A beverage that certainly pays attention because of its blue or lilac colouring is tiquira, a kind of very strong brandy distilated of manioc juice. It originates from an indigenous tradition of Mamede comunity. They wanted to take advantage of manioc for almost everything, including for production of strong drink.
The tradition passed through generations. Today there are 15 producers of Mamede comunity that work united and after many years of sustained effort they succeeded commercialize a brand name Tiquira.
Deep in the interior of the state of Maranhao, local female workers initiated a unique women's movement integrating the practice of traditional extractive economy. They identify themself as coconut-breakers, making a living by collecting and gathering coconuts of palm trees called babacu, an endemic oil palm of the region.
In the late 1993, with the support and technical assistance of the Association of Settlement areas in the state of Maranhao (ASSEMA) a number of coconut-breaker groups started an experiment of processing babacu coconut oil to produce natural soup.
Embaixada Babacu Livre is the house of ASSEMA on Rua 28 de Julho, 175 (Praia Grande) in Sao Luis. It's the house of events like exhibitions, fairs and discussions, the place where the solidary economy takes place. Beside babacu natural soap, recycled paper and package (boxes) - produced from vegetal fibres and natural colour, different organic products and foodstuffs, are also available.
One of the most popular rituals in Afro-Brazilian culture of Maranhao is Tambor de Crioula, a celebration based on music and dance that mix faith and entertainment. It's a homage to Sao Benedito (black saint and the son of slaves native of Italy) organized in the open air on any time of the year, to celebrate dates, remarkable moments or pay promises.
There are three drums in ensemble. The first is called "tambor grande" (the name already tell, it's the main, the biggest and it functions as solo of ensemble); the second is called "sucador" (it's the one of a middle size and has the function to hold and gives scoring the rhythm) and the third is called "quirimbador" (it's the smallest drum and it makes the most rapid sound that gives the greatest joy).
Men's function is to play instruments and draw the tune, while women's is to dance and sing. Whirling and gyrating in time to the music women negotiate for prime position in the centre of the bateria. Printed skirts, bracelets and necklaces compound cheerful women's clothes.
The majority of groups that keep alive the culture of Tambor de Crioula is connected with the association Bumba-meu-boi, another fundamental tradition of Maranhao.
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An absolute energy supply after nightlong parties!!!
Guarana da Amazonia is a mixture of different substances together. The ingredients are: guarana powder, guarana syrup, grinded peanuts and cashew nuts and water. For a better taste and nutritiousness they add various local fruit as bananas, avocado, acai...
The drink contains caffeine. Because it obtains stimulating substances, it is consumed by millions of people as natural energy drink. And besides, it tastes absolutely delicious!
Guarana da Amazonia is typical of the north of Brazil. In Sao Luis you can get it all the city round, there are many street vendors offering this miraculous drink.
All over the old town, you may find interesting street signs with the street names written in blue over white tiles.
This and the interesting names are Portuguese heritage to us Brazilians.
The picture is not so good, but you can picture the tiles and the blue border over it.