Saturday, 2/22/20
Monday, 2/24/20

Bloco: Ilê Aiyê

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Ilê Aiyê is the Belo dos Belos (the most beautiful of the beauties) as goes the title of their most well-known song. Just about every carnival, they're winners of the Dodo e Osmar Trophy for the Best Bloco Afro. Ilê, as they're affectionately known in Salvador, was the first Bloco Afro to emerge from the Black Consciousness movement of the 1970's. The bloco is based in the neighborhood, Liberdade, the "Harlem" of Salvador. Their opening ceremony on Saturday night is steeped in tradition and pageantry and is one of Carnival's most culturally significant events. Joining Ilê Aiyê for Carnival has become a sort of cause célèbre with international stars, including an appearance by Naomi Campbell in recent years. It should be noted that Ilê Aiyê has a policy of only allowing people of African descent into the bloco. This policy was not born out of discrimination, but rather in protest to the reality that Afro-Brazilians were excluded from certain Carnival blocos at the time.

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