In the early twentieth century, the current district of Arruda was known as New Road and, until the arrival of the first ‘maxambomba’ (small locomotives where the drivers worked in a cabin with no cover), it was an unappealing place. Most of the houses were made of straw and the streets were crooked and hadstrange names like Seven Sins, Vulture, Patitas, Make-out Alley, among others.
It was because of the ‘maxambombas’ and the progress they brought that Portuguese-born Manuel InácioArruda, “MrArruda,”set up a small grocery store in New Road, which soon became a large store due to its many customers. He became so well known that the name of the old neighborhood was changed to the surname of the Portuguese merchant: Arruda.
At the time, around the ‘maxambombas’ station, located beside the current Santa Cruz Football Club stadium, a street market was createdon Sundays, and several shops emerged.
For the populations’ amusement, the TeatroMelado (Treacle Theatre) was created, which featured dramas, fandangos, and pastoris, with themost well- knownbeing Canela de Aço (Steel Leg), Fuzarca (Mess), Baú (Chest)andPimenta (Pepper); and also many “hope it doesn’t rain”circuses(circuses that don’t have a tent) thatbrought attractions like the “dirty face” clowns, who invited people to the show, sometimes using stilts orriding donkeys.
The neighborhood was also well-known for its residents’ preference forxangô (African-Brazilian religious ceremonies). There were many terreiros(the place where these ceremonies took place),and the most famous were those of ZefinhaGuedes and Anselmo.
Among the popular festivals, Carnival and Christmas were very exciting. In anticipation of the Carnival festivities, the neighborhood of Arruda was already frantic from September on, because of the rehearsals of various clubs, blocos,troças, caboclinhos, ursosand maracatus. The most distinguished blocks or associations were: Flor de Lira (Lira Flower), Camponeses(Peasants), O Bagaço é Meu(The Bagasse is Mine), Eco da Mocidade(Echoes of Youth) and Cachorro Lambe Tudo(The Dog Licks Everything). On the feast of Christmas there was the mamulengo, bumba-meu-boi, fandango and street bands, as well as the traditional burning of the nativity.
When the ‘maxambombas’ were replaced by electric trolleys in 1922, the neighborhood already had two cinemas, the Guanabara and the Arruda, which was burned during the Revolution of 1930.
From the 1920s until 1960, the neighborhood was in full swing with a large collection of shops andclinics, and numerous changes in social structure and the configuration of urban space. However, its urban infrastructure had problems common to most neighborhoods in Recife in terms of the need for paved roads and sanitation.
The major landmark of the neighborhood is the José do RegoMaciel Stadium, home of Santa Cruz Football Club, known nationally as “Mundão do Arruda” (Big World of Arruda). Although it was not created in the neighborhood of Arruda (its foundation was3 February 1914 in the Patio de Santa Cruz,in the Boa Vista neighbourhood), the teammovedthere in 1937 and the stadium was inaugurated on 4 June 1972.
In 2000, according to the census of the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), the population of Arrudawas 13,434 inhabitants.
Recife, 15 september 2006.
(Updated on14 september 2009).
Translated by Peter Leamy, January 2012.
RABELO, Evandro. Arruda. Edição Extra, Recife, 11 ago. 1968. Recife, quem te viu, quem te vê, p. 10.
ARRUDA. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 26 ago. 2006.
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Source: BARBOSA, Virgínia. Arruda, bairro, Recife. Pesquisa Escolar Online, Joaquim Nabuco Foudation, Recife. Available at: <http://basilio.fundaj.gov.br/pesquisaescolar/>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009.