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ContraculturaAlternative Arts and Social Transformation in Authoritarian Brazil$
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Christopher Dunn

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469628516

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469628516.001.0001

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The Sweetest Barbarians

The Sweetest Barbarians

(p.108) 3 The Sweetest Barbarians

Christopher Dunn

University of North Carolina Press

The third chapter discusses the northeastern state of Bahia, particularly its capital Salvador, which emerged as something of a mecca for Brazilian and other South American youth, who identified with the counterculture. An important center for Afro-Brazilian culture, Bahia was imagined as a place of non-western spirituality and cultural alterity, much in the way that Mexico and India were respectively seen by North American and European hippies. Youth from all over Brazil and South America flocked to Salvador and to the beach community Arembepe, where they founded a permanent commune. Bahian musicians, including former tropicalists who toured together as the Doces Bárbaros (“Sweet Barbarians”) popularized this image with songs alluding to Candomblé, an Afro-Brazilian religion, and other symbols of regional black culture. The local alternative press, such as the paper Verbo Encantado, also promoted Bahia as a destination for alternative youth. In an effort to boost tourism, the state government promoted Bahia as a mystical destination for young travelers, even as it sought to control and suppress the influx of hippies and the spread of drug consumption.

Keywords:   Counterculture, Hippies, Bahia, Arembepe, Doces Bárbaros, Candomblé, Verbo Encantado

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