Essay "Masked men of Poconé on the Night of Enlightenment "
About 20 men wearing masks, patterned garments and hats that wear mirrors and other props, line up to dance in front of the Mother Church in the town of Poconé, Mato Grosso, where the arc of illumination was set up.
They come to pay homage to Saint Benedict as part of the celebrations of the Feast of the Divine. Half of them dressed as men - the gallants - and the other half dressed as women - the ladies.
Lively music with rhythms that blend waltz with African drumbeats. The group dances without stopping, with their funny tricks and giggles. Very excited, the ladies shake their skirts all the time. The gallants bow and interact with them in well-rehearsed steps. They perform 12 different choreographies in a 2 hours presentation.
Their masks of wire mesh and mass, painted gray in the case of the gallant or pink in the case of the ladies, give a funny aspect to the characters. The clothes, always shiny, made by themselves, demonstrate the pride that exists in being part of the group.
The dance is strenuous, and for this reason, boys learn to dance when they are still very young, in a tradition passed from father to son. There are few who can stand the challenge, which only increases the pride of being part of the group.