The King Momo and Rio Carnival’s Royalty
Get to know the members of the carnivalesque court in 2017
The King Momo is the symbolic figure who rules the Carnival in Rio. There is a traditional ceremony to make the king’s reign official, where the city’s mayor gives the “keys of the city” in the hands of the King Momo. His reign expires on noon of Wednesday ash. There i salso a queen and a princess on the carnivalesque court. They appear in events like balls and the famous “blocos” – the parties in the streets – and are in the opening of everyday parade in the Sambadrome.
The figure of the King Momo comes from the Greek mythology and personifies the irony and sarcasm. The first appearances of the king are dated from the 16th century at popular festivals in the Iberian Peninsula. In Rio’s Carnival, it was personified in 1910 by the “black clown Beijamim Oliveira, in the Circo Spineli. In the 3os, a couple of jornalista from the diary “A Noite”, created a huge doll mad of paperboard and baptized it as “Rei Momo I & Único”, carved out by Hipólito Columb. In 1934, the same periodical decided to select the same periodical to select a king made of flesh and bones. The first of all was the horse racing cronist of a journal, Moraes Cardoso.
With time, the tradition of having an elected King Momo, Queen and Princess of Carnival was settled. The girls usually are “passistas”, special dancers, from the Samba Schools and they are picked by a jury.
In 2017, the King Momo will be played by the 31 years old musician Fábio Damião dos Santos Antunes, known as Arerê. The Queen will be the dancer Uilana Adães, 21 years old. And the first and second princess will be the dancer Joice Rocha de Oliveira, 20 years old, and the dancer teacher Deisiane Conceição, 28 years old.