Cattle Horn Blowing Contest
The history of the Brazilian cowboy is full of tradition and meanings and the cattle calling horn is a part of that history and was an important element in the clearing of unknown lands by these drovers.
This contest, which involves the symbol of Brazilian roots culture has been around since the first edition of the biggest rodeo in Latin America. With this contest, the event elects and honours the best cattle horn blowers in the country as well as keeping this tradition alive.
The dispute lasts for about an hour during the last Saturday of the event. Around 15 people qualify for the finals including both men and women.
Contestants from all over the country come to take part and only the first three get a prize. The cattle horn blowers must do 5 different calls and are judged by a special committee. (see cattle horn calls in Box).
During the 55 years of the Barretos Rodeo, the cattle horn blower with highest amount of victories is Alceu Garcia with 32 wins. The latest contestant to win was Edvaldo Guimarães known as the “Neguinho Berranteiro” from the town of Três Lagoas, state of Mato Grosso do Sul.
The coordinator of the Cattle Horn Blowing Contest is Armando Garcia.
The Cattle Horn Blower must know the following five calls:
- Saída ou Solta, wakes up the herd in the morning. This is a serene call.
- Estradão, reassures the herd during the drive. This is a peaked call, similar to a soldier marching.
- Rebatedouro, danger warning call. Similar to the sound of a trumpet.Queima do Alho, lunchtime call for the cowboys.
- Floreia, a free call. Could be music for entertainment.
The Cattle Calling Horn is an instrument made from the cattle horn itself with leather details. Used by the Brazilian cowboys it emits acute and bass sounds and each call is a password for lunchtime, curfew, danger and directs the main steer of the herd. Nowadays, although it is no longer commonly used for this function, the Cattle Calling Horn still charms tourists and visitors of the event. Great skill is demanded to get a nice sound from the Cattle Horn.
Alceu Garcia (pictured here) is one of the most frequent winners of the Contest.