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17 attire

Life is sweet


Salvador, capital of Bahia, was a centre of sugar cultivation from the 16th to

the 18th centuries. The city’s ornate architecture and baroque churches resplendent in gold decoration were spun from the money made from the plantations. The vibrant cultural life of Salvador is also the legacy of thousands of African slaves who passed through Brazil’s colonial ports. The Lei Áurea or ‘Golden Law’ abolished slavery, but not its associated problems, on 13 May 1888 and there were celebrations on the streets. The population of Bahia certainly know how to celebrate. Afro-Brazilian dance and music traditions capoeira, samba and candomblé come alive during carnival. We capture the colour and spontaneity of a street party with clothes fashioned from household linen. Embroidered tablecloths become a skirt and doilies were stitched to a valance resulting in an apron – have your cake and wear it.

Photography by Fedor Van der Valk

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