Encontro de Bandeiras: o ciclo festivo do Triângulo Mineiro, São Carlos, Estado de São Paulo.
This research is an ethnographic study of Folia de Reis , (a kind of catholic party of kings and merry-makers) that analyzes more than their rituals and practices, but also embraces the social spaces that comprise it. This work describes and interprets the religious factions of the party celebrating the Saint s kings, as essential elements that together configure a new dynamic of rhythm, musicality, and feelings that pass from the daily life of the folioes (merry-makers) to the party itself, and from the party into their lives. The city of Romaria is the major reference and departure point of the study because it is exactly the place from where many other parties were inspired and organized by other nearby towns. Romaria is also a place that receives very diverse and interesting types of people, who come to participate of the parties that occur here throughout the year, such as Cavalhadas, congadas, folia de reis, and so on. The bureaucratic organizations that institutionalize the party and their relationship with the community and with the church hierarchy are other aspects that are related to Romaria s position as the central and most important catholic city within all of the Triangulo Mineiro region. The last subject of this study is the dialog between the figures of the cultural intermediate such as journalists, researchers, musicians, and artists that in general make this religious party the starting point to approaching and understanding the popular culture. This research will underline the musicians acting and criticizes the maniqueist sight of authentic culture, mass culture, erudite culture, and popular culture. Together, the action of cultural intermediates and the ethnographic study of Folia de reis provides a conceptual and theoretic reflection that questions how Anthropology, as a form of knowledge, is building a new methodology that allows us to understand the practices and subjectivities without fixing them in a hyperpolitical signification, while, on the other hand, maintaining a critical viewpoint. Only in this manner is possible to perceive life in the plastic flowers that adorn the guitars and the arcs as the passing territory between the sacred and the mundane, and as the constitutive part of the party that makes the party merry, and makes the merry-makers kings without royalty.