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 home >> events >> literatura de cordel symposium >> cordel gallery page one
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Literatura de Cordel:
Continuity and Change in Brazilian Popular Literature

Symposium: September 26-27, 2011
Thomas Jefferson Building, Room 119
10 First Street, SE
Washington, DC

Gallery of Covers from the American Folklife Center's
Literatura de Cordel Brazilian Chapbook Collection
Page One

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Cover: Lampiões
Lampiões by Alexandre José Felipe Cavalcanti d'Albuquerque Sabaó Saboia [a.k.a. Dila], no date (acquired 1986). Woodcut probably by the author. The outlaw and folk hero Virgulino Ferreira da Silva, known as Lampião, and his gang of bandits are a frequently recurring subject of cordel poetry, songs, and illustrations. AFC 1970/002:M00156.
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Cover: A Vaca Misteriosa
A Vaca Misteriosa que Falou Profetizando (The Mysterious Cow that Spoke, Prophesying) by José Costa Leite, no date (acquired in 1978). Unsigned woodcut, probably by the author. Cordel poets sometimes use tales of magical animals to say what they can not. This cow complains of corruption and urges readers to return to faith. AFC 1970/002:M00921.
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Cover: Peleja de Azulão com Medeiros
Peleja de Azulão com Medeiros (Azulão's Contest with Medeiros) by José João dos Santos, known as "Azulão," 1979. Woodcut by Ciro Fernandes. Song contests are a common theme in cordel verse. In this example, cordelista and singer Azulão gives his own account of his singing contest with Medeieros. AFC 1970/002:M00498.
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Cover: A Lingua da Mulher Faladeira
A Lingua da Mulher Faladeira (The Tongue of a Talkative Woman) by Rodolfo Coelho Cavalcante, 1973. Woodcut unsigned. Cavalcante was a founding member of the Associação de Imprensa Periódica da Bahia (Periodical Press Association of Bahia) and instrumental in the troubadour movement. His cordel verse was written to be sung. AFC 1970/002:M01580.
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Cover: O Pavão Misterioso
O Pavão Misterioso (The Mysterious Peacock), attributed to José Camelo de Melo Resende, no date (acquired 1970). Woodcut by Álvaro Barbosa. This popular fantasy, first published in 1920, tells of a Turkish man who creates a peacock-shaped flying machine to court the imprisoned daughter of a Greek nobleman. The story has been recast as a play and a television program. AFC 1970/002:M01844.
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Cover: História da Camponesa e o Filho do Avarento
História da Camponesa e o Filho do Avarento (The Story of the Peasant Girl and the Son of a Miser) by José Francisco Borges, no date (acquired 1982). Woodcuts on the cover and interior by the author. Borges is one of the best-known cordel writers and artists. The status and trials of country people from the northeast of Brazil are themes in cordel poetry that appeal to its northeastern readers. AFC 1970/002:M02323.
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Cover: A Mulher Que Foi ao Inferno E Dançou Com O Diabo
A Mulher que Foi ao Inferno e Dançou com O Diabo (The Woman Who Went to Hell and Danced with the Devil) by Apolônio Alves Dos Santos, no date (acquired 1982). Woodcut by José Costa Leite. A fantastic tale of a woman who visits Hell and makes a narrow escape. AFC 1970/002:M01987.
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Cover: As Andorinhas da Fe
As Andorinhas da Fé ou os Ladrões do pe da Serra (The Swallows of Faith or the Foothill Robbers) by José Francisco Borges, no date (acquired 1982). Woodcut by the author. Tales of crime and and its consequences are common subjects for authors of cordel literature. AFC 1970/002:M02562.
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Cover: Nós, os Seres H'Urbanos
Nós, os Seres H'Urbanos (We Urban Beings) by Raimundo Silva, no date (acquired 1982). Woodcut by Ciro Fernandes. The poet recounts the horrors of "os selva de concreto" (the concrete jungle). This cover displays one of the more fantastical block prints by Ciro Fernandes. AFC 1970/002:M02162.
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Cover: O Leite da Janaguba ea cura do Câncer
O Leite da Janaguba e a cura do Câncer (Janaguba Milk and the Cure for Cancer) by Pedro Bandeira, 1977. Woodcut by Francorli. This poem describes a traditional treatment for cancer. Today this plant, Himatanthus drasticus, is being studied to determine its effectiveness in the treatment of some cancers. AFC 1970/002:M02771.
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Cover: O Natal com Jesus Cristo
O Natal com Jesus Cristo (The Birth of Jesus Christ) by Celina Ferreira, 1965. Woodcut unsigned. A Christmas poem. At the time this was published, Ferreira was one of very few women cordelistas. Today there are more women writing in the genre. AFC 1970/002:M01881.
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Cover: Luta de Um Homem com um Lobisomem
Luta de um Homem com um Lobisomem (A Fight betwen a Man and a Werewolf) by Abraão Batista, 1974. Woodcut by the author. Woodcut artists often develop distinctive printmaking styles. Batista's prints are instantly recognizable by their jagged background lines. AFC 1970/002:M00954.
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Cover: Lampiáo e Maria Bonita Tentados Por Satanaz
Lampião e Maria Bonita Tentados Por Satanaz (Lampião and Maria Bonita Tempted by Satan), by Jota Barros, no date (acquired 1978). Woodcut by the author. The legendary Lampião and his companion Maria Bonita are the subject of many fantasy tales such as this one. AFC 1970/002:M0955.
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Cover: O Filho Juvenal eo Drago Vermelho
O Filho de Juvenal e o Dragão Vermelho (The Son of Juvenal and the Red Dragon) by Expedito Ferreira da Silva, 1978. Woodcut by Ciro Fernandes. This popular fantasy poem of a prince slaying a dragon has been reprinted several times. Notice that the prince wears a traditional northeastern Brazilian hat. AFC 1970/002:M01036.
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Cover: A Mulher é Como Café Quanto Mais Quente Melhor
Mulher é como Café Quanto Mais Quente Melhor (Women are like Coffee, The Hotter the Better) by José Costa Leite, no date (acquired 1983). Woodcut by the author. Sexuality, from the romantic to the explicit, is a frequent subject of cordel poetry and lyrics. AFC 1970/002:M01903.
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