“Alter do Chão has a history of being a matriarchal village,” Neca explains. “If you did a survey here, you’d see that 70 percent of households are run by women.” Dona Lusia never married. “She never let herself be subjugated by a man,” her daughter says. “She raised us all on her own.”
Dona Lusia occupied a position of importance when it came to communal ceremonies, cooking, rituals, craftwork, and storytelling. Neca says her mother was both festive and a fighter. Rituals are part of the intense life of these people, and the struggle to keep their rituals from vanishing is a struggle for their own unique way of life.
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