Government of São Paulo recognizes Carnival as intangible heritage of the state

Governor Rodrigo Garcia handed the diploma to representatives of the League of Samba Schools of São Paulo

ter, 19/04/2022 - 15h26 | Do Portal do Governo

Governor Rodrigo Garcia delivered this Tuesday (19), at Palácio dos Bandeirantes, the diploma of registration of Carnival as intangible heritage of the state of São Paulo to representatives of the League of Samba Schools of São Paulo.

In a unanimous vote, the Council for the Defense of Historical, Archaeological, Artistic and Touristic Heritage (Condephaat), an organ for the preservation of material and immaterial heritage linked to the Secretary of Culture and Creative Economy of the State, approved the registration of carnival practices in the state as immaterial heritage.

“What we are doing here today is recognizing something from our life, something that is part of our history and our tradition. The value of the diploma is what it represents, which is what São Paulo thinks of its Carnival, now recognized as intangible heritage”, said Rodrigo Garcia.

The Condephaat opinion, published in the Official Gazette of the State of São Paulo in May 2021, concluded that carnival practices translate knowledge, practices and a collective identity that establish relationships of belonging.

Cultural recognition

The initial proposal, presented by the Independent League of Samba Schools of São Paulo, requested the registration of the “Samba Schools Parades” as intangible cultural heritage. The Council analyzed that there was a need to develop a broader plan, in line with the importance of cultural manifestation, capable of guaranteeing the safeguarding and reproduction of the practice, the preservation of knowledge and the perpetuation of the collective memory involved.

It was concluded that the most adequate way of preserving and valuing the carnival of São Paulo would be to expand the object and register, as intangible heritage, the “Carnival Practices of the State of São Paulo”, not only the parades, as these are the finalization of a diversified and culturally rich process.

“Condephaat continues the fundamental work of recognizing and protecting São Paulo’s intangible heritage by recording the expressions of artists linked to Carnival, which are numerous, very powerful and constitute marks of the State’s cultural heritage”, said the Secretary of Culture and Creative Economy of the State of São Paulo, Sérgio Sá Leitão. “We are valuing the popular and traditional culture of São Paulo, which is a vector of identity and development.”

The organ says that “the most appropriate way to preserve and value the carnival held in the State of São Paulo is to identify and preserve the preparatory practices of the parades, even the activities of the samba schools that are not translated on the avenue, but are directly related to carnival throughout the year”, considering that it is in these practices and rituals that the knowledge of the old samba masters and their relationship with samba paulista, their rooting in the communities and their insertion in the daily life of the neighborhoods where the headquarters of the Samba schools.

Condephaat’s justifications for approving the recognition consider that samba schools are territories where collective cultural practices linked to samba and the production of Carnival are concentrated; that schools emerge from the cordões, which were the first organizations to practice samba in the form of a procession; that these places are, historically, places of sociability for the most popular classes, mainly blacks, who found a legitimate way to carry out their practices.

Registration of Intangible Heritage

The Intangible Heritage Registry was created through Decree 57,439, of 2011, and allows the recognition of cultural manifestations of the State that are references to identity, action and memory as an expression of cultural and social identity.

The objective is to identify and recognize knowledge, forms of expression, ways of doing and living, rituals, parties and manifestations that are part of the culture of São Paulo. The first record of Condephaat’s intangible heritage was carried out in January 2016, with the recognition of samba from São Paulo. The virado paulista, a traditional dish of the state’s cuisine, was recognized in 2018. The National Sanctuary of Umbanda, in 2019.