Pirenópolis, Brazil

Brazilian Crusades

baby among kings
Baby gets scared when he finds himself elevated between the Moorish and the Christian kings, at the end of Cavalhadas.
artisan of the divine
Resident of Pirenópolis touches up part of the armor to be used by King Moor during Cavalhadas.
Right in
Moorish knight stabs a head and earns points during one of several races.
Curucucus figures
Silhouettes of masked people in the streets of the historic center of Pirenópolis.
Moorish knight submits to a Christian after the defeat of the Moors in Cavalhadas.
Pirenópolis Cavalhódromo
Masked people ride in the Cavalhódromo de Pirenópolis.
King Christian's mother finishes the costume worn by her son in the approaching Cavalhadas.
baby and moorish costume
Baby passes along with King Moor's costume on the farm of the pyrenopoline chosen for this role of 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
Mascarado poses at the entrance of a gas station in Pirenópolis.
anxious masked
Band of masked people waits for new permission to enter the scene at Cavalhadas de Pirenópolis.
Spectators follow the action of Cavalhadas in an improvised booth at Cavalhódromo de Pirenópolis.
eccentric goal
Masquerade drinks beer through one of the holes in his mask's nose.
Público follows the gallop of a Moorish rider during a ride of Cavalhadas.
masked shadow
Shadow of a group of masked people behind the scenes at Cavalhódromo.
Ser Pompey
Presenter of Cavalhadas sees himself surrounded by masked.
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 people open the way for the solemn cavalcade of the Christian and Moorish “armies” heading to the newly built Cavalhódromo de Pirenópolis.

The benches are pine cones. The almost divine voice of producer and presenter Sôr Pompeu echoes, in the midst of announcing the inauguration procession. Made up of musicians and majorettes, the parade circles the pitch and welcomes the audience.

It is led by a hot girl from the land adorned with ribbons.

Once the journey has been completed, the high point of the embassies and battles event has a green light.

Finally, we realized the reason for so much previous rehearsal. The choreographies are complex and tedious. There are twists and turns, also sudden confrontations, withdrawals and endless dialogues uttered in a playback thunder that requires the gestural accompaniment of kings and ambassadors.

The Crazy Folia of the Curucucus Masked

To lighten the spectacle, the doors are opened to the madness of the masked. These invade at a gallop and, whenever their time is up, they resist expulsion from the turf as if they were a third army.

“These Masquerades are going to have to leave anyway. You can't be delaying any longer!" echoes from the loudspeakers the increasingly impatient Ser Pompeu.

cavalhodromo, pirenopolis cavalhadas, cruzades, brazil

Masked people ride in the Cavalhódromo de Pirenópolis.

The 20 minutes of mad riding around the enclosure that he had granted him have long since passed. Exaggerations are 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 Cavalhadas are made of the surrender and devotion, both religious and profane, of its participants. Everyone tolerates Moorish and Christian knights shining too brightly.

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

The traditional irreverence of curucucus derives from their presence, both bastard and late, in Cavalhadas.

mounted wait, cavalhadas de pirenopolis, cruzades, brazil

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

For many years, as it did not take place in battles fought like a medieval tournament, the populace they represent was a mere spectator of the ceremonies carried out by the wealthy and powerful.

Once their participation was legitimized, protected by cartoonish and colorful disguises (man's and ox's heads, unicorns, jaguars, etc.) and by almost imperceptible whispers, the Masquerades proved difficult to control.

silhouettes of masked people, cavalhadas from pirenopolis, cruzades, brazil

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

The Battle in Medieval Tournament Mode of Cavalhadas

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

Puppets' heads were put in to be blown open to test the knights' mastery of using the spear and … the pistol, an anachronism not detected or that nobody cared about.

There is also the ring test, a medieval classic that heightens the suspense each time the knights, at a gallop, raise their spears.

knight jab head, pirenopolis cavalhadas, cruzades, brazil

Moorish knight stabs a head and earns points during one of several races.

Points are scored. In the end, for reasons of historical fidelity, Christians always win. To consummate the triumph of the faithful, the Moors surrender and submit, on their knees, to the swords of the Crusaders. There follows an alignment, on foot, of the riders who receive greetings from friends and family.

When the Festa das Cavalhadas returns to Pirenópolis

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

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

This gift allows masked people to take over the wide streets.

They ride through them meaningless. They only stop to pose for the public's photos and ask for small contributions for the purchase of their fuel: the cold beer.

masked people drink beer, cavalhadas from pirenopolis, cruzades, brazil

Masquerade drinks beer through one of the holes in his mask's nose.

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

When night falls, the knights regain their prominence. By that time, together, Moors and Christians ride and unload their pistols into the air. 

The final ritual – by far the noisiest – establishes the official closing of the Cavalhadas and restores Pirenópolis to the peace of God.

Until the month of May next year. 

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

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

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

public at the tournament, cavalhadas de pirenopolis, crusades, brazil

Público follows the gallop of a Moorish rider during a ride of Cavalhadas.

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

The Popular Staging of Father Manuel Amâncio da Luz

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

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 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 finds himself elevated between the Moorish and the Christian kings, at the end of Cavalhadas.

On the other hand, the show from an early age 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 of Pirenópolis

This reality went against the general passion of the local population for horses and horseback riding. Such 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 in a field of earth marked with lime. Participants wore period military uniforms instead of current medieval costumes.

The commitment that the Pyreneopolis 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 armor.

seamstress, cavalhadas from pirenopolis, cruzades, brazil

King Christian's mother finishes the costume worn by her son in the approaching Cavalhadas.

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

audience and spectators, cavalhadas de pirenopolis, crusades, brazil

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

When we talk to Toninho's wife – an emblematic ex-king Mouro – we find out that the party was not always confined to the city or even to the Brazilian state of Goiás.

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

Dª Telma tells us that, in 2005, the year of Brazil was celebrated in France. On this occasion, the Gallic organization invited a delegation of 30 Pyreneopolis - to the chagrin of the city's wives, all men - to Whipped Cream (a fine historic village within walking distance of Paris).

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

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

For obvious logistical reasons, the Pyreneopolis horses stayed at home. And the knights of Cavalhadas 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 turned out to be anything but peaceful. In the lands of “Piri”, horses were treated by force, with whips and spurs.

In Chantilly, the Brazilian knights, used to the superiority of their role as kings and nobles, found themselves reprimanded for the slightest touch they gave to French animals and were indignant whenever local keepers, like 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 kisses, the offered to the horses when the animals passed tests…”

artisan, cavalhadas from pirenopolis, crusades, brazil

Resident of Pirenópolis touches up part of the armor to be used by King Moor during Cavalhadas.

The Pyreneopolises continued to resist. And the French nearly collapsed when they found that they not only insisted on their cruel procedures towards horses, they devoured the lumps of sugar.

Back home, the “effeminate” Europeans' treatment of animals remained a topic of conversation and laughter until the following Cavalhadas, when Charlemagne's powerful and Pyrepolitan 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.
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The Flooded Brazil of Passo do Lontra

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The Divine Purification Festival

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There's a Feast in the Thar Desert

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The Nepalese Masks of Life

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Bacolod, Philippines

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Make-believe stars

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Annapurna (circuit)
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hacienda mucuyche, Yucatan, Mexico, canal
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orthodox procession
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XXL Pacific

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Swimming, Western Australia, Aussie Style, Sun rising in the eyes
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Eternal Spring Shrine

Taroko George

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Martian Scenery of the White Desert, Egypt
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The Egyptian Shortcut to Mars

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Portfolio, Got2Globe, Best Images, Photography, Images, Cleopatra, Dioscorides, Delos, Greece
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Early morning on the lake

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Maksim, Sami people, Inari, Finland-2
Winter White
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Cove, Big Sur, California, United States
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Walter Peak, Queenstown, New Zealand
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Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
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autumn in the caucasus

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Ostrich, Cape Good Hope, South Africa
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At the end of the afternoon
UNESCO World Heritage
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The Island of Ali Musa Bin Bique. Pardon... of Mozambique

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now from above ladder, sorcerer of new zealand, Christchurch, new zealand
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Executives sleep subway seat, sleep, sleep, subway, train, Tokyo, Japan
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Street Bar, Fremont Street, Las Vegas, United States
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Fruit sellers, Swarm, Mozambique
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Enxame Mozambique

Mozambican Fashion Service Area

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Lake Manyara, National Park, Ernest Hemingway, Giraffes
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Full Dog Mushing
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