Brazilian Roots is a project that uses cross-over activities including drama, craft and games to introduce children to the rich culture of Brazil. This includes the native history and traditions of the Amazonian Native People, their rich folklore, and the modern-day colourful and vibrant life of Carnival in other parts of Brazil. These workshops underline the importance of celebrating life through festivals.
Brazilian Roots – Carnival is a series of drama, arts and dance workshops aimed at children 8 – 12 year old. Sessions are developed on the theme of traditions, rich folklore tales and Amazon Native History. Brazilian Carnival Roots is inspired from and refers to modern issues of the destruction of nature, its beauty and resources and the harmonious living of various creatures sharing the same space (addressing racial and social discrimination).
The head pieces and costume accessories are inspired by a) the way Europeans influenced the lives of Native Brazilians b) the influence of world-wide immigrant communities in Brazil, Native Brazilians, folklore tales and stories about the forests, rivers, people, animals and the ocean.
The two main stories explored during the workshops were 1. Curupira; a boy who lives in the forest, protecting its destruction by setting traps and haunting animal hunters and 2. Festa No Ceu; a party in the sky where only tropical birds are invited but a frog wants to join as well, the frog manages to go to the party and shows the birds how much fun a frog can be.
The workshops not only explore the significance of its colourful costumes, dance, music and folklore tales in a very practical way, but also introduce the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of Carnival Celebrations.
Introduces children to Brazilian culture, including Amazon Native people history, traditions and their rich folklore tales. Our workshops tackle the importance of preserving our environment and the importance of celebrating life through festivals.
Brazilian Roots Amazon Forest is inspired from and refers to modern issues, such as preserving our nature and habitat, cultural integration and sharing cultural origins and beliefs. The workshops are aimed at children 8 – 12 year old.
What is folklore? What is myth? Themes such as cultural festivals, stories about mythological cows all around the world: Kamadhenu in India; Hathor in Egypt; Ushi Oni in Japan; Minotaur in Greece and of course the Brazilian Bumba-Meu-Boi amongst others.
The Dancing Cow is a project based on traditional figure in Brazilian Festivals, and can be seen in the Carnival, Christmas, religious celebrations and many other festivals. The cow is a mythical creature which crosses borders and helps bring individuals together through its historical and mythological roots. The workshops combining drama and craft allowed the children to explore old stories and create their own mythological cow story as well as building their own cow. The project culminated with performances by all the children participating in the project.
“…bringing a breath of fresh air to formal education. This project proved successful for offering to the participants an enjoyable and participative way of learning. Within the process children were extremely stimulated in expressing their feelings and their creativity, in sharing experiences, in learning about different cultures and in integrating in a group work. Throughout the project the participants verbalised their enthusiasm and motivation through the creative process. We believe that the playful character of the workshops promoted a positive and exciting atmosphere, which allowed the participants to engage fully in a kind of alternative learning process. The school staff and teachers also recognised that this type of work brings a breath of fresh air to formal education.”
(David Plews, teacher from Deptford Park Primary School)
The project reached over 200 students in Lewisham and Lambeth in 2008 and 2009 and was supported by Help A London Child (Capital Radio) and Peter Minet Trust.