Feb 10, 2016

Weird Brazil: New Holland


Brazil was, historically, a Portuguese colony. It has, since its independence especially, formed its own identity (at the cost of the native identity, of course), but it's still widely seen as an offspring of Portugal. This, of course, leaves the native cultures and histories on the sidelines, but there have also been some other, more subtle influences after the arrival of the Portuguese.

Notably, the Northeastern region of Brazil was under the rule of the Dutch for a few decades. This ties into my own ancestry, in that my mother's last name is Breda, a name of Dutch origin - the br- root of the name tying us to fire and red dye again. The capital of this brief colony of New Holland was Recife ('reef'), or, as it was known then, Mauritsstad. It's the largest city in the Northeast, and the fifth largest in the country.

Taking a peek at the Recife flag, we see a lion holding a red cross (that Order of Christ again) with the words Virtus et fides - there's that ambiguous 'virtue' making another appearance. This lion is flanked by two blue-and-yellow 'pillars', with a star on one side and a sun on the other. This seems to be a hint at a second sun, but what is this actually referring to?

This theme is seen also in the state flag of Pernambuco, of which Recife is capital. It appears in the middle of Recife's coat-of-arms, above an orange obelisk lighthouse. Its motto is Ut luceat omnibus, "that it may shine on all". Like in Brasília, we see loads of solar symbolism. The lion which features prominently in Recife's symbology also ties to the Sun, in that the Sun is the astrological ruler of the Leo constellation.

Pernambuco's coat-of-arms also features a lion, a sun/star and a lighthouse.

One of Recife's most famous sites is the Forte das Cinco Pontas, or "fort of the five points". The fort was initially designed and built by the Dutch, with five bastions (Leo is the 5th sign of the zodiac). However, after the Portuguese took over once more, it was rebuilt into a four-pointed structure. Where is the missing point? Why, it points upwards. There are even a few palm trees in the center of the fort.

Recife is also famous for hosting the Galo da Madrugada, "dawn rooster", the Guinness record-holder for largest parade in the world. The rooster is symbolically connected to the phoenix and, obviously, to the rising sun.

Finally, Recife is also known as the Brazilian Venice, tying us back into the same Templar-Phoenician storyline that seems to be everywhere I look. As far as Pernambuco goes, the origin of its name is uncertain, but many claim that it was the local word for the pau brasil.

In the Brazilian flag, the star that represents the state of Pernambuco is Mu Scorpii, What's really interesting here is that Mu Scorpii is actually a binary star system, which was discovered seven years after the creation of the Brazilian flag. A binary system, just like Sirius. I have seen it argued that our own sun, Sol, is actually part of a wider binary system with Sirius, making them twin suns.

And speaking of twin suns, not only is there a Twin Brothers Park in Recife, but Brasília itself has it own pair of Twin Warriors, designed by one Bruno Giorgi:

So I ask once more: what kind of quest really led everybody here? Is this all just a case of colonizers bringing along their culture, or is there something deeper to the "conquest of the New World"?

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