Deixa Falar

Desfile de Samba del Carnaval de Río.

Deixa Falar Samba School

How do you like samba? Listening to some marchinhas de carnaval while sipping coconut water on Copacabana Beach doesn’t sound so bad to me. But for today’s Dica, we’ll dig a little bit deeper than that. We’ll learn about Deixa Falar – the first samba school in Brazil.

The History of Deixa Falar and Samba

In 1928, Brazil saw its first samba school. It was named Deixa Falar (let it/them talk). As the city of Rio de Janeiro grew, the poorer classes were forced to move out to the slopes of the hills and the city outskirts. That gave rise to what is now known as favelas or periferias. There composers, musicians and sambistas (samba musicians) from the black community, through a combination of rhythms and ideas, came together to found the very first samba school in the country.

In the following year, Deixa Falar had its first parade. It was a small event between the neighborhoods of Estácio and Praça Onze. Other samba collectives such as the famous Mangueira and Oswaldo Cruz also attended the event, as well as samba collectives from different neighborhoods.

Back then, samba had become synonymous with crime in the eyes of the law, and a person could be arrested for jaywalking if the police saw them sambando (dancing samba) on the streets. Because of this negative image of samba, the police closely monitored the small parade.

The End of Deixa Falar

Deixa Falar was a short-lived experiment in samba – it disappeared in 1930. However, it contributed greatly to the growth of the samba culture in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The surdo de marcação that helps to mark the pulse of the music, and the tamborim, were instruments that were left behind as an inheritance from the school. Both of them were created by Alcebíades Barcellos (nicknamed Bide), one of the founders of Deixa Falar samba school.

It was only in 1935 that government institutions finally began to allow samba school parades to happen. And yet it took many more years for samba history to begin to be appreciated. The first book to ever tell the story of Deixa Falar was only published in 1950 – twenty years after the first samba school in Brazil had come to an end.

The most important schools of that period were Portela and Mangueira. Portela introduced the idea of telling a story in their samba parades, as well as the front line commission (ten to fifteen dancers who start the parade) and the use of decoration and images (alegorias) to help tell the story chosen by the samba school. Mangueira was known for being the most traditional of all samba schools, and it emerged from the union of several carnival blocks.


Deixa Falar, first samba school in Brazil. Linha do tempo / timeline: 1928 - Deixa Falar samba school emerges for the first time 1929 - Deixa Falar's first parade takes place between the neighborhoods of Estácio and Praça Onze 1930 - The first samba school in Brazil disappears 1935 - Government institutions allow samba school parades 1950 - Appearance of the first records telling the history of samba schools.

  • 1928Deixa Falar samba school emerges for the first time
  • 1929 – Deixa Falar‘s first parade takes place between the neighborhoods of Estácio and Praça Onze
  • 1930 – The first samba school in Brazil disappears
  • 1935 – Government institutions allow samba school parades
  • 1950 – Appearance of the first records telling the history of samba schools

Now it’s your turn!

Now that you’ve learned about the first samba school in Brazil, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test and learn some Portuguese along the way. Decide whether the statements below are true of false. Here is some help: why don’t you read this Dica in Portuguese to help you figure out vocabulary.

  1. No início do século XX, você podia ser preso por sambar.
  2. A primeira escola de samba do Brasil foi fundada em 1928 e era chamada Mangueira.
  3. A Portela introduziu o uso do surdo de marcação nos desfiles de samba.
  4. Deixa Falar foi fundada por músicos negros nas favelas do Rio de Janeiro.
  5. Ninguém sabia sobre a história das escolas de samba até a década de 1950.
  6. Bide foi um dos fundadores da Deixa Falar.
  7. Mangueira era conhecida por ser a escola de samba mais inovadora da época.

I hope you enjoyed learning about Deixa Falar – the first samba school in Brazil.
See you in the next Dica!

Ler esta Dica em Português         Leer esta Dica en Español
Click in the links below to see more related Dicas
Brazilian Samba
Brazilian Football History
The Origin of the Cachaça
Perfect and Imperfect Past in Portuguese



  1. Verdadeiro / True
  2. Falso / False
  3. Falso / False
  4. Verdadeiro / True
  5. Verdadeiro / True
  6. Verdadeiro / True
  7. Falso / False

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