Thursday, June 2, 2016

Los Indios Tabajaras

When the two men had the hit song Maria Elena, I read they were Indians who found a guitar in the jungle …

My first thought was not “Why was a guitar in the jungle? Did it fall from an airplane? No. If it had fallen from an airplane, it would have been smashed going through the trees or when it hit the ground and the two Indians would have found pieces of the guitar. One would have asked, ‘Why is there a broken guitar here?’ The other would have said, ‘Beats me. We’ve got a pig to track.’ ‘Right,’ the first Indian would have said. ‘Hey, bet we can use these steel strings.’”

I did not think any of that when reading of two Indians who found a guitar in the jungle and they then taught themselves to play. I wondered: Why wasn’t the guitar warped? You put any kind of laminated wood in the jungle for a few days, it warps. Heat and humidity work quickly on glue. And jungles have ants, ants that would feast on glue, given a nice laminated guitar that suddenly appears. And if the guitar was warped, Dos Indios would have had one heck of a time getting proper sound from it.

Wikipedia says of Natalicio and Antenor Lima: “… most stories have them becoming accomplished guitar players after finding a guitar near Ceara, Brazil.” Wikipedia also says, “Their beginnings are not clear …”

Or, per http://www.allmusic.com/artist/los-%C3ndios-tabajaras-mn0000346592/biography

“Indians from the Tabajara tribe, they left Ceará with their people in 1933, traveling on foot the almost 2,000 km to Rio de Janeiro. During the three years spent on the journey, they collected a number of regional musics. In Rio de Janeiro they were registered and baptized by the lieutenant Hildebrando Moreira Lima, from whom they took their Christian names.”

Why did the Ceara leave their homes and travel to Rio de Janeiro? Did somebody say, “Hey, let’s go to Rio! They got good beaches there!”

Anyway, here’s a link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rQheOglFos


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