Madeiran Folklore

Folklore is understood in each region or country, as a genuine manifestation of the people’s cultural traditions.

In Madeira island, there are folklore shows all year round, particularly during the celebrations of certain agricultural tasks, such as harvesting, reaping and digging, and during religious festivities, festivals and pilgrimages.

Nowadays, the folk tradition continues with folk groups through their dances. The great mark of Madeiran folklore is expressed by the “bailinho”, accompanied by voices and music and the well-known “challenges”, where two singers alternately improvise lyrics of social satire nature. The typical dances range between the “chamarrita”, the “charamba”, the “mourisca” and the “bailinho das camacheiras”.

The music and dance of Madeiran folklore describe love, pastoral traditions and the saddest moments in the history of the island. The treading of grapes is symbolized in the dance steps. The "Ponta de Sol dance" where dancers have their heads down, represents the time of slavery, as a symbol of submission of the slave to the master.

The instruments used in Madeiran folklore are the traditional instruments such as the “machete”, the “rajão”, the “braguinha”, the fiddle, the wire guitar, the accordion, the triangle and the traditional “brinquinho”, locally made.