A Turma da Jaqueira Segurando o Talo
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Quando A Turma da Jaqueira surgiu (When the Jaqueira Gang appeared)
Você sorriu e alguém me criticou (You smiled and someone criticised me)
Veja você como a turma é tão bacana (Look how the gang is so cool)
Ela não lhe engana acredite meu amor (It doesn’t fool you, believe it my love)
Segure o talo meu bem (Hold the stalk my dear)
Não deixe o talo morrer (Don’t let the stalk die)
Segure o talo meu bem (Hold the stalk my dear)
É um presente que tenho para você (It’s a present I have for you)
Lá vem A Turma da Jaqueira (Here comes the Jaqueira Gang)
E a poeira já vem rolando (And the dust already comes flying)
Não se preocupe amigo (Don’t worry friend)
Tá Manoelzinho e Vila Nova organizando (Manoelzinho and Vila Nova are organising everything)
Chegou a hora do regresso (The countdown has begun)
Momento triste de fazer chorar (A sad moment that makes you cry)
Adeus a Turma da Jaqueira (Goodbye Jaqueira Gang)
Que para o ano prometemos voltar (Next year we promise to return)
(Group’s anthem, ‘frevo-canção’ by Jucilo Coutinho)
The mixed Carnival group A Turma da Jaqueira Segurando o Talo (literally: The Jackfruit Tree Gang Holding the Stalk) was created in 1984 by a group of drivers from the Joaquim Nabuco Foundation – Fundaj – who supported the candidacy of lawyer Manoel Cavalcanti de Albuquerque Sá Neto for the presidency of the Fundaj Employees’ Association and lost the election. As a form of protest and at the same time with the intention of cheering up the people saddened by the defeat, its founders and creators, Edgar Alves da Silva, Ivanildo Roberto da Silva, José Carlos Silva, Paulo Coutinho, Jucilo Coutinho and Clóvis França decided to take the group to the street, having as president Manoel Cavalcanti, known in the Foundation as Manoelzinho.
The name ‘A Turma da Jaqueira’ comes from the nickname given to the drivers in their hours off, mainly after lunch, where they gather on a bench underneath a jackfruit tree located behind the Museum of the Northeast Man.
The group’s anthem, a ‘frevo-canção’, was created by Jucilo Coutinho (lyrics at the beginning of this text), with the score by Sabastião Vila Nova. The banner, made from wood, has the stylised design of a jackfruit tree and is by José Carlos Silva, who besides being a driver was also a designer.
In its first year of existence, A Turma da Jaqueira Segurando o Talo paraded in a Jeep, which carried a ‘batucada’ (music group) and their wooden banner, managing to draw about a hundred partygoers. The group always goes out a week before Carnival Saturday, which is known as Sábado Gordo (Fat Saturday) or Zé Pereira.
In 1985, made up of around 180 members who had been contributing monthly from March 1984, the group went out to the sound of the ‘frevo’ orchestra and samba school of maestro Vivi.
The group gathered at Barraca Nabuquinho, in front of the Fundaj headquarters and headed in the direction of the Apipucos neighbourhood, via 17 de Agosto Avenue and Dois Irmãos St, to the house of the writer Gilberto Freyre, patron of the group, to whom they gave an homage, giving him a jackfruit. Shortly afterwards, the itinerary began to also include the Casa Forte Park.
From 1986, the Turma da Jaqueira began to each year honour people and institutions that had contributed to the valorisation of Pernambuco popular culture. Among the honoured are the writer Gilberto Freyre, the group Maracatu Cruzeiro do Forte, from the Cordeiro neighbourhood; ‘frevo’ dancer Nascimento do Passo; Clube Vassourinhas, in the year of the club’s centenary (1989); writer and poet Mauro Mota; Pernambuco composers Capiba, Luiz Bandeira, Getúlio Cavalcanti and J. Michilles; singer Claudionor Germano; visual artist and Olinda, PE doll-maker, Silvio Botelho; the Escola Municipal de Frevo (Municipal School of Frevo); the Clube Carnavalesco Misto das Pás; composer Nelson Ferreira, and others.
In 1987, the group came with two new changes: the participation of the orchestra of maestro Isaac, composed of twenty musicians, and the inclusion of the Poço da Panela neighbourhood in the original itinerary, a decision made, according to president Manoel Cavalcanti, by his colleagues because Poço is an old, historic neighbourhood and representative in terms of community, besides having an ideal topography for Carnival, closely resembling the neighbourhood of São José, with its strong Carnival tradition in Recife.
With the death of sociologist Gilberto Freyre (1987), the jackfruit began to be given to his widow, Magdalena Freyre.
From 1988, the group counted on the participation of a giant doll, portraying the writer Gilberto Freyre, made by artisan Paulo Patrício and donated by the Government of Pernambuco, through Fundarpe – the Pernambuco Foundation of Historic and Artistic Patrimony. Later the doll/portrait of Nelson Ferreira was also incorporated into the group’s parade.
The following year, Turma da Jaqueira included the participation of the Frevioca, created by journalist, historian and Carnival Scholar Leonardo Dantas Silva.
In the 1990 Carnival, the group paraded with the participation of the Big Band of Denmark, a Danish band made up of 40 musicians specialised in Brazilian (‘frevo’, ‘marcha’, samba, ‘maracatu’, ‘afoxé’ and ‘baião’), Cuban and African music.
When A Turma turned fifteen, in 1999, Mércia Bezerra Costa (a member of the group) organised a commemorative exhibition called Retrospectiva de Carnavais (Retrospective of Carnivals), held from 4 to 19 February in the hall of the Museum of the Northeast Man. The display brought together t-shirts, hats, banners, reports and giant dolls, as well as the iconographic archive of the group.
In 2000, a competition was held to elect the Garota Turma da Jaqueira (T.d.J. Girl). The candidate would have to dance ‘frevo’ well to be the godmother of the group. The choice was ballet teacher Cíntia Paulino.
Also in 2000, the centenary year of writer Gilberto Freyre, the group was given a new doll by its patron, made by Silvio Botelho, paid for by funds raised through a raffle.
Currently, the group’s parade begins in front of the Museum of the Northeast Man, follows Oscar Ferreira St, Encanamento Rd, Ubaias Rd, Casa Forte St, goes around Casa Forte Park, returns to 17 de Agosto Ave., Dois Irmãos St, passing through the Monteiro neighbourhood and finishes at the Apipucos Park.
Its basic formation is as follows: a faixa abre-alas (the main banner that opens the parade), the banners (of the group and of guests), the giant dolls, the orchestra on foot, the ‘Frevioca’ and finally the ‘trios elétricos’.
Besides Manoel Cavalcanti, considered to be perpertual president, the group has had two other presidents: Mércia Maria Bezerra Costa and Edson Bezerra da Silva.
Today it has been consecrated by Recife residents, especially those who live in the neighbourhoods of Casa Forte, Poço da Panela, Monteiro and Apipucos, and is also included on the Cultural Agenda of the Recife City Council. A Turma da Jaqueira Segurando o Talo draws over 60,000 partygoers and is one of the liveliest pre-Carnival parties in the Pernambuco Carnival.
Recife, 28 January 2005.
(Updated on 8 September 2009).
Translated by Peter Leamy, March 2011.
ARQUIVO de recortes de jornais da ASCOM - Assessoria de Comunicação Social da Fundaj (1985-2005).
ENTREVISTA com Mércia Maria Bezerra Costa, realizada em 27 de janeiro de 2005.
NABUQUINHO, Recife, ano 6, n.66, fev. 1995 [fascículo dedicado à troça].
TROÇA carnavalesca mista A Turma da Jaqueira Segurando o Talo [folder organizado por Mércia Bezerra Costa, com programação gráfica de Antonio Montenegro, 2000].
TROÇA Carnavalesca A Turma da Jaqueira Segurando o Talo (foto nesta texto). In: BONALD NETO, Olímpio. Os gigantes foliões em Pernambuco. 2. ed. Recife: Cepe, 2007. 264 p. p. 109.
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Source: GASPAR, Lúcia. A Turma da Jaqueira Segurando o Talo (troça carnavalesca). Pesquisa Escolar On-Line, Joaquim Nabuco Foudation, Recife. Available at: https://pesquisaescolar.fundaj.gov.br/en//>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009.