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Maracatu is a Brazilian dance that features drumming and is often associated with carnivals. Maracatu is characterized by its high energy and upbeat style. There are three different styles of Maracatu: nação (which is slower paced), rural, and cearense. During the dance, participants bang on large drums and often jump up and down with other musicians. Singing and whistles are also sometimes featured as part of the dance. There are no standard dress code for participants, but they often wear loose-fitting clothes given that the dance often occurs in hot and crowded outdoor environments. The storylines of Maracatu differ, but performances often act out pre-colonial African traditions.

Is this activity known by any other names?

Maracatu Nação; Maracatu Rural; Maracatu Cearense

What are the origins of the activity abroad and in Canada?

Maracatu originated in Brazil hundreds of years ago. Its exact origins in Canada are unclear, but likely gained popularity with the arrival of Brazilian and Latin American migrants.

Who takes part?

Males and females of diverse ethnocultural backgrounds and ages, many of whom are of Brazilian heritage.

When does it occur / How often do you take part?

Maracatu occurs at cultural festivals in the GTA, such as Carassauga.

Are there any organized clubs, groups, organizations or leagues?

Baque de Bamba

Cultural Significance

This activity is culturally significant to some members of the Brazilian community. However, in the GTA, this dance often takes place as part of a shared carnival or parade experience that includes people outside of the Brazilian community.

Is there anything else we should know?



  • Nathan Phillips Square
    100 Queen St W
    Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
  • Hershey Fields
    5600 Rose Cherry Pl
    Mississauga, ON L4Z 4B6

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