29 September, 2009

Brazil's Gold Trail / El Camino del Oro de Brasil

The namoradeiras of Brazil / Las namoradeiras de Brasil

(Written in August 2009) Up and down the hills I climbed and descended through Ouro Prêto's ancient cobblestone streets, occasionally accompanied by a chorus of church bells. In many ways the mountains and the sky around this Portuguese colonial town reminded me of northern New Mexico.

Every sixty minutes, the Church of Our Lady of Carmen (Nossa Senhora do Carmo), which straddles one of the more prominent hills of the city and overlooks Praça Tiradentes, Ouro Prêto's main town square, would ring in the new hour. But instead of the orderly bells of North American or European cathedrals, those of Ouro Prêto were somehow different - perhaps more spontaneous. Like that of an Indian marching band, with whom each note is more casually and individually articulated but somehow would harmonize to produce music, the bells of Ouro Prêto seemed to celebrate the joie de vivre that is unique only to Brazil.

St. Francis of Assissi Church, Ouro Prêto / La Iglesia de San Francisco de Asís, Ouro Prêto

Just the previous week, I was in Paraty, in Rio de Janeiro State. As the port that transferred Brazil's wealth to Lisbon, Paraty's architecture expressed the exuberance of the colonial Portuguese and their old world masters, but perhaps not the despair of the African slaves who labored this land.

The Paraty Habor / El Puerto de Paraty

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(Escrito agosto 2009) Subía y descendía por los callejónes de adoquínes antiguos de Ouro Prêto, ocasionalmente me acompañaba un coro de las campanas de las iglesias. En muchos sentidos las montañas y el cielo de este pueblo colonial portugués me recordían del norte de Neuvo Mexico.

Tiradentes Square, Ouro Prêto / Plaza Tiradentes, Ouro Prêto

Cada sesenta minutos, la Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Carmen, la que se sienta una de las colinas del pueblo más prominente y da a Praça Tiradentes, la plaza principal de Ouro Prêto, sonaran en la nueva hora. Pero en vez de las campanas ordenadas de las catedrales norteamericanas o europeas, las de Ouro Prêto eran diferentes por alguna razón – quizás más espontáneas. Como lo de una banda de India, con el que cada nota es expresada individualmente y con más informalidad pero con alguna manera armonizarían para realizar música, las campanas de Ouro Prêto paracía celebrar la única alegría de vivir de Brasil.

Solamente la semana anterior, estaba en Paraty del Estado de Rio de Janeiro. Como el puerto que exportaba la riqueza de Brasil a Lisboa, la arquitectura de Paraty expresaba la exuberancia de los colonos portugueses y sus señores, pero quizás no las desesperaciónes de los esclavos africanos que trabajaban esta tierra.

Captain "Jack Sparrow" of Paraty / El Capitan "Jack Sparrow" de Paraty

3 comments:

Baino said...

They love their colours. What's the story behind the first pic? Interesting? I'm followin on FB, looks like you're having a fantastic time!

TCL said...

You mean the namoradeiras? I asked a local and was told that a while ago the Brazilian fathers didn't allow their daughters to leave the house to meet boys. So they can only sit at their windows and "fall in love" with the boys outside. I quite liked the story.

Quickroute said...

You've seen more of Brasil than i have - must retrace your steps in the near future. Good pics!