The House of the Azores of Santa Catarina (CASC) was established by descendants of Azorean immigrants that settled in Santa Catarina between 1748 and 1753 and by friends of the Azores.
The House of the Azores of Santa Catarina differs from other Houses insofar as it is not constituted by persons born in the Azores but rather by descendants of Azoreans.
Whoever arrives in Santa Catarina is unavoidably impressed by Azorean influences that date back 260 years. One can find Azores, Azorean and Azoreanity everywhere.
Founded in December 1999, our House congregates persons that are interested and involved in Azorean culture. The House of the Azores of Santa Catarina or CASC has promoted the social, economic and cultural development of Azorean-Brazilian communities in the State of Santa Catarina.
Our cultural initiatives consist essentially in the organization and divulgation of expositions, artistic presentations, and literary publications. We also offer courses, workshops, and organize public speeches.
The incentive and support of the Regional Directorate for the Communities have been fundamental to the establishment of the House of the Azores of Santa Catarina. The plastic artist Jone Cezar de Araujo was its creator. He gathered a group of persons interested in Azorean culture. Together they signed a petition that was circulated in localities where descendants of Azoreans reside. The response was massive and very positive, not only from descendants of Azoreans but also from governmental authorities and other ethnic groups living in Santa Catarina.
The petition was presented at a meeting of NEA – The Nucleus of Azorean Studies of the Federal University of Santa Catarina. It was endorsed by the majority of its members. This was the beginning of our history as an institution. In this endeavor, we were assisted and fraternally oriented by the House of the Azores of São Paulo.
Our House is not politically or institutionally affiliated. Our principal objective is to foment the integration of Portuguese-Azorean descendants and promote their appreciation for the Azorean cultural heritage that was bequeathed by the settlers that arrived here between 1748 and 1753.
After its foundation in December 1999, the House elected as its first President Mr. Francisco do Vale Pereira. His mandate lasted from December 1999 until May 2002. This period was dedicated to the legalization of the House. It was under his management that our House participated for the first time in the assembly of the World Council of the Houses of the Azores, in the city of Porto in 2001. Our House was also present in the traditional Feira da Esperança, a fund-raising event for APAE, in Florianópolis, Santa Catarina.
It was at this time that the logotype of the House was created by Jone Cezar de Araújo. Inspired in the dove of the Divine Holy Spirit, enduring motif of the faith of Azoreans, surpassing frontiers of land and sea, uniting the Azorean people throughout the world.
Among the many cultural activities organized by the House, we highlight the presentation of Professor Dulce Matos, of the House of the Azores of Lisbon; expositions such as “In the name of the Divine”;the photographs of Lucas Brandão, part of the Project “Azorean Calligraphies” of the Gamões Institute, in partnership with NEA-SC; the painting expositions of ValterVinagre and the launch of the CD “Azorean Classics” by Carlos Alberto. The House offered a course in 2001 entitled “Discovering the Roots”. This course attracted many participants that presented their work and activities in partnership with the House of the Azores.
The House also participated in the VIII Azor – Festivities of Azorean Culture in Santa Catarina, organized by NEA and the Municipality of São José. It included an artistic installation entitled “Divine”, by Jone Cezar de Araújo. This installation was supported by the Regional Directorate for the Communities.
The House of the Azores has always been covered by the local and state media and it has always affirmed its commitment to the Azorean community of Santa Catarina.
On the 21st of May 2002, there was an election for the new administration of the House. Two candidates ran, Francisco do Valle Pereira and Jone Cezar de Araújo. The artist Jone Cezar de Araújo won the election and managed the house between 2002 and 2004. This was a time of cultural effervescence and public recognition. A second head-office was installed at the Forte de Santa Bárbara, a building provided by the Franklin Cascaes Cultural Foundation. The first head office was a small building ceded by the Public Archives of the State of Santa Catarina. The support of the Municipality of Florianópolis was decisive in obtaining equipment and IT resources for the new head-office.
Our House attended the Feira da Esperança and the FENAOSTRA, two events that took place in the city of Florianópolis. A beautiful exposition about Azorean culture, jointly organized with the Honorary Consulate of Portugal, was presented to the public. Our exposition was praised by the press as the best of the event. Our artisan, our weaver, and our lacemaker were present, displaying artistic skills that have perdured for generations.
In 2002, our House participated in the Fifth General Assembly of the World Council of the Houses of the Azores, an event that took place in São Paulo.
Due to health problems, Jone Cezar de Araújo leaves the presidency in 2003. He is replaced by the Vice-president Paulo Ricardo Caminha, who completes the mandate.
Important events took place at this time, such as the First Cycle of Conferences about Azorean Influences in Brazil, in partnership with NEA, of the Franklin Cascaes Cultural Foundation of Florianópolis. A CD of the Folkloric Group Boi de Mamão de Jurerê was launched. The Regional Directorate for the Communities presided over the event.
Leopoldo Renato Alves da Silva assumed the presidency of the House from 2004 to 2006. He persuaded the Government of the State of Santa Catarina to cede the building that today serves as the administrative head office of the House. It was also during his mandate that the cultural head office at Plaza XV was inaugurated. The building was kindly offered by the Municipality of Florianópolis. The new head office was inaugurated in 2005 by AlziraSerpa Silva, Regional Director for the Communities.
On the 23 January of 2007, the librarian Carin Heloisa Hahn da Silva Machado assumed the Presidency of the House of Azores of Santa Catarina after being unanimously elected on the 12 September of 2006. She was the first woman to be elected President of the House.
She began her mandate by donating two works of art of Jone Cezar de Araújo and OsmarinaVillalva to the Crib Museum of Lagoa, São Miguel. Other initiatives are still underway, such as: supporting the launch of the book “Caminhos do Divino” (Roads of the Divine), an exploration of the Holy Spirit festivities in Santa Catarina, by Lélia Pereira da Silva Nunes; the participation of the House in all Holy Spirit Festivities in Florianópolis and the region and the exposition “In Praise of the Divine” of the artisans Osmarina and Paulo Villalva, in Lagoa da Conceição.
In April 2010, the House of the Azores of Santa Catarina, in partnership with the Nucleus of Azorean Studies, inaugurated the exposition “Azorean Images in Santa Catarina” in the rector’s hall of the Federal University of Santa Catarina. The exposition includes photographs from Arante José Monteiro Filho, Danísio Silva, and Maria Armenia Wendhausen. The photographic exposition clearly evinces Azorean influences on our daily life as can be attested in the names of public spaces (Beach of the Azores, Road of the Azores), commercial establishments and others (Building of the Azores, São Jorge Bed&Breakfast, Hotel Faial).
At the suggestion of the House, city councilor EdinonManoel da Rosa (aka Dinho) presented a draft proposal that originated Law nº 8.030/2009 that was instituted on the 21 October, Lacemakers Day.
The 21st of October was chosen as the date to celebrate the arrival in Santa Catarina, on the 21 October 1747, of the first 473 Azoreans from Angra, Terceira Island. They came in two galleys named: ” Jesus, Maria e José” and “Sant’Ana e Senhor do Bonfim.” Twelve people died during the voyage that ended on the 6 January 1748 when the ships docked in the North Bay of the Island of Santa Catarina. Those Azorean women that came to this new land, weaving their laces and starting a new life, gave us bright new colors and bequeathed to the women of the islands the beauty of bobbin lace.
The House has sought to promote the lacemakers/weavers of Santa Catarina. As a result of a tripartite agreement with PROMOART, the Program for the Promotion of Craftwork and Cultural Tradition; the National Center of Folklore and Popular Culture; and IPHAN, the National Historical Heritage Institute, the Centre of Bobbin Macing of Florianópolis was established at Lagoa da Conceição. Later, the nucleus of lacemakers/weavers Sambaqui was installed on the emblematic Casarão de Sambaqui and the nucleus of lacemakers/weavers of Pântano do Sul was installed in the head office of a local Residential Association.
As a result of the agreement, several initiatives were implemented: a management course was offered and exchanges between lacemakers/weavers from Florianópolis and Brazil were introduced. The House’s lacemakers/weavers participated in several craftwork expositions that took place in Brazil and had the privilege of being selected to the Sala do Artista Popular, at the Folklore and Popular Culture Museum of Rio de Janeiro. Many lacemakers/weavers from Florianópolis attended the event. The Ethnographic Catalogue of Bobbin Making of Florianópolis, authored by Maria Armenia Muller Wendhausen and with photographs by Jone Cezar de Araújo, was launched.
Bobbin Making, the principal form of craftwork in Florianópolis, was well represented at international events that took place in Camariñas, Spain, and in Novedrate, Italy. In the Azores, more precisely in the island of São Miguel, two lacemakers from Florianópolis offered a workshop on bobbin making. The event ended with an exposition of the artistic creations of students and with works of art that contain elements of bobbin making. A bookentitled Desde o Tempo da Pomboca – renda de bilro de Florianópolis, waslaunched. It contained texts by Carin Machado, Maria Armenia Wendhausen and WilmaraFigueiredo and photographs by Jone Cezar de Araújo and Maria Armenia Wendhausen. This edition is part of the collection Cadernos de Memória, a series that represents 63 poles of traditional Brazilian craftwork and was edited by the National Center of Folklore and Popular Culture.
Another proposal by city councilor Dinho that relates to Azoreanity in Florianópolis was the adoption of law nº 8.010/2009 that instituted the Municipal Day for the Official Opening of the Holy Spirit Festivities.
Since 2010, the House of the Azores has participated in the Holy Spirit Festivities that are organized by the Municipality of Florianópolis, through the Franklin Cascaes Cultural Foundation of Florianópolis. The Holy Spirit Festivities are an indelible mark of the cultural heritage bequeathed by the Azoreans that arrived in Santa Catarina in January 1748. To this day, where there is an Azorean, there will be a festivity of the Holy Spirit. Our House is always represented by its folkloric group in the Opening Parade of the Holy Spirit Festivities and in its partnerships with other celebratory events.
The Holy Spirit Festivities are much more than a religious tradition. They are a cultural and folkloric expression of the inhabitants of Santa Catarina.
Traditionally, the Festivities of the Holy Spirit take place on Pentecost’s day. In the Azores, the festivities take place from May until September. In the State of Santa Catarina, it is the communities that decide when the festivities should occur.
In Florianópolis, it is common for the festivities to take place between May and September, for three days. Another important initiative of the House is the restoration of one of the oldest buildings on the island of Santa Catarina, the old Vicar’s House. The Metropolitan Authority of Florianópolis ceded the use of the building to the House of the Azores. The House presented a rehabilitation project to the Ministry of Justice which, through the Fund of Diffuse Rights, financed the restoration of the building. The next step will be to raise funds for the effective restoration of this construction of inestimable value.
Between 2012 and 2015, the House was presided by Jone Cezar de Araújo. In October 2015, Sergio Luiz Ferreira assumed the Presidency and initiated a mandate that ends in 2018.
In 2013, the House was represented at the Fiestas Azoriano-Carolinas in San Carlos (Uruguay) by its folkloric group “Balho&TocataRaízesAçorianas”.
When the House was established in 1999, it was called The House of the Azores in the island of Santa Catarina because it was the only House based in an island. The island of Santa Catarina, which belongs to the Municipality of Florianópolis, is the origin of the name of the state. Since the House represents the entire State of Santa Catarina, in 2014 the General Assembly of the House voted to drop “island” from its name. In June 2015, the General Assembly met and approved the new social statutes for a House with a new name.
The State of Santa Catarina was originally inhabited by the Sambaqui, Itararé, and Guarini peoples. When Europeans arrived in the American continent, descendants of Portuguese colonists, from the Captaincy of São Vicente, established themselves in the State of Santa Catarina. The Azorean colonists that arrived between 1748 and 1753 inscribed their identity in the New World. They brought from the Azores a rich historical imaginary, beautiful religious and artistic traditions and a very peculiar vision of the world. Africans were the most important partners of Azoreans as they adapted to the new world, contributing much to the emergence of the culture of Santa Catarina, a culture with deep roots in the remote archipelago of the Azores and in the immensity of Africa. As time passed, other ethnic groups (especially Germans, Italians and Poles) joined them, making Santa Catarina one of the most ethnically diverse Brazilian states.