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The trajectory of the Ganhadeiras de Itapuã tells the story of a people who value their own tradition. Viradoro's recognition and victory feeds the importance of the union between Rio and Bahia for the legacy of the African diaspora.

Next to the Abaeté lagoon is the main stage of the life of the Ganhadeiras de Itapuã.


In the past, while washing clothes for gain to pay for their freedom or those they loved, they hummed and talked.

Music and samba have always been the food to brighten life, greet ancestors and strengthen the soul to bear the brunt of life of uninterrupted work.

While the clothes were quarantined - it means putting the clothes in the sun, still soapy for better cleaning - they enjoyed the surrounding space.

The fresh fruits of the trees, the chat with friends, the place for their children to play, the herbs that served as medicine and the Divine protection ... everything was there in that dark lagoon surrounded by white sand.

A feminine universe with Oxum's blessings was built. A simple life, a lot of toil, but dignified, supportive and happy.

In addition to washing clothes, they sold delicacies in the center of the city of Salvador, mainly fried fish, which were taken in baskets and covered with white towels that looked so bluish in white.


The first winners were walking from Itapuã to the São Miguel Market, in the city center, more than 20km. There was no transportation. They grew up in that movement, determined to be free.

Amadeu Alves, “itapuanzeiro”, today director of Casa da Música and lover of the culture of his people, saw the potential of these ladies who went up and down the streets of Itapuã to move with their work and singing everyone in the neighborhood and soon thought of to create a group that presented these women, their chores and songs that were lost in the new time of the rapid changes of contemporary times.

To be “itapuanzeiro” is to have been born and raised within the culture of Itapuã. Some, due to their effective participation in the cultural context, can be considered local, but it is not easy to win this title.

It was late 2003 when Amadeu talked to D. Denize and D. Ana Maria to put into action the idea he had: creating a cultural group with the women of Itapuã. From then on, people got together and on March 13, 2004 they signed a commitment to found the group.


The Ganhadeiras de Itapuã was born.

In the home of D. Mariinha, meetings were held to rehearse and select the repertoire that started from their affective memory. One of the selected songs, of the same name, christened the group Ganhadeiras de Itapuã.

Using collective work as a way of conducting activities, people arrived over time: Salvino Filho, Jenner Salgado, Edvaldo Borges, Ivana Muzenza, Alê Siqueira ... and children and adolescents became interested and participated in the context in a spontaneous.

Today they are the youngest winners who already bring their daughters to the wheel, that is, the movement has reached three generations.

The shows started in Itapuã and gradually gained space outside the neighborhood. A valuable construction of persistence, courage, companionship and belief.

As the first prize won in the Public Competition "Prêmio Culturas Populares 2007", from the Secretariat of Identity and Cultural Diversity of the Ministry of Culture, Itapuã Ganhadeiras bought props and musical instruments.

In 2012, they recorded their first CD using the Fund to Support Culture, a program of the Government of the State of Bahia, which opened the doors to the next awards that took them to the Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro to participate in the 26th edition of the Brazilian Music Award em2 015 as winners of the “MelhorÁlbumRegional” and “MelhorGrupo” categories.

They participated in the closing of the Olympics in Rio in 2016, won the Natura award for making a documentary that will still be released, but it was four years ago, in a show in Salvador, with the participation of Zezé Mota, that the winners reached the carnivals Marcus Ferreira and Tarcísio Zanon.

Zezé Mota handed them the CD and said: “the Ganhadeiras de Itapuã is a good samba-enredo theme”.

Itapuã Winners at the House of Music and Abaeté - 2017


With the CD and the information, the team of directors plus the carnivals went to Bahia to learn about the life history of these women, one by one, and found in them the best of Bahia: the culture inherited from the ancestors that combines the do daily with the faith that moves mountains.

They got to know Lagoa do Abaeté and its myths. The Bahian sea and its charms. The faith of women fueled by the accounts of African saints and the crucifix of the Catholic Church.

Oxum and Iemanjá who protect fresh water, salt water and all their children who take the sustenance of life from these environments.

In addition to the knowledge acquired, direct contact with the winners, fed the faith of the carnivalgoers, visible in the third present in Marcus' hands, during an interview for G1 on February 26th. The same faith that puts the Ganhadeiras de Itapuã forward, with the same simplicity that the wisdom gained from life allowed them, led the carnival people to sing the same song together:

“Oh, mother! Soap, mother! Soap, then quarantine

Oh, mother! Soap, mother! Soap, then quarar ”

And together, Bahia and Rio de Janeiro, places in the same African diaspora, win in Sapucaí.

Watch the documentary, a mix of trajectory and parade in Sapucaí.

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