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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > September 2018 > Brazilian wax lyrical

Brazilian wax lyrical

From wild carnival celebrations to remote islands with caves and waterfalls, Jurriaan Teulings finds a country of stunning opposites
Photography Jurriaan Teulings

It’s Carnival time in Salvador da Bahia. Ahead of me, a gigantic float ploughs its way past a frenzied mass of people. It’s a kind of double double-decker, an apartment on wheels with a stage on top. And on top of it, Harmonia do Samba are performing.

They’re one of the most popular Brazilian bands at the moment. The devotion of their fans is almost rabid, with people jumping all over one another like popcorn in a hot pan. When I decide to jump too, it’s soon apparent that there’s nowhere for me to land. Backs, breasts, shoulders — and is that someone’s head? – prevent my descent.

For a few bizarre seconds, I am upright and float along with the crowd, until I’m finally released from the entanglement. This is sheer insanity. Everything here stinks of stale beer and farts. What am I doing here? Where is everyone? Where am I?

Salvador is situated on the Bay of All Saints peninsular. It’s a sizeable chunk out of the tropical north-east coast of Brazil, which is so impressive that the entire province behind it was called Bahia (meaning bay) for the sake of convenience.

This is the corner of the South American continent that would fit snugly into the armpit of Africa on a map. If you board a boat and head out to sea from Angola, it’s here that the current is most likely to take you. It’s no coincidence that Salvador became the largest “African” city of the western hemisphere. The majority of the local population has mixed blood coursing through their veins: a little bit of Portuguese, a dash of native, and a sizeable amount of Angolan, Congolese and Senegalese, to name just a few.

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About Attitude

Attitude celebrates its 300th issue! Style special with new Vogue editor Edward Enninful, Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing & Lady Gaga designer Nicola Formichetti. Plus: Jack Haslam, Instagram stud Troy Pes, and the Hidden Flag Russia protestors.