Bumba Meu Boi

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Giant Bumba-meu-boi in Recife

Bumba-meu-boi (Portuguese: [ˈbũbɐ ˈmew ˈboj], Hit-my-bull) is a Brazilian folk theatrical tradition. The tale is told through the music, the costumes and drumming involving a bull, which dies and is brought back to life. Versions of the tale vary regionally, but the most important central characters include the Bull (a player in an elaborate costume), Catirina (an ugly pregnant girl, usually played by a man in drag), a cowboy who is in charge of the Bull and who causes the Bull to die, the priest, the rich and powerful owner of the Bull, and the music (which magically drums the Bull back to life).[1]

Festivals where groups all tell their versions of the Bumba-meu-boi tale can be found throughout Brazil. Also called Boi-bumbá ([ˈboj bũˈba]), it is a popular traditional festival which takes place annually in the regions North and Northeast of Brazil, although celebrations can be found throughout the country.[2]

A genus of Northern Brazilian tarantula has been named bumba, after Bumba Meu Boi.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A description of Bumba-meu-boi in a tour guide to South America on Google Books [1]
  2. ^ "Bumba-meu-boi:: Centro Nacional de Folclore e Cultura Popular". Cnfcp.gov.br. Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  3. ^ Bumba lennoni: New Species of Tarantula Discovered in Brazil, Named after John Lennon

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