The Three Kings

On January 6, 2017, the traditional Folia dos Reis festival was declared historic cultural patrimony by the Minas Gerais state government. According to their research, the city with the most number of Folia dos Reis is Uberaba, with 106 separate annual festivals.

Folia dos Reis is an ostensibly Catholic festival that celebrates the Three Kings, but like many Brazilian catholic events it is infused with West African traditions brought over by enslaved people who changed the names of their Yoruba deities to Catholic saints to avoid persecution.

The Moises family has hosted a Folia dos Reis party every year in Uberaba, Minas Gerais, since 1894. It starts on December 24th and ends on the 3rd Saturday of January. The party takes place in the candomblé religious center where members of the matriarchal, extended family have lived for 130 years in a neighborhood undergoing rapid real estate speculation.

Nagila Souza and I made this short film at the request of the family, who want to share their traditions with the general public.




By Brian Mier

Writer, geographer and former development professional who has lived in Brazil for 26 years. Former directorate member of the Fórum Nacional de Reforma Urbana (National Urban Reform Forum). Has lived in São Luis, Recife, Salvador, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Author of “Os Megaeventos Esportivos na Cidade do Rio de Janeiro e o Direito á Cidade” (CEPR: Porto Alegre. 2016). Editor of "Voices of the Brazilian Left" (Sumare: São Paulo. 2018). Editor of "Year of Lead: Washington, Wall Street and the New Imperialism in Brazil" ((Sumare: São Paulo. 2019) Irregular correspondent for the Chicago radio show This is Hell.