Pirenópolis, Brazil

Brazilian Crusades

baby among kings
Baby gets scared when he sees himself elevated between the Moorish king and the Christian, at the end of the Cavalhadas.
artisan of the divine
A resident of Pirenópolis retouches part of the armor to be used by the Moorish king during the Cavalhadas.
Right in
Moorish knight skewers a head and earns points during one of several trials.
Curucucus figures
Silhouettes of masked people socializing in the streets of the historic center of Pirenópolis.
Moorish knight submits to a Christian after the defeat of the Moors in Cavalhadas.
Cavalhódromo of Pirenopolis
Masked men ride in the Cavalhódromo of Pirenópolis.
Mother of the Christian king finalizes the costume worn by her son in the upcoming Cavalhadas.
baby and moorish costume
Baby passes by the costume of the Moorish king on the farm of the Pirenopolino chosen for this role in the Cavalhadas.
horse mask
Mascarado walks through the streets of the historic center of Pirenópolis.
Wait mounted
Mascarado waits for the return of a counterpart during the Cavalhadas de Pirenópolis.
Masked BR
A masked man poses at the entrance to a gas station in Pirenópolis.
anxious masked
Group of masked men awaits new permission to enter the scene at Cavalhadas de Pirenópolis.
Spectators follow the action of the Cavalhadas in an improvised booth at the Cavalhódromo de Pirenópolis.
eccentric goal
Masked man drinks beer through one of his mask's nose holes.
Audience accompanies the gallop of a Moorish knight during a Cavalhadas competition.
masked shadow
Shadow of a group of masked people backstage at Cavalhódromo.
Ser Pompey
Presenter of Cavalhadas finds himself surrounded by masked men.
Christian armies expelled Muslim forces from the Iberian Peninsula in the XNUMXth century. XV but, in Pirenópolis, in the Brazilian state of Goiás, the South American subjects of Carlos Magno continue to triumph.

We arrived at one in the afternoon.

The masked men make way for the solemn cavalcade of the Christian and Moorish “armies” heading to the newly built Cavalhódromo de Pirenópolis.

The benches are crowded. The almost divine voice of the producer and presenter Sôr Pompeu echoes, in full announcement of the inauguration parade. Comprised of musicians and majorettes, the parade goes around the pitch and greets the audience.

A hot girl from the land, adorned with sashes, leads her.

Once the tour is complete, the high point of the embassies and battles event has the green light.

Finally, we understand the reason for so much prior testing. The choreographies are complex and tedious. They are made of twists and turns, also of sudden confrontations, withdrawals and endless dialogues delivered in a playback thundering that requires the gestural accompaniment of kings and ambassadors.

The Wild Revelry of the Masked Curucucus

To lighten the show, the doors are opened to the madness of the masked people. These invade at a gallop and, whenever their time runs out, they resist being expelled from the pitch as if they were a third army.

“These Masked Ones are going to have to leave anyway. You can't keep delaying any longer!” resounds from the loudspeakers the increasingly impatient Ser Pompey.

Cavalhodromo, Pirenopolis Cavalcades, Crusades, Brazil

Masked men ride in the Cavalhódromo of Pirenópolis.

The 20 minutes of mad riding around the enclosure that he granted him has long since passed. Exaggerations have been repeated since the beginning of the event. Nothing that disturbs the collective unconsciousness of the so-called curucucus.

Abuse delights viewers. After all, the Feast of the Divine and the Cavalhadas are made of the delivery and devotion, both religious and profane, of its participants. Everyone tolerates Moorish and Christian knights shining too brightly.

Apart from the battles fought, in defiance of the predominance of banners greeting, vassalage and self-promotion of the most important families and regional politicians, the masked ones still take advantage of their anonymity to display posters of political contestation: “People do not change when they arrive to power, they reveal themselves” verses one of the most exuberant.

The traditional irreverence of the curucucus derives from their presence, as bastard as it is late, in Cavalhadas.

Mounted Waiting, Pirenopolis Cavalcades, Crusades, Brazil

Mascarado waits for the return of a counterpart during the Cavalhadas de Pirenópolis.

For many years, as they did not take part in the battles fought as a medieval tournament, the people they represent were mere spectators at ceremonies performed by the wealthy and powerful.

Once their participation was legitimized, protected by caricatured and colorful disguises (man and bull heads, unicorns, jaguars, etc.) and by almost imperceptible whispers, the Masked Ones proved difficult to control.

Masked Silhouettes, Pirenopolis Cavalcades, Crusades, Brazil

Silhouettes of masked people socializing in the streets of the historic center of Pirenópolis.

The Battle in Cavalhadas Medieval Tournament Mode

The Crusades return to Cavalhódromo. It soon turns out that the embassies of truce and mutual intimidation are fruitless. The conflict remains. The people rejoice more than ever.

Heads of dolls were placed to be blown off and thus test the mastery of the knights in the use of the spear and … the pistol, an anachronism that was not detected or that nobody cared about.

There is also the ring test, a medieval classic that raises the suspense every time the galloping knights raise their spears.

horseman skewers head, cavalhadas de pirenopolis, crusades, brazil

Moorish knight skewers a head and earns points during one of several trials.

Points are noted. In the end, as a matter of historical fidelity, Christians always win. Consuming the triumph of the faithful, the Moors surrender and submit, kneeling, to the swords of the Crusaders. This is followed by an alignment, on foot, of the riders who receive greetings from friends and family.

When the Cavalhadas Festival Returns to Pirenópolis

In this, the tours of the city ​​center fill up with the return of the Cavalhódromo crowd. Most outsiders come from Brasilia, Goiânia and other surrounding villages. Some arrive from much further afield.

From São Paulo, Rio, even abroad. Everyone shows up in Pirenópolis, attracted by the increasingly popular beauty of the party. During the event, cars are prohibited in the historic center.

This boon allows the masked to take over the wide streets.

Ride through them senselessly. They only stop to pose for photos by the public and ask for small contributions to buy their fuel: a cold beer.

Masked drinks beer, Pirenopolis cavalry, Crusades, Brazil

Masked man drinks beer through one of his mask's nose holes.

Refusal is rare. We are in the dry season of the Brazilian Midwest region. The heat tightens. Especially when you spend hours inside a fiber suit with the head in a cardboard mask.

When night falls, the knights regained the spotlight. By that time, together, Moors and Christians ride and discharge their pistols into the air. 

The last ritual – by far the loudest – establishes the official closure of the Cavalhadas and returns Pirenópolis to the peace of God.

Until the month of May next year. 

Origin of Cavalhadas: from the Kingdom of the Franks to Heart of Goiás

Cavalhadas de Pirenópolis are a reconstitution of Charlemagne's attacks against the Moors who, by the XNUMXth century, occupied the Iberian Peninsula.

Throughout the Middle Ages, through the crusaders and troubadours, their deeds became popular in Christian Europe. They gave rise to well-received representations also in Portugal.

public in the tournament, Pirenopolis Cavalcades, Crusades, Brazil

Audience accompanies the gallop of a Moorish knight during a Cavalhadas competition.

The Jesuits took these stagings to Brazil, still in their heyday and with the authorization of the Crown, which saw in them an effective instrument for the evangelization of indigenous peoples and African slaves.

The Popular Staging of Father Manuel Amâncio da Luz

They arrived in Pirenópolis and the surrounding region of the present state of Goiás, in 1826, when Father Manuel Amâncio da Luz integrated an exhibition called “Charlemagne's Battalion" at Feast of the Holy Spirit, also previously brought from Portugal.

The novelty had a miraculous acceptance. Pirenópolis was then a city of miners, mostly from the north of the metropolis where the long resistance to the Moorish invasions and subsequent attacks and conquests came to forge the Portuguese nation.

drinks entre reis, cavalhadas de pirenopolis, crusades, brazil

Baby gets scared when he sees himself elevated between the Moorish king and the Christian, at the end of the Cavalhadas.

On the other hand, the show from early on attributed powerful characters (kings and knights) to the most prominent citizens of the city. They were assembled characters.

The Controversial Promotion to the New Cavalhódromo de Pirenópolis

This reality went against the widespread passion of the local population for horses and horseback riding. This passion becomes very evident during the Feast of the Divine, when the sound of hooves against the cobblestones of Pirenópolis becomes ambient.

In the beginning, the Cavalhadas were staged on a field marked with whitewash. The participants wore period military uniforms instead of the current medieval period costumes.

The commitment that the Pirenopolinos dedicated to them – as they dedicated to the Feast of the Divine, in general – led to the creation of “medieval” clothes for knights and horses, including weapons and armour.

seamstress, cavalhadas de pirenopolis, cruzas, brazil

Mother of the Christian king finalizes the costume worn by her son in the upcoming Cavalhadas.

In 2012, the bare field gave way to a large Cavalhódromo, lawn, with a Christian portico and a Moorish one, with large cement benches and family cabins, these made of wood. Several sectors of the Pirepoline community accused those responsible of having kept the people away from the party.

public and spectators, cavalhadas de pirenopolis, crusades, brazil

Spectators follow the action of the Cavalhadas in an improvised booth at the Cavalhódromo de Pirenópolis.

When we spoke with the wife of Toninho – an emblematic former Moorish king – we also found out that the party was not always confined to the city or even the Brazilian state of Goiás.

The Embassy of the Knights of the Divine to France Grafina de Chantilly

Dª Telma tells us that, in 2005, the year of Brazil was celebrated in France. On that occasion, the Gallic organization invited a delegation of 30 Pirenopolinos, – to the chagrin of the wives of the city, all men – to Whipped Cream (a grand historic village a short distance from Paris).

The idea was to present the Cavalhadas de Pirenópolis to the French and the final exhibition went perfectly. The preparations included hilarious adventures.

Several of the riders had never left the state of Goiás, let alone traveled by plane and changed continents to face the delicate french etiquette.

For obvious logistical reasons, the Pirenopolis horses stayed at home. And Cavalhadas knights had to teach French mounts the twists and turns of battles between Moors and Christians.

capitulation, cavalhadas de pirenopolis, crusades, brazil

Moorish knight submits to a Christian after the defeat of the Moors in Cavalhadas.

The challenge proved anything but peaceful. In the lands of “Piri”, the horses were treated by force, with whips and spurs.

In Chantilly, the Brazilian knights, accustomed to the superiority of their role as kings and nobles, found themselves reprimanded for the slightest touch they gave to French animals and became indignant whenever the local handlers, as a prize, kissed their mounts in the mouth.

“But that wasn't the worst…”, Dª Telma continues to tell us: “As if that wasn't enough, the French tried to impose this refined method on the knights of Pirenópolis to whom they also gave lumps of sugar so that, in addition to the kisses, the offered to the horses when the animals passed tests…”

artisan, cavalhadas de pirenopolis, crusades, brazil

A resident of Pirenópolis retouches part of the armor to be used by the Moorish king during the Cavalhadas.

The Pirenopolinos continued to resist. And the French nearly collapsed when they found that they not only persisted in their cruel dealings with horses but devoured the lumps of sugar.

On their return home, the “effeminate” treatment of the Europeans towards animals remained the subject of conversation and laughter until the following Cavalhadas, when Charlemagne's powerful and pirepolino army defeated the infidels again.

Pirenópolis, Brazil

A Ride of Faith

Introduced in 1819 by Portuguese priests, the Festa do Divino Espírito Santo de Pirenópolis it aggregates a complex web of religious and pagan celebrations. It lasts more than 20 days, spent mostly on the saddle.
Pirenópolis, Brazil

A Polis in the South American Pyrenees

Mines of Nossa Senhora do Rosário da Meia Ponte were erected by Portuguese pioneers, in the peak of the Gold Cycle. Out of nostalgia, probably Catalan emigrants called the mountains around the Pyrenees. In 1890, already in an era of independence and countless Hellenizations of its cities, Brazilians named this colonial city Pirenópolis.
Passo do Lontra, Miranda, Brazil

The Flooded Brazil of Passo do Lontra

We are on the western edge of Mato Grosso do Sul but bush, on these sides, is something else. In an extension of almost 200.000 km2, the Brazil it appears partially submerged, by rivers, streams, lakes and other waters dispersed in vast alluvial plains. Not even the panting heat of the dry season drains the life and biodiversity of Pantanal places and farms like the one that welcomed us on the banks of the Miranda River.
Cape Coast, Ghana

The Divine Purification Festival

The story goes that, once, a plague devastated the population of Cape Coast of today Ghana. Only the prayers of the survivors and the cleansing of evil carried out by the gods will have put an end to the scourge. Since then, the natives have returned the blessing of the 77 deities of the traditional Oguaa region with the frenzied Fetu Afahye festival.
Jaisalmer, India

There's a Feast in the Thar Desert

As soon as the short winter breaks, Jaisalmer indulges in parades, camel races, and turban and mustache competitions. Its walls, alleys and surrounding dunes take on more color than ever. During the three days of the event, natives and outsiders watch, dazzled, as the vast and inhospitable Thar finally shines through.
Bhaktapur, Nepal

The Nepalese Masks of Life

The Newar Indigenous People of the Kathmandu Valley attach great importance to the Hindu and Buddhist religiosity that unites them with each other and with the Earth. Accordingly, he blesses their rites of passage with newar dances of men masked as deities. Even if repeated long ago from birth to reincarnation, these ancestral dances do not elude modernity and begin to see an end.
manaus, Brazil

The Jumps and Starts of the former World Rubber Capital

From 1879 to 1912, only the Amazon River basin generated the latex that, from one moment to another, the world needed and, out of nowhere, Manaus became one of the most advanced cities on the face of the Earth. But an English explorer took the tree to Southeast Asia and ruined pioneer production. Manaus once again proved its elasticity. It is the largest city in the Amazon and the seventh in Brazil.
Bacolod, Philippines

A Festival to Laugh at Tragedy

Around 1980, the value of sugar, an important source of wealth on the Philippine island of Negros, plummeted and the ferry “Don Juan” that served it sank and took the lives of more than 176 passengers, most of them from Negrès. The local community decided to react to the depression generated by these dramas. That's how MassKara arose, a party committed to recovering the smiles of the population.

Defenders of Their Homelands

Even in times of peace, we detect military personnel everywhere. On duty, in cities, they fulfill routine missions that require rigor and patience.
Saint John of Acre, Israel

The Fortress That Withstood Everything

It was a frequent target of the Crusades and taken over and over again. Today, Israeli, Acre is shared by Arabs and Jews. He lives much more peaceful and stable times than the ones he went through.
Look-alikes, Actors and Extras

Make-believe stars

They are the protagonists of events or are street entrepreneurs. They embody unavoidable characters, represent social classes or epochs. Even miles from Hollywood, without them, the world would be more dull.
Pueblos del Sur, Venezuela

The Pueblos del Sur Locainas, Their Dances and Co.

From the beginning of the XNUMXth century, with Hispanic settlers and, more recently, with Portuguese emigrants, customs and traditions well known in the Iberian Peninsula and, in particular, in northern Portugal, were consolidated in the Pueblos del Sur.
Jabula Beach, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Saint Lucia, South Africa

An Africa as Wild as Zulu

On the eminence of the coast of Mozambique, the province of KwaZulu-Natal is home to an unexpected South Africa. Deserted beaches full of dunes, vast estuarine swamps and hills covered with fog fill this wild land also bathed by the Indian Ocean. It is shared by the subjects of the always proud Zulu nation and one of the most prolific and diverse fauna on the African continent.
Thorong La, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, photo for posterity
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 13th - High camp a Thorong La to Muktinath, Nepal

At the height of the Annapurnas Circuit

At 5416m of altitude, the Thorong La Gorge is the great challenge and the main cause of anxiety on the itinerary. After having killed 2014 climbers in October 29, crossing it safely generates a relief worthy of double celebration.
Traditional houses, Bergen, Norway.
Architecture & Design
Bergen, Norway

The Great Hanseatic Port of Norway

Already populated in the early 1830th century, Bergen became the capital, monopolized northern Norwegian commerce and, until XNUMX, remained one of the largest cities in Scandinavia. Today, Oslo leads the nation. Bergen continues to stand out for its architectural, urban and historical exuberance.
The small lighthouse at Kallur, highlighted in the capricious northern relief of the island of Kalsoy.
Kalsoy, Faroe Islands

A Lighthouse at the End of the Faroese World

Kalsoy is one of the most isolated islands in the Faroe archipelago. Also known as “the flute” due to its long shape and the many tunnels that serve it, a mere 75 inhabitants inhabit it. Much less than the outsiders who visit it every year, attracted by the boreal wonder of its Kallur lighthouse.
Indigenous Crowned
Ceremonies and Festivities
Pueblos del Sur, Venezuela

Behind the Venezuela Andes. Fiesta Time.

In 1619, the authorities of Mérida dictated the settlement of the surrounding territory. The order resulted in 19 remote villages that we found dedicated to commemorations with caretos and local pauliteiros.
Elephant statues by the Li River, Elephant Trunk Hill, Guilin, China
Guilin, China

The Gateway to the Chinese Stone Kingdom

The immensity of jagged limestone hills around it is so majestic that the authorities of Beijing they print it on the back of the 20-yuan notes. Those who explore it almost always pass through Guilin. And even if this city in the province of Guangxi clashes with the exuberant nature around it, we also found its charms.
Cocoa, Chocolate, Sao Tome Principe, Agua Izé farm
São Tomé and Principe

Cocoa Roças, Corallo and the Chocolate Factory

At the beginning of the century. In the XNUMXth century, São Tomé and Príncipe generated more cocoa than any other territory. Thanks to the dedication of some entrepreneurs, production survives and the two islands taste like the best chocolate.
Ooty, Tamil Nadu, Bollywood Scenery, Heartthrob's Eye
Ooty, India

In Bollywood's Nearly Ideal Setting

The conflict with Pakistan and the threat of terrorism made filming in Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh a drama. In Ooty, we see how this former British colonial station took the lead.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
Aurora lights up the Pisang Valley, Nepal.
Annapurna Circuit: 3rd- Upper Banana, Nepal

An Unexpected Snowy Aurora

At the first glimmers of light, the sight of the white mantle that had covered the village during the night dazzles us. With one of the toughest walks on the Annapurna Circuit ahead of us, we postponed the match as much as possible. Annoyed, we left Upper Pisang towards Escort when the last snow faded.
Early morning on the lake

Nantou, Taiwan

In the Heart of the Other China

Nantou is Taiwan's only province isolated from the Pacific Ocean. Those who discover the mountainous heart of this region today tend to agree with the Portuguese navigators who named Taiwan Formosa.

Sunset, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio

days like so many others

Cliffs above the Valley of Desolation, near Graaf Reinet, South Africa
Graaf-Reinet, South Africa

A Boer Spear in South Africa

In early colonial times, Dutch explorers and settlers were terrified of the Karoo, a region of great heat, great cold, great floods and severe droughts. Until the Dutch East India Company founded Graaf-Reinet there. Since then, the fourth oldest city in the rainbow nation it thrived at a fascinating crossroads in its history.
Fort Galle, Sri Lanka, Ceylon Legendary Taprobana
Galle, Sri Lanka

Galle Fort: A Portuguese and then Dutch (His) story

Camões immortalized Ceylon as an indelible landmark of the Discoveries, where Galle was one of the first fortresses that the Portuguese controlled and yielded. Five centuries passed and Ceylon gave way to Sri Lanka. Galle resists and continues to seduce explorers from the four corners of the Earth.
Horses under a snow, Iceland Never Ending Snow Island Fire
Winter White
Husavik a Myvatn, Iceland

Endless Snow on the Island of Fire

When, in mid-May, Iceland already enjoys some sun warmth but the cold and snow persist, the inhabitants give in to an intriguing summer anxiety.
José Saramago in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain, Glorieta de Saramago
Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain (España)

José Saramago's Basalt Raft

In 1993, frustrated by the Portuguese government's disregard for his work “The Gospel According to Jesus Christ”, Saramago moved with his wife Pilar del Río to Lanzarote. Back on this somewhat extraterrestrial Canary Island, we visited his home. And the refuge from the portuguese censorship that haunted the writer.
Traveler above Jökursarlón icy lagoon, Iceland
Jökursarlón Lagoon, Vatnajökull Glacier, Iceland

The Faltering of Europe's King Glacier

Only in Greenland and Antarctica are glaciers comparable to Vatnajökull, the supreme glacier of the old continent. And yet, even this colossus that gives more meaning to the term ice land is surrendering to the relentless siege of global warming.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Torres del Paine, Dramatic Patagonia, Chile
Natural Parks
PN Torres del Paine, Chile

The Most Dramatic Patagonia

Nowhere is the southernmost reaches of South America so breathtaking as the Paine Mountains. There, a natural fort of granite colossi surrounded by lakes and glaciers protrudes from the pampa and submits to the whims of meteorology and light.
Military Religious, Wailing Wall, IDF Flag Oath, Jerusalem, Israel
UNESCO World Heritage
Jerusalem, Israel

A Festive Wailing Wall

The holiest place in Judaism is not only attended by prayers and prayers. Its ancient stones have witnessed the oath of new IDF recruits for decades and echo the euphoric screams that follow.
View from the top of Mount Vaea and the tomb, Vailima village, Robert Louis Stevenson, Upolu, Samoa
Upolu, Samoa

Stevenson's Treasure Island

At age 30, the Scottish writer began looking for a place to save him from his cursed body. In Upolu and the Samoans, he found a welcoming refuge to which he gave his heart and soul.
Machangulo, Mozambique, sunset
Machangulo, Mozambique

The Golden Peninsula of Machangulo

At a certain point, an ocean inlet divides the long sandy strip full of hyperbolic dunes that delimits Maputo Bay. Machangulo, as the lower section is called, is home to one of the most magnificent coastlines in Mozambique.
Ulugh Beg, Astronomer, Samarkand, Uzbekistan, A Space Marriage
Samarkand, Uzbekistan

The Astronomer Sultan

The grandson of one of the great conquerors of Central Asia, Ulugh Beg, preferred the sciences. In 1428, he built a space observatory in Samarkand. His studies of the stars led him to name a crater on the Moon.
The Toy Train story
On Rails
Siliguri a Darjeeling, India

The Himalayan Toy Train Still Running

Neither the steep slope of some stretches nor the modernity stop it. From Siliguri, in the tropical foothills of the great Asian mountain range, the Darjeeling, with its peaks in sight, the most famous of the Indian Toy Trains has ensured for 117 years, day after day, an arduous dream journey. Traveling through the area, we climb aboard and let ourselves be enchanted.
cozy Vegas
Las Vegas, USA

World Capital of Weddings vs Sin City

The greed of the game, the lust of prostitution and the widespread ostentation are all part of Las Vegas. Like the chapels that have neither eyes nor ears and promote eccentric, quick and cheap marriages.
Women with long hair from Huang Luo, Guangxi, China
Daily life
Longsheng, China

Huang Luo: the Chinese Village of the Longest Hairs

In a multi-ethnic region covered with terraced rice paddies, the women of Huang Luo have surrendered to the same hairy obsession. They let the longest hair in the world grow, years on end, to an average length of 170 to 200 cm. Oddly enough, to keep them beautiful and shiny, they only use water and rice.
Devils Marbles, Alice Springs to Darwin, Stuart hwy, Top End Path
Alice Springs to Darwin, Australia

Stuart Road, on its way to Australia's Top End

Do Red Center to the tropical Top End, the Stuart Highway road travels more than 1.500km lonely through Australia. Along this route, the Northern Territory radically changes its look but remains faithful to its rugged soul.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.