Artist Profiles: Fethxá

Fethxá is an Indian (Native Brazilian) musical group of the Fulni-o tribe from Aguas Belas, about 300 Km off the coast in Pernambuco State. The group performs the tribe’s cultural traditions through a rich performance of dance and music. The group’s name Fethxa means Sun in the tribe’s native language, Yathe, which is still spoken by the Fulni-o Indians nowadays. Fethxa plays a rhythm called Samba de Coco which is a fusion of indigenous Indian and African musical cultures.

With colorful presentations, which emphasize the body painting and clothes made by the tribe, Fethxa shows in its performances a rich aspect of its culture where the audience can see the presence of the African, Indian and European cultures. The tribe has preserved all these influences, which is very rare in other tribes in Pernambuco.

Another aspect of Fethxá are the vocals. There is always a response to the main vocals. The performers sing all the titles in Yathe at first, and then in Portuguese. The lyrics talk about daily life in the tribe, about nature, love and the first contact with the African and European cultures. Aside from Samba de Coco the artists also play Toré, a religious rhythm where they send messages and ask for protection to their ancestor and Cafurna, a rhythm where they tell stories about their ancestors.

The first CD of Fethxá was recorded live in a studio, with everybody playing at the same time.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.

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