thematique

Bumba Meu Boi

Country

Brazil

Bumba meu boi (also bumba-meu-boi) is a popular folk celebration in Brazil, and may be performed in relation to various festivals during the year, such as Christmas or Carnival, or even in June. It probably originated in the 18th century in Pernambuco and the north-east. The central figure is the “boi” or ox and this is performed by an actor with the animal’s head and a costume like that of the skirted hobby horse. Often this is no more than a dancing figure accompanied by other costumed performers, some as animals, and possibly also the Caipora, a figure belonging to Brazilian Indian mythology (which can also be found in the Mamulengo). Musicians are an essential element and sometimes there is a more developed dramatic theme (not unlike an English mummer’s play) and the subject is the death and resurrection of the boi.