Parintins Festival

Parintins Festival: the beginning

See information about the City of Parintins

BumbodromoBefore 1920, members of the two most important families in Parintins, the Monteverdes and the Cids, started a folkloric dispute. Not a Festival yet, by that time, each family had a singer (called "repentista") whose songs should highlight his own bull and disturb the other family and bull.

Those two bulls, " Garantido " (guaranteed), the white bull and " Caprichoso " (careful), the black one, were made of a cloth covered wood frame. Inside the bull, a man danced performing a real bull's movement as similar as possible.

Every year, during June, as the Amazon summer begins, after a six-month rainy season, the two families and their friends danced around the city, singing and offering the bull's tongue to the wealthiest people, who in changed would pay and support the group. Parintins was a war land at that time: sometimes the two families met each other somewhere in the city, as they walked around (ana Parintins was a small one). If that happened, each family's singer would challenge the other's one to sing a better song and to say a better poem. Sometimes they could even fight.

Why did that all begin?

By the end of the XIX's century, the Amazon rubber attracted people from all over Brazil. By that time it was a practice in the North of Brazil to pay homage to a Saint once one had reached a desire or recovered from a disease. Sometimes this reverence was made by the foundation of a bull: a group of people who played and sang the story of Catirina's desire.

The two Cids brothers, Roque and Antonio, came to the Amazon in search of richness. They had promised to build a bull if they were lucky in the Amazon. In 1913, a judge called Jorge Furtado moved from Manaus to Parintins. There he met the Cid brothers and they all created Caprichoso . Years later, Lindolfo Monteverde created Garantido , also due to a promise.

The two bulls, year after year, since then, have been playing the story of Catirina's desire.

What about the original play?

BoiFather Francisco and Mother Catirina were two slaves in a farm. One day, pregnant, Catirina desired to eat the tongue of the best bull in the farm. That was not possible and Father Francisco tried to make her forget it. But she was pregnant and it did not help: she wanted it anyway.

Afraid of having a bull faced baby Father Francisco decides to kill the bull and take his tongue off. All would be ok if their boss did not know anything. But that happened and Father Francisco should be punished for killing the bull.

Sorry for her desire, Catirina goes for help. She finds a priest who then resurrects the bull. So Father Francisco is released and all becomes a party and celebration.

The first festival, natives and Amazon Culture

After 50 years performing Catirina's story in the streets of Parintins, the two bulls, Boi Caprichoso and Boi Garantido began performing the play in a church's yard in the middle 60's. The Festival turned out to be a competition, always in the last 3 days of June.

Along the 70's Catirina's play was modified to include Amazonian themes. Although the Catirina's desire is still a leitmotiv , there have been some changes:

  • The original church priest is now an indian sorcerer who connects to native gods
  • The story happens inside the forest
  • Amazonian legends and forest creatures are part of the play
  • The amazonian ' toada ', a mix of indigenous, brazilian and andine rhythm, has become an important part of the play
  • Along the play, evil gods, forest fire, pollution and ecological themes are the real problems and no more the death of the bull. These troubles are "cleaned" by the witchcraft of the indian sorcerer, called Paje .

Today's Festival is a celebration of joy for life. During 28, 29 and 30th June, people sing and dance all day long on the streets. At night people go to Parintins Convention Center: bumbódromo for the performance of Caprichoso and Garantido.

Parintins' bumbódromo

In contrast with the simplicity of the city , the architecture of the Amazonino Mendes Cultural and Sports Center, popularly known as  the "Bumbódromo", is built in the shape of a bull´s head with a seating capacity of 35,000 people distributed in seats of honor, box seats, numbered seats, special grandstand seats, and the people´s grandstand which is free.

Inside bumbódromo one must choose either blue or red: Parintins Festival is a competition. The center was inaugurated on June 24th, 1988 by governor, Amazonino Armando Mendes, and is equipped with classrooms, a medical post, and multiple sports courts. It serves as a stage for presentations of musical shows, theatrical plays, expositions and sports championships. It is located  right in the center of town and literally divides the blue and red cheering sections of the city.

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