Brazil was discovered in 1500 by the Portuguese and with 8.5 million square kilometers it is the largest country of Latin America and the only one on the American continent where Portuguese is spoken. Until 1822 it remained a Portuguese colony, 1889 it became a republic.
In between 1534 and 1888, the year when slavery was abolished, about 5 million slaves from Africa were transported into the northeast of Brazil to work on the sugar cane plantations.
Brazil is a meeting of three races:
... and with that a mingling of the three continents America, Europe, and Africa. This generated a culture, which is rich in rhythms and body language. It finds its expression in a multitude of gestures and dances.
The Afrobrazilian culture of the streetsAFOXÉ - "Candomblé in the street"
The Afoxés developed from the folguedos (fraternities) participating in the catholic processions.
While the processions were dominated by Portuguese influences, the blacks attempted to integrate with the AFOXÉS their traditions of African religions with their dances, rhythms and songs in the Yorubá language into the context of carnival.
BLOCOS AFRO - "The Reafricanization movement for self-discovery"
The Blocos Afro emerged from the 1970ies.
Within carnival the Blocos Afro offered a possibility for identification to the blacks. In contrast to many white carnival groups, who refused black participation, Ile Aiyé was the first exclusively black group.
For exactly this reason it became an antetype for many subsequent Blocos, which carried the emerging black self-esteem into the streets and demonstrated it in public.
The Bloco Afro Malê de Balê, founded on March 23 1979, is known as the first carnival unit of this category, which brought various dancing groups into the streets.
"The Afrobrasilian cultur of the streets!"