Boi Bumba or Bumba Meu Boi as it is also known is a folk festival held in Brazil. The gist of this festival is a tale which is told to the accompaniment of music and dance. The tale usually revolves around a bull which dies and is restored back to life. There are some variations to the way this traditional theatre is enacted but the general theme remains the same.
The main character is of course the bull. An ugly, pregnant girl named Catrina is the second main character which is enacted by a man. There is also a cowboy who is supposed to look after the bull but is also responsible for the bull’s death. There is finally, a rich and powerful priest who owns the bull.
The tale of Boi Bumba is about a person called Pai Francisco a farm worker who had a wife named Mãe Catrina who craved for beef tongue during her pregnancy. Pai kills an ox on the farm to please his wife. However, the ox that he kills happens to be one of the favorites of the owner of the farm. There are some wild attempts to revive the dead bull but to no avail. Poor Pai almost goes to jail but the situation is saved by a “pajé” (medicine man), who successfully revives the bull. Pai Francisco is forgiven and everyone celebrates the bull’s new life.
It is not clear how this tradition originated but it is believed that Lindolfo Monteverde built it up from a bedtime story which his grandfather used to tell him. Another version is that José Furtado Belém and the Cid Brothers created it.