made of tapioca, shrimp, malagueta pepper and tucupi (a fish).

Tambaqui: a very tasty Amazonian fish..

Tarrafa: manually woven fishing net.

Tique: tense.

Toada: song sang during the Boi presentation.

Tribo: the Festival allows only Amazon native tribes in the performance, and all of them must dress, dance and move in a way that is faithful to their roots.

Tripa do boi: brincante who wears the Boi puppet.

Tucandeira: also tocandira (Paraponera clavata), it is a carnivore Amazon ant which is very aggressive, has long pinchers and measures up to 22mm. Their strong pain from their sting lasts for over 12 hours. Some tribes test the courage of their young submitting them to stings from multiple ants. After this initiation ritual, they are ready for marriage.

Tucumã: the fruit from the tucumãzeiro, an abundant tree in the middle Amazon.

Tupã: Tupi-guarani for thunder. It was associated by the Jesuits to the Christian god. A Good god in the indian legends. According to some sources, “the cruel thunder spirit”.

Tupinambarana: the island in the Amazon river where the city of Parintins is located; a tupinambá indian who migrated to the Tupinambarana island.

Tupinambás: indian tribe with a language from the linguistic family of tupi-guarani. Considered extinct.

Tupi: an indian from any Tupi group.

Tuxáua: indian chief. He is one of the main characters of the Parintins festival and wears a headdress that stand for his wisdom.

Uirapuru: a typical Amazon bird, whose exuberant and beautiful song made it an important part of the Northern Brazil folklore. It is regarded as a bearer of good luck.

Vaqueiro: one of the Bumbá characters, this farm cowboy parties around the Boi . Represents the farm worker.

Vaquejada ou vaqueirada: set of vaqueiros who bring the Boi to the arena dancing around it and perform again when it leaves the scene, near the end of the show.

Vermelho: the color of Boi Garantido and name of a Chico da Silva song that became famous in the whole country in 1996, bringing the Boi to national recognition.

Vitória Amazônica: Victória Regia.

Voadeira: a boat with a small motor.

Xamã: the tribe shaman, the pajé.

Xingu: a river that goes North from Mato Grosso State , crossing Pará state to end in the Amazon river. In spite of its depth, it is not very navigable due to the great number of waterfalls on its way.

                                                              Text: Sheila Cirigola