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Pedra do Sal, Birthplace of Samba

BRAZIL | Tuesday, 6 August 2013 | Views [4234]

In February 2013, I had the absolute pleasure of travelling to Rio for Carnivale with the winners of World Nomads Travel Film Scholarship. Not only was it a great opportunity to mentor two young aspiring filmmakers, it also gave me the chance to indulge in another of my too infrequently realised passions, live music.

What is Pedra do Sal?

Pedra do Sal, is known to most Cariocas (Rio residents) as the birthplace of Samba. Located in the Saúde neighborhood of Centro near Praça Mauá, this was where in the 17th century, the first African immigrants from Bahia settled. It was originally a large slave market (formerly known as Pedra da Prainha) before becoming a cultural hub for the Bahian population.

The Pedra do Sal square was where the first Carioca Samba originated. It was where the early and most famous sambistas would perform their pieces. Musicians such as Heitor dos Prazeres, Donga and João da Bahiana would bring the crowds to a single voice, drunk on the rythmic beats and community spirit so evident in my short time there.

Meeting a local World Nomad in Rio

I was also blessed that a Carioca member of our Ask A Nomad community, Clarisse Hammerli, had so generously given her time to take us along and spend the night explaining to us the different meanings and histories of the songs.

She's also provided us with a playlist for anyone that's interested in getting a taste of traditional Samba music - Check it out

This was a brilliant night, a wonderful communal expression of the shared love of Samba. if you're keen to experience what I did, I highly recommend that you make contact with a local Carioca and go along with them.

There is no better way to understand the passion for local music, than with a local!

Looking for more info on Rio or Carnaval?

Get some local intel - If you have any questions about travelling to Rio, feel free to hit up our Ask A Nomad community here or check out Triptrotters.

Concerned about safety in Brazil? - Check out our travel safety articles on how to stay safe when travelling to Brazil and stay covered with our travel insurance.

Looking to book for local festivals and events? - Check out Be A Local , they were great in getting us tickets to Carnaval.

Thinking about where to stay in Rio? - We had fantastic assistance from the crew at AirBnB who helped set us up with an excellent pad.

Looking to give back when you travel? - Check out International Volunteer HQ , who have some great projects running on the ground in Brazil.

About the Brazil team

Chris Noble is the General Manager of WorldNomads.com and will forever be indebted to the World Nomads of Rio that shared their knowledge and passion over the Carnaval period. He has a renewed love of Samba music and still dances as if his feet were held apart by a broom handle.

This film was directed, shot and edited as part of our Brazil series by the very talented nomad Brian Rapsey.

About WorldNomads.com

WorldNomads.com keeps you travelling safely.  Whether you’re off for a long weekend, looking for the ultimate adventure or living the nomadic dream, you’ll stay safe with Travel Insurance you can buy online, anytime, and the latest travel safety advice. Learn how to flirt in over 25 languages with our free language guides and have an experience of a lifetime on a travel scholarship. We'll also help you share your journey with a free travel blog, get answers from other nomads to all of your travel questions (try the new 'Ask A Nomad' iPad app) and donate to a local community development project through our Footprints program.  

WorldNomads.com - an essential part of every adventurous traveller's journey.


Tags: brazil, pedro do sal, rio, rio music, rio travel, samba, samba music, world nomads

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