• This project was contemplated as the twelfth Funarte Marc Ferrez Photography Prize 2012

    Photographers invited - Eraldo Peres


    A Brazilian Tratidion”

    Eraldo Peres

    The day dawns with a different colored spot in Lages, in the city of Serrita in Pernambuco hinterland. The brownish color of the leather gibãos mingle with the dry branches of the savanna, painting the scene to carry out another gate steer handle.Gradually arise in the woods cowboys with their work clothes, their stately horses and their corners aboio. The pen begins to receive hundreds of cattle destined to do trail in the bush, in a sequence of movements and gallops of his pursuers, a game that recalls both a ballet and a fierce persecution by the intended award, leather collar that is taken in the neck by loose cattle corral.

    Cowboys and the public are gradually occupying the fences of the corrals and the makeshift stands for, as in ancient coliseums, launch their eyes and twisted time for wit steer on the run time by the skills of the fearless cowboys facing the thorns of the caatinga to cut their faces in search of runaway animal.

    After a brief silence comes to you from Nenem of Duqueira characteristic handle speaker, with own accents of country and sitting life on a mounted tower at the main entrance of the corral, it draws the attention of all and announces the beginning of the battle between man and cattle, “to win the fastest.” And then, in a mixture of singing and regret, come the first call for the competition that starts “Bora, bora bora, let the ox …”.

    Cowboy John Cazuza, 56, dressed in their traditional gibbon and ready to participate in the grip racing recalls that “as a child accompanying my father and my grandfather took the cattle to the sides of Ceara state hinterland, were over four-day trip, playing the cattle in the woods. ” Proud tone, Your Cazuza, as it is known among the cowboys says: “The first time I wore the gibbon I was 15, it was like a trophy for me. From that moment I felt that it was a cowboy, night hardly slept a little nervous. ”

    secular tradition in northeastern Brazil, the vaquejada imposes itself as resistance of country life, keeping children, youth and adults gathered around their daily lives and their stories. Traditional character of the Northeastern culture, cowboy, mestizo white colonizer with the native Indian, appears in Brazil at the end of Sec. XVI, during the expansion cycles of cattle in the backlands of the Northeast.

    The Boi Pega is the traditional way of cattle apart from the Caatinga vegetation typical of the northeastern backlands. Today, part of rodeos circuit, becoming also a recreational and competitive activity, with sports feature, where the pair of cowboys throw themselves in the bush to catch the loose cattle. Cattle must be pursued and brought down by the tail, to be removed from his leather collar with the number that identifies and given to judges so that time is timed. Win double that hold the handle in less time.

    Sitting on the corral fence, Deda Cowboy, 54, and his son Thiago, 19, talk about working with cattle. Your Deda recalls: “The cowboy life is not easy, it’s a lot of work, a lot of fighting. I could not study, it was harder in my time. Today it is easier, but those who like working with livestock ends up leaving the studies and following the profession. ” His son Thiago, who participates in the steer grip races, has already taken a decision in life: “I grew up listening to my father’s cowboy stories and my uncles. I always dreamed of wearing the leather jerkin and be able to run the bull handles, I’m proud to be cowboy. ” He adds, “I prefer the life of the pen, working with livestock, it is better than being in town with nothing to do.”

    Around the barn, join young and old, men and women, to tell their exploits and stories about the adventures of rodeos. Are old cowboys that shaped their lives around cattle work, the corrals and life in the dry savanna of branches. The day is ending and the setting of the sun tinting the sky. Cowboys groups will leave the Site Lajes proudly they kept their tradition and part of another race steer handle. With his leather garments and traditional hat say goodbye eternal companion, the ox, now loose in the woods folder for the next day back to the corrals.

    This trip was part of the expedition research and documentation of cultural events – Rota dos Sertões – Children of Earth Project – A look at the Brazilian cultural diversity.