‘From Earth to Heaven’ is the title of the documentary that portrays the tradition of the mastros (maypoles) in the county of Odemira. The territory of Odemira is interweaved with the tradition of the ‘Mastros’ – the maypoles mainly used in the (religious) celebrations of the Festas de Santos Populares.

‘Concepts such as faith, sacredness, ritual, promise and celebration meet in the memories of all. It gathers personal accounts that decode the actions and practices of the past and that today find new expressions and contexts.’

The premiere will be on May 3, 2019, at the Cineteatro Camacho Costa in Odemira; presentations follow throughout the district of Odemira, all with free admission. Here are the dates:

9:30 pm
PREMIERE: Documentário: “Da Terra Ao Céu” – “From Earth to Heaven” Cineteatro Camacho Costa, Odemira
9:30 pm
Documentário “Da Terra Ao Céu”, pela PédeXumbo
São Luís
9:30 pm
Documentário “Da Terra Ao Céu”, pela PédeXumbo
Santa Clara-a-Velha
9:30 pm
Documentário “Da Terra Ao Céu”, pela PédeXumbo
Vale de Santiago
9:30 pm
Documentário “Da Terra Ao Céu”, pela PédeXumbo
Cineteatro Girasol, Vila Nova de Milfontes
9:30 pm
Documentário “Da Terra Ao Céu”, pela PédeXumbo
São Martinho das Amoreiras
9:30 pm
Festival de Mastros 2019
São Teotónio

As part of the presentations in São Luís and Santa Clara-a-Velha, dance and paper flower workshops for the decoration will be offered during the afternoon.

The documentary was filmed in 2018 by Pedro Grenha and Rui Cacilhas for PédeXumbo (Association for the Promotion of Music and Dance), in a co-production with ADMIRA (Association for the Development of Mira Region), with the support of the Municipality of Odemira.

The association PédeXumbo has investigated and collecting memories associated with the practice of the traditional Mastros in the district of Odemira since 2017.

Do interior ao litoral, o território de Odemira é atravessado pela tradição dos mastros. Conceitos como fé, sagrado, ritual, promessa e celebração cruzam-se nas memórias de todos. Reúne relatos pessoais que descodifi cam ações e práticas de outrora e que hoje encontram novas expressões e

Um documentário da PédeXumbo – Associação para a Promoção da Música e da Dança, numa co-produção com a ADMIRA – Associação para o Desenvolvimento da Região do Mira, com o apoio do Município de Odemira. Source: CM-Odemira.pt

What are the Mastros?

The Mastros have their origin in the pagan custom of raising the maypoles, a custom that is still alive today in parts of Europe, some African countries, and Latin America. Over time, the maypoles in Portugal were erected in the June celebrations of the Santos Populares and connected with the popular Catholic symbolism and procedures, involving the lifting of the pole and its detailed ornaments.

The film makers of PédeXumbo investigated deeply on the practice of dance and celebrations connected with the ‘Return of the Mastro’, and collected many interviews and lots of material.

The Mastros appear in the villages and regions of the Odemira county with unique characteristics and contextualization. According to the film makers, there are 3 traditions of Mastros in the municipality of Odemira:

  • Mastro de Santos Populares,
  • Mastro de Promessa (Mast of Promise), and
  • Dança das Fitas (Dance of the Ribbons).

The Mastro tradition in the Odemira country is very connected with dances and singing around the pole, and deep spiritual beliefs and promises of the people. The film makers investigated these practices in the municipality of Odemira to register, promote and revive these practices.

The project, that started in 2018, will be developed over 4 years with different communities and specific activities each year, that integrates the transcultural character of the mastro tradition that allows to also integrate the immigrant population in the county of Odemira and the cultural exchange with international artists.

(Source in portuguese: PedeXumbo)

(Title image: cm-odemira.pt)

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