Dating back to the late eighteenth century, according to some historians, or to the early nineteenth, the typical boats from the São Francisco River in the states of Minas Gerais and Bahia (the sertão) had these big-eyed, zooanthropomorphic figureheads. One of the most famous sculptors was Francisco Guarany, who was born in 1884 and lived to a very ripe old age...still sculpting away. The Casa França-Brasil museum in downtown Rio has exhibited some of these dramatic sculptures; you can also see some of them decorating Roberto Burle Marx's home near Rio. For pictures of the São Francisco River, go to our Penedo page.
Music & Folklore
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