History of the Lavadeira Festival

How it started

On May the first of 1987, the Festival organizer Eduardo Melo, an artist and painter from Recife, bought a statue of a Lavadeira, a woman who earns a living washing clothes for others. He placed the statue at his house in Paiva beach, Cabo de Santo Agostinho, south of Recife.
The Lavadeira statue started to catch the attention of the local community, who named it as "the woman". Spontaneously, some people started to bring offerings and gifts placing them at the Lavadeira´s feet. Amused with the continuation of the offering, Melo decided to organize a small party to present the Lavadeira statue to the community of Paiva beach, leading to the successful Lavadeira Festival or "Festa da Lavadeira".

Religious Aspect

Since 1988, the Lavadeira Festival has spread good vibes or Axé, always surrounded by faith, stories, promises and gratefulness. The festival is associated to the African – Brazilian religion, supported by the people who find their religious faith and culture based on the "ORIXÁ IEMANJÁ".
Between the years of 1989 and 1997, Dona Iraci (in memoriam), of the ILÉ OPÓ AFONJÁ (Salvador/Bahia), gave us guidance in the African religious grounds.

Since 1998, this guidance has been given by the Yalassé Hildeth Roda, known as Mãe Deth, spiritual mentor of Edward Melo, OGAN ALABÁ of ILÉ ODÉ OMIM LOUGUI, Salvador / Bahia. (Yalassé female spiritual leader)