Essay "Moors and Christians fighting in the Cavalhadas"


The soccer field of the city of Pirenópolis, in the interior of Goiás, becomes, for some days, an arena of clash and of joke.

The arena where everyone goes to watch the famous Cavalhadas on the days of the Festival of the Divine. The arena where the public will interact with the characters of this staging of the battle that marked the expulsion of the Moors from the Iberian peninsula and, in some way, the victory of the Christian faith.

A story of holy war, retold year after year, as a way of reaffirming the faith of Brazilian Christians. This was a very meaningful performance during this festival, since the knights of Charlemagne, as well as the Holy Spirit, had the mission of pilgrimage around the world bringing to everyone the word of the salvation promised by God.

Horses are the central figures of the event. They are the ones who bring to battle the 24 knights (12 Christians and 12 Moors) richly adorned. They are also the ones who lead the Mascarados, humorous figures who wear colorful clothes and paper mache masks with long horns adorned with crepe paper flowers. Boots and gloves complete their look. They never take off the masks and always speak in husky voices in an ongoing effort to remain anonymous.

They represent the people (in a play that reminds us that not everyone has access to the pomp of knights, the elite and power). They make the party lighter, they break the heavy climate of the battle of life and death that presents itself there. Thanks to them, the holy war represented here is adorned with the delicacy of the flowers, colors and textures of the Brazilian cerrado.

The band plays animated marches. And the Mascarados, with their jokes and their strange fantasies, amuse the public.

São Paulo - Brasil