Photo of the Week: The Baianas of Carnival

Photo of the Week: The Baianas of Carnival

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We’re sure all of Brazil is still sleeping it off. Carnival — one of the world’s biggest parties — was on last week and, in Rio de Janeiro, we celebrated right along with everyone, partying in the streets with locals and capturing moments like this one: a group of Baianas spinning in the Sambadrome.

The term “Baianas” refers to women from the Brazilian state of Bahia, whose traditional dances and distinctive dresses have become one of the most iconic symbols of Carnival. Baianas are said to hold mythical-like power, descending from African tribes that came to Bahia in the early 1900s. Today, Baiana dancers are typically older women, representing female power and spirituality. Their dances are not judged as a samba school category, but they remain an important piece of Carnival culture — and, for many, the highlight of the Sambadrome. Their massive, balloon-like dresses create an eye-boggling effect when the dancers spin together. A mesmerising sight to see.

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