The present Doodle, shown by guest artist Bel Andrade Lima, commends the 96th birthday celebration of Brazilian singer and storyteller Dona Militana, whose huge memory of medieval ballads gave an extraordinary record of generational Iberian and Brazilian tales.
Militana Salustino do Nascimento, otherwise called Dona Militana, was born in São Gonçalo do Amarante, Rio Grande do Norte on this day in 1925. As a child, Militana tilled the fields; planting yields and weaving baskets with her dad, who sang as they worked. A significant number of his songs told stories from a bygone era of medieval kings, queens, warriors, and lovers—stories Militana never forgot.
Militana’s customary ability remained to a great extent obscure for quite a long time, until she was found by folklorist Deífilo Gurgel during the 1990s. It was then that she imparted to the world her enormous narrative of melodies and stories—some of which were more than 700 years of age.
In 2000, Militana recorded “Cantares,” an assortment of 54 tunes that were novel-like in scope, with verses and tunes that precisely mirrored the occasions from which they started. Upon the project’s release, crowds all through Brazil learned of Dona Militana—the watchman of a Brazilian history almost lost to time.
In acknowledgment of her effect on Brazilian culture, Dona Militana was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit in 2005.
Feliz Aniversário, Dona Militana!