On May the first of 1987, the Festival organizer Eduardo Melo, an artist and painter from Recife, bought a statue of a Lavadeira - the washerwoman. He placed the statue at his house in Paiva beach, Cabo de Santo Agostinho. The Lavadeira statue started to catch the attention of the local community, who named it as "the woman".
The Lavadeira Festival has been awarded by the Brazilian Culture Ministry and the IPHAN (Institute of Patrimony Historic and Artistic National) as "Heritage of the Brazilian Popular Culture".
For 30 years, the Lavadeira Festival dedicated to diffusion and preservation of the African-Brazilian culture, bringing together people, artists and their cultures from the entire Brazil, creating awareness of the value of a multicultural Society, through cultural shows and educational projects.
On 1 May 2016, the Lavadeira dolls walked with the people to the Recife Marco Zero for another Festival edition.
Watch the videos in tribute to the 30 years of Lavadeira Festival resistance. Save the Lavadeira Festival! AXÉ!