Rio de Janeiro and Popular Culture

Luiz Antonio Simas

is a historian and writer with several published books about the cultures of the African diaspora in Rio de Janeiro.

Multiple Rio

The writer Marques Rebelo said that a city is made up of many cities. In this sense, the cities that form Rio de Janeiro - in tense and intense ways - interact all the time with the force of the plurality inscribed on the differences and meetings that forged the carioca popular culture.

We live, after all, in the land of Tamoios that, when it had become a city, attended the meeting among all the peoples of Congo and Angola which interacted here with people from many Africas, in order to invent many Rios - side by side with Minho people, beirões, Alentejo, Algarve, Trásmontanos, Azorians, Madeira, Italians of many provenances, Jews and Gypsies of Praça Onze.

One of the cities that we are, is the one created by those who arrived in slave ships to drum their drums through the big night, striking the asphalt with the swing of the samba, climbing up the San Carlos and the steps of Penha, crying they revived their horses in the forests and waterfalls, celebrating their dead in the palm of their hands.

Let it be as well, like the others - sung and enchanted in Rio people’s memory places.