Tradition for over 20 years: See what Queima do Tambores is like in Taquaruçu
In Taquaruçu musicians gather for Queima dos Tambores. The ritual, which emerged in the district of Palmas more than 20 years ago, mixes cultures and rhythms that give rise to the capoeboicongo. When burning, a space is opened for people to make requests in search of turn what is bad into something good. (See moments of the ritual in the video above)
The event, always held one week before carnival, is scheduled for this Saturday (3), from 7pm to 9pm, at Ponto de Cultura TabokaGrande.
O g1 spoke with master Wertemberg Nunes, organizer of the event, who explained how the ritual is done, the history and cultures that make the burning a special moment.
During Queima dos Tambores, musicians and the public gather around the fire, which is lit in Turimbó (in Tupu-gurani “Turi” which means bonfire, “curi” is hollow wood and “m’bo” means holed). The first act is the moment when people make the request and throw a wood chip (piece of wood) into the fire, which will then be lit. If it burns, it means the request has been granted.
“People take a chip that we give at the opening and attribute something bad to it that they want to burn and then ask it to be turned into something good. They only light the fire after everyone present who wants to make the request throws the chip. Some do it in silence and others share. There are people who already know and even bring a written request. Others who ask relatives and the tram goes along, we tell stories and poems”, he said.
The entire process is linked to fire, from the production of instruments to the burning of orders. Wertemberg explains that the drums are made from wooden trunks and undergo baptism before burning.
“After being worked on, the drum comes to the fire to finish and goes for skin armoring and then comes for tuning in the fire. That’s why in the burning before the drums play for the first time, consecration in the fire is done, a kind of baptism , and when one day it has to be discarded, it goes to the fire to be deactivated”.
Just as logs are transformed into drums, wood chips are transformed into orders. The idea of making this connection with production and the spiritual came from Wertemberg’s eldest son.
“My eldest son made an analogy that the chip represented something bad for us and that when placed in the Turimbó it would burn and transform into something good. This gesture was followed by everyone present and since then the Turimbó, which transforms a wooden trunk into an instrument that purifies wood with fire, has become what transforms our requests for good”, explained the master.
Despite being part of the program that precedes the carnival in Taquaruçu, the burning is not considered a pre-carnival event. But that doesn’t mean it should be ignored by revelers. According to Wertemberg, the burning is a great opportunity to place good orders before the holidays.
“You could say it’s a kind of opening. A moment to cleanse yourself and concentrate on the good and turn to the wonder of living and then to play carnival with health and joy. It has always been a proposal for offer alternatives and reflection on the balance between our different cultures, between human culture and nature. People sometimes came with the carnival spirit and when they arrived they were enchanted”.
Amazonian experiences and ancestry
The idea for Queima dos Tambores was born from Wertemberg’s research and experiences about his ancestry in the Amazon region, during his travels throughout Brazil. It was through this knowledge that the rhythm emerged capoeboicongoa mix of capoeira, boi and congados.
“As an artist I thought I should let each person [ritmo] stay in your place and transform what served us as creative, to what capoeboicongo became. From there comes the wheel, the fire, the drums dialogue with all these matrices, the principle of death and resurrection of the ox, the singing and prayer of the congados. The ox comes from the influence of the matraca oxen from Maranhão. Everything mixes and transforms, giving new meaning, without being any of them and at the same time almost a tribute for being intrinsically within each one of us”, he explained.
The event has always been held one week before carnival, since 2001, in the District of Taquaruçu. Initially it was carried out together with the TabokaGrande block, which later became the Gigantes de Palmas.