Quilombo Cruzeirinho Natividade, Northwest Fluminense Region
The corn, which means sustenance of life in ancient Mesoamerican tradition, stood out on the recipes from the sweaty cornmeal and sweet mushed cornmeal, typical dishes of Quilombo Cruzeirinho, located in the Municipality of Natividade. Also known as the Holy Land and Caxambu, this Quilombo received this name because in the past there was a cruise near Old St. Peter's Church, near where people lit candles with religious intent. Contemporaneously, in the Quilombo, live about 37 families, which are divided between the Evangelical and Catholic religious traditions. In a way, attachment to home, land, territory and food customs, especially those derived from corn, updated narrative of the sacred for this group.
In current times in the community, it calls the attention the fact that the residents of the houses situated on the edge of the highway RJ-214, which, with its typical graphite coloring contrasts with the existing color palette in Cruzeirinho, as for example, green and terracotta predominate the landscape of this place. In this scenario, the highway and street blend, as well as vehicles and pedestrians share space in a typical rural landscape.
Moreover, despite having reduced spaces for housing and small crops, residents occupy the territory creatively.
So Juanice (38 years), president of the Association of Remnant Community Quilombo Cruzeirinho, highlights the importance of regularizing land tenure in the group, as a means of maintaining typically peasant practices. However, while this situation does not change, people remain improvising, as exemplified Juanice: "There is a land here from the city hall, and this girl, Elizabete, who is doing the cornmeal, she plants up there. Today she got there, brought cassava, the corn. Right here in the community. “
Thus Juanice highlights the ways corn was consumed in his family: “We ate, it was like this, right? The sweaty cornmeal, right? During corn season, Grandma use to make green corn tamale, she grated the corn, put sugar or salt and would make both flavor and was placed inside a banana straw and tied the two ends and put to cook [...]. mushed cornmeal with sugar, right? And placed a cinnamon or clove to give a taste and that was the food that she gave to us. “
For Juanice, it is impossible to forget a dish that crossed her childhood: "This was always in my memories that my grandmother, she was with me, she was older, my other two brothers, it had a niece that she raised. During the very hot days of January, she had a great bowl, where she filled it with water and would put us to take a shower and she was doing the sweaty cornmeal for us [...]. When she was in a hurry, seasoning, my other sister drowned in the bowl, then she quickly threw [cornmeal] and fire rose on her arm. Then [it] burned, it was a third degree burn on her arm [...]. So, they are things that marked me [...] they are things that are in memory .Maroon is not only being black, you must identify yourself also.”