Art and Culture|
Writers and Poets
Josué de Sousa Montello was born in São Luís on August 21st,
1917. Montello is a novel wright, playwright, ensaísta e
polígrafo - a very learned man. He is doubtlessly the most
famous name of his generation of Maranhense intellectuals.
Montello was the Inspector of Commercial Education, and
Education Technician, the Director of the Courses of the
National Library, General Secretary of Maranhão, General
Director of the National Library and Vice-Chief of the Civil
Gabinet of the President. He was dean of Brazilian Studies at
the University of San Marcos (in Lima, Peru - which named him "honoris
causa" professor), and is a member of the Brazilian Lisbon
Institute and of the Geographical and Historic Institute of
Pará, as well as an effective member of the Literature Academies
of Maranhão (place no. 31, of Raimundo Lopes) and Brazil (place
no. 29, of Martins Pena). The enormous list of publications of
Josué Montello include short stories, novels, literary essays,
plays, children literature, pedagogy and bookkeeping works, and
historic studies. In his works, the use of direct, fluent and
clear language as well as the importance given to the flow of
the story and the detailed psychological features of the
characters show his commitment with traditional ways of
narration. His novels also bring descriptions of social customs
of São Luís, where most of them locate their ploys.
Joaquim de Sousa Andrade, who decided to call himself
Sousândrade , was born in the Farm Nossa Senho-ra da Vitória, in
the prefecture of Guimarães (MA), on July, 9th, 1832 and died in
São Luís on April 21st, 1902. His family was very rich, but he
lost his parents very early. He did his first studies in São
Luís and then went to Rio de Janeiro to study Medicine, which he
quit after a short time. Following, he went to France, where he
enrolled in Sorbonne to Study Language and Engineering.
Sousândrade, after having visited many other European countries,
returned to Maranhão, visited the Amazon and then lived in the
United States for more than ten years, where he followed the
education of his daughter, Maria Barbara. After all this
traveling, Sousândrade definitely came back to São Luís in 1885.
During this period, he rarely left the city.
Abolitionist and republican, Sousândrade was the first mayor of
São Luís, right after the establishment of the Republic. He is
also the creator of the Maranhense flag.
Sousândrade was a poet of great expression powers. He's the
author of very personal and innovative works, being considered
one of the forerunners of Modern Poetry in Brazil.
Sousândrade wrote a Pan-American epic, The Guesa, in which he
worked all his life. He also published Harpas Selvagens (Wild
Harps - 1857), O Novo Éden (New Eden - 1893) and many other
volumes of poetry and songs of The Guesa, his masterpiece. Two
books, Harpa de Ouro (Golden Harp) and Liras Perdidas (Lost
Lires), were only published in 1970 for the first time.
From the reddish sides of the round ocean
with its light wings holding Earth
I have seen the sun rise young and beautiful
disordely by the golden shoulders
The luminous perfumed coma
on the faces of the warmth which raises love
the coral smile left errant
don't bring around me your thunderbolt
stop the fire sun
You, who before in sincere songs I used to greet
at this time of hope
stand up and go without listening to my lyre
when infant at the bottom of the asleep orange tree
bedew flowers raining
odors inside the branch and the beautiful fruit
In my parents'land I woke up
my sisters smiling and the song and perfume
and the whisper of ruby mango tree
it was your rays that first came to touch me
the cords of white lute at my timid knees lament.
(Harpas Selvagens / 1857 ¾ Wild Harps / 1857)
Antônio Gonçalves Dias, was born on August 10th, 1823, in Caxias
(MA) and died on November 3rd, 1864 on the Maranhense shore, in
the wreck of the ship that brought him from France, the Ville de
Gonçalves Dias graduated in Law in the University of Coimbra,
Portugal and returned to Maranhão in 1845. In the following
year, he went to Rio de Janeiro, where he started his literary
career which would soon rise him to the position of the greatest
Brazilian Poet at that time.
Besides his important scientific work in the field of
ethnography, such as the Dictionary of the Tupi Language, his
memoirs Brazil and Oceania and the novels Patkull, Beatriz
Cenci, Leonor de Mendonça and Boabdil, Gonçalves Dias wrote one
of the most important works of Brazilian poetry ever, gathered
in a single volume, Cantos (1857), which comprises Os Primeiros
Cantos (First Chants- 1846), Segundos Cantos (Second Chants),
Sextilhas de Frei Antão (1848) and Últimos Cantos (Last Chants -
1851). He left unfinished Os Timbiras, an epic poem that would
be composed by sixteen chants, of which only four were published
There are palms in my land
where the sabiá* merrily sings
The birds singing here
will never sing like over there
Our skies show more stars
Our fields, more flowers
Our woods gather more life
Our lives, much more love
When thinking alone at night
Much more pleasure I find there
There are palms in my land
where the sabiá merrily sings
My land has gifts
which I cannot find here
When thinking alone at night
Much more pleasure I find there
There are palms in my land
where the sabiá merrily sings
Oh, God, don't let me die
before I get back there,
without enjoying the pleasures
that I cannot find here
without seeing the palms
where the sabiá merrily sings.
Coimbra, July 1841
(*sabiá - a common and very appreciated singing bird in
O, warriors of the sacred Taba*
O, warriors of the Tupi tribe
The Gods speak in the Chants of Piaga
O, warriors, hear my chants!
Tonight - the moon had already set -
Anhangá did not let me dream
In the horrible cave where I live
a hoarse voice called me
I open my eyes, uneasy and fearful,
Manitôs! What wonders I saw!
The wood of smoky resin burning,
It was not me, I did not light it
And then a ghost comes form under my feet
A huge, enormous ghost
A bare skull lies by my side,
An horrendous snake rolls on the ground.
My blood freezes in my veins
I shook entirely, blood and flesh
All my members shivered
and I felt cold on my face
It was ugly, evil, horrible
O, warriors, the ghost I saw
The Gods speak in the Chants of Piaga
O, warriors, hear my chants!
(* Taba : Indian hut)
José Américo Olímpio Augusto Cavalcante dos Albuquerques
Maranhão Sobrinho was born in Barra Do Corda, Maranhão, on
December 30th 1879 and died in Manaus on December 25th 1915. He
was a member and founder of the Maranhense Academy of Literature
and became the patron of its 21st place.
Maranhão Sobrinho was one of the most important Brazilian
symbolists and wrote in newspapers of São Luís, Belém and
Manaus. He published his verses in Papéis Velhos (Old Papers -
1908), Estatuetas (Statues - 1909) and Vitórias Régias (Victoria
regia - 1911).
Among cruel clouds of purple and geranium
reddish as blood as an ancient Greek soldier,
the sun, defeated, goes down the uranium plain
of twilight, mute as a retired Essene
Fast as a wild horse, flying as in a myth
trembling, the light of the afternoon oxygen
fades away, reminding me of Mallarmé's
eyes, under the blessings of sadness and genialness
The onyx of shadows grows in the tragic decline
of the day in which, resembling pirates in the Ionic sea,
puts in twilight purple lights of murder
And then nights comes, whit remembrances of a sea of bad luck
tears the strange mansion of Death and the Devil
with the Medieval shades of Night
(from the Book 'Papéis Velhos' ¾ Old Papers)
Francisco de Assis Garrido was born in São Luís on December
14th, 1889 and died in the same city on De-cember 1st 1969. He
was a member of the Maranhense Academy of Literature, where he
occupied the fourth place. Among other books, Assis Garrido
published Sol Glorioso (Glorious Sun - 1922), O meu livro de
mágoa e ternura (My book of sorrow and tenderness - 1923), O
livro de minha loucura (The book of my insanity - 1923), A
divina mentira (The Divine Lie - 1944) and Crepúsculo (Sunset -
O, Goddess, on your feet I put my beliefs!
Woman, I search you, I love you, I desire you!
For your nudity - the clothes of my dreams,
for your voluptuousness - the fire of my kiss
Divine human figure, impure and caste, the sad look,
Loose hair, naked body - as I see you -
Give me all the heat of the verses I compose
And fill me with joy as I struggle for life
I praise you, for you have sung the hymns of Love
and came form the sea, white, light and shining,
for the pagan heritage of my Latin blood!
I praise you, for you are attached to the soul of men
For the celebration of your astonishing flesh
and eternal harmony of form and beauty!
(In Anthology of Maranhense Academy of Literature - 1958)
Odylo Costa Filho was born in São Luís on December 14th 1914 and
died in Rio de Janeiro on August 19th, 1979. Costa Filho was an
essayist, novelist, journalist and poet. He was on of the most
outstanding men in the press of Brazil at his time and was a
member both of the Brazilian and Maranhense Academies of
Author of these poems : Tempo de Lisboa e outros poemas (1967 -
Lisboa Time and Another poems), Cantiga Incompleta (1971 -
Uncompleted Song), Notícias de Amor (1974 - News about love),
Boca da Noite (1979 - The Night's Mouth).
That empty mansion that waits for me
has outer walls that resemble the flame
that comes from the square outside
spilling itself into the bottom of the souls
But I will know how to do it well
and from the hands stretched towards the world
to its panels filled with tiles
sparrows will come from the wide skies
I will have my heart in this mansion
Our love will walk through these streets
and lay on the high-grown grass
that lies on the basalt walls
and on the beaches, in the warm tenderness
of the waters, rest forever.
(Notícias de Amor, 1977)
Manoel Caetano Bandeira de Mello
,born in Caxias on June 30th,
1916, lives in Rio de Janeiro today. Journa-list, professor,
translator and poet, Bandeira de Mello is a member of the
Maranhense Academy of Literature.
Bandeira de Mello published many poetry books: A Viagem Humana
(The Human Voyage - 1960), O Mergulha-dor (the Diver - 1963),
Canções da Morte e do Amor (Songs of Death and Love - 1968), Da
Humana Promessa (Of the Human Promise - 1976), Uma Canção à
Beira Mar (A Song by the Shore - 1977), Durante o Canto (During
the Chant - 1978), A Estrada das Estrelas (The Road to the Stars
- 1981), Da Constante Canção (Of the Constant Song - 1983) and
Outono Estação do Amor (Autumn: Season of Love - 1987).
O Mergulhador, composed by 15 sonnets, was named after this one:
Manoel Caetano Bandeira de Mello
Supported by wires and by yourself you are
in distances that shut down the sea
All the immense appeal calling you
does not efface the fading body
For the ocean emerges to claim you
from the air where it is born
a new story for the look that loves
the jump which stays in itself
Involved in its own movement
dancing on parallel lines
made of fictitious traces
go the waves, taken by the wind
but the shape of your body in the space
remains on the ashes of other pictures
Roberto Kenard Fernandes Rios was born in São Luís on October
18th, 1958. A journalist, he is the author of many penetrating
texts published in the press. Kenard was awarded many literary
prizes in São Luís and other Brazilian capitals.
Besides featuring in Poetical Anthologies, he published the
following books: No Meio da Vida (In the Middle of Life), Ao
Lado Esquerdo do Corpo (On the Left Side of the Body) and O
Camaleão no Espelho (The Chameleon on the Mirror).
A lyrically-bearded poet
in the bar
beware of the wind
his very intimate leaves
won't resist a soft blow
The waiter will soon remove
the heart over the table
a boat moors at the pier
a heart's place is in the chest
curió* exposed to the tourists
the bourgeoise woman,
lipstick and make up,
raises her arm,
the waiter passes by as a heron
the old poet shouts:
liturgy of the useless!
Everything falls down,
the razor-winged wind
on the gray, provincial afternoon.
(curió - a very appreciated singing bird)
(The Chameleon on the Mirror, 1990)
Bernardo Coelho de Almeida (São Bernardo (MA) 6/13/1927 - São
Paulo 8/4/1996) was a journalist, orator, novelist and poet. He
was a member of Academia Maranhense de Letras (Maranhense
Academy of Literature). Almeida is the author of novels like A
Última Promessa (The Last Promise - 1968) and O Bequimão (1973).
He also gathered part of his chronicles in Galeria! (1961) and
published Éramos Felizes e Não Sabíamos (We were happy and
didn't know that - 1989) and poetry in Luz! Mais Luz! (Light!
More Light! - 1954) and A Gênese do Azul (The Genesis of Blue -
All the longing inside of me turns into
hands and sudden eyes in the well
where I quench, more tenderly,
the thirst of my juvenile wonderings
In a deep mirror the early virgin
strips and involves herself in strength
and every voice I can't hear
responds to the millennial echo that tortures me
A hidden face lays on my face
I don't know where it comes from, how far?
From the liquid roots of the rocks?
Or from me? If silence scares
as a song that would revive
buried idols form my childhood
(from The Genesis of Blue)
José Carlos Lago Burnett (São Luís 8/15/1929 - Rio de Janeiro
1/2/1995) was a very skillful journalist. He performed all
functions in his profession, becoming a master. Lago Burnett
wrote books that are considered clas-sics in the gender and also
gave speeches in courses of Journalism that were real classes
about writing in the press.
Besides various volumes in prose - including two of chronicles -
he published the following poetry books: Es-trela do Céu Perdido
(Star of the Lost Sky - 1949), O Ballet das Palavras (The Ballet
of the Words - 1951), Os Elementos do Mito (The Elements of the
Myth - 1953) and O Amor e Seus Derivados (Love and its
derivations - 1984).
When you went away, there was something
strange in me, I don't know what force
ran together with my soul and
soaked my eyes wet whit tears.
The whole street cried that day:
trees, rocks, the window
the post, on the corner, seemed to melt
whit an anguished light, as a black candle
You had a peaceful look. I saw, though,
deep inside yourself a wing of pain
flying over an enormous ocean of weeping
When you vanished, turning the corner of absence
the whole street, just like your house,
closed the doors to happiness.
(from Star of the Lost Sky)
Manuel de Jesus Lopes was born in Dom Pedro, Maranhão, on
October 2nd 1929 and graduated in Classic Literature by the
Federal University of Maranhão. Jesus Lopes is a professor,
journalist and a development techni-cian (his function at
SUDENE, where he worked until retiring). He is also a member of
the Maranhense Academy of Literature.
Jesus Lopes wrote technical works and poetry books - which
awarded him some literary prizes. His poetry is published in:
Voz no Silêncio (Voice in the Silence - 1953), Poemas de Agosto
(August Poems - 1955), Um Homem à Beira do Rio (A Man by the
River - 1961), Campo-ilha-urbs ou Canto Puro, com muito Amor,
para São Luís do Maranhão (Pure Song, with love to São Luís (MA)
1977) and Canção Itinerária (Itinerary Song - 1989).
The way was a short one, but you went fast
as if it were long and you didn't know
I repeatedly surprised you in this
constant trip over you bitter days
Your look was steady, your hands thick
I don't know of your pain because you smiled
and I saw you covering the road you went
with hope, promises and smiling
Ah! In such a fast run you could
have very little of life and
your hands, as your hopes, are empty
Now I see you: the march stops
your body bent over the white beard
It was a short way and you didn't know
(Itinerary Song, 1989)
José Sarney was born in Pinheiro, Maranhão, on April 24th 1930
and graduated in the Law School of Mara-nhão. He joined many
literary and student movements which began in that Institute.
Sarney started working with journalism and literature very soon.
He is a member both of the Maranhense and Brazilian Academies of
Literature and president of the first one - besides many other
cultural institutions throughout the world. José Sarney also
became a politician; he was a Congressman, Governor of Maranhão
and President of Brazil. Today he is the president of the
Sarney published, among other books, Norte das Águas (North of
the Waters, short stories - 1970), O Dono do Mar (the Owner of
the Sea, novel - 1995), Canção Inicial (Initial Song, poems -
1954) and Os Marimbondos de Fogo (Fire Wasps, poems).
The Bells of São Pantaleão
The square of São Pantaleão
the beginning of everything,
with the carillons
tolling for the dead
and chiming hallelujahs
On Madre Derus street
one couldn't hear bells
nor tower, nor sacristan
going up the stairway
where the angels, like
the clouds at night
and I, lived
Time was raw as meat
and there was in me
this hunger for
São Pantaleão square
and the commonplace of
Madre Deus street
This emptiness remained
with my desire to become a sailor
climbing the mountains of the sea
of everything my mouth hadn't tasted
and doubts that spilled over my hands
Tides and years passed by with me
Always the sun, the rain, the little orange tree
and sleeping rosemaries
inside my eyes closed
made me forget the sea,
the bells, the dawns and the missals
I returned to where it had begun
the eternal São Pantaleão square
and a bleeding Madre Deus.
Ferreira Gullar, literary name of José Ribamar Ferreira, was
born in São Luís in September 10th, 1930. Gullar is a
journalist, playwright, essayist, critic of arts and, mainly, a
poet - one of the greatest in Brazil today.
Gullar's poetry, gathered in Toda Poesia (All Poetry - 1980), is
composed by the following books: A Luta Corpo-ral (Bodily Fight
- 1954), O Vil Metal (Metal Base), Poemas Concretos/Neoconcretos
(Concrete/ Neo-concrete Poems - 1957-8), Romances de Cordel
(Cordel* Novels - 1962-5), Dentro da Noite Veloz (In the Fast
Night - 1962-75), Poema Sujo (Dirty Poem - 1975), Na vertigem do
dia (In the Dizziness of the Day - 1975-80) and Barulhos (Noises
- 1980-7). The author did not include here Um Pouco Acima do
Chão (A Bit Above the Ground - 1949), his first book, published
when he still lived in São Luís.
Of Seven Portuguese Poems
I promised myself I would have her
In spite of her forgiving me and making me blind
I searched her in the catastrophe of dawn,
in the fountain and in the wall where her face,
among mansions and sounding peace
of water and moss, is born.
However, everytime I approach she flees
as if she feared or hated me
I pursue her, then, soberly and dementedly
If I happen to see her feet behind a transparent afternoon,
they soon disappear in the space between clouds,
in a shining and agile way.
Vocabulary and body - fragile Deities -
I gather this absence that burns my hands
(From A Luta Corporal )
Nauro Diniz Machado was born in São Luís on August 2nd, 1935. He
was an essayist and, most of all, a poet. Machado first
published in 1958 and today has a bibliography of almost 30
titles. His first book, Campo sem Base was surely an important
event for the Brazilian Poetry. It would present the author to
fame and success, which were always confirmed by his following
books. They are: O Exercício do Caos (The Exercise of Chaos -
1961), Do Frustrado Órfico (Of the Frustrated Orphic - 1963),
Segunda Comunhão (Second Communion - 1964), Ouro notur-no (Night
Gold - 1965), Zoologia da Alma (Zoology of the Soul - 1966),
Necessidade do Divino (Necessity of the Divine - 1967), Noite
Ambulatória (Ambulatory Night - 1969), Do Eterno Indeferido (of
the Eternally Refused - 1971), Décimo Divisor Comum (Tenth
Common Divider - 1972), Testamento Provincial (Provincial Will -
1973), A Vigésima Aula (The 20th Class - 1974), Os Parreirais de
Deus (The Vineyards of God - 1975), Os Órgãos Apocalípticos (The
Apocalyptic Organs - 1976), A Antibiótica Nomenclatura do
Inferno (The Antibiotic Nomenclature of Hell - 1977), As Órbitas
da Água (The Orbits of Water - 1978), Masmorra Didática
(Didactic Dungeon - 1979), O Calcanhar do Humano (The heel of
the Human - 1981), O Cavalo deTróia (the Horse of Troy - 1982),
O Signo das Tetas (the Sign of the Tits - 1984), Apicerum da
Clausura (1985), Opus da Agonia (Opus of Agony - 1986), O
Anafilático Desespero da Esperança (Anaphylactic Despair of Hope
- 1987), A Rosa Blindada (Blinded Rose - .1989), Mar Abstêmio
(Abstemious Sea - 1991), Lamparina da Aurora (Lamp of Dawn -
1992) and Funil do Ser ( Funnel of Being - 1995).
My body is complete - the man, not the poet
But I wish, it is necessary
that I suffer and forge myself into a poet
that I now destroy what is superfluous and illusory
and have visions of my essence and of things
so that, afterwards; happy, battered but true,
I emerge with a poem
as a warning cry
being a poet is hard and long-lasting
and it takes a whole existence.
(From Campo sem Base - 1958)
Fernando Braga dos Santos Gamellas was born in São Luís on May
29th 1944. Fernando Braga is a lawyer and has been living in
Brasília for some years, where he still writes poems and prose,
besides literary studies.
Braga first published in 1967. The book was Silêncio Branco
(White Silence) and, from then on, many other works were
published. Some of them are: Ofício do Medo (Craft of Fear -
1977), O Exílio do Viajante (The Trave-ler's Exile - 1982) and
Campo Memória (Memorial Field - 1991).
My eyes emigrate to São Luís,
my terribly sad city
where half a sky hides
God's face from the glasses of the plain.
I came here to turn myself into a bush
for I am a traveler in this green
A dead loaf left on the table
was my very belated supper
Some abandoned night wine
causes my body to boil
tensely straight, in this dateless night
when I am willing not to feel myself
(from Ofício do Medo - 1977)
Laura Amélia Damous Duailibe was born in Turiaçu, Maranhão, on
April 10th 1945. She has worked very much on behalf of cultural
activities in São Luís. Formerly a Cultural Assessor at the
State Secretariat of Culture, Laura Amélia Damous worked at
Benedito Leite Public Library, where she helped creating a
special building for students, and as the Director of Odylo
Costa Filho Cultural Center (related to Arthur Azevedo Theater).
Nowadays, she is the Subsecretary of Culture in the State of
Laura Amélia Damous has published three books: Brevíssima Canção
do Amor Constante (Brief Song of Cons-tant Love - 1985), Arco de
Tempo (Time Curve - 1987) and Traje de Luzes (Garment of Lights
Guarnicê* of Memory
It doesn't matter if the matracas**
are dispersed. The rhythm
goes down your feet
in the right beat
It doesn't matter if the voices fade away
the songs become eternal
as they resound throughout the nights
It doesn't matter if the Boi is worn out ,
It will dance forever in your eyes.
(from Brevíssima Canção do Amor Constante)
* This poem uses many terms which are peculiar of the
Bumba-meu-Boi dance. "Guar-nicê" is the rehearsal of the dance.
** "Matraca" is one of the typical instruments used in
Bumba-meu-Boi. It is made of two pieces of wood that are hit
against each other in order to produce a 'clapping' sound.
Viriato Santos Gaspar was born in São Luís on March 7th, 1952.
One of the participants of the movement called Antroponáutica,
Gaspar joined the Anthology Hora de Guarnicê (1975), which
gathered the most representa-tive young poets then.
Viriato Gaspar, who lives in Brasília today, is the author of
the following poetry books, among others: Manhã Portátil
(Portable Morning - 1984), Onipresença (Omnipresence - 1986) and
A Lâmina do Grito ( The Shout Blade - 1988).
The Man is the material of my song,
whichever the color of his feelings.
No matter the reasons for his tears,
he is a man, a brother and his pain makes me suffer
Mine is his fear of the world
in these very unusual times
from the trench of the words I raise
against whatever attacks him
The Man is object and objective
when I can sing, and this song
is the only way to explain my being alive
I am sometimes an atheist, sometimes a believer
other times I am a rebel, some others, mute
I am a Man, and I sing the man of my days.
(from Manhã Portátil)
Luís Augusto Cassas de Araújo, Maranhense from São Luís, was
born in March 2nd, 1953 and graduated in Law by the Federal
University of Maranhão. His prose was vastly published by the
press of São Luís and he is considered one of the fundamental
poets of this generation.
Luís Augusto Cassas started writing very soon in his life, and
very intensively. However, he is very rigorous when it comes to
the selection of his poems. Therefore, he was not in a hurry to
publish his first book - what is not very common in young poets.
Nevertheless, he began with a work whose level compares to his
Cassas published A República dos Becos (The Republic of Alleys -
1981), A Paixão Segundo Alcântara (Passi-on According to
Alcântara - 1985), Rosebud (1990) and O Retorno da Aura (The
Return of the Aura - 1994).
The road linking
Heaven to Earth
is already open
(an angel just told me
it is there to accelerate the traffic of souls
haunted, lost, regretting souls
all of them expiated
that want to fl towards God
and, for a lack of care from the Eternal,
almost end up
It is a preferential lane
to block sin
(risk of contamining heaven)
So, dear friends
to prevent all evil
in all the course of the road
angels, archangels, cherubs and seraphs
stand in guard
When I die
I also want my soul
- like all others -
to go through this road
But I don't know how to ask for forgiveness
I forgot that act of contrition
and I don't want to play dice
as in an exercise of desperation
I risk a crazy penitence:
I accelerate the car to full speed
do not respect whistles,
red traffic lights
and warning signs
It is the only probability
of reaching eternity
(from República dos Becos - 1981)
Paulo Melo Sousa was born in São Luís on May 6th, 1960 and
graduated in Industrial design and Communica-tion by the Federal
University of Maranhão. Nowadays he is a teacher in the
Communication course at the same University.
Melo Sousa is one of the creators of the poeme-se group, which
promotes recitals, poetry and literary debates. The Poeme-se has
also, in Praia Grande, a store where used books are sold in a
way to promote the cultural development of the people in São
Paulo Melo Sousa published many poems in magazines of São Luís
and Brasília. He gathered all his poetry in one single volume,
Oráculo de Lucifer (Lucifer's Oracle)
Poetry does not need bodyguards
it is marrow
it lives within the flora of language
It builds its fever
out of the ashes of heaven and hell
Phoenix of words
It suffices to explain its genesis
(from Oráculo de Lúcifer)
Lucy de Jesus Teixeira, natural from Caxias, Maranhão, was born
on July 11th 1922. She is a lawyer, gra-duated by the Federal
University of Minas Gerais and, during the period of her studies
in Belo Horizonte, had an effective participation in literary
movements . This would continue after her getting back to São
Luís, where her work was constantly published by the local
press, under the name of Maria Carla.
Lucy de Jesus Teixeira worked in the Ministry of External
Relations and served in Brazilian diplomatic repre-sentations in
Belgium. Spain and Italy. /she retired in 1990 and lives now in
Limeira, São Paulo, and regularly comes to Maranhão for visits.
Part of her poetry work is published in Elegia Fundamental
(Fundamental Elegia - 1962) and Primeiro Palimpsesto (First
Palimpsest - 1978).
The Assyrian of the day
play with your head
on the shining morning stairs
This is how ruin starts
Time with its spectral peacocks
wandering in the very solemn garden
The eyes of the birds watch:
Where to go?
Memories are like a drunk old woman
vomiting acid, old mornings
The Assyrians go hunting
opening paths in your body
where everything, frightened, looks for shelter
Your skin is a servant
on the top of the rock
jumping into the darkest gulf
The hunting horns shine under the sun
and rejoice, for you are wounded
There is glory in being the prey
The feast, The feast. Night
is a balcony swinging with stars
The Assyrians, exhausted,
throw your head aloft
once, twice, three times
and then faint.
José Francisco das Chagas was born in Piancó, Paraíba, on
October 29th, 1924. However, he lives in Mara-nhão since 1948.
Journalist, chronicler and poet, Chagas is a member of the
Maranhense Academy of Literature.
Beside books in prose, José Chagas published the following
poetry books: Canção da Expectativa (Expectation Song - 1955), O
discurso da Ponte (The Speech of the Bridge - 1959), O Caso da
Ponte São Francisco (The Case of São Francisco Bridge - 1964),
Os Telhados (The Roofs - 1965), Maré/Memória (Tide/Memory -
1973), Lavoura Azul (Blue Crops - 1974), Colégio do Vento
(School of Wind - 1974), Maré de Moça (Girl Tide - 1977), Pão e
Água (Bread and Water - 1978), Os Canhões do Silêncio (The
Silence Canyons - 1979), all them reissue on Poesia Reunida
(Collected Poems - 1980), and still : De lavrae de palavra ou
campoemas (1980), Maré de aço ('onda de alumínio', or o
naufrágio da Ilha) ¾ (Steel Tide, 'aluminum wave', or the wreck
of the island - 1983), A cor do puro - (The color of the pur -
'83), Águas do silêncio (1987), A arcada do tempo (1988), Cem
anos de infância ou o poeta e o rio - ( 100 years of childhood
or sigh of Human Pain - 1988), Alcântara; negociação do azul ou
a castração dos anjos - (Alcântara - negotiation of blue or
castration of angels - 1994), Tabuada de memória - (Table of
memory - 1984).
I get down to pick a rose
Not this unnecessary rose you pick,
but one that does not burn your looks nor fills you with perfume
And that, therefore, you find it empty and hateful
I pick the rose born in mysterious plants
and offer it to you, because in fact -
not in a sunny morning - but in this fog,
only an offered rose can be enjoyed
You believe the rose in the garden is pure?
It is not. It will never be. Maybe it has been.
(The Rose is the Earth in transformation)
I pick the untouched Rose in the way
The Rose which is eternal in itself,
that is not made of futile perfume nor thorns.
(from the book Expectation Song ¾ Canção da Expectativa)
Bandeira Tribuzi, literary name of José Tribuzi Pinheiro Gomes,
was born in São Luís on 2/2/1927 and died in the same city on
9/8/1977. Professor, economist, journalist, essayist and poet,
Tribuzi studied in the University of Coimbra, Portugal, and
returned to São Luís in 1945. He published Alguma Existência
(Some Existence - 1948), Rosa da Esperança (Rose of Hope -
1950), Safra (Harvest - 1961), Sonetos (Sonnets - 1962), Pele e
Osso (Skin and Bones - 1970) and Breve Memorial do Longo Tempo
(Brief Memorial of the Long Time - 1977). These were added by
inedit poems, gathered in Poesias Completas (Complete poetry -
1979), which was republished in 1986, under the name Poesia
Reunida (Gathered Poetry).
with a little seed of dream
and you will see the Land
I shall compose with it
I will plough its fields
whit the sweat of the songs
I will water with tears
roses and ears of corn
fruit gardens will spring
from the bitter way
in the previous thorn;
boats of chimeras
in a friendly sea
shall harvest the crops
of an ancient ocean
Plants of Love
in the eyes, in the hand
of flourishing tenderness
an infra structure
of human truth
will hang its fruits
will provide the steel
of sweet passion
soil and underground
of human beings
will be a foreland
yet to dawn
with a little seed of dream;
and I shall give you
a model Nation
For it is enough for men
a sun as History
to make blossom
their bread of victory!
(from Pele e Osso - Skin and Bones)
JOMAR DA SILVA MORAES, Jomar Moraes wrote 15 books, was director
of Benedito Leite Public Library , of the State Service of Press
and Graphic, of the State Department of Culture, of the
Department of Cultural Matters at the Federal University of
Maranhão and was also the State Secretary of Culture. He is a
member of the Maranhen-se Academy of Literature and its
Mário Martins Meireles :
Mário Martins Meireles was born in São Luís, Maranhão, on March
3rd, 1925. He started his first studies in Santos (SP) in1920,
proceeded with them in Manaus (AM) and in Rio de Janeiro, and
finally finished them in São Luís, at the Benedito Leite school.
He concluded high school in São Luís in 1931, at the Fiveiros
Institute. After that, he studied Law at the University of
Maranhão, which he interrupted in 1934 in Bahia. In 1966,
Meireles took the studies of the Graduate Association of the
Superior College of War in São Luís.
Meireles has many unpublished works. The following have been
Marabá, the Immortal (São Luís, 1949 - co-authorship with
Acciles Lisboa); Gonçalves Dias and Ana Amélia (São Luís, 1954);
Overview of Maranhense Literature (São Luís, Sioge, 1955),
Veritas Liberabit Nos (São Luís, 1957 - co-authorship with José
Maria Ramos Martins); Anthology of the Maranhense Academy of
Literature (Rio, 1958 - co-authorship with Arnaldo Ferreira e
Domingos Vieira Filho); Brief History of Maranhão (Rio, Senac,
1959); The 50th birthday of the Infant D. Henrique in Maranhão
(São Luís, Federação do Comércio do Maranhão, 1960); History of
Maranhão (Rio, 1960); History of Equinoctial Maranhão (São Luís,
Departamento Universitário de Rádio, Imprensa e Livro, 1962);
São Luís do Maranhão - a Tourist Guide (Rio, Bloch, 1962);
Appraisal to Gonçalves Dias (São Luís, State Department of
Culture, 1962); Catulo, singer and poet (São Luís, 1963); São
Luís, the city of tiles (Rio, Graf. Tupi, 1964); History of
Independence in Maranhão (Rio, Arte Nova, 1972); National
Symbols of Brazil and Maranhão (São Luís, FUNC/CEA, 1972).
JOSUÉ DE SOUSA MONTELLO
Josué de Sousa Montello was born in São Luís on August 21st,
1917. Montello is a novel wright, playwright, en-saísta e
po'ligrafo - a very learned man. He is doubtlessly the most
famous name of his generation of Maranhense intellectuals.
Montello was the Inspector of Commercial Education, and
Education Technician, the Director of the Courses of the
National Library, General Secretary of Maranhão, General
Director of the National Library and Vice-Chief of the Civil
Gabinet of the President. He was dean of Brazilian Studies at
the University of San Marcos (in Lima, Peru - which named him
"honoris causa" professor), and is a member of the Brazilian
Lisbon Institute and of the Geographical and Historic Institute
of Pará, as well as an effective member of the Literature
Academies of Maranhão (place no. 31, of Raimundo Lopes) and
Brazil (place no. 29, of Martins Pena). The enormous list of
publications of Josué Montello include short stories, novels,
literary essays, plays, children literature, pedagogy and
bookkeeping works, and historic studies. In his works, the use
of direct, fluent and clear language as well as the importance
given to the flow of the story and the detailed psychological
features of the characters show his com-mitment with traditional
ways of narration. His novels also bring descriptions of social
customs of São Luís, where most of them locate their ploys.
Very rich handicraft works result from the blending of the three
races that compose the Maranhense people. Among them we have
weapons, utensils and adornments of the Canela, Guajajara,
Krikati and Urubu indians; delicate bobbin laces;
buriti-fiber-woven goods; hammocks made of cotton or mercerized
thread which are widely used in the verandas and alcoves of
houses. There are also remarkable, detailed miniatures of
typical boats of the state, where naval-construction art is
still regarded as tradition, taught to children by their fathers
since immemorial times.
These products of the Maranhese creativity - including
Bumba-meu-Boi miniatures featuring all its cowboys, ca-zumbás,
lords, indians and musicians - can be found in specialized shops
located in the historical center of the city.
What happened, was registered and is kept. The Foundation of São
Luís, the battles among portuguese, dutch and french for the
great island colonization ¾ Upaon-Açu in the indians dialect.
The colonial period church influence. Negroes heir itage. The
whole history is kept in museums and not only in the people's
memory who know how to maintain alive the traditions. What ever
stayed in the past, of centuries, can be visited in historic
museums, sacret arts and cultural material. The recent history
of Brazilian Republic is preserved in heaps of books, rare
pieces and documents of historical and politican incontestable
The Republican Memory Museum is instalied in Mercês Convent, a
colonial period construction building which holds important
events that goes from congresses and seminars to artistic
exposition, like may gather collec-tion, an important sample of
actual plastic arts production of Maranhão and Northeast of
A . GARCÊS
He was introduced to painting by artistis Espírito Santo, Luís
Lola, and Newton Pavão in São Luis.Nascido nesta cidade em 1944.
A powerful painter of strong colors, he works in thick paint
strokes on canvas, explores scenes from everyday life, and uses
the city's architecture as a backdrop.
AIRTON MARINHO MACEDO
This engraver (woodcutter) graduated in Industrial Design at the
Maranhão Federal University - UFMA. He began bis career in the
seventies as instructor a the Maranhão Visual Arts and
Comunication Center - CENARTE006 - where be also made bis debut
as en graver.
He subsquequently developed bis own ploycrobhome process
unequaled anywhere in the Brazilian Northeast. His woodcut
collections including Child´s Play, To Works, Legends end Myths,
Houses, and Popular Festival reflect bis strong coutryside roots
ans first-hand experience.
He bas displayed his art in Minas Gerais, Góias, São Paulo and
Bahia. In 1993 he had a solo exibit at Gentil Homem de Almeida
Braga, 066 da Federal University of Maranhão - UFMA, and
ilustrated several books by Maranhão-born writers.
Airton Marinho researches each theme before be starts on a
series, He is an artist who carefully collects in advance all
for the information be will neeed to develop bis work and
explores each item in depth.
" Airton is a workabolic. He bas incredible stmania, as
obsessive stubornness, uns-bakable consstency, and a remakable
ability to rediscover things". ( Legend according to Airton
Marinho - jornal O Estado do Maranhão, daily, 09/19/1988 - Jesus
San-tos041 - São Luís -MA).
He began his career as na artist in 1945 in drawing na painting.
In 1970 he chose tapestry as his form of art.
A nomad at heart, he has lived in several Brazilian states and
fanally settlend at lagoa da Concei-ção, Santa Catarina Island.
A study tour look him to the United States, Central America,
part of' América do Sul e vários países da Europa.
É detentor de vários prêmios, tendo trabalhos na França, Estados
Unidos, Israel, Alemanha, Ho-landa, Nicarágua, argentina,
Paraguai, Uruguai, Inglaterra, Japão, África do Sul, Malásia e
Costa do Marfim.
Seu tema predileto: a arquitetura brasileira.
" Sua tapeçaria atesta o seu espírito inquieto que busca a
linguagem plástica mas adequada, carregada de brasilei-ro.
Autodidata, procura resolver problemas técnicos deixando
entrever sua capacidade criadora na reprodução de ambientes
históricos." (Opinião Mostra o Valor da Arte - Helena Lapa
Maranhão, professora de História da Arte - Escola nacional de
This painter of São Luís urban landscapes puts local sites and
traditions on canvas.
He made his debut in 1946.
He studied under Newton Pavão and Telésforo de Moraes Rêgo.
He participated in the 2nd Artur Marinho Exibition in 1947 and
was awarded the 2nd prize; in 1950 he was distin-guished whit an
Honorable Mention from the 1st Exibition of the Maranhão
Artistic Culture Society - SCAM.
He was one of the patrons of Movelaria Guanabara in early 1950,
along with other artists and intellectuals who hoped to rekindle
the cultural mmilieu of the State. He subsequently traveled to
rio de Janeiro and lived there for several years. During that
period he attended Fernando P.'studio, the National School of
Fine Arts, and studied under Bustamante Sá.
Back in São Luís the proceeded with his career, showed is works
and taught, again joining local movements. He and other fellow
artists took part in the Maranhão Tapestry Center.
In the lat seventies he joined the faculty os the State Center
of Visual Arts and Communications - CENARTE. And taught oil
painting. For several years now he signs a column on art each
Sunday in the daily O Imparcial
His focus as an artist is on social issues and city landscapes.
He puts on canvas the alleys and streets filled of average
destitute people in their daily struggle with poverty and
"His artistic approach is one of unshakablecommitment to social
concerns, baring the contrsts of a society torn by class
disparities." (Ambrósio Amorim - Jornal de Hoje, 8/16/1987 -
Cralos Cunha - São Luís, MA.)
"As I look at drawings and paintings of the talented Ambrósio
Amorim I do not hesitate in saying that in the very near future
Maranhão and Brazil will have a new Estêvão Silva. With him
again we will show the world that skin color does not blunt
either intelligence or a feeling for art." ( A maranhão Artist
in Rio - daily Pacotilha, 10/22/1952, p.4 - Raul Deveza - São
Luís, MA. - reprinted from the newspaper Voz Trabalhista of
10/15/1952, Rio de Janeiro).
ANA MARIA COSTA FÉLIX, a writer, photographer, plastic artist,
pianist and social assistant, was born in Ca-xias, Maranhão. Her
chromatic artistic composition has abstract and figurative
features derived from a mystical perspective which reveals
cities, gestures, senses and people of a sensitively-perceived
world. Félix participated in various collective and individual
exhibits in São Luís and other Brazilian cities, besides Munich
and Puccheim in Germany. Her paintings and tridimensional
plastic works feature classic and experimental techniques, with
many chromatic pigments, aluminum-made material and other
metals. Félix's drawings and studies turn themselves into
contemporaneous art of numerous forms and dimensions.
The art of Maria Costa Félix gains sense from music, the cosmos
and the nature. She believes that all the artists of the world
will contribute to the transformation of the 21st century into
gates to great dreams, hopes and achieve-ments for all peoples
of the world.
The son of northeastern farm bands his father was from Ceara and
his mother form Piaui - Antonio Almeida was born in a nameless
farm in the backlands of barra do Corda, Maranhão, where his
familia would establish the village of lagoa do jacare in 1932.
A Painter, Sculptor, Muralist, Engraver, Ilustrador, Pother and
Carver, he seeks inspiration in Max Bill and his concrete art
for his collages
His first paintings date back to 1979.
He was noted at the 1980 Maranhão Fine Arts Exibition
As a full-time artist between 1981 and 1983, he participated in
the São João de Meriti, Rio de Janeiro Municipal Exhibit, and
the "Young Painters"show held by the São paulo Art Museum -
He moved to Rio de Janeiro, took classes at the Museum of Modern
Art - MAM, and joint modernist avant-garde movements. His work
was nationally acclaimed and his talent was recognized as a high
point in contemporary Brzilian painting.
Among other exhibits he took part in the 1992 group show at the
National Museum of Fine Arts sponsored by Cân-dido Mendes
He is a master of dense and silent painting but gradually left
behind figurative art to take on a more gestural, sober and
"Cosme's art that Maranhão will see on the 3rd of this month is
surprising for several reasons: the way the artist has grown in
so short a time, is development of a very personal and striking
language, and his still humble attitude which be can use as
oxygen to invest in some bold ventures."(Cosme Returns More
Mature - daily O Esta-do do Maranhão, 5/29/1988, p.19 - Marc
Berkowitz - São Luís, MA).
"...It is a true artistic vocation a proven talent. I am not
sure if Cosme Martins is a self-taught artist, but it does not
really matter in view of his talent..."(Cosme Martins: A
Promising Painter - Marc Berkowitz).
Her earliest contact with art happened while she worked for five
years at a convent restoring pieces of art, painting objects,
and tending flowers . Looking for broader horizons, she moved to
São Paulo to improve her pain-ting and learns engraving ( litho
She is an artist in love with her work, with life in the
country, with portraying their religiousness and habits in naif
style, with water-colored lithographs, and oils brimming wiht
vigor and feeling.
A self-taught artist, her debut was in 1968 with good critical
and public response
DONATO FONSECA FILHO
A graduate in Art Education and major in Plastic Arts from the
Federal University of Maranhão - UFMA, making a living as a
civil servant, Donato began his art studies in 1982 at the Odylo
Costa Filho Creativity Center under painter and teacher Ambrósio
He entered the world for art in São Luís by taking paiting
lessons from Ambrósio Amorim in 1974, and followed in his
He first showed his works to the public in solo and group shows
In 1980 he taught silk-screen at the State Center for Visual
Arts and Comunications - CENARTE, this is when he experimented
in tile work.
In 1983 he studied at the Rio de Janeiro Visual Arts School -
EAV, at Lage Park and taught several courses at the National Art
Foudation - FUNARTE.
He is an artist of everyday scenes from Maranhão, portraying the
colonial architecture of São Luís as a living backdrop for the
city's typical characters, their costumes and legends.
"Encouraged by Ambrósio Amorim from whom he inherited a love for
São Luís landscapes, Edimar Santos goes out into the streets to
capture everyday life in color and the with mystical overtones.
Edimar's fantasy comes from the seascapes, from the benches of
the old Harbor, from centuries-old São Luís streets, and last
but not least in an artist native to the blue city, from the old
houses wearing the patina of time.
As pointed out by another portrayer of old landscapes, Fernando
P., this is perfect inspiration for an artist of pictorial
power. Edimar is a young talent discovering his own world with a
conscious, pure and well-founded language."(Daily O Estado do
Maranhão, 11/5/1987, p. 15 - Ubiratan Teixeira - São Luís, MA).
Espírito Santo is a teacher of art and painter who turned to
painting very early. His debut was in French Guyana.
With a degree in Philosophy from the Federal University of
Maranhão - UFMA and another in Art Education from Guanabara
University, Rio de Janeiro, he taught in Macapá, the capital
city of Amapá State where he lives. He has always been an
activist leader and tireless advocate of social causes.
An exquisite landscape artist, he adopts a variety of styles and
tendencies to ensure an accurate depiction of his subjects.
He is now retired from public service and entirely devoted to
He is a painter of the latest generation.
He joined Laborarte in 1978 and stayed until 1982, when he
opened the Mirarte group with Marçal athaíde, and began to learn
drawing and painting on his own. He was strongly influenced by
Rubens Gerchman during that period. Since 1980 he has been
actively involved in the art community with a number of shows at
São Luís galleries and salons. Group exhibits: New Artists
Salon, 1981, São Luís; Integration Art Exhibit, Federal
University of Maranhão, 1982; New Artist's Group Show, São Luís,
1982; Solidarity Art Group Exhibition, São Luís, 1983; Artists
at Work Group Exhibition, São Luís, 1983; 7th National Fine Arts
Exhibition of Rio de Janeiro and its Highlights, 1985; Petrobrás
Cultural Space - 1st Art Exhibition of the Oil Industry in
Brazil, Riocentro, 1986; Los Americanos Exhibition, Artcurial,
Paris, 1986; Villa-Lobos Museum , 1987; and Viva Brazil, Paris,
One-man shows: Maranhão Licée, São Luís, 1982; Eney Santana
Gallery, São Luís, 1984; FIAC - International Contemporary Art
Fair, Galerie 1900/2000, Paris, 1986; Matias Marcier Gallery
Exhibition, Rio, 1991, and Caixa Econômica Federal Cultural
Center, São Luís, 1993.
He has lived in Rio de Janeiro since 1985.
Urban man and daily violence are the subjscts of his paintings
heavy with powerful delusions of movement, where figures almost
melt away in the urban scape as they rush to keep up eith daily
"Mendonça brought with him a piece of the Equator (below the
Equator, his sunny tones spin and move) of his native São Luís,
of his province. They are now filtered through an aesthtics of
speed, of stain, of a swordsman's feint. His brushes are fast,
post-Modern, futuristic as some might say, akin to Balla and
Bottioni, but most of all a search for sunlight." (Rubens
Gerchman, July/1987 - Catalog for the Vida Real exhibit).
FERNANDO CLÓVIS PEREIRA
His first studies were done at the Art and Crafts School, now
Federal Technological Education Center, in São Luis.
After a solo show in Maranhão, he moved to Rio de Janeiro in
1939 to study under Santa Rosa.
He received the Overseas Travel Award from the National Fine
Arts Exhibition in 1953 and spent the next few years touring
Europe, completing his education in art in Paris. While there he
toolk a free course on engraving at teh Académie Julien, studied
painting with lhote and mosaic under Gino Severini
FLORIANO DE ARAÚJO TEIXEIRA
Painter, draftsman-engraver and sculptor.
In 1935 he took his firt drawing classes from professor Rubens
Damasceno in São Luis. His earliest water-colors data back to
that period, precisely when he began to join the local art
He showed at the December Exhibition in 1941 and received a
prize for his Drunkards
FLORY LISBOA GAMA
He started studying art under sculptor Newton Sá in São Luis (
MA ), encouraged by his uncle and sanitati-on physician
His boady of work is vast and can he found in collections spread
around several countries as well as in Brazilian cities. A few
examples are: National Museem of Fine Arts, Rio de Janeiro (
seven Items ), Pedro II School, founder Bernardo Pereira de
Vasconelos ); Paris Cancer Hospital; Caixa Econômica in Rio de
Janeiro; Museum of Fine Art, Bueno Aires, Argentina; Indian
Parliament, New Delhi ( Monument to Indira Gandhi ); Monumental
Gate to the city of Rio de Janeiro; Monumental to Estácio de Sá
located on the road between Rio and Petrópolis, facing the
Armory Museum, Rio de Janeiro; memorial statue for the tomb of
Satú Belo, São Luis; miscellaneous busts, statues and medallions
decorating " patheons " at several Brazilian cultural
institutions, including the Brazilian Literary Academy.
He took lessons in drawing, painting, perspective, and art
history in 1981 at the State Center of Visual Arts and
Communication - CENARTE in São Luís.
He met Nagy Lajos under whom he studied chromatics. His debut
was at the New Artists Exhibition in 1981.
His first solo show Paradise of evil was held in 1986. Since
then he has taken part in several group and one-man exhibits
even at bars and restaurants in the hope of getting his work
He moved to Brasília and in 1987 enrolled in the Center of
creative Achievement - CRESÇA, where he studied drawing under
He subsequently attended the Rio de Janeiro Visual Arts School -
EAV Lage Park, tutored by Charles Watson and Beatriz Milhazes.
He is an avant-garde artist, involved in research and
experimentation. Lately he has explored wide spaces which he
colors with pigments and binders.
Three-dimension objects and abstractions are his latest
"Geraldo digs deep into human issues renders them timeless,
maybe moves back in time to seek the origin of this chaos in
which everything seems to be immersed at present."(Three
Characters and a Birdcage - daily O Estado do Maranhão,
12/7/1987 - Jesus Santos - São Luís, MA).
JOSÉ JESUS SANTOS
Painter and engraver, his debut was at the Main Hall of the
Maranhão Literary Academy in 1967.
In 1971 he took part in the 1 st Northeastern New Artists
Exhibition and in 1972 he showed at the 2nd Art Biennial of
Bahia, both held in Salvador.
JOÃO DE DEUS
João de Deus is a portrait artist, landscape painter and
He began his activities early as a self-taught artist.
He drew a crayon portrait of Governor Urbano Santos who promised
him the fare to the South of further his studies.
Since Urbano Santos died before he could do so, bookkeeper
Pinheiro Lopes de Sousa gave him a third-class ticket on an Ita
steamer to Rio de Janeiro. Without any agovernment aid, he
enrolled at the Fine Arts Promotion Society of the School of
Arts and Crafts. He studied painting and set design with honors
during all four years he was there.
In 1925 he ranked first in Anatomical Drawing and received a
Silver Medal for his achievement at the School of Arts and
Crafts of Rio de Janeiro.
On his return to Maranhão he painted the ceiling of the São Luís
Cathedral of the See in 1927, which he himself restored in 1954.
It is his masterpiece.
In 1954 he decorated the 1st Maranhão State Fair built at
Deodoro Square in São Luís (MA).
He did portraits for some prominent politicians of his time.
He also painted Saint José de Ribamar Church in the town of that
name at São Luís Island, St. An-thony Church in Paranaíba (PI),
Our lady of Conception Church at Barra de Maratanam, and the
parish church of Retiro de Boa Esperança in Piauí.
His work can also be appreciated at the Public Library, the
Public Archives, and the State Visual Arts Museum of Maranhão.
He is mentioned in the Brazilian Dictionary of Artists of the
Ministry of Education and Culture, and in the Biographical
Dictionary of Painters of All Times by Adrião Neto, Teresina
"All I know and wish to state for the sake of justice is that
our cathedral is again impressive as a repository of our
traditions, and that its decorator was a humble but worthy
native son of Maranhão named João de Deus." (Father Ribamar
Carvalho, daily O Combate, 6/9/1954, p. 1 - São Luís, MA).
"Well, dear reader. Hurry there today and admire that
magnificent, that wonderful, that sublime interior decoration
adorning the old cathedral. You will find there the art, the
soul and the glory of a Maranhão Negro from Brejo dos Anapurus
who one day got off the third-class compartment of an "Ita" boat
in Rio de Janeiro with barely 500 "réis"in his pocket, suffered
the hardships of a big city, studied tirelessly, and is now the
great painter João de Deus, who will be 58 on the 24th."(A
Painter of Churches - Nonnato Masson, daily Pacotilha - O Globo,
6/22/1954, p. 4 - São Luís, MA).
Carnival designer Joãosinho Trinta is an artisti not solely
engaged in working with conventional materials or in small and
average dimensions. He reinvents his own space where people,
masks, cans, everything is used to convey the theme story he
A native of the Maranhão state capital, be soon moved to Rio de
Janeiro and joined the Classical Dance School of the Municipal
Opera House. There he shares the public´s acclaim with already
famous dancers. The results of his efforts are seen at major
theaters like Copacabana, Glória, Maison de France, Ipanema,
Ginástico, Opinião and Alaska.
As a set designer he decorated several Carnival galas at the
Municipal Opera House and teh copacabana Palace Hotel.
LUÍS CARLOS LIMA SANTOS
A sef-taught artist, Luís Carlos took several courses in
modeling and sculpture throughout his career, devo-ting himself
for some time to painting ( mythical ) and tapestry.
His favorite media are clay, cement, resin, and wood chips,
which he works into thick layers blended with glue.
His works are found at the Visual Arts Museum, at the
Guhernatorial Masion, at São Luis Citty Hall, and in several
private collection in Maranhão.
A painter and co-founder of the Mirarte group in 1982 with
Fernando Mendonça. He made his solo debut in 1984 at the Eney
Santana Gallery in São Luís.
He moved to Rio de Janeiro encouraged by Rubens Gerchman and was
introduced to art dealer Jean Borghici, who helped his get
It was a time for study and exhibiting his work. He took part in
the 8th National fine Arts Exhibition in 1985; the 1st Art
Exhibition of the Brazilian Oil Industry in 1986, winning first
prize; the Maranhão Fine arts Exhibition sponsored by the
Maranhão State Culture Department in 1987; in the 1st Maranhão
Group Exhibition on Drawings in 1988, at eney santana Gallery.
His solo shows were held at jean Borghici Gallery in Rio de
Janeiro in 1989; at the Bahia Museum of Modern Art in 1990; at
the São Luís Caixa Econômica Federal's Cultural Center in 1991,
an d the National Antiquarians Association, France-Brazil House,
Rio de Janeiro, in 1992.
Art critics Walmir Ayala and Ferreira Gullar describe him as an
artist of everyday life in big cities, their fast pace and busy
His works are found in major private collections like those of
Gilberto Chateaubriand, João Satamini, and Jose Bonifácio de
Oliveira; and in public collections in the Rio de Janeiro Museum
of Modern Art and the Niterói Museum of Modern Art.
He currently lives in Rio de Janeiro.
"The torch lit by Balla, which throbs during the long night of
totalitarianism amid the ruins of Guernica, relity by Antonioni
in Eclipse to kill the darkness, also shines in Athaíde'snights.
By projecting his lone characters under its light, which the
painter reduces to beans of colorful ectoplasm running around
either for fear or pleasure, he is perhaps repeating the actions
of his ancient counterparts who projected their own onto cave
wall to exorcise their fears and ghosts." (Jean Boghici,
December 1987 - Catalog of Marçal Athaíde's exhibit at jean
Boghici Gallery, August 1989, RJ).
MARIA LUISA MORAES RÊGO ARAUJO
A Painter, she started her training in 1970 at the Art Research
Center under Bruno Tausz. This tireless worker and devoted
professional offset her late start in the arts through a
powerful and permanent dedicantion to a body of work that ranks
her among the best contemporary Brazilian artists.
Her paintings reveal a dark word of peculiar human characters
emerging from the underwold and denoun-cing social issues.
He graduated in drawing and plastic arts from the federal
university of Maranhão. Miguel Veiga made his debut in 1979 with
his catrevagem ( Debris ) exibit. This was followed by Lazeira (
Disgrace ). Again in 1979; Arri-bação ( Arrival ), São Luis
Mondêgo first became known as a painter in 1974 while still a
teenager, in a vigorous phase of folkoric and regiona-list
themes. His activities also included classical ballet, acting
and set designing.
A restless person, he explored the erotic sensualism of the
mude, showing his work in solo and collective exibiti-ons.
In 1987 he moved to Naples(Italy) where he studied whit the
master Luigi Eboli at the Tavalozza Napolitana School. He
produced his most vibrant impressionist paintings during that
He returned to São Luísin 1989, where he lives now, portraying
the urban landscape in bright, cheerful colors with short, tense
One of the most expressive and mature painters of the new
generation, he paints folkloric scenes of Maranhão and buildings
of the towns of São Luís and Alcântara, with a modern touch. His
paintings show a contemporary urban landscape full of movement
and light, contrasting old and new in a nostalgic vein.
"Mondêgo's coloring is unrestrained, light plays from one side
to the other, the loose, reticent brushstrokes are thickly but
smoothly - O Estado do Maranhão newspaper, 10/18/1992 - Jesus
Santos, São Luís, MA).
Lajos studied at hungary´s University college of aesthetics e
philosophy and at the university college of art, in Budapest.
His painting is analytical and critical. He paints fastidiously,
introducing into the composition with extraordi-nary
perceptiveness elements which emplasize reliefs and textures.
He dedicated himself to gathering artists togethe in studios and
Péricles Rocha took up art at an early age. With a scholarship
granted by the Governor of Maranhão, Dr. José Sarney, he studied
sculpture at the National School of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro
from 1967 to 1971.
On his return to São Luís, he and other artists opened the
Japiaçu Arts Center. This center was run by Prof. Rosa Mochel in
the annex of the Benedito Leite Public Library. He exhibited in
the São Luís City Exhibition in 1971, trough the Mirarte Project
in 1974, at the Eney Santana Gallery in 1978 and 1979, at the
Federal Savings Bank in 1980, at the Maranhão History & Art
Museum in 1984, 1986, 1988 and 1990, at the May Collective
Exhibition in 1991 and 1992, and at the Cultural Center gallery
of the Federal Savings Bank in 1992.
Elsewhere in Brazil he took part in collective exhibitionx at
the São Paulo National Biennial Exhibition in 1974 (with
sculptures) and in 1976; at the 3rd Meeting of Artists of the
Federal District in 1976; at the National Plastic Arts
Exhibition of rio de Janeiro in 1979 and 1980; at the Goiânia
Plastic Arts Exhibition in 1976 and at the 1st Center-West
Exhibition of Design and Engraving in 1979.
He held solo exhibitions of his work in Rio de Janeiro with
exhibitions at the galleries Sérgio Milliet in 1977, Ana Maria
Niemeyer in 1981, Matias Marcier at the Rio Design Center in
1992, and at the Laura Alvim House of Culture in 1993; in São
Paulo at the Portal Gallery in 1980; in Brasília at the
galleries Eucatexpo in 1977, Galeria A in 1978, Parnaso galeria
de Arte in 1979 and 1980, at the Cultural Foundation gallery in
1985, at the Minitry of Culture gallery (inaugurating) in 1986,
at the Cavalier Gallery in 1992 and the Espaço SEBRAE gallery in
In 1978 he illustrated the book Marimbondos de Fogo and the
cover of the book Norte das Águas, by José Sarney - 2nd edition,
in 1980. In the same year he produced the cover and
illustrations of the book Poeta do Absurdo, by de Orlando Tejo.
Abroad, he exhibibited in Munich, Suttgart, Rome, Madri, Athens
and Florence, between 1978 and 1982.
He designed and sculpted altars and painted sacred themes on the
side walls of the shrine of Our Lady of Carme, patron saint of
the town of Benedito Leite (MA), inspired by legendry of the
Balsas and Parnaíba rivers which made such an impression on bim
during his childhood and adolescence.
He studied at the "Instituto Lorenzo de Médici", in Florence
(Italy) in 1982.
He is the leading painter of Maranhão mythology. A sculptor by
training and a designer by nature, his works tell us about
legends, about rural fantasies, about the drem world os nature,
as if in each work he is recreating the 'stori-es"and
"tales"heard in bis childhood.
"His work as a painter does not deviate from this idiom of lines
and figures, although it seems to me that painting makes bim
return with renewed vigor to the primitive theme of srmadillos
and anteaters, using other means particularly suited to this
language, such as pictorial material, the brush stroke and a
certain special way of using light and transparencies. His
dialect has the strength and mystery of primitive voices
reaching us both from the depths of the forest and from the
depths of the soul"- (Ferreira Gullar) - Exhibition catalog -
Péricles Rocha, Recent Paintings - ECO/92 - Rio de Janeiro.
Studied under Prof. Amina de Paula Barros and at the national
Museum of fine arts under Prof. Oswaldo Teixeira.
She uses techniques varying from draftsmanship to painting and
also stained glass.
Teléforo studied painting with Prof. José de Paula Barros from
1914 to 1916; in 1924 he took part in the 1st New Artists
Exhibition which he organized together with Artur Marinho,
Newton Pavão, rubens Damasceno, Osmar Palhano de Jesus and
others. He was deeply involved in his town's cultural life.
In 1914 he exhibited at the December Exhibition; in 1944 at the
Artur Marinho Exhibition and, in 1945, at the 1st Maranhão Art
Fair, where he won 1st place with the painting Beach with
Coconut Palms (State Government prize). His painting Barreira de
São Francisco illustrated the cover of the Esso Magazine in
1949. He also designed the State Seal for the administration of
Governor Martins de Almeida.
His work may be seen in the gallery of the Palácio dos Leões at
the São Luís City Hall, and in the Maranhão Aca-demy of Letters.
He did not confine himself to painting in his studio and to
teaching art, at which he distinguished himself, but also
painted stage scenery, restores pictures and statues and
produced allegorical floats for Carnival.
He dedicated himself wholeheartedly to his cultural and artistic
He painted urban scenes of São Luís, viewed with elegance and
simplicity, excelling in water colors.
"Knowing how to draw true multicolored poems out of paints, he
give us an impression, at times, of a poet who has exchanged the
lyre for brush". Edgard Proença, a writer from Pará in the O
Estado do Pará newspaper, copied in Pacotilha - O Globo,
2/20/1952, p. 4, São Luís, MA).
..."The water-colorist delighted me, his coloring is perfectly
realistic and suggestive, as much when he transposes to the
canvas tropical landscapes and intelligently chosen urban
retreats, as when he tears from the imagination admirable
notions, revealing the emotive soul of a well-trained and solid
artistic talent. This is all the more extraordinary when it is
known that Telésforo had no teacher, that he is self-taught, a
born artist". (Edson Cunha, president of the Parnaibana Society
of cultural Expression in "An artist's guide"- Pacotilha - O
Globo, 3/28/1951, p. 2 - São Luís, MA).
Tercílio Borralho began studying the arts in 1963 at the studio
of the painter
In 197l he went to Olinda where took the Art History course at
the Pernambuco Museum of Contemporary Art.
Upon his return to São Luís in 1972, he exhibited at a
collective exhibition in the gallery of the newspaper O
In 1973 he took up figurative painting, portraying women,
friends and members of his family.
In 1974 he took part in the Pre-Biennial Exhibition held by the
"At present, his theme is women workers backed by the old,
bankrupt factories scattered sround the neigbborbood where be
lives; women with big, sad eyes, faces marked by deep
despondency, long and subtlysco-red necks ". (Tercílio:
Expression and Color - Roldão Lima).
São Luís started getting modern perspectives in urban projects,
but there is an old part of the city, of majestic 2 floor
buildings carefully lapidated. The old center preserves the
city's history in each detail of the belvederes, balconies with
iron rail. Three theaters take part of the architetonic
assemblage which fascinate and seduce those who walk around the
streets, squares and avenues. Nowaday the most imposing and
modern one of Latin America is Artur Azevedo Theater, which was
completely remodeled in 1993.
With old architecture and front wall, one more honored to two
contemporary artistis whom take maranhense culture to rest of
the country, Alcione Nazaré and João do Vale theaters. It's
worth visiting them at any time of the day.
People in São Luis are very cheerful and festive. Carnival and
the June Festivals turn the whole city into an enormous party.
During Carnival thousands of foliões ( buffoons ) go down the
streets, organized in gangs were they all wear similar costumes,
singing the sambas they compose along with the accompaniement of
vaious per-cussion instruments.
Thousands of others, however, prefer to dance isolatedly or in
small groups - they are specially those who were initiated in
the pary in their early childhood. they come dressed as fofões,
with their colored costumes and masks, products of our popular
imagination, that usually show animals of our fauna and legends.
Those who do not have fun on the streets can do it in the balls
promoted bourgeoisie clubs, which can last nights in a row and
usually end up in the seashore. The preparation for the great
june Festival barely waits the end of carnival to start. Right
after ir, Bumba-meu-Boi groups and quadrilles begin their
rehearsals for their great performance. When time comes, the
month of june, São Luis is transformed into a huge arraial (
country village )- tents decorated with colorful flags are set
in all the corners of the city, squares and boulevard. Many
neighbourhoods have their own Bumba-meu - Boi and quadrilles.
People come to the arraial to sing, dance, drink and eat dishes
made ot of corn, porridges, coconut and peanut sweets and many
others featuring the Maranhese ar of cooking.
It is the time to appreciate the richness and color of the hats,
shirt-fronts and aprons worn by Bumba-Meu-Boi dancers; their
garments full of ribbons, feathers, colored glass and plumes
artistically and carefully composed in floral patterns or images
of catholic saints. There are nearly one hundred Bumba-meu -Boi
dance groups in São Luis, which preserve and reproduce the basic
characterístics of this popular act originated in Portugal and
blended here with African and Indian elements.
Party in São Luis, however, cannot be reduced to carnival and
the June Festival. There are parties all the year round. We have
the Tambor de Criola ( Creole Drums - an African-rooted dance ),
Tambor de Mina ( a local variati-on for the African candomblé ),
the Holy Spirit Festival, São Pedro, Cacuriá and the Dança do
Caroço ( the Seed Dance )... Besides, of course, the reggae,
theis Jamaican rhytm that gained so much popularity that became
a tourist attaction.
....AND NOW, CELEBRATIONS AND PARTIES:
Since the early colonial time we held a history plenty of
celebrations and parties that, according to the epoch, varied a
lot in both, their ways of performing and enjoying them and also
in the reactions they produced.
There was, in the past, many prejudices related to the popular
celebrations and parties that, for a long time, suffered severe
sensorship from authorities.
The passing of years determined changes in the ways of
participating and playing the carnival.
From the time in which we couldn´t talk of a tipically
maranhense carnival, we passed to fake the carioca way of
playing carnival. From there on there was a period in which
every year several samba schools spread out in São Luís, as well
as in the country towns.
Today, samba schools are clearly declining in São Luís, while is
being experienced the retaken of local car-nival traditions
which comprehend groups of merry-makers, indian tribes and other
groups that associate to the carnival local ways of partying.
On the other hand, São Luís Adhered to the national mania of
performing the carnival out of date. It is called Marafolia and
lasts for three days on the second half of October, gathering
round thousands of merry-makers at the Litorânea Avenue, a huge
easy moving space with enough parking lots and efficient
security measures .
Today there are other celebrations related to the nativity
period. Once culture, dinamic expression of life and
tridimensional mirror of what must be exteriorized as sign of
vitality, is constantly recicling, it adjusts to the passing of
time its recreative running. Nevertheless, the ludic people's
soul remains the same, as shown in their dancing, festivities
and in their so many ways of gathering plays.
During the carnival there are no more cordões(raws),
cursos(courses), entrudos(throwing each other water, flour,
carnival ribbons, rotten eggs, etc), robberies, joker cards,
flower and confetti battles. And almost were extinct the figures
of cruz-diabo, colombina, pierrô and fofão. Nevertheless, today
efforts are being done by the Associa-ção Maranhence de Blocos
Carnavalescos( Maranhense Carnival Bands Association) with the
enthusiastic support of the Fundação da Cultura, Desporto e
Turismo da Prefeitura (City House Foundation for Sports and
Tourism) in 1995, in an attempt to revive ancient maranhense
carnivals, especially street carnivals.
The Casinha da Roça( Country Little House) suffers an extinction
process. Popular clubs , where mask- wearing lone women used to
dance, no more exist. They were highly worth and very popular,
and now belong to the remembrances: the very missing Mask
By the end of the century, there was in São Luís so many
Carnival Associations, and most of them were or-ganized upon
family relationship or main leaders friendship.
Horse riding, hall dancings, round gatherings, masquerades, were
all common during the colonial time, but as time passed they
went slowly fading , or loosing their characteristics until
disappearing completely due to a deep transmutation. It is said
that the Carimbó(a portuguese rooted song and dance), that found
a settling Place in the State of Pará, appeared firstly in
Maranhão, as well as the Capoeira, registed folk mark of Bahia
State, florished first here, but with noy enough strength to get
Even when almost disappearing of our local traditions, in modern
times, are the Tambor-de Taboca, the Lindô, Caminha-Verde,
Guará, Cabeça-de-Bagre, and the festivals of nativity period:
Belém Daughters, Jerusalém or Judah Daughters, Shepherds, Girl
Shepherds, Kings, Pastorals, Mangers and Straw burning.
But the Cacuriá, which for many years wintered as if it were
dead, came back to stay plenty of grace and vigour.
The Tambor-de Crioula and the Tambor-de Mina were constantly
present as a sym bol of resistance under the rhythm of
pungas(ceremonial dances and chants) and saracoteios(hips
To a group of people, long and hopefully fecundated in the most
legitimate maranhence Cultural traditions and legally born in
the year 1985, we owe the revitalization of a great part of our
local folklore. Since that time so many parafolk groups
organized by schools, neighborhood associations and private
individuals, give continuity to the process of revitalization
through emulations and challenges produced by dissenters.
The 'illustrated' appropiation of popular themes caused the
gradual social raising of our'festival plays and jokes', at the
level of the only applauding audience and by the part of the
ones who directly participate or promote them. Popular themes
are source for endless plástic arts, theatrical, musical and
dance inspiration, being the for-mers, the most vigorous and
vivid among the popular festival expressions of the country.
The group that appeared in 1985 and gathered round the Boizinho
Barrica, consolidated its purpose with the creation of the
Companhia Barrica de Teatro de Rua (Street Theatre Barrica
Company), responsible for the roots' searching of most of our
popular culture, and, yet, it is responsible for the appearing
of other folk group: the Bicho Terra(Earthly Creature).
Barrica should call itself Boizinho Tonel(Barrel Little-ox),
evoking the fun-play that Sapinho(Little toad, nickname of a
well known folktales teller), used to include in carnival
festivals, as an appendix of the Cruzeiro team of merry-makers
of Madre Deus(a São Luís downtown famous quarter), but at the
end was named Boizinho Barrica(a very little ox-like marionette
played by a dancing man) because of its size.
A notorious fact is that Barrica(Little ox-like marionette),
eventhough being ox, is not Bumba(a general name for all folk
expressions performing the dancing of an imitation of ox) in the
sense used in the Terreiros(site were are performed dances and
rituals) that contitutes his ludic kingdom. The Barrica, though
vinculated to the ancient traditions, tells stories, sings and
bewiches with its poetry, musical harmonies and educated voices.
In the shows it performs, stilizes the four voices(accents in
which different ox folk tales are sung) of the ox: the Divino
Espírito Santo, the Coco, Chegança, Lelê, Tambor de Crioula, and
so on; in an endless beauty trip in search of Tainahakã, the
dancing would-be central star of a constellation, once its
appearance is the sign of it. And the Barrica boi started to
give birth various folk groups like the Bicho-Terra; and the
Madre-Deus quarter children created the Barriquinha, who is well
versed in beauty and promisses much more. So, undoubtedly, the
Boizinho Barrica belongs to the world, to Maranhão, to São Luís
and, mainly, to Madre Deus.
We would like to acknowledge the several youngsters who searched
and gathered diverse mani-festations of our culture, backed by
the Departamento de Assuntos Culturais da Universidade Federal
do Maranhão (Federal University of Maranhão Cultural Subjects
Department) , which ended up in a series of monographies(some of
them published in books), theatre and dance shows, films,
documentaries, photos and panflets. ( ok ) 4
Also the Laborarte -Laboratório de Expressões Artísticas-(Arts
Lab), founded in 1970, under the leadership of Tácito Borralho,
and today directed by Nelson Brito, has contributed to the
maintenance and divulgation of this art.
Américo Azevedo, deeply versed in popular culture and author of
the best book on Bumbas, is also promoteur and powerfull creator
of the Cazumba Show. Mrs. Zelinda Lima is another important
Bumba sponsor. José Sarney, then State Governor ,opened the
Palacio dos Leões to appreciate the presentation of the Barrica
Boi without ceremonies, as if it were in his Terreiros.
The Reggae, original from Jamaica, arrived in São Luís with full
strenght and ways for settling. Geographical and etnographical
similitudes approach the Caribean and São Luís cultures. For
this reason, long ago, caribean african rooted rhythms like
mambo, salsa, merengue and lambada, gained great acceptance in
the Island. With the ever raising use of the Radiola(Stereo set
of high potency speakers), popular dance-gathering meetings are
By the end of the 70s, the first reggae records were played
here, and in the next decade it was definitely incorporated to
the City's festivities. Soon, it was played in daily radio
broadcastings, gaining adepts, braking hearts and minds and
keeping a faithful team of funs.
At the moment, reggae is confined to the peripheries and
appreciated mainly by negros, but it is creating its own space
in other social layers by the introduction of local Themes, so
that it is possible to talk of Jamaican reggae and São Luís
reggae, while in Jamaica the reggae developed far beyond their
creators, Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Peter Tosh, in São Luís
remained in its reggae very roots, which keeps together a mass
of funs that enjoys it delici-ously. The so called 'pedradas' (a
set of selected and starlet reggae songs) are very popular in
the peripheries where exclusive 'pedra"parties are organized for
the rejoycement of funs. They call this presentations emulating
and naming foreing titles with local expressions such as Melô da
ô do Maracanã, Melô do Arrastão , Melô do Negão(Melô refers to
the melody or song preferred or sung by the dwellers of the
peripherial quarters Maioba, Maracanã, etc, or to the persons,
i.e. negão, a nick name for ne-gro).
Every year are promoted in São Luis Festivals of Poetry, Chorus,
Popular Maranhense Music and Curió(bird sin-ging), books and
plant fairs, agroindustrial expositions, and big parties in
hundred terreiros, in the Casa do Nagô e Casa De Minas (House of
Nagô and Minas), the Semana do Indio, do Negro, do Folclore(
festival of the indian, negro and folklore lasting one week
each), and whatever is possible to imagine.
If time and chances coincident with the festival calendar are
available, the visitor can move to Alcântara for the Divino and
São Benedito Festivals, or to São Gonçalo party in the Baixada's
cities, or to Arari, for the Festa da Melancia (Watermelon
Festival), to the Nativity Festival at Guimarães, or to the Fish
Festival in the cities of Viana and Penalva.
Main religious festivals are São Benedito, da Conceição and
Santa Severa processions; and dos Remé-dios. Also da Quaresma,
do Encontro and do Senhor Morto, none of them , though,
comparable to the pomp and circunstance of the XIX century
processions, filling the streets with music, fireworks and rich
costumes, pen-nant-decorated squares full of tables, tents, news
offered by vendors, gambling, carrousels, audits... in short, an
extensive list of temptations and appeal to the multitude that
crowds churches during the novena, chants and ser-mons and that,
because they were many or not very redeemed, spread afterwards
on the space where small or-chestras played, the colored lights
shone and fireworks and balloons lit the skies.
The first calendar run in São Luís by the year 1848, accounted
20 processions and 47 festivals at the City church. One of them
, without doubt the most concurred, inspired many writers as it
the case of Cesar Marques, Trajano Galvão, Graça Aranha, Aloísio
Azevedo and João Francisco Lisboa, who published a column in
which described graciously the 1851 festival.
From Remedios quarter, former Ponta do Romeu moistured by the
Anil River, lets go down to the opposite side of the era city
where, lifted to a sort of Bacanga River watch tower, was placed
the Ponta de Santo Amaro, which originated the Madre de Deus
quarter(actually written and pronounced Madredeus), noble born
because of its functions of educacional centre, Jesuits Convent
and Governors Palace; and still keeps noble because it was
legitimized by the population as the container of the strongest
cultural local traditions, the res publica we are so proud of.
The deserved chapter which, for not being here, is certain debt
for eventual payment in the future, concerns this playful, vast
and autonomous territory, to whose enthusiasm for remarkable
deeds entire reason is given.
With its poets, composers, singers, repentistas (at once prose
improvisors), artisans, animators and figurants, Madredeus
cheers up the São João June Festival with one the best Bois of
the Island( Popular Dance where main character is a man playing
under a ox figure), and animates the carnival with the Turma do
Quin-to(The fifth merry-makers team), tunned with lights and
winner of moral battles and superchanpionships.
The Madredeus physical area is easyly traced as bigger than the
original Ponta de Santo Amaro limits, but its sentimental size
spreads out to all places, new or old, poor or rich, in this
city, serving for human dwellings. During the festival time,
huge crowds of people come down to Madredeus from all the edges
of the county. Alone or in groups, all concour to Madredeus, the
sublime Mother Lady today sang by its poets, revered by Silva
Serrão and Constantino de Sá as splendour and aurora of life in
the past. Its clearly accepted that the Maranhense favora-ble
taste for parties and its contagious ludic vocation are alive.
And it can be probed looking at the festivals yearly calendar
that reflects our soul full of joy which removed the limiting
barriers interposed between the sacred and profane.
The best time, plenty of collective joy and enthusiasm entacing
the whole city is June, from the beginning to the end: starting
with Santo Antônio Parties(the wedding promoteur saint) to São
Pedro( the festival finishing saint) in whose honor is made a
São João with his lamb, leads, absolute, quarter parties,
quadrilhas, cocos, tambor-de-crioula, tambor-de mina and,
specially, the Bumba-meu-boi, after months of practice, is
blessed next to the round practice, in repetitive mixed latin
chants, in front of the anxious audience and the saints and the
cachaça, the godfathers, the woman prayer holding her "arruda" (
small branch used on the ear for protection)or a little broom
palm, in the night of June 23rd..
At that magic night, with firework and much shine, the city is
turned into a free territory spreading its fronti-ers far away
in the sea.
Then we can't talkanymore about São Luís, but about the island
from where, no matter what street, quar-ter , county or path,
comes the "Boi" , from São José de Ribamar, Maioba, Mata or
From other cities and towns, also come Bois to participate in
the festival, but usually after the 23th, because privilegies
are given to the São Luís Bois, their born place where they have
According to the Boi's sotaque(Intonation of the singing),
everything is different: the rhythm, the instru-ments, the
vests, the melody compass, the partisans and also the size and
appearance of oxs. The ones who know Boi, can tell you at once
only by looking at them, their origing, style, accent -if it
belongs to the island or if it is de Matraca, de Zabumba or de
Orquestra boi , or if it comes from Pindaré.
The beauty of the songs of Zabumba, the tambourines, wooden
rattles, the beauty of the tunes poetry and the circunvolutions
of the Boi, the policromy of the vests, the partisans very well
disguised with their hats and brilliant chests-shields, added
the nation of Paisanos and Mutucas, are very important persons
and trustable peo-ple.
In June, plazas, streets, alleys and crossroads, became
Terreiros. Along these are placed baderoles, ariri palms, stalls
and bonfires, keeping the all-time reserved place for the boi's
dancing. In order to install the contagi-ous joy after its
arrival, the tunes of Lá Vai ,lá vai, prenouncing its pityful
departure, they sing the farewell chant:
There it goes
there it goes,
it was her, the housewife
who asked me to come;
blew off the candles
'cause its firewood
is good enough
to light the terreiro.
My dear ma'am, sweep the floor
with manjericão gai',
'cause the boi flounce's white
and it's going to rug out the floor.
Goodbye is a sad word
and it's the only one I have
now I won't forget to remember you
my tone engraved will be
in your heart.
I leave my gardener remembrances
yellow rose and manjericão flower
I'm going to attend other's request
for my batallion white rose was sent.
The real Bois, the ones who take seriously their playing roles,
have their own obligations once they can't transfer them. They
are fulfilled with content as a devocional treaty. Miraculous
São João works, born from promis-ses made to him or from the
explicit desire of honoring him, the Bois also recognize
themselves as São Pedro and São Marçal devotees, to whom must
pay particular obligations.
That is why, at the very Saint's day, and much before the dawn
has come, his crescent bonfire and shinny batallions of
devotees, look for the São Pedro terreiro, by the capel of
Madredeus. It is an event of indescribable beauty, both bois
surrounded by thousands of devotees arriving to dance in São
Pedro's honor, fulfilling the natural stage
from which one can look and admire the dancing far down Boi
together with people.
The next day, at dawn, dedicated to São Marçal, a parade changes
the vehicles route, and makes the João Paulo quarter a site for
the major Matraca Bois concentration. They play jokes and enjoy
play-challenging former rivalries, as if they were enraged.
At last, the Boi becames remembrances, tears run over the faces
and, he bewitches himself and becomes hope: next year, at a well
known date, lighted in new brigths and with the same moving hips
and circu-mvolutions, comes back to the terreiro and enchants
and dances, following his fate, as determined by São João.
LITERATURE:THESTRENGTH OF A VOCATION
It won't be exagerated to sustain that Maranhão has, for a long
time, the literary vocation as distinctive mark of its people.
Great representative names of Brazilian literature were born in
this State, starting with Odorico Men-des, one of the most
important humanists of the XIX century. He, besides his roll in
politics and journalism, was specially dedicated to the
translation in verses of two classical masterpieces of western
literature: the Homeric poems and the whole Vergil poetry.
Odorico Mendes is the ancient representative character of the
Maranhense Group of intelectuals, compo-sed by Gonçalves Dias,
the first great brazilian romantic poet; Sotero dos Reis, master
of Portuguese language; Gomes de Sousa, scientist
internationally well known; Sousândrade,"the unique" whose works
were appropriately recognized only in this century; Trajano
Galvão, pioneer of the negro poetry; Gentil Braga, poet and
prose writer; Joaquim Serra, translator, poet and abolitionist
leader; and many others whose mentioning would be tiresome.
Next generations continued producing great literary values to
the country: Teófilo Dias, Raimundo Correia. Artur and Aluísio
Azevedo, Celso Magalhães, Coelho Neto, Humberto de Campos,
Viriato Correia, Maranhão Sobrinho, and a plethora of notorious
ones in our days as the prose writers Josué Montello, Rodrigues
Marques, José Louzeiro, Conceição Neves Aboud; poets like Manoel
Caetano Bandeira de Mello, Lago Burnett. Odylo Costa Filho,
Ferreira Gular, among others.
The poet and ex-president José Sarney, is also a vigorous prose
writer. After two excellent short stories collected in Norte das
Águas (North of the Waters), published the novel O Dono do Mar,
praised as work of excep-tional quality among those that refer
to similar topics.
Three great poets decided to live in São Luis: Bandeira Tribuzi,
Nauro Machado and José Chagas. And, among the prose writers
living here, it is worth remembering Ubiratan Teixeira, Lucas
Baldez, Waldemiro Viana. In Brasilía live the prose writer
Clovis Sena and short story writer Ariel Vieira Moraes. Lucy
Teixeira, poet and prose writer, lives in São Paulo, but visits
periodically the maranhense capital.
Among younger generations, the poets Viriato Gaspar, Fernando
Braga, Luis Augusto Cassas, José Maria Nascimento, Laura Amélia
Damous, Roberto Kenard, Paulo Melo Sousa and Marconi Caldas, can
Dagmar Destêrro easily flows from prose to poetry, as well as
Ivan Sarney and Ewerton Neto.
After a staying in Recife, returned to São Luís Manoel Lopes,
lovely city poet and Joaquim Itapary, poet and prose writer.
Maranhão keeps steadily confident to its major destiny, its
unavoidable vocation. It is a land of important essayist like
Franklin de Oliveira, Osvaldino Marques and of the unforgetable
one Erasmo Dias.
Nevertheles, the major maranhense literary expression is poetry.
That is why it should be rigth to say that São Luís is a city of
poets. Morever, São Luís also has been chanted by its poets.
We will have some samples in the next lines, short but
Simão Estácio da Silveira, portuguese navigator and first
President of São Luís Chamber, said in 1624:
'I declare that this is the best land of the world where natives
are very strong and long term living, and that it is already
realized that among the places where portuguese have been,
Brazil is the best, and Maranhão is the best of Brazil".
TO THE ISLAND:
'I will always have in green
seagulls and salt
the remembrance does not lose
the initial island'. (From poet and journalist Lago Brunett, in
Sorrounded by waters and dreams
by glory and tides
the island is mostly embraced by poetry
(Bandeira Tribuzi, Maranhense Poet.)
FOR THE TUNE OF ARRIVAL:
This is the city
that hols the bishop
and the Ribeirão fountain
Inside it, my heart and I.
(Manuel Lopes, Maranhense Poet.)
TO OUR WAY OF LIVING:
Out of rocks and tiles,
belvederes and alleys
mansions and towers,
a city is made:
and, mostly, of soul.
(Bandeira Tribuzi, Maranhense Poet) -3-
TO THE FOUNTAINS:
Stones and thirsty ships
crying in the eternity.
Thousand sailors arrived
the fountains water drunk
and went back.
leaving back endless cries
dawn tiny ligths,
in the antares swinging.
(José Sarney, Maranhense poet and prose writer.)
TO THE TALES:
THE MIRACLE OF GUAXENDUBA
She was then seen, blessing our war with her hand
She, Our Lady, in her lap holding the Holy Lad,
had finally come to help us fight for our land
A shining sword, we saw, her hands held on
(O, Land o'mine, if such desire even the virgin had,
what wouldn't do for you your dearest son?)
(Humberto de Campos, Maranhense poet and writer)
ANA JANSEN CHARIOT
Ghosts that will never subdue
from wandering through the streets
like those of Ana Jansen
in moonlit nights.
TEARS PALACE TALE
Through your palace
of warm weeping
the Lord of chains
may still pass.
The purity and abundance of our waters have been intensively
praised throughout the times. Among those who have praised them,
we have Claude d'Abeville, who was amazed by our healthy
springs. Simão Estácio da Silveira not only found our waters
pure and crystalline, but attributed to them medicinal
properties and great efficiency in the treatment and cure of
fevers and other illnesses.
The existence of fountains in the city is due to the needs of
water supply for the population. Many houses had private wells,
and some served the neighbors in addition to the owner himself.
Even so, other means of getting water were necessary. It was
needed in the supply of ships and boats, in construction and
many other public and private activities.
Many of those fountains do not exist anymore - this is the case
of Mamoim Fountain (built in 1796), the Açougue Fountain
('butchery', near the City Market) and Apicum Fountain, formerly
named Quinta ('Farm') Fountain. Other ones, however, still
1.1 - Fonte do Bispo (Bishop's Fountain)
This fountain was built in the 17th century. It is located at
the end of Rua das Crioulas and today is nothing more than a
ruined well, completely unprotected (and, as far as we know, not
included in any plans to give its historical importance back).
The story of the monument is related to Dom Frei Timóteo do
Sacramento, third Bishop, who was in charge of the diocese of
Maranhão from 1691 to 1700. Frei Timóteo had a rather audacious
and intolerant character and decided in 1697, to visit all his
parishioners in order to check their obedience to the dogma of
the Church. As a result of this, many processes, fines,
imprisonments and deportations occurred, once the Bishop's
diligence would not tolerate without rigorous punishments sins
such as lassitude of habits, lust and concubinage.
Such a long-reaching reprehension deeply bothered many people in
town, including some civil and ecclesiastic authorities.
Involved in this "religious war", Frei Timóteo excommunicated
the Ouvidor-Geral (a very important position in the government),
the Chief-Captain João Duarte, the Ministers of the Crown and,
finally, the whole city. The Bishop also excommunicated Frei
Manoel de São Boaventura, the local representative of the Pope
himself, but Boaventura had already excommunicated Frei Timóteo.
The Bishop was then confined in his own Palace (in São Thiago
boulevard), guarded by soldiers who had orders not to allow him
to leave or receive visits under any circumstances. After a few
days, Frei Timóteo no longer had any food or drink in the house
and begged the soldiers to let him go get some water. The
soldiers ceded and he collected some water in the fountain,
which was then named after him.
1.2 - Fonte da Pedras (The Rocks Fountain)
According to Father José de Moraes, in October 31st, 1615 the
Portuguese commanded by Jerônimo de Albu-querque camped, after
the final battle against the French, by the spring which would
supply the Dutch with water during their rule, three years
later. The chronicler also said that the Dutch are to be held
responsible for the first construction of the fountain, which
was "excellent and well founded".
The fountain is located in front of Rua São João and sided by
the hills of Rua do Mocambo and Rua da Inveja. It is a square
surrounded by walls and it is the back of the old Santa Amélia
The Fonte das Pedras is a wide space, filled with trees and
simple, agreeable benches. Unfortunately, the au-thorities have
not been treating the place with due attention - despite all the
brass plates left by those who, with a simple painting, want
nothing but an excuse to have their names written in the walls
of the monument. None of the plates, however, bears the name of
Governor Silveira and Colonel-Engineer Pereira Lago, who are
responsible for the shape the place has today: a masonry front,
paving, underground galleries, spillers and gargoyles. Those
ornaments present the best Portuguese colonial style, confirmed
by a brass shield with the very Portuguese five edges.
1.3 - Fonte do Ribeirão
The Fonte do Ribeirão, built in 1796, is located between
Barrocas, Afogados and Ribeirão streets. It was started under
orders of governor D. Fernando Antônio de Noronha (1792-8),
known as a stupid, rude and pedantic man, according to César
It seems that the monument was conceived with the same
dimensions and finishing it has today. In August 13th, 1796, a
report by Capitain José Luís da Rocha informs that the
construction was rather advanced and a sum of a 'conto' and two
hundred thousand 'réis' were needed to end it. This money would
be for paying salaries, and the purchase of lime, bricks, pipes,
cantaria rocks, gargoyles and others.
Placed in a small square, the fountain is protected by walls.
Its frontispiece is sided by two pillars with cornices on the
tops and ornated by friezes. The floor the pillars are on shows
both religious and pagan symbols. On the top of the construction
there was a statues of Neptune which, after several mutilations,
was eventually destroyed in the night of April 9th, 1995. Below,
three iron-barred windows block the access to the underground
tunnels. A little above the floor, five stone-sculpted gargoyles
with brass spillers pour water into a slabbed, T-shaped
reservoir. The overflow is drained by underground channels,
which runs towards the old Cajú Beach.
Several popular beliefs and legends are related to the Fonte do
Ribeirão. Among them is the one of the huge ser-pent whose tail
is under São Pantaleão Church. Another one is about the
existence of tunnels connecting the pulpits of many churches -
this would allow the priests to start a missal in Santo Antônio
Church and finish it in the Carmo. Some people even say these
tunnels were used for smuggling, slave traffic and other suspect
businesses performed under the support of clericals.
- Our way of living
Remarkable urban development was seen in São Luís between the
end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th centuries.
The streets were paved, the boulevards were gardened, trees were
planted and the fountains are given not only utilitarian cares
but decorative ones as well.
The rich rural aristocracy and the flourishing urban commerce
allow good taste and refinement in housing. The latest fashion
of European centers is used here and life styles are luxurious
and opulent. All this glamour would start declining only in the
decade of 1870, and was definitely over at the time of the
Abolishment of Slavery.
During this splendorous period fashion shops sold varied and
sophisticated goods and were frequented by the local society.
The newspapers of that time prove this. In 1863 an advertisement
of Cunha Machado & Braga, on Nazaré street, sold the following
articles: embroidered petticoats, beautifully colored clothes of
wool and silk, head ornaments, white gloves for men and women,
elastic silk belts, Italian hats and others.
The newspapers usually brought advertisements of hairdressers,
photographers, watchmakers, architects and goldsmiths -
frequently of French, Italian and Portuguese nationalities.
Naturally, during this period of refinement São Luís experiments
an era of physical expansion and remarkable improvement of its
constructions. In less than fifty years - from 1808 to 1856 -
the numbers of houses grew from 1553 to 2764, while the number
of straw huts diminished from 300 to 144. The imports of
construction material at that time increased considerably:
tiles, cantaria thresholds and portals are among these imported
goods. Also, there was a growth in the demand for specialized
civil construction professionals, once the hard work was done by
It takes no more than a careful look at the old part of the city
to have an idea of its magnificent past. However. the splendid
mansions and spacious houses not always lived up to the
expectations of their former owners - many times they are a
living, and somewhat poignant, testimony of our grandparents'
times. The constructions on Rua da Palma, Rua do Giz and their
outskirts, near Desterro, were turned into easily-noticeable
slums: clothes hanging on the balconies and lack of preservation
cares such as painting are some evidence of this.
Not all constructions in São Luís are tiled mansions with
faience eaves, gracious belvederes and elegant iron balconies
where beautiful monograms and long-gone dates can be read.
Those who were not that well-off to afford such refinement found
other solutions of very good taste for the hou-sing problem.
Several standards of single-floored houses are an evident
reflection of this. These houses used to have a basement, which
was a way of taking advantage of level differences in the
terrain. They were built in groups according to their kind of
façade, built area and internal division. There are four basic
patterns: Porta-e-janela (Door-and-Window), meia-morada
(half-house), morada-inteira (full-house) and morada-e-meia
The following representations of these four models and their
respective subtitles have been kindly provided by Dora
Alcântara. They were originally reproduced in her wonderful book
Azulejos Portugueses em São Luís do Maranhão (Rio, Fontana,
1980), which may be considered essential for those who wish to
know more about the typical architecture of our city.
If all our constructions are not tiled mansions, at least the
preference for this esthetic and utilitarian element is
ingrained in us. Even in the façades of more modern houses,
tiles will be present to prove our peculiar characteristic of
living: with commodity and good taste. Remodeling in popular
houses and elegant neighborhoods always include total or partial
covering with tiles - a shinning panel reflecting the light of
the sun, preventing infiltrations and damage caused by the salty
Many popular neighborhoods in São Luís are even more important
than some cities in the countryside of the State, due to their
expressive population. These neighborhoods have a life of their
own and gather several levels of our middle class.
Walking up and down hills through São Luís gives anyone a good
notion of the topography of the city, despite of countless
interventions, of public and private nature, which constantly
change its shape.
By the margins of Bacanga and Anil rivers it is possible to see
how much these modifications have altered the shape of the area
in São Luís. Dams and landfillings over places that were
originally bathed by the sea or over tide-floodable areas are
evidence of this phenomenon. It happened, if we are based in the
original urban perimeter, at the following places: Largos de
Palácio, João do Vale (actual Benedito Leite Square), Do Carmo,
Do Santo Antônio, De São João, Do Açouque, Do Quartel, Das
Mercês, Praia Grande and Praça da Alegria. Amongst the 18
chapels that disappeared, we have: S'Antaninha, Mercês,
Conceição, Barraquinhas, São Tiago, Madre de Deus and the
Chapels of the prison.
Urban expansion in São Luís has been performed, in great part,
by the occupation of land and mangrove areas. In order to
promote urbanization and embellishment of the city, the
government has many times fomented the con-quest of terrains
over the sea.
CHURCHES AND CHAPELS
1 - Churches and Chapels ( Igrejas e Capelas )
If we take a look at the architecture of the historical part of
São Luís, with particular attention to religious cons-tructions,
it'll be easily noticeable the handicap of these structures in
comparison to the civil ones. This is a rather unusual
conclusion, for very few cities in Brazil show such a contrast.
The Maranhenses, it is told, have never been very unanimous nor
earnest in their religious beliefs - the observa-tion of
religious constructions may well prove it.
In São Luís, emotions are quite different: the pyramid
indicating the probable site where the revolutionary Mano-el
Beckman and his fellow Jorge Sampaio de Carvalho were hanged
(November 10th, 1685); the modest monu-ment at Outeiro da Cruz,
a reminder of the war in which the Dutch were expelled; the
churches where Father Vieira used to preach; the springs by
which Jerônimo de Albuquerque camped his troops; the tiled
mansion (Rua do Sol, 567) in whose belvedere Aluísio Azevedo
wrote his masterpiece O Mulato (The Mulatto).
There is another mansion (Rua da Paz, 107) in whose ground floor
the Casa Trasmontana was established and where Humberto de
Campos worked as a salesman - in this house the writer-to-be met
Sousândrade who lived his last days, poor and abandoned by his
family. He usually came to the shop to buy "a can of asparagus,
some chee-se, Nantes sardines and some dates or plums", a small
but refined set of provisions that a servant took the Guesa
Poet's house, on Rua da Vitória. The poet would "pay some weeks
later, with change and small bills carefully counted"
(Unfinished Memories), money he got by selling stones taken form
the walls of his house, which was therefore being gradually
destroyed (this, however, prevented Sousândrade from starving to
death). The poet would answer how-have-you-been questions in an
ironical way: "I am doing very well, thank you. You know, eating
Finally, there is São João Church, built in 1665 under orders
and support of Governor Rui Vaz de Siqueira (1662-7), who wanted
to expiate a sin he had committed together with a lady of the
society. What is remarkable in this temple is not its
architectonic features, but its curious story. Erected in order
to have a sin forgiven, it would be covered with guilt 150 years
later, when Colonel Joaquim Silvério dos Reis Montenegro (who
was responsible for the failure of the Inconfidência Mineira, a
revolution in favor of Independence) was buried there.
Montenegro arrived in São Luís on October 11th, 1809 and died on
February 17th, 1819.
1.1 - Igreja da Sé (The Sé Church)
This church started being built in September 8th, 1690, under
orders of Father Bettendorf. It was concluded al-most ten years
later and blessed on July 30th, 1699 by D. Timóteo do
Sacramento, third Bishop of the Diocese of Maranhão. Nossa
Senhora da Luz was the patroness of the temple, which only in
1762 was named Cathedral, title then lost by Nossa Senhora da
Vitória Church, its neighbor (located where the Palácio do
Comércio is today).
In 1760, when the Jesuits were expelled from Maranhão for the
third and final time, all their possessions were confiscated by
the Portuguese crown. By that time, the Jesuit temple already
had another patroness: Nossa Se-nhora da Boa Morte (Our Lady of
The Carta Régia (Colonial Law) of June 11th, 1761 turned the
school, the convent and the Church of the Jesuits into a
seminar, the Bishop's house and the Sé Cathedral. This decision
came in the right time, for the temple lay in ruins then. On
January 17th, 1762, the temple of Nossa Senhora da Boa Morte was
erected as the Sé Cathedral.
The Church suffered many internal and external changes
throughout three centuries and now features the appearance given
by the last reform performed in 1922 by Bishop D. Helvécio Gomes
de Oliveira: complete remo-deling of the old façade, in ancient
colonial style, asymmetric with a curve front.
The reform made it taller, symmetric, neoclassic, showing an
image of Nossa Senhora da Vitória on the classic frontispiece.
It also added a new tower to it - beside the northern one - and
made both towers square, covered with domes divided into three
sections, on which lay octagonal pyramids with iron crosses.
In the extremities of the transept there are the altar of the
Sacred Heart of Jesus, with neoclassic decoration (in whose
glassed table an urn contains the image of Nossa Senhora da Boa
Morte), and the altar of the Holy Sacra-ment, where we can find
elements of rococo and neoclassic styles.
The main altar is a wonderful work of Portuguese art of the 17th
century. It features an excessive decoration with golden details
over a blue basis. The altar is supported by Solomon columns and
crowned by concentric arches linked by radial elements.
Many eminent personalities of our society are buried in the Sé
Church. Among them we have the Bishops D. Gregório dos Anjos
(our first one), D. Luís de Brito Homem, D. Frei Joaquim de
Nossa Senhora de Nazaré, D. Marcos Antônio de Sousa and our
gentle and dearest Father D. Francisco de Paula e Silva, whose
presence in the history of the Catholic Church of Maranhão is
1.2 - São José do Desterro Church
The best way to get to this church is going down Rua da Palma.
In the first years of the colonization the site was occupied by
a small hermitage turned towards the sea and dedicated to Nossa
Senhora do Desterro. The Dutch are said to have profaned this
hermitage when they invaded the city in 1641.
The hermitage was then rebuilt, still under patronage of Nossa
Senhora do Desterro, probably with its front tur-ned to the
little square where Rua da Palma ends, and where the becos
(alleys) Precipício, do Desterro and do Caela start.
In 1832 this construction fell down, but José Lé, a black man
who lived in its outskirts, immediately started working in order
to rebuild it. With help of few friends, Lé himself carried the
stones, lime, clay, wood and other materials needed in the work.
José Chagas, the poet, wrote the story of this persistent man,
who venerated God with his sweat, in Os Canhões do Silêncio (The
Cannons of Silence):
Time has gone by and José
was taken from life,
and his church is today
all built in blue,
a church out of the
neighborhood and out of our reach
irradiating an aura
seen from behind, from a distance.
But the church he left
unfinished in the place
is this one the windy,
beliver of the air itself,
announces with the voices
of the bell to José Lé,
that the church has come to us
thank to his faith.
The unfinished work of José Lé was taken ahead by another
dweller of the place, José Antônio Furtado de Queixo, a clerk.
With charity of the parishioners, he finally got to conclude the
reconstruction of the temple, which was blessed in 1839 under
the patronage of São José do Desterro - maybe a relationship
with the names of those two faithful men.
The Church, however, was again abandoned when José Antônio
Furtado de Queixo died. This was due to lack of care of the
brotherhood responsible for the temple. Images, chandeliers and
other pieces of decoration were stolen or simply vanished. In
1865, after a period of pitiless deterioration, the Câmara
Municipal addressed a docu-ment to the Bishop, asking for
permission to demolish the walls that still lasted, for they
were about to fall down. In the site of the old church a fish
market would be placed.
The project seemed to restore in the population the awareness of
the historical value of that temple. A letter from the bishop D.
Luís da Conceicão Saraiva (August 8th, 1867), convoked thirty
people to join the committee which "on behalf of religious zeal
and love for the church" would rebuild São José do Desterro. The
works soon started, under the supervision of a directory
composed by Priest Maurício Fernandes Alves, president; César
Marques, secretary; and Manoel de Freitas Bicas, treasurer.
The end of the reconstruction, paid by Maranhense ladies, is
shown in the front bars of the tower: 1868. A board in the choir
also shows: "Francisco Gonçalves dos Reis, in 1868, ordered the
making of this choir and the three windows in front, under
The new church was finally inaugurated, with solemnity, on
November 21st, 1869, under presidency of bishop D. Luís da
Conceição Saraiva. The bells, named São José, São Luís, Santa
Bárbara and São Jerônimo, tolled for the first time at the sound
of Gloria in Excelsis Deo.
1.3 - Remédios Church
Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, built in gothic style, has surely
the most harmonic lines and the most impressive façade of the
churches in São Luís. It is located in front of Largo (Square)
dos Remédios, in whose center stands the statue of Gonçalves
Dias. The whole neighborhood, known in colonial times as Ponta
do Romeu and where vegetation grew tall, was named after the
In 1719, clericals of Santo Antônio Convent donated a block of
land measuring 50 braças to Captain Manoel Monteiro de Carvalho,
where he built the hermitage of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios. The
place was very far from the city at that time and, therefore,
was visited only by people who would expiate or make promises to
the saints. However, after a fugitive slave killed his 'owner',
the visitors practically stopped coming.
The hermitage, abandoned, started falling into pieces. In 1775,
Governor Joaquim de Melo ordered the cons-truction of a wide
road that went from Ponta do Romeu to the Royal Road, the Rua
Grande (Great Street). The road made it possible to people visit
the hermitage regularly again. At the same time, Rua dos
Remédios was given its present shape.
The construction of the temple started thanks to charity
collected by Francisco Xavier, an old hermit. During the first
quarter of the 19th century, , Gaioso said Nossa Senhora dos
Remédios "was greatly enriched by Maranhense businessmen, who
took the Lady as the patroness of commerce".
The writing surrounded by decorations in high-relief seen in the
interior of the temple, on the left side of the main chapel
arch, was originally placed outside, on the door of the
Many rebuildings, improvements and remodelings were performed in
Nossa Senhora dos Remédios: 1860, 1892, 1906, 1907, 1910, 1913
The Festival of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, which happened in
October, used to be one of the most impor-tant and sought-after
events in São Luís from the last century to the first half of
this one. It was mentioned many times by Trajano Galvão, Graça
Aranha, Aluísio Azevedo, César Marques and, specially, the story
written by João Francisco Lisboa, published in O Publicador
Maranhense on October 15th, 1851 and later joined to his works.
1.4 - São Pantaleão Church
Despite its small size and simple architecture, São Pantaleão -
located on the street named after the same saint, between
Cotovia and Cajazeiras - took almost forty years to be finished.
Pantaleão Rodrigues de Castro and Pedro da Cunha officially
started its construction on June 15th, 1780. The patron saint
would be São José da Cidade. However, Pedro da Cunha died nine
years later, at the age of eighty. In 1793 Pantaleão and his son
Manoel Rodri-gues de Castro donated the church to the Santa Casa
de Misericórdia (House of the Holy Mercy), together with an
image of São José da Misericórdia. Pantaleão, too, died without
seeing the temple fully constructed, what would happen only in
1817. On March 17th of the same year the temple was solemnly
blessed and inaugurated.
The new church was then called São Pantaleão, in a homage to one
of his idealizers. The body of Pantaleão Castro, buried in the
chapel of Nossa Senhora da Piedade, in the Carmo Convent; was
transferred to the main chapel of São Pantaleão in November,
On the left side of the back of the temple, in front of Rua da
Cotovia, was established for a long time the Casa da Roda, also
called Roda dos Enjeitados or Casa dos Expostos, a place
conceived to receive and educate babies born of single women who
could not - or didn't want to - raise them. Both the Casa dos
Expostos and the Church were under the rule of the Santa Casa de
Misericórdia until 1946, when they were transferred to the
responsibility of the Mission of São José and the Archbishop of
São Luís, respectively.
On the right side of those who come into the church, there are
the relics of Santa Severa, inside of a glass urn. They arrived
in São Luís on December 5th, 1852, brought by Frei Doroteu de
Inside, São Panteleão Church has been discharecterized and
poorly decorate because of disas-trons remodeling done in 1976,
under priest André K. direction.
SÃO JOÃO CHURCH
SÃO JOÃO CHURCH, as have said, was built in 1665, by iniciative
and expenses of Governor and General Captain Rui V. de S., who
head the state from 1662 to 1667.
A process of inquest instaured during his administration, he was
out of town for a while, getting, aftewards, permission to live
in this church, "which he had recently built at his expenses to
the soldiers, in order to pay what he had done to a noble
married woman, with whom he had a daugther", according to priest
João F. B., contemporary cronist of the fact.
Built in the Paz and São João streets crossing, Saint John
Baptist Church has it front to a plaza where the water company
installed a water fountain (already removed). In 1938 the bust
of Antônio Henriques Leal, codnamed maranhense Plutarch was put
there, but removed, in 1967 to Pantheon Square.
Among the remodelings that the church went throught, it is
particularly important the one of 1934, because of its complete
reconstruction, according to front wall inscription : 1665
SANCTI JOANNIS BAPTISTAE ECCLESIA 1934.
In 1958 it had several remodelings, including painting, remove
of high altar and roof remodeling. At that time the bones
removing took place, including Silvério dos Reis Remains.
On may 17th, 1717, the carmel monks considered that "the little
black brothers of Virgin of Saint of Rosário were united and
agreed to found here a hermitage dedicated to the same saint and
for not having where to build it". They gave to the brother hood
a spot situated in old Carmo.
Our Saint Lady Rosário Brotherhood, whose king was , then, José
Luís da Fonseca, had white devotees help to build the church (on
Egito street, Santo Antônio street corner), visited in 1772, in
1776 was bapti-zed by Antônio Cordeiro Roxas vigary, then the
saint moved to High Altar, of the temple. On november 1st, 1814,
there was the first procession. But it seems that in 1864 the
works were not done yet, because there is a note which the
brotherhood asks the devotee's more help, to "continue the
According to expert report, inside the temple only the partial
cover of side walls of main - chapel remains original, made out
of tiles that makes panels, and the side altares, principally
the left one, compouned by rustic carving cut and hold by two
columns adorned with fruits and leaves that covers and follow
During D. Manoel J. de S. (1852-1861) bishop, Sé Church was hit
by a lightning that caused great damages, and because of that
the prelet had to preside in Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos
D. Luís de Conceição Saraiva (1862-1878) after D. Manoel, taking
advantage of his privileged position, started the remodeling
work of Sé church and the episcopal palace, gave to maranhense
faithful the example of his work and care for catholic things.
Following this idea, other brotherhoods remodeled their church,
such as "Santo Antônio, Desterro, Carmo, São Pantaleão and
Rosário", besides chapels of "Senhor dos Passos and Senhor Bom
Jesus dos Navegantes".
In 1970, São Benedito Brotherhood, under presidence of Eduardo
da Silva Sampaio, did the last notable remodeling of this
church, which had left one of its rooms to public classes
conducted, up to 1821, by priest Domingos Cadávila Veloso,
important person in favor of Maranhense Adhesion to
The historic monuments of maranhense publication, when referring
to Santana Church (in a street of same name, between Cruz and
São João street), makes a mistake, confusing it with already
demolished Sacred Family Santana Chapel, widely know as
Santaninha Church. This note has the idea of preventing fooling
eventual consultors, and also because mainly it's the author's
fault, which is in the mentioned book, the responsible for the
text and revision.
César Marques, whose dictionary is greatly used by those who
write about history of Maranhão, talks about many churches of
São Luís, but does not mention some. Among them, Santana.
According to Gaioso, the construction in 1790, by Canon João
Maria da Leu Costa.
The panels of Portuguese tiles are notable for their values.
Unhappily they are in a very bad condi-tion, and trying to solve
this problem, they applied modern tiles, which gave a bad and
Inspite of predominant neoclassic style, this temple has got
several Barroque elements. At the end of the hall, left side
from entrance, there is a panel with Sacra inspiration,
beautiful and relative good conservation.
ANUNCIAÇÃO AND REMÉDIOS CHAPEL
Beside Santa Tereza School, of Doroteias Sisters (Egito street,
across from Rosário Church), there is our Saint Anunciação and
Remédios Chapel. Which original construction dates of century
XVIII and thank to determination of blessed Gabriel Malagrida,
the apostole of Maranhão.
This chapel was built as praying house of our Saint Anunciação
and Remedios Asillum, founded by the missionary, in 1752. While
some work as getting money and chapel remodeling were in
progress, both conclued on August 1753, the asillum was in
priest José Teles Vidigal House, in the then João do Vale Plaza
(actual Bene-dito Leite Square), where there is Caixeral Center
Technical School of Maranhão.
Linked by Malagrida to Jesus Heart Ursulinas, the retired, under
pression to maintain the longest distance as possible of the
insulted memory of their Benefactor and spiritual father, had,
in 1768, request permissi-on to change their Instute by the
Santa Mônica Agostinianas, getting rid of the old "chothes and
customs not to keep among them any sign of the Jesuits".
Succeding agostinianas, on january 19th, 1894, arrived the
Doroteias Virgínia Janozzi, provincial, Dorotéia Moraes,
superior, Maria Carolina Beltrão and Francisco Cunha. On January
6th, after religious ceremony at Retired Chapel, were solemny,
placed in the direction of the place by bishop D. Antônio
Besides antique tile panels, the beautiful lioz stone sink and
the tomb-stone that there are in the mortuary room, deserves
reference, in our sain Anunciação and Remédios Chapel, a rustic
bench in which, accor-ding to tradition, priest Malagrida "used
to rest and sleep tired or his apostolate".
José das Laranjeiras Chapel is at the end of Grande street, has
ist construction authorized on April 17th, 1811 and was
concluded in 1816. The portuguese José Gonçalves da Silva
codnamed 'o Barateiro' (the Cheap Man), built it, who when died,
on Nov. 22nd, 1821, at 72 years old, was village Itapecuru-Mirim
alcaide-mor, Fortaleza de São Marcos Governor, Portuguese Real
Army Brigate and titular of "Morgado das Laranjeiras".
Owner of a fortune, about 7 millions of cruzados, 'O Barateiro'
left a humanity and generous person memory. To the flagelates
from Ceará dry, he sent manioc flour; lent to real treasure 20
contos (brazilian money currency at the time) and had annual
donation of 1080 rice bags, while the war Portugal against
France lasted. And gave about 300 contos to 'Legados Pios', out
of which 50 thousand cruzados to "Santa Casa de Misericórdia"
The Laranjeiras Spot, head of Morgado, was also called Baroteiro
Spot, for Association to the autonomasie of its titular. And
letter, Barão Spot allusive nobile arquic - Barão de Bajé - of
Barateiro's son - in - law.
In spite belonging to Maristas Brothers and being annexed to
Maranhense School, directed by them, this chapel was in a so bad
situation and abandoned, that almost fall down.
By iniciative of Maranhense Tourism Organ - MARATUR, went
through complete remodeling, opened to public visitation on
December, 1981. Inside there is a tumb of its founder, which
arms blasonry is used as tomb stone Culture Secretary Organ,
through Historic and Artistic Museum of Maranhão.
QUARESM STEPS ( PASSOS DA QUARESMA )
Of the seven Quaresm Steps, in front of which were performed, in
easter, the fourteen main Sacra way pictures, only two remain in
good conditions to the remodeling and conservation program : the
one in João V.; T. street and the one in Formosa street (across
of Direita street), for being isolated construction and not
Of three other steps we know about, only one is of own building,
on Grande street, 87, Commercial Firm Ribeiro Carvalho & Cia.
Ltd. Head office. This small real is greatly danifed for the
front cover, oil painting and hurdy-gurdy door that was put
there, besides changing all its inside part.
The other two, there are some vestigies in the side wall of Sé
Church (before Benedito Leite Squa-re) and in the corner of
Great Orient Masonic House (São João Street Side).
CONVENTS ( CONVENTOS )
CONVENTS, CHURCHES AND SEMINARS
SÃO FRANCISCO CONVENT
The very first of our convents - São Francisco is close to Sé
Church - lasted a little longer then the permanence of French
cappuchines here, their founders.
SANTO ANTÔNIO CONVENT, CHURCH AND SEMINAR
On August 5th, 1624, Monk Cristóvão de Lisboa arrived in São
Luís, as a holy office visitor and commissary.
He brought 13 other franciscans with him, and started right
away, in the place that is still there today is A. Plaza the
construction of S. A. Convent and the annexed little church
Santa Margarida, which lately disappeared.
About the convent. Inaugurated on February 1st, 1625, and of
which Fra Antônio de of Trindade was nomineed guardian, informed
monk Cristóvão, at this time to his brother Manoel Severim de
Faria : "in this land I have done a monastery with two bed rooms
and all the necessary shops, roofs and two floor building,
walls, therefore of wood towed and pained".
There are several episodes about Santo Antônio Convent, the
first one known as Bequimão Re-volt, which meetings held place
there, reaching the point of conjures concentration that left
from there, in the night of February 23rd, 1684 and deposed
Captain-Mor Baltazar Fernanda, because the state governor and
General-Captain, Francisco de S. de M., was in Belém.
In many times the Santo Antônio monks sheltered the threatened
persons such as the auditor Vicente Leite Ripado (1720) and João
Francisco Leal (1792), persecuted by Colonial Governors.
It's from the beggining of century XVIII the famous process the
franciscans promoted against ants, for stealing their store room
and thereatening the Convent Security.
In 1836. when the state military police was criated, with the
name of province police corporation of Maranhão, the Santo
Antônio Convent was its first Head Quarters. But soon they found
a better place to stay, Santo Antônio Episcopal seminar, founded
by bishop D. Marcos Antônio de Sousa, inaugurated on abril 17th,
o The seminar had developed, getting many students, being
necessary to enlarge the physical space and criate new subjects
of humunities, theology and gregorian song. The Convent
therefore, started to decline, so in 1856, there was no priestes
nor financial resources, left in a complete abandoned situation.
In this year Frei Vicente de Jesus came from Pará State, as a
guardian, and started the renewing of the convent as well as the
construction of Santo Antônio Church. He died, therefore, in
1862, not being able to see the conclusion of the church the
worked so much for, asking help from the people and public
The new convent guardian, Frei Ricardo do Sepulcro, continued
his antecessor's work. He got that, from 1864 the province
government sent to the construction work some 12 "Contos de
Reis" (that period's money currency) annually and that the
engineer Francisco César de Silva Amaral would be in charge of
them, by government orders.
The Santo Antônio Church was fulemny and pomposily opened to the
fies on january 20th, 1867, when they enthroed the image of
their Patron Saint .
On the left side going in the church, there are, with its
continuity in a transversal way, the chapels of 'Senhor Bom
Jesus dos Navegantes'and of 'Senhor Bom Jesus da Coluna, both
constructions done before, and primitive front walls gathered to
the church front wall. The chapel of Senhor Bom Jesus dos
Navegantes has lousa floor and arch cradle roof. The Altar-Mor,
neoclassic, is wall white, decorated with green frower motives,
which is very nice.
According to the tradition, priest Antônio Vieira speeched here,
in 1654, the Santo Antônio Sermon, which became famous as 'The
Fish Sermon', for him alegorically referred to them. Vieira,
actually, used this way to call the attention of some local
people (includind religious people) related with indians abuse
and with bad procedu-res which he fought.
If Vieira speeched in the chapel or in the church, there aren't
enough elements to prove. What we can be sure of is that the
'Fish Sermon'was not speeched in the actual Santo Antônio
Church, which we know, is dated from the second half of century
CARMO CHURCH AND CONVENT
The church and convent of 'Nossa Senhora do Carmo'are linked
with several episodes of Mara-nhense History, being the
principal of them, the expulsion of dutches, in 1643. Bitten in
the island, Nassau preposts intended to organize the resistence
in São Luís, but they had in the Carmo Convent a inexpugnable
fortress from where the decisives bombing against São Felipe
Fort came from, and where the portuguese fighters and the
nati-ves found shelter, sustain, weapons and ammunitions. Combat
wounded, died there the brave Antônio Muniz Barreiros Filho,
Ex-Captain-Mor of Maranhão. But the Carmelits Strict, their
assistance to the wounded people, their spiritual confort and
encoraging words contributed a lot for the new leader's
campaing, Sargent-Mor Antônio Teixei-ra de Melo, with a lot of
determination and braveness, in which among others, had
distinguish captain Paulo Soares de Avelar and indians chiefs
Joacaba Mitogás and Henrique de Albuquerque.
Spot of primitive Carmo Convent, placed in monsieur Pinau
country house, where there is today 'Nossa Senhora do Rosário
dos Pretos' Church, was donated to the Carmelits Frei Cosme de
Anunciação and Frei André de Natividade, by Alexandre de Moura,
on december 12th, 1615. But in 1623, the order was already in
charge with the edification of new convent and church, in the
palce of they are nowadays, which was knoen as Santa Barbara
Hill, because of a little church that once was there, under this
The actual Carmo Church and Convent have very few of the
original constructio, starting from the front wall, that doesn't
seem to be the primitive one, covered by tiles in 1866. The
Convent, principally, had descha-racterized modifications done
by its new owners, the capuchines.
Because of internal disagreement and the new
political-institutional situation criated by the Procla-mation
od Republic, the religious orders had their patrimony
incorporated to national treasure and their churches and
convents were abandoned progressively. That was Carmo's
situation when Lombardos capuchines mission arrived in São Luís,
in 1894. In the same year they had authorized, by the customs
inspector of this capital, the requirement to be church and
convent depostaries, with the responsability of remodeling them.
In the year after they moved in. For 16 contos and 500 thousand
réis (brazilian currency at that time) they bought them, in a
public sessi-on, in 1911.
To follow the urban plan in execution, the church and convent
had some changes, like shortening the large sidewalk on Paz
street (3 windows desappeared because of this). This demolition,
previewed since 1902, was done in 1932. Of a posterior data was
the adro reduction, which front steps were changed for siding
Belongs to the memory of the church, celebrations such Santa
Filomena, which was one of the most important of the city, and
the eloquence of great sacros and politicans speechers that
spoke to people from there, like Frei Marcelino de Milão; Conego
Ribamar Carvalho, the unforgetabel speecher of the meeting
processi-ons; Astolfo Serra, whom, priest, spoke fluently is
service of politition; José do Patrocínio, is his way to the
unfair amazonic confining and Conde D'Eu, whose monarquist
speeching, was repelled with a noisy disagreement rooms of the
Convent are used to several objectives, such as medical offices
and courses, offered preferable to low in came people. Last
century, among other objectives, Carmo Convent used to ve
Provincial Police Head Quarters, Public Library first place
(inaugurated on may 3rd, 1831), Maranhense Literary Institute
(1865) and Liceu Mara-nhense, according to front woll
inscription, side north of the tower, that according to Antônio
Lopes is the "lightest inscription of São Luís".
MERCÊS CHURCH AND CONVENT
There was in São Luís a convent - The Nossa Senhora das Mercês
Real and Military order - that, for its material goods,
administrative mistakes and political-institutional crises,
overpass the congeneric organizati-ons.
In 1654 arrived to the city, from Belém, the mercenaries João
Cerveira (Maranhense from Alcânta-ra) and Marcos de Natividade,
to whom come to join a little later, the Frades Manoel de
Assunção and Antônio Nolasco, besides the layman brother João
During this year they built the church and convent, simple
constructions made out of stucco cove-red by leaves. But in 1655
they requested additional spot to the Chapel-Mor, and with no
delay they built the convent and church wider, of stone and cal.
Knowing the educational and evangelic activities, the
mercenaries developed with hard work, industrial and
agropastures enterprises. From where they got their sustain and
much more was left to make them richer. There were times that
they used to have more than 200 slaves to work in plantations,
pottery, salt-mines and cattle raising.
Criated by Pará Convent, Mercês Convent of São Luís and
Alcântara made, with the first, a depen-dable that there is a
reason to several strict orders that the order suffered,
including the total submission to episco-pal judgment that
ranged ilimited unmanaging in the destiny of their wellfares.
With the independence arrival, started, going back to Lisbon,
habit changes or through the centuri-es, an emptyness process of
the convent by the frades.
After the amplifications and recuperations necessary to its new
objectives, the Mercês Convent was indicated, by D. Luís de
Conceição Saraiva (1862-1878), the place of small seminar there
inaugurated on february 3rd, 1863, which became later a
important humanities institute.
Under the bishop D. Xisto Albano (1901-1907), the convent
buildings and Mercês church, making 1.062 m2 of constructed area
in spot of 5.605 m2, were sold to state government for 4 contos
de réis (brazilian currency at that time).
Owing the place in may 5th, 1905, the government did some
adaptations and relomeling, including the one that chaged the
front side of the convent and church annexed (to the sea side)
and confered a unit of unic front wall, to be used as Military
Police and State Military Fireman Corps. After this place had a
complete restaurati-on, in order to be Republic Memory
Foundation, which has important collection of books, documents,
iconography, condecorations, filmotec, art works and several
objects donated by Senator and ex-President José Sarney.
To Mercês Convent and church (whise edification preceded that
one) associate a notable cronic that the banquets for many
guests, poor people alms , first letters classes, latin grammar,
phylosophy, music, by "talent and illustred frades", a notable
library and the Christms, Easter, Nossa Senhora das Mercês and
São Pedro Nolasco, the Order patron. In this saint day in which
the church was inaugurated, the Priest Antônio Vieira spee-ched
the famous sermon of São Pedro Nolasco, out of which we have :
Note Maranhão of way, and take care, a lot, that has among all
conquers of our kingdom. All states of our conquers, in Africa,
Asia, and America, got from Portugal the religions in honor, and
sustain itself : only Maranhão State can give new religion to
Portugal, because it gives to Mercês. Here started and from here
went, and there starts to have a house, and will want the same
Senhora, that soon have houses and provinces.
NOTABLE INSTITUTIONS AND MONUMENTS
Depending on the parameters used to observe our monuments and
our institutions, we may conclude that they are either notable
or unimportant. In fact, São Luís has no monuments that,
measured by a general scale, deserve a notable classification.
And perhaps because of this the city does not need, yet itself,
in soul and tiles, hillside and eaves, is the largest and most
important monument that we can admire here.
With so much comprehension that ahead there is a summary
presentation of busts, statues and marks of the city, as well as
some institutions. Some of them, notable and very important, for
what they represent and summarize of our history, our
traditions, fights and victories, of our lives, at last.
CROSS HILL ( OUTEIRO DA CRUZ )
Evocative monument of Dutch expulsion, where an inscription
reminds : THE POPULAR TRADITION CONSECRA-TED THIS/ MONUMENT TO
THE BRAVE'S MEMORY THAT,/ UNDER MONIZ BARREIROS AND/ TEIXEIRA DE
MELLO'S ORDER TURNED OUT/ THE DUTCHES FROM CAPTAINCY.
09.30.1642/ 09.21.1642/ 01.26.1643/ 02.28.1644.
MEMORY STONE ( PEDRA DA MEMORIA )
Monument erected in Durique field , in 1841, commemorative of D.
Pedro II Coronation. It has, open in relief, in one of pyramid
faces on the top, the empire arms. And, in the pedestal, these
inscriptions : TO THE CORONATION MEMORY OF HIS MAJESTY EMPEROR
D. PEDRO II, EMPEROR OF BRAZIL, ERECT THIS MONUMENT THE ARMY
MEMBERS WHICH ARE IN THE PROVINCE, BEING PRESIDENT DOCTOR JOÃO
ANTÔNIO DE MI-RANDA/ 18 AND 41/ ARMS COMMANDER COLONEL FRANCISCO
JOSÉ MARTINS/ 1841. On the other side of the pedestal, a bronze
plate, says : RESTORED ON 04.10.50/ GOVERNOR SEBASTIÃO ARCHER/
DA SILVA/ CITY MAYOR ANTÔNIO E. DA COSTA RODRIGUES.
After the demolition of the headquarter and complete abandon of
Durique field, this monument, nowadays in one of docks
half-orange, was dismounted and almost got lost wasn't the
endeavoury of writer Joa-quim Luz (Matões-MA, Dec. 17th 1813 -
Rio de Janeiro, Jul. 1st 1950), who had interest in its
instalation in the place where it is nowadays.
Note : The empire arms and the inscription open on chisel are
facing the sea. Still about the original inscription : the
double registration of the year - 1841 - indicates that the name
of the arms commander was inclu-ded later. Especially because
the first date, which should end the inscription, was clumsy
introduced the additive AND.
BEQUIMÃO PYRAMID ( PIRÂMIDE DE BEQUIMÃO )
Evocative obelisk of Manoel Beckman, Bequimão Sacrifice,
principle leader of 1684 Revolution. Inaugurated on Jul. 28th
1910, at Urbano Santos Park, previously called Warehouse beach
and later Trindade beach, problably the place where Bequimão and
his fellow Jorge de Sampaio were hanged, on Nov. 10th 1685.
BANDEIRA TRIBUZI MEMORIAL ( MEMORIAL BANDEIRA TRIBUZI )
Ponta d'Areia beach, built during Luís Rocha Government, should
gather the poet's collection, space used for courses, seminars
and temporany expositions. Abandoned, hasn't had any utility, so
There are statues and pyramids all over the city done and
ordered to be done in a feast soul, but all of them of untoward
aesthetics results. The first represent the water mother, Saint
Francisco, Saint Cristóvão, Bequimão, Jerônimo de Alburquerque,
the fisherman, the urban workman, finally - goddess, saints,
fighters and daily heroes. The second, we do not know for sure
what they represent. In front of Newton Bello assemblage,
Alemanha sector, there was a maranhense ex-governor statue,
aberrance which is no longer there, at the monu-ment of this
registration. Hopefully it never goes back, while deeply
recommend the city's asthetic prophylaxis service. And to have a
beautiful close of these notes, let's remember amazing panels
and murals that Antônio Almeida spreaded out through indoor and
outdoor spaces of São Luís, among them, in the Atlântico Gas
Station, Park of Bom Menino Veneza Spot, State Legislative
Assembly, State of Maranhão newspaper front wall, couple Cléa
Alberto Salim Duailibe residence, Commercial Association and
State of Maranhão Bank Wall. Some, despite being badly treated
or widly painted, lost, in general the beauty that Almeida gave
to them. It's nice to admire them. Sometimes cause pity. But
always, as well, are worth seeing.
MERCÊS CAVE ( CAVUA DAS MERCÊS )
Jacinto Maia (start), between Estrela and Palma Streets.
Small construction that would have been a slave trade center. It
has a 'pelourinho' replic (place where slaves were bit), the one
that used to be in Carmo Plaza, besides pieces related to
slavery and black culture.
TAMANDARÉ ADMIRALTY ( ALMIRANTE TAMANDARÉ )
In the square with the same name, close to the military village
and 24th Head Quarter. In the front, an anchor and a cannon.
Posted in the pedestal, this plate: TO TAMANDARÉ ADMIRALTY IN
HONOR FROM THE CITY OF SÃO LUÍS/ INAUGURATED IN Jan. 31st, 1970.
ANTONIO FRANCISCO LEAL LOBO
(São Luis-Ma. July 4th, 1870 - June 24th, 1916) - In the old
Santo Antônio Plaza, officially named Antönio Lobo Square
(resolution of April 20th, 1917 from the Town House), in honor
to this great intellectual leader, used to live at 33 building
of this site, in his last days of life. Work of the maranhense
sculptor Celso Antônio de Menezes, placed there by the
initiative of Silvio Romero Students Union.
(São Luis -Ma. 1854 - Rio de Janeiro , 1937) - The bust of this
which was one of the greatest brazilian actress of her time, and
that was born in the #1 dressing room, of the Arthur Azevedo
Theater, was found, inicially, in the beginning of Magalhães de
After a while was transfered to the internal side of Arthur
Azevedo Theater (A.A.), where there was the Eney Santa-na
Gallery, with the monument at its entrance. Nowadays it's in the
same place, inside the Arthur Azevedo Theater.
PINDARÉ BARON, ANTONIO PEDRO DA COSTA FERREIRA
(Alcântara - Ma. Dec. 26th, 1778 - Rio de Janeiro, July 8th,
1860) - in entrace of Benedito Leite Public Library for being
the mentor of this Institution, while member of the Province
General Counseling. Costa Ferreira was General Deputy, president
of Maranhão Province and Empire Senador, place occupied for 25
years, and in which duty died.
D.FRANCISCO DE PAULA E SILVA
(Douradinho - MG, Oct. 21st, 1866 - Parnaíba - PI, June 1st,
1918), 23rd Bishop of São Luís and the penultimate titular of
The Diocese, considered Arquidiocese by the Papal Bull "Rationi
Congruit", of Feb. 10th, 1922, from the Pope Pio XI. The bust is
in front of the Cathedral (by Newton Sá, blended in São Luís, by
A. Vidal), where he was buried. Protected with cement and wood
fence, the bust rests over white marble and has this inscription
only : D. Francisco. Nowadays all covered by the vegetation that
surrounds and practically hides it.
in the small space beside Ports Captaincy, below this, and going
down, in the way to the docks. Plate in the pe-destal of the
monument says: " MARCÍLIO DIAS / SAILOR SQUARE / INAUGURATED IN
June 11th, 1994 / 129th RIACHUELO NAVAL BATTLE ANNIVERSARY.
PANTEON SQUARE BUSTS ( BUSTOS DA PRAÇA DO PANTEON )
In Panteon Square, located in front of Benedito Leite Public
Library, and where used to be the Army Quarter, built at the end
of the XVIII century and demolished during the 40's of this
actual century, there are, in a clockwise, starting from left of
whom is in front of the Library, the busts of 16 notable
maranhenses, biographied in short as follow:
AUGUSTO OLÍMPIO GOMES DE CASTRO
(Alcântara - MA, Nov. 7th, 1836 - Rio de Janeiro, Jan. 31st,
1909). Law BA by the Recife (PE) Faculty, graduated in 1861.
Entering in politics, took part in Conservative Party, in which
was the President of Maranhão's. After his first mandate, as a
provincial deputy, acted, in various legislatures, as a general
deputy. As a jornalist, directed in São Luís 'A Situação' (The
Situation ¾ 1864-1868), 'O Tempo' (The Time ¾ 1878-1881) and 'O
País' (The Country ¾ 1882-1888). He was a great parliamentary
and fame lawyer. He directed the Provinces of Piauí and
Maranhão. Patron of the Maranhense Academy of Literature of
BUST : Sculpted in Paris by M. Sain, smelted by Montagutelle
Frères - Paris, 1918. In the bronze itself, the honored name.
URBANO SANTOS DA COSTA ARAÚJO
(Guimarães - MA, February 3rd, 1859 - May 7th, 1922, on board of
Minas Gerais ship, travelling to Rio de Janeiro). BA in Law by
the Recife (PE) Faculty (1822), was Public Prosecutor and Judge
in Maranhão. Federal Deputy (1897-1906), Senator (1906-1914),
Justice Ministry (1918); elected Maranhão Governor in 1898, 1913
and 1918, denied the two first mandates, only assuming the place
in 1918. Republic Vice-president, exercised the Presidency in
1917. Again elected to this charge in 1922, did not assume the
place. Urbano Santos is a maranhense town's name.
BUST : There are two, one beside the other. From the first, the
plate in honor to him has been stolen. We read in the second :
URBANO SANTOS / Feb. 3rd, 1869 - May 6th, 1922. Note : the birth
date and the death date are wrong.
MARIA FIRMINA DOS REIS
(São Luís, October 11th, 1825 - Guimarães-MA, Nov. 11th, 1917).
Teacher of first letters, practiced the Magistery with
dedication and competence, in Guimarães, inland of the state.
Helped in São Luís Press, was abolitionist. The first maranhense
romancist and among women that firstly did literature in Brasil.
Author of the verses volume 'Can-tos à Beira-Mar' (Songs at
Seaside 1859) and the romances 'Úrsula' (Ursula - 1859) and
'Gupeva'. The last one, with the subtitle 'Romances
Brasilienses' (Brazilian Romances), and published in the
literary periodic 'Echo da Juventude' (Youth's Echo - São Luís -
BUST : Over marble pedesdal, it's the tallest of the collection
bronze inscription: MARIA FIRMINA DOS REIS/ FIRST ROMANCIST OF
BRASIL. In pedestal, the plate: TO MARIA FIRMINA DOS REIS/ OCT.
11th, 1825 - NOV. 11th, 1917 / BRAZILIAN SCHOOL MISTRESS AND
AUTHORESS / FOUNDED THE 1st MIXED SCHOOL OF MARANHÃO/ IN HONOR
FROM THE PEOPLE/ 1975 INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF WOMEN / SCULPTURED
BY FLORY GAMA.
Note: the bust is the honored idea from whom pictures are
unknown. But that, mulatto, problably would not have the fine
and classic form of allegorized Republic that was given to her
by the talented maranhense sculptor.
authoress name of JOSÉ TRIBUZI PINHEIRO GOMES (São Luís, Feb.
2nd, 1927 - Sep. 8th, 1977) Had his huma-nistic fundamental
formation in PORTUGAL, from where he returned in 1945. Important
person in the aesthetics renovation process of Maranhão,
Bandeira Tribuzi, teacher, economist, government planning
technician, composer, jornalist, was mainly, poet. His work in
this field , in a total of 10 books, was gather to the 'Poesias
Completas' (Completed Poems - 1979), volume, reedited in 1996
with the title 'Poesia Reunida' (Reunited Poem 1st volume)
Bandeira Tribuzi is the author (Lyrics and Music) of São Luís
BUST : without visible author indication. Does not keep perfect
similarity with the honored, which has not his unseparable
glasses. Plate : OH ! MY CITY, LET ME LIVE./ POET BANDEIRA
TRIBUZI/ JOSÉ TRIBU-ZI PINHEIRO GOMES / Feb. 2nd, 1927 - Sep.
Note: The first sentence is the first verse of São Luís Anthem.
ARNALDO DE JESUS FERREIRA
(São Luís, Oct. 12th, 1904 - Oct. 13th, 1958) Business man in
the commercial field, was an important leader of his class.
President in many mandates of the Maranhense Commercial
Association; SENAC Regional Delegate, Bank of Maranhão Manager,
State Treasure Secretary, Technical Consultant of Geography
Regional Directory. Author of several historical studies about
Maranhão subjects. He belonged to Maranhão Historic and
Geographic Institute and Maranhense Academy of Literature.
BUST : Plate where we can read : "TO WHOM HONORS, HONOR"/
MARANHÃO COMMERCIAL ASSOCIATION/ THANKFUL DO HONOR TO HER
EX-PRESIDENT / ARNALDO DE JESUS FERREIRA/ 1904-1958/ SÃO LUÍS -
JOSÉ DA SILVA MAIA
(Alcântara-MA, Feb. 26th, 1811 - São Luís, April 24th, 1893).
Educated in France since he was 10 years old, gra-duated in
1838, by Paris Medicine School, being badged by King Luis
Felipe, in recognition to his performance in the course. Back to
his hometown, started his extraordinary career of general clinic
that joined knowledge and amazing intuition, thanks to this he
was very famous in Maranhão and Rio de Janeiro. Politician, he
belonged to conservative party, from which he unbided later,
founding the Star Party which gather the Maista Group. Province
Vice-president, which happened two times (1869 and 1870).
BUST : Inscription SILVA MAIA, in bronze. Sculptor M. Sain,
HENRIQUE MAXIMIANO COELHO NETO
(Caxias-MA, Feb. 21st, 1864 - Rio de Janeiro, Nov. 28th, 1934).
Writer of large expressional resources, produced a work of more
than 100 books from cronic to speech and conference; from
romance to novel and tail; from theater play, to lyric episodes
and profiles. Had, in his time great recognition, and was one of
the Best Sellers. Eloquent speecher, delighted the public.
Federal Deputy for Maranhão. One of Brazilian Academy Founders.
He's Maranhão Town's name. Patron of Chair #24, in the
Maranhanse Letters Academy.
BUST : with plate : COELHO NETO / BRAZILIAN PROSE WRITER PRINCE/
Feb. 21st. 1864 - Nov. 28th. 1934.
Sculpture by Correia Lima, 1945 - Blended Cavina, Rio.
JOAQUIM GOMES DE SOUSA
(Itapecuru-Mirim - MA, Feb. 15th. 1829 - London, June 1st.
1863). Precoce and very intelligent which gave him a genius and
wise reputation, Gomes de Sousa, " the Sousinha", became, at 17
years old, BA in Mathematics and Physics Sciences, and four
months later, defending thesis, Rio de Janeiro Military Academy
Doctor, in which beca-me professor, after a memorable contest.
Doctor in Medicine by Paris University, was distinguished by
Universities and Scientific Academies of Vienn, London and
Paris. Engineer-Capitain of The Army; General Deputy of
Mara-nhão. Author of several works on Mathematics, Astronomy and
scientific memories, published the 'Anthologie Universelle'
(Universal Anthology - Leipzig, Brockhaus, 1859), where gather
about 150 poets of 16 languages. Patron of chair # 8, in the
Maranhanse Letters Academy.
BUST : Sculptor, A. Matos (?), 1829. Blended Cavina, Rio. With
plate : JOAQUIM GOMES DE SOUSA / THE MATHEMATICS GENIUS/ Feb.
15th. 1829 - June 1st. 1863.
(Barra do Corda - MA, Aug. 7th. 1894 - São Luís, May 5th. 1970).
BA in law by Teresina (PI) Faculty. Professor and Director of
Law Faculty of Maranhão; law consultant, member of State General
Attorneyship, São Luís City Mayor; active lawyer, expert in
tributaries and financing matters, State Treasure Secretary. As
a poet, published 'Florões' (Fleuron, 1926). Also author of
important monography 'Pastos Bons' (Good Pastes - 1947).
Belonged to Maranhão Geography and History Institute and to
Maranhanse Letters Academy, which reorganized and dinamized,
while was its presidency in many mandates.
BUST : With plate: IN HONOR OF/ TO MEMORY OF THE LAW CONSULTANT
EX-PRESIDENT/ DR. CLODOALDO CARDOSO FROM/ MARANHÃO COMMERCIAL
ASSOCIATION/ SÃO LUÍS, MARCH - 1979.
ANTÔNIO HENRIQUES LEAL
(Cantanhêde-MA, Jul. 24th. 1828 - Rio de Janeiro, Sep. 29th.
1885). Doctor, jornalist, polygraph and reseancher, worked in
this last function in Portugal, as well, paid by the empire
government. Belonged to Brazilian Geography and Historic
Institute and directed the National Press. Founder, writer
and/or collaborator of São Luís Newspapers, also collaborated in
Rio de Janeiro and Portugal Press. Author of several books,
among them the famous 'Panthe-on Maranhense' (Maranhense
Pantheon, 4t., with 19 biographies), which gave him the correct
nickname of "Plutar-co Maranhense". Patron of chair #10, in the
Maranhense Academy of Literature.
BUST : Sculptor, A. Matos (?) 1929, a plate where we can read :
ANTÔNIO HENRIQUES LEAL/ THE PLUTARCO MARANHENSE/ Jul. 24th. 1828
- Sep. 29th. 1855.
ARTHUR NABATINO GONÇALVES DE AZEVEDO
(São Luís, Jun. 7th. 1855 - Rio de Janeiro, Oct. 22nd. 1908).
Jornalist, poet, contist and overall, play writer, did, as so,
some of the most important works in Brazil. Author of more than
100 titles, Arthur Azevedo was, also an art collector. The
principal of the heap that he had (paintings, sculptures,
engraving, etc.) was, after the writer death, bought by the
State of Maranhão Government, and holds more than 20 thousand
pieces. One of the founders of Brazilian Letters Academy. Patron
of chair # 3, in The Maranhense Academy of Literature.
BUST : With plate where we read : ARTHUR AZEVEDO/ PLAY WRITER
AND THEATER/ July 7th. 1855 - Oct. 22nd 1908.
HUMBERTO DE CAMPOS VERAS
(Miritiba-MA, actual Humberto de Campos, Oct. 25th 1886 - Rio de
Janeiro, 5th 1934). Cronist, science fiction writer, critic,
memoralist, poet, Humberto de Campos had a great literary
prestige in his time, getting to be one of the best sellers and
appreciated. He was Federal Deputy by Maranhão. Belonged to the
Brazilian Letters Academy. His work is gathered in 39 volumes,
being 10 of "Conselho XX" serie. Humberto de Campos is patron of
chair #22, in the Maranhense Academy of Literature.
BUST : Sculptor, C. Lima, 1945. Cavina melting - Rio de Janeiro.
Two plates where we read : IN THE FIRST HUMBERTO DE CAMPOS/
ERUDITE WRITER AND PRESTIGIOUS/ POLITICIAN/ Oct. 25th 1886 -
Dec. 5th 1934/ GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY INSTITUTE OF MARANHÃO/ IN
THE SECOND HONOR FROM GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY INSTITUTE OF
MARANHÃO/ TO THIS IMPORTANT MARANHENSE WRITER/ HUMBERTO DE
CAMPOS DURING HIS BIRTH CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY / SÃO LUÍS, Oct.
RAIMUNDO CORRÊA DE ARAÚJO
(Pedreiras-MA, May 29th 1885 - São Luís, Aug. 24th, 1951). BA in
Law; professor, jornalist, poet. State Public Library for many
years from where he retired. Author of several poems books.
Among them, 'Harpas de Fogo' (Fire Harpes - 1903). His first
one, and 'Acrópole' (Acropole - 1960), postume publication one
of the founders of the Maranhense Academy of Literature.
BUST : by Flory Gama. With the honored's name engroreed in a
bronze plate, says :
TO/ CORRÊA DE ARAÚJO,/ THE LAST SABIÁ OF ATHENS - , HONOR FROM
'CATULO DA PAIXÃO CEARENSE' CULTURAL ASSOCIATION/ - FROM
GUANABARA, MARANHENSE TROVADORES MO-VEMENT / MOMATRO - AND FROM
SÃO LUÍS CITY MAYOR, BEING THE MAYOR DR./ HAROLDO TAVARES/ BY
GUIMARÃES MARTINS INITIATIVE,/ SCULPTURE BY FLORY GAMA.
TO GUIMARÃES MARTINS
OH ! GUIMARÃES MARTINS, OUR POETS,
- MAVIOSOS SABIÁS, GOLDEN VINS-VINS,
SWEET CORRUPIOUS - SELECTED SOULS,
IN WHICH ART HAS REACHED ALL OBJECTIVES,
THEY CAN DIE, GUIMARÃES MARTINS !
YES, THEY CAN DIE ! BECAUSE FROM WHERE
THEY ARE BURIED OUR INGRATITUDE,
MUST BRING THEM, AGAIN, TO THE NOISE
AND WILDNESS OF LIFE - SO FURIOUS
SO BRUTAL AND MORTAL - YOUR HAND !
AND TAKEN, BY YOU, FROM DEATH, THE GROUP
OF SABIÁS - SOUL OF OUR PEOPLE,
AND INCARNATION OF MOST TENDER BIRDS -
THE WHOLE SOUL IN LAZY SONG
MUST STAY IN ETERNAL MARBLES
IN MARBLE PALM TREES - SINGING
CORRÊA DE ARAÚJO.
PEDREIRAS, 5.29.1885 - SÃO LUÍS, 8.24.1957
(FROM MARANHENSE ACADEMY OF LITERATURE)
SÃO LUÍS, 8.24.1974
Notes : opposing what says in the plate, the poet's death year
RAIMUNDO DA MODA DE AZEVEDO
(Mangunça Bay, Maranhense Town of Turiaçu, on board of São Luís
vapor ship, May 13th, 1859 - Paris, Sep. 13th 1911) BA by São
Paulo Law Faculty (1882). Public Prosecutor and, then,
magistrate, charge that alterus with exe-cutive power places.
Nomineed to diplomatic functions in Paris and Lisbon, never
assumed them. One of the foun-ders of Brazil and Letters Academy
and among the most important parnasians poets of Brazil. Author
of the books 'Primeiros Sonhos' (First Dreams - 1882),
'Aleluias' (Alleluias - 1891), all of poems, and prose work. His
celebries sonets 'As Pombas' (The Pigeons), 'Mal Secreto'
(Secret Harm), 'Vinho de Hebe' (Hebe's Wine), etc.. Patron of
chair #16, in The Maranhense Academy of Literature.
BUST : sculptor's signature illegible. With plate : RAIMUNDO
CORRÊA (sic)/ POET/ 5.13.1859 - 9.13.1911.
JOÃO DUSHERE ABRANCHES
(São Luís, Sep. 2nd 1867 - Petrópolis, Mar. 11th 1841). Doctor
in Social and Political Sciences, honorary professor of the
Heidelberg University, Germany, was the leader, in 1929, of the
brazilian delegation to the fundamental stone celebration of
Nossa Senhora Thereza of Jesus Basilic, in Lisieux, where the
Cardeal Charost, representing pope Pio XI, together with George
Goyau, from French Academy, was among speechers. Dushere de
Abranches also dedicated to teaching and principally, to
jornalism. Poligraph, he left a great and varied work, up to 165
volumes. Patron of chair #40, in The Maranhense Academy of
BUST : Sculptor, C. Lima, 1954. Plate says : DUSHERE DE
ABRANCHES/ JORNALIST AND POLIGRAPH/ 9.2.1867 - 3.13.1941.
JOSÉ DO NASCIMENTO MORAES
(São Luís March 19th 1882 - Feb. 21st 1958). Teacher, poet,
romancist and principally jornalist, condition in which he
conquered the recognition of his fellow citizens. Owner of
amazing argumentation capacity, had memorable polemicals in São
Luís Press. Author, among other books, of 'Puxos e Repuxos'
(Pulls and Pulls back - 1910), 'Vencidos e Degenerados'
(Conquered and Degenerates - 1915) and 'Neurose do Medo' (Fear
Neurosis -1930). Member of the Maranhense Academy of Literature,
was its president twice.
BUST : Sculptor, Aug. Romano - Rio, 1954. Engraved in bronze:
Prof / Nascimento de Moraes. Plate : NASCIMENTO DE MORAES/ "I AM
A FIGHTER" / 3.19.1882 - 2.21.1958.
In a small square built in a site bought from Major Freitas,
between Hortas and Remédios Streets. The bust, by the sculptor
Rodolfo Bernardelli, was inaugurated in Aug. 18th, 1905, and
underneath is buried the body of this impor-tant man, brought
from Kensek-Green Cemetery, London, in 1913. Unhappily, two
marble tombstone ---that came from London were taken away from
there, during a remodeling trying, and they had these
inscriptions: "Manoel (sic.) Odorico Mendes. Extraordinary
brazilian poet. Politic and extreme patriot. He was born in
Maranhão (Brazil) on January 24th, 1799. Died in London, August
In a square with the same name, in front of Cunha Machado
Airport. Inaugurated by the Birth Centennial Comme-morations
Executive Commission of the Honored. It says, there, in a plate
posted in the pedestal : IN HONOR OF THE COMMUNITY / ALBERTO
SANTOS DUMONT/ (AVIATION FATHER)/ PATRON OF BRAZILIAN AIR FORCE
(FAB). The square and the bust were inaugurated in April, 1973.
In honor to the maranhense doctor Luís Alfredo Netto Guterres
(Alcântara, April 4th, 1880 - São Luís, June 20th, 1934), called
the Poor People's Doctor for his charity and dedication to the
sick people, to whom which he helped where they lived, and, if
necessary, buying their medicines. This bust is in the Hospital
Geral Square (Officially named Netto Guterres Square - Decree #
308 of Nov. 3rd, 1951, but with plate of "Madre Deus"), and it's
a work of the sculptor Mauro Lima. We can read in the plate in
the pedestal : TO GREAT NETTO GUTERRES/ MARA-NHENSE DOCTOR
SYMBOL/ OF HIS PEOPLE GENEROSITY,/ IN HONOR FROM LIBANESE COLONY
OF MARANHÃO/ June 20th, 1948.
TAMANDARÉ ADMIRAL ( ALMIRANTE TAMANDARÉ ) ¾ RAISED IN FIRST
HALF-ORANGE OF Avenida beira-mar ¾ seaside Avenue, close to
Maria Aragão Square. Over marble pedestal, where we can read :
MONUMENT/ TO / JOAQUIM MARQUES LISBOA ADMIRAL/ "TAMANDARÉ
MARQUIS"/ BRAZILIAN NAVY PATRON INAUGU-RETED IN DEC. 10 th,
1994/ NAVY WEEK.
Notes : The wrong usage of preposition 'de' (of), between the
surnames Marques and Lisboa was coined and subjected, lately, to
relowing, in an attempt to have it erased. We believe in work
execution incorrection what resulted in the honored seeris to be
scholium, desproportional members and in an unconfortable
BENEDITO PEREIRA LEITE (Rosário-MA, Oct. 4th 1857 - Héres -
French March 6th 1909). In the square with the same name,
previously called, by order : João do Vale Plaza or Duval,
Assembly Square and May 13 Public Gar-den.
Inaugured in 1911, this statue is a work by the french sculptor
Émile Décorchement. Rested over imponent white marble pedestal,
where we can read : 1857 - 1909 TO/ BENEDICTO LEITE/ THE/
MARANHÃO STATE. Lower, in an open book over laurel branch, to
make the sentence spoken while, state Governor, disageed with
the idea of closing school, to save money : "I'd rather cut my
hand than to sign the suppression of Mastership or Model
Schools". Besides Governor, Benedito Leite was a federal deputy,
a senator and a great political leader of Maranhão.
CATULO DA PAIXÃO CEARENSE (São Luís, Oct. 8th 1863 - Rio de
Janeiro, May 10th 1946). Right across from Nhozinho Santos
Stadium. Statue of Edgard Corrêa Lima, inaugured on sep. 26th
1961, by initiative of maranhense Guimarães Martins, Catulo's
great friend and deniable of his Copyrights.
JOÃO FRANCISCO LISBOA (Pirapemas-MA, March 22nd 1812 - Lisboa,
April 26th 1863). One of the most impor-tant person of the
maranhense generation that presided brazilian culture, between
the 40's and 60's of last century and which entered to literary
history with the nickname of Maranhense Group.Customs critic,
jornalist, historian, João Francisco Lisboa is considered one of
founders of the brazilian prose. His work was edited in a serie
of Timon newspaper, and represents a fundamental witness about
colonial Brazil, with special attention to Maranhão.
João Francisco Lisboa statue nowadays is in front of the Post
Office and of the Environment Buil-dings, but initially was
placed in front of Carmo Convent, where was inaugurated on Jan.
1st 1918, by Maranhense Academy of Literature iniciative. Work
by the French sculptor Jean Maagrou, laid over imposing marble
pedestal, which we do not know where it is.
DUQUE DE CAXIAS. In the square with the same name, in front of
24th Army Head quarters (João Paulo Sector), place built in
ascendant plans. Inaugured in 1945, together with the square.
This statue, equestrian of Army Patron and Province of Maranhão
President (Feb. 7th 1840 to May 13th 1841) and a work of
sculptor Edgar Corrêa Lima.
GONÇALVES DIAS - The monument erected to Gonçalves Dias domains
the beautiful square to which the poet is named after, although
the tradition says to invigorate the second of the old popular
denominations (Remédios Plaza, Lovers Plaza), for being
beautiful and accordingly with Ana Amelia's beloved. It's for
sure the most artistic and imponent of São Luís. Had its
fundamental stone sttleq on Aug. 10th 1872 and was inaugured on
Sep. 7th 1873. Made entirely out of marble, it's from base to
top 15,5 m high, out of which 2,2 m are of the statue which
pedestal is a styled lineage. From his right hand, falling down
there is a laurel crown; on his left hand, at his chest, he
holds paper rolls; at the poet's feet, the lyre and a mask. In
the pedestal base, the faces of these liminaries : Odorico
Mendes, Sotero dos Reis, João Lisboa and Gomes de Sousa.
Nowadays the monument does not have the elegant fence that used
to protect it. It's too much aggression and we are sorry that
vandals have damaged, with animal fury, these faces, which
highly evoke Maranhense Humanism. Portuguese sculptor Pedro
Carlos Quadril work, done in Lisbon, at Germano José Sales.
MIGUEL VIEIRA FEREIRA - statue on the belt way ring avenue
almost in front of the Fish market with this inscripti-on :
DOCTOR MIGUEL VIEIRA PEREIRA/ BORN IN 'FONTE DAS PEDRAS' (STONE
FOUNTAIN) IN THIS CITY OF /SÃO LUÍS, STATE OF MARANHÃO, ON
DECEMBER 10TH, 1837, Ph. D. IN PHYSICS AND MATHEMATICS SCIENCES,
ENGINEER/ ABSOLUTIST, MENTOR AND FOUNDER OF FIRST REPUBLICAN
CLUB OF BRAZIL /IN THE CITY OF RIO DE JANEIRO, SIGNATORY OF/ THE
FAMOUS REPUBLICAN MOVEMENT, IN 1870./ FOUNDER AND FIRST PASTOR
OF BRAZILIAN EVANGELIC CHURCH, FIRST ONE IN BRAZIL FOUNDED ON
SEP. 11th, 1879 - HIS DISCIPLES LIVING IN BRAZIL, THE ERECTION
OF THIS MONUMENT TO A SO HIGH PERSONALITY OF OUR COUNTRY. There
we have, with no doubts, the longest inscription existing in
public monuments of São Luís. We are sorry about the graphic
errors in the capital of Maranhão.
MARANHENSE ACADEMY OF LITERATURE ( Academia Maranhese de Letras
Paz Street, 84 - Downtown.
Founded on Aug. 10th 1908, in the noble room of the State Public
Library. Compounded originally of 20 members and not until 1946
organized with the classic board : 40 chairs. Named Antônio Lobo
house, had as its founders, besides this leader and ideas
revolutionary : Alfredo de Assis Castro, Astolfo Marques,
Barbosa de Godois, Corrêa de Araújo, Clodoaldo de Freitas,
Domingos Barbosa, Fran Pacheco, Godofredo Viana, I. Xavier de
Carvalho, Ribeiro de Amaral (first president) and Armando Vieira
da Silva. The Academy publishes books and one magazine; prepares
conference, expositions and book casting. Maintain, in permanent
way, Ribeiro do Amaral Literary Contest, with Domingos Barbosa
(tails) and César Marques (research, essay, memory or history,
about any other maranhense life aspect), awards, which assure
the awarded works publication and. Confers Antônio Lobo award to
the best book published during the year. Also has other
services, such as Maranhense Bookstore (in the owned - building,
entrance by theater Street) and the mordomo Régio Hotel, in
STATE PUBLIC FILLING CHOUSE ( Arquivo Publico do Estado )
Nazaré Street, 218 - Downtown.
Culture Secretary Organ. Criated by decree 5.266, of Jan. 21st
1974, started to operate on Savedra Street. It's been in a
beautiful building of its own property since 1978, after a
carefully remodeling of that place, under the government of
Nunes Freire. It has datas from the colonial period, although
more representative about Empire and Republic. It has a
laboratory for papers conservation and restauration work, where
a very competent group works.
BENEDITO LEITE PUBLIC LIBRARY (Biblioteca Publica Benedito Leite
Called like this by decree 1316, of Apr. 8th 1958. The library
project was proposed by doctor Antô-nio Pedro da Costa Ferreira,
Pindaré Baron to be, to the General Province Conseling, on Jul.
8th 1826, which approved it. But only in 1829, they started this
project. The then Province President, Cândido José de Araújo
Viana, Sapucaí Marquis to be, asked for financial resources to
the Emperor, who denied saying that he had budget limita-tions.
Araújo Viana decided , then, to popular subinscription, with
what he could see the library be open to the public on May 3rd
1831. It used to be on the second floor or Carmo Convent, from
where it left in 1872, to come back about 10 years later, during
which had a terrible peregrination, that took it to Egito Street
(actual building of Legisla-tive Assembly, then Popular School
11 of August), and to the back side of the Cathedral. Since its
foundation up to 1951, when got its own property, large and
definitive for "dry and meca", as an undesirable emcumbrance,
with its books trown in wagons and badly treated, sometimes
getting lost in the successive moving that happened. The Library
has a precious collection in which we notice rare works section
nad newspapers section.
JOSUÉ MONTELLO HOUSE CULTURAL ( Casa de Cultura Josué Montello )
Hortas Street, 327
Cultural Secretary Organ. Criated by Law # 4.351 of Oct. 31st,
1981. Inaugurated on Jan. 23rd 1983, in the Two-Floor building
in Fonte do Ribeirão, where today is the State Cultural Counsel.
It has an important maranhense and general library, which helps
researchers and studions, for local research. Its programatic
activities gather courses, expositions, symposiuns, debates,
bibliographic consultation, research help, publishing,
professio-nal probation, and so on. There have been incorporated
to the JMCH collection permanent donations from the writer whose
name is given to the place, and are compounded of bibliographic
material, original of his books, critic fortune, diplomas,
condecorations, correspondence and iconography.
ODYLO COSTA, FILHO CRIATIVITY CENTER ( Centro de Criatividade
Odylo Costa Filho )
Praia Grande (behind the market)
Cultural Secretary Organ, has its origin in the Visual Arts
Center (Cenarte), criated by Law # 4.102 of Nov. 6th, 1979. Its
a beautiful and spacious plac totally recuperated and adapted,
is an assemblage that shelte-red several commercial houses,
among of which the companies Lima Faria and Moreira Sobrinho.
Inaugured on Dec. 26th, 1988, has got a theater, dance room,
cinema, bookstore, handcraft store, cafeteria and several shops.
DOMINGOS VIEIRA FILHO POPULAR CULTURE CENTER ( Centro de Cultura
Popular Domingos Vieira Filho )
Giz Street, 221.
Cultural Secretary Organ, criated by Law # 3.225 of Dec. 6th,
1971. The decree 8.293, of oct. 2nd 1981, defined his actual
denomination. It has an important collection related to
maranhense popular culture, and a especialized library in
popular culture. Maintain permanent expositions and also
temporaries. During sometime, starting in 1987, there was this
'Friday at 6' project, showing the popular culture aspect about
which there was a competed meeting every last friday of the
CEUMA - CENTRO DE ENSINO UNIFICADO DO MARANHÃO
Started its activities in 1990, in Meng School, transfered to
its own building, in Renascença II sec-tor, Anapurus street.
Minister the courses of Economy, Accounting, Business,
Administration, Pedagogy, Letters, and Law.
REPUBLICAN MEMORY FOUNDATION ( Fundação da Memoria Republicana )
Palma Street, 502 - Downtown
Philantropic cultural entity, without profitable objectives,
criated by the Senator and Republic Ex-President José Sarney.
It holds courses, congresses, symposiums, seminars, training,
temporary expositions, one of the most important national event
in the field of plastic arts, located in the old and imposing
'Convento das Mercês' (Mercês Convent), it has 10.284,41 m2 of
ground, with 5.217,50 m2 of built area. It has a very rich heap
constituted of 40 thousand books, 500 thousand printed documents
and 80 thousand hand writings, besides 70 thousand newpapers
cutting, 1.500 16mm films, 4.000 hours of VHS and UMATIC tapes,
2.500 sacra art pieces, medals, diplomas, ornaments and about 70
thousand letters received by the Institution Patron.
It has a choral and a musical band which represents a laudable
education work done with Madre de Deus and surroundings
Daily opened to public visitation.
GEOGRAPHIC AND HISTORIC INSTITUTE OF MARANHÃO
Santa Rita street, 230 (2nd floor)
Founded in December, 1925, denominated Geographic and Historic
Institute, which changed to the actual name in the statutary
renewing of April 22nd, 1951. Called Antônio Lopes House, it has
nowadays 60 mem-bers, edita a magazine and, by institutional
action and its members, produce Geographical and Historical
Studies of Maranhão.
HISTORIC AND ARTISTIC MUSEUM OF MARANHÃO
Sol Street, 302.
Criated by Law nº 2.923 of november 8th, 1968, was inaugurated
on July 28th, 1973. To its organi-zation the museum logist Jenny
Dreyfus and the maranhense intelectual José Jansen worked hard,
both supported by Josué Montello. HAMM is located in a beautiful
2 store building, constructed in XIX century and had, among its
owners, the family of a maranhense genius, Gomes de Sousa,
Sousinha. Its collection has about 7.000 pieces, among objectls
and documents. Cultural Secretary Organ. Open to public visit
from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sundays an holidays; on the
weekdays, from 12:45 p.mo to 6:45 p.m.
Note : The visits to the museum have been canceled for more than
five years, because of remode-ling work which up to now haven't
As sections of the museum the following places work form Tuesday
to Friday, form 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays,
from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
LAGY LAJOS GALLERY ( Galeria Nagy Lagos )
Estrela Street, 124.
Temporary expositions of plastic arts objective. Its named after
hungarian painter Nagy Lagos Endre, a erudit that rooted in São
Luís, had family and died here.
Veloz was born on December 3rd, 1965 by the margins of the
Capibaribe river, in Recife - Pernambuco. He is the youngest
child of a family of musicians and started his career at the age
of 9 as a crooner in his hometown. The kid became Carlinhos
Veloz in May, 1985 on the shore of his greatest inspiration: the
Tocantins river. The singer, who claims being pernambucano
biologically, says his artistic life really started by the river
- though he never for-gets his roots in the maracatu, the frevo
and the ciranda ( dances from Pernambuco), which he included in
his first record with a heartfelt homage to the Itamaracá
island, home of the ciranda. Veloz is considered on of the
singers most loved by the Maranhense audience, his concerts
being therefore very sought-after whether they are in the
Theater or in popular concert houses throughout the city.
Contact for Presentations (098) 971-6737.
César Nascimento was born in Teresina, PI, and raised in Caxias,
Maranhão. He moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1973, where at the age
of sixteen (1978), formed his rock band Vale do Som. In 1981,
Nascimento returned to São Luís, where he performed his first
concert, Canto Sereno (Mild Song), at the Arthur Azevedo
Theater, together with singer and composer Sérgio Brenha.
Contact for Presentation (098) 235-2264/971-5408
Erasmo Dibel, born in Carolina (Maranhão), engaged in the
Brazilian musical movement in 1982 when he joined the bands
Natureza and Roda Viva. In 1986 Dibel started his solo career,
participating in various music contests throughout the country,
specially the FABER (from Imperatriz, in all of them), the
Femucic (from Maringá, Paraná) and the Canta Nordeste (São Luís,
Fortaleza and Recife). He also took part of the Segunda de Arte
(Art Monday) project in 1982, with the song Vidente (fortune
teller), which became the most heard one in the radios of the
capital. In 1993 his first album, Sarará, was released and in
the same year Dibel was chosen the Artist of the Year by
journalists and people related to the cultural movement. His
second album, O Amor é Azul (Love is Blue), was released in 1996
and was regarded by the critics as the establishment of Erasmo
Dibel as the greatest Maranhense composer of the recent
generation (from 1992 on).
Contacts for Presentation : (098) 723-2895
Mano Borges - Bangladesh
Mano Borges grew up listening to the sound of the drums in São
Luís. He had his first musical instrument at the age of 17 and
started producing music as a percussionist. A household name,
Borges has brought many innovati-ons to the Maranhense music
with his talent (interpretação livre de "... é sangue bom, é
sangue nosso, é sangue novo." N. do T.), which reflects with the
possibility of form and meaning working together and much more.
All this justifies the outstanding presence of Mano Borges on
the stage of Brazilian Popular Music.
Contact for Presentation : (098) 235-1098/971-6542
After the huge success of Terecô (by Cedro Music), singer and
compose Beto Pereira releases a new work: Asas da Canção (The
Wings of the Song - also by Cedro Music). His growing audience
is delighted by his music, which is a rich blend of reggae,
salsa, merengue, tambor-de-crioula (Creole drums, a typical
Maranhense dance) and, of course, Bumba-meu-Boi. The track Asas
da Canção brings the very special participation of Amelinha in a
romantic, delicate melody. In this latest record, among
heartfelt romantic songs and dancing beat, Beto Pereira hails
his greatest idol with an excellent recording of Tempo Rei
(Time, the King), by Gilberto Gil.
Asas da Canção confirms Pereira's talent and drive and reveals a
great Northern popular artist in rapid ascen-sion to the musical
scenery of Brazil, flying his open wings towards national
recognition from North to South ... a very natural and deserved
gift for someone who has got the blessings of Gilberto Gil and
Alcione. Go for it, Beto!
Contacts for presentations : (098) 246/6622/971-3017 and (011)
Papete - Bandeira de Aço
Born in São José de Ribamar Viana, in the municipaity of
Bacabal, Maranhão, it was in São Luís that Papete began living
with the sounds and rythms which compose the magic and the
mystery of popular culture . In the capital he gave the first
steps towards a professional career that started in São Paulo,
where he went to at the age of 20. An eccletic artist, Papete
gathers the skills of a producer, arranger, percussionist,
interpreter and author to make some of the songs which have been
applauded by Maranhenses, specially during our June Festivals.
Contacts for presentation : (098) 226-4624
Gerude - Jamaica São Luís
Gerude, a singer and composer, started his artistic career
performing at the Sofitel Quatro Rodas Hotel during four months,
after which he played in various restaurants of São Luís. In
Fortaleza he performed at the Flor da Pele Bar and was applauded
by the public and by the critic. In 1984 Gerude had his first
grand performance at the Arthur Azevedo Theater, called "Nossa
Vez" (Our Turn).
Contacts for presentation : (098) 226-4624
Daphne was the first Maranhense rock band to release a CD
("Semblantes" - Faces) and exists since 1988. The band is
presently composed by Alexandre Carvalho (guitar/vocals), Otávio
Praga (bass), Paulo Pelegrini (keyboard) and Nuna Gomes (
drums). During the concerts, besides its own compositions,
Daphne also performs creative cover versions of songs by Pink
Floyd, U2, Beatles, Oasis, Greenday and the Brazilian bands
Legião Urbana, Barão Vermelho and Engenheiros do Hawaii. They
performed at the Athur Azevedo Theater on august 29th, 1996,
officially releasing their CD Semblantes. For the first time,
the most important theater of the region opened its gates for a
Contacts for presentation : (098) 235-2398/235-5656 - Giberto
(098) 235 02-31 - Paulo Pelegrini, keyboard
(098) 243-1314 - Andréa Expositor, official fan-club.
ibel as the greatest Maranhense composer of the recent
generation (from 1992 on).
Contacts for Presentation :