Jose Francisco Borges | St. Francis | This oral tradition of sung poetry passed into print in what has become known as literatura de cordel, “string literature,” because the cheaply printed pamphlets of verse are sold at markets, fairs, and festivals hung out on wash lines.
This exquisite woodblock depicts the venue of one of the most famous annual events in Brazil: the carnival in Olinda, a picturesque colonial town in northeastern Brazil and home of cordel artist José Costa Leite.
José Costa Leite, Sugar Cane Workers. This woodblock print depicts a scene that for long has been typical of this region, the Northeast of Brazil, where Costa Leite lives and works. It is the center of Brazil's sugar cane cultivation which is closely tied to both centuries of slave trade and the expoitation of soil and land.