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Clube Carnavalesco Misto Lenhadores

Recife carnival club, founded on March 5, 1897. Oral history is still the source of many of the stories of Recife's carnival clubs, such as Clube Lenhadores, the third oldest in the capital of Pernambuco.

Clube Carnavalesco Misto Lenhadores

Article available in: PT-BR ESP

Last update: 22/05/2023

By: Arthur Pedro Bezerra Menezes - Journalist, Master in History and Assistant in S&T at Fundação Joaquim Nabuco

Oral storytelling is still the source of many of the stories of the Carnival clubs of Recife, such as Clube Lenhadores (Lumberjacks Club), the third oldest in the capital of Pernambuco, only after Clube das Pás (1887) and Vassourinhas (1889). 

Founded on March 5, 1897, with 122 years “of tradition and glories,” as the directors of the Club like to emphasize, the Clube Carnavalesco Misto Lenhadores, whose current headquarter is in Moçambique Street, 160 (the so called Palácio do Frevo João Paulo), in Bairro da Mustardinha, a neighborhood in Recife/PE. Our lady of Santana is the patron saint of the Club, which symbolizes “the oldest social manifestation among all the associations of Recife, representing the history of a people who have always sought to keep the moments of joy, preserving their identity and values,” as explained by the lawyer Edvaldo Ramos, counselor, and benefactor partner of the Club.
The Clube Lenhadores always parades on Carnival Fridays, on Dantas Barreto Avenue, between the neighborhoods of Santo Antônio and São José, in the downtown of Recife/ PE.

The professor and public servant, Jamesson Tavares, says that Clube Lenhadores was created, with headquarters in Beco das Barreiras (today José de Alencar Street), in the neighborhood of Boa Vista, of a dissidence of the Clube das Pás, because at the end of the 19th century women were very much in charge and, with this, one of the directors of Pás, Juvenal Brasil, disgusted by everything that was going on, left the club, taking some of his companions with him. In this context, the idea to create an association came from the work in the forest, where Juvenal, along with his colleagues, cutting wood, had the idea of making a club that, at first, was called Clube do Machado (Axe Club), later Clube do Machadinho (Little Axe Club), then became Clube do Lenhador (Lumberjack Club), and finally became Clube Carnavalesco Misto Lenhadores (Mixed Lumberjacks Carnival Club). 

Jamesson Tavares also informs that the club worked for a long time on Glória Street, still in Boa Vista, before moving, in the 1950s, to its current headquarter, in the Mustardinha neighborhood.

“The Club’s colors are green, red, and white and its banner bears the coat of arms of the State of Pernambuco, being the only association authorized by the governor of that time, Sigismundo Gonçalves, to use it,” says with pride the culture director of Lenhadores. 

The Matinê Branca (White Matinee):

Jamesson, who researched the history of his club, recalls that the Matinê Branca party was created as a response to the Pernambuco elite, who already had their proms sponsored by the sugar society, composed of the families of the landlords and politicians who defended the political regime of the dominant oligarchies, in the clubs Português and Internacional. Then, emphasizes Jamesson Tavares, the board of Clube Lenhadores met and decided to throw a free party, in which the humblest workers, such as the biscateiros, balaieiros, greengrocers, street vendors, and shoemakers could also take their families. In this way, the Matinê Branca was created as a proper party without entrance fee. 

Edvaldo Ramos tells the story of the Matinê Branca from Lenhadores: “Those who frequented the old headquarters in Glória Street remember that the tradition started during the time of religious repression and that the Festa Branca (White Party) would represent a reverence for Orixalá, since the offering to the African orixá could not be made explicitly.” The lawyer, counselor, and benefactor of Lenhadores continues: “the ballroom dances complemented the praise to the orixá/major, rendered reservedly by the members and sympathizers of the association,” he ends saying: “and thus, the tributes of the Clube Lenhadores remember, on that date, beliefs and traditions of more than a century, which last to this day, and promote joy and fraternization to those who attend the halls of that carnival club.”

In an interview to the website NE 10, of Recife’s Jornal do Commercio, Edvaldo Ramos “confessed” that “today, the Matinê Branca is just a party. In the past, it was also a disguise for the black community to perform the rituals of worship and offering to the orixás. With the police repression, it was difficult to profess religiosity.” Together with Lindivaldo Leite, Ramos revealed that “the settlement of the orixás was set up behind the stage, away from the repressive eyes of the police. The community wanted to worship, because they could not fail to fulfill their obligations, and the police did not allow it, they broke the settlements.” Edvaldo Ramos adds: “With the party, people worshiped the orixás without the leather receiving bordoada (staff stroke), it is another one of the cunning of the blacks of the time.”

According to the story of Matinê Branca, it represents religious syncretism, so well expressed in the clothes of those who want to join the party, always on the last Sunday of August, a month dedicated to the Exus, in the tradition of religions of African origin.

The outfit (usually written and detailed in the invitation to Matinê Branca party) is:

- Gentlemen: white suit, white long-sleeved shirt, black bow tie, black shoes, and black belts. 

- Ladies: white blouse, white skirt, or white dress below the knee or long white dress, black shoes.

The phonographic collection of the Centro de Estudos da História Brasileira Rodrigo Melo Franco de Andrade (Cehibra) from Fundaj, has compacts LPs of the Rozemblit record label, by the Mocambo label, and CDs, by Music Line Gravadora and Sonocom recordings. The reference is the recording of the Fanfare of the Clube Lenhadores performance and the recording of the song A Província, Marcha do Clube Lenhadores, written by Juvenal Brasil.





Recife, February 27, 2019.

sources consulted

MOTTA, Leo. Matinê Branca: tradição do Clube Lenhadores do Recife. 2017. Disponível em: <>. Acesso em: 26 fev. 2019.

SILVA, Jamesson Tavares da. Entrevista concedida a Arthur Pedro de Menezes. Recife, 9 ago. 2018.

RAMOS, Edvaldo Eustáquio. Entrevista concedida a Arthur Pedro de Menezes. Recife, 9 ago. 2018.

how to quote this text

MENEZES, Arthur Pedro Bezerra de. Clube Lenhadores. In: Pesquisa Escolar. Recife: Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, 2019. Available at: Access on: month day year. (Ex.: Aug, 6 2020.)