A Brazilian Gift Says "Style"


A Brazilian gift reflects
the enthusiasm and sense of style
so typical of this colorful country.


Brazil Beach from AboveThe arts and crafts of Brazil have a personality all their own, as you'll see in the collection of Fair Trade gifts offered by NOVICA in association with National Geographic. Brazil's artists and artisans bring to their work the warmth and sophistication that characterizes the Brazilian people.

Here's a quick look at the country and the people, then on to our Brazilian gift suggestions!

About Brazil

Brazil, a federal republic with 26 States, is the 5th largest country in the world, in both area and population. Brazil is the easternmost nation in the Americas and borders every South American country except Ecuador and Chile. The world's greatest bio-diversity is found in Brazilian ecosystems.

Modern Brazilian culture, flavored by its Amerindian heritage, evolved from the Portuguese colonial period of the 1500s. Portuguese is the official language, Roman Catholicism the predominant religion. African traditions strongly influence Brazilian music, dance and religion, for Brazil received nearly 40% of all African slaves sent to the New World.

Immigrants came by the thousands in the 19th and early 20th Centuries - Europeans (Italians, Spaniards, Germans and Poles) along with Japanese and significant numbers of Lebanese and Syrian Arabs. This diversity is reflected in the language and the regional cuisines of Brazil.

Brazilian Carnaval CostumeBrazil may be best-known for Carnaval (Portuguese spelling), the annual pre-Lenten festival celebrated for four days before Ash Wednesday. Festivities include music and dancing, street parties and merrymaking, masquerade parties, masked balls, and costumed "samba school" parades.

Neighborhood Blocos spend the whole year preparing floats and costumes for Carnaval competitions. Pre-selected themes may honor a person, organization or event, or satirize a political issue. Carnaval themes, music and other traditions vary by region; those of Rio de Janeiro are probably the best known internationally.


Brazilian Gift Suggestions

Things to Wear:

If you're looking for a Brazilian gift for a woman, Novica offers a fine selection of apparel and accessories.

Here is an unusual (and pretty) collection of crochet-work belts and handbags, made of fine copper wire and glass beads. More modestly priced are these creative "chain mail" belts and bags, made with recycled pop tops - environmentally friendly gifts, to be sure!

There's such a huge variety of styles in handmade Brazilian jewelry that you're sure to find a gift to please. (Check out the choices in the drop-down menu under "Jewelry: Necklaces" at the upper left.)

Collectibles:

The African Candomblé religion inspires these orixás (gods) statuettes representing elements of nature. The figures are cast in resin from hand carved wooden sculptures - a fascinating Brazilian gift for the collector of ethnic art.

A colorful Carnaval mask, representing a character or animal figure is a uniquely Brazilian gift. Many are crafted of leather, hand painted and ready to wear. Great gifts for a collector (or someone celebrating Carnaval!).

The perfect Brazilian gift for a man could be an elegant Chess Set. The pieces are individually cast, each group plated in copper or nickel. The handcrafted chess board, carved from contrasting colors of Brazilian wood, forms the lid to a custom made storage box. A chess set is also a good family gift idea.

A Gemstone Tree, made with genuine gemstones, is an unusual and graceful gift for a gardener or someone who loves bonsai plants. The trunks and branches are fashioned from brass wire. Note that some of these gems (e.g., agate, onyx) are anniversary milestone gifts.

Home Accents:

Murano glass is made with a technique brought to Brazil by Italian immigrants in the early 20th Century from Murano Island near Venice. These handblown vases are water tight, unlike many decorative vases - one of these would be a lovely and functional Brazilian gift for mom.

Here's a Brazilian artisan who uses recycled paper in very creative ways - from ornaments to a picture frame or a wall mirror.

Speaking of mirrors, a tile mosaic-framed mirror will bring bright and cheerful Brazilian colors to your recipient's home. A cheerful bridal shower gift, a mirror would also be a great housewarming gift!


Brazilian mountain roadRugged mountains and steamy jungle rivers add to the beauty and romance of Brazil.Brazil: River in the Amazon


Paintings:

Hundreds of paintings in a dozen categories are sure to include a Brazilian gift that your recipient(s) will love. Listed in the Brazilian Culture category, "Brazilian Mix" portrays Brazil's ethnic diversity in a group of young people at the beach.

Brazilian paintings often feature the favela (a dense neighborhood of low income hillside homes on the outskirts of a city). This colorful painting called "Deconstructed Architecture I" portrays a Rio de Janeiro favela, while this color photograph of a favela provides an interesting comparison.

In the Surrealist category, this unique series captures the grace and energy of the subjects with ribbon-like spirals. "Dance II" would be a thoughtful wedding gift or anniversary gift for a couple who enjoys contemporary art.

There's lots more!

Wait till you see all the Brazilian Gift choices at NOVICA, which operates in association with National Geographic. Let me add that I have made purchases from National Geographic (over the years AND recently) and have received consistently high quality merchandise and prompt, courteous customer service. You can shop at NOVICA with confidence!


Brazil has a rhythm, style, and exuberance
all its own. A Brazilian gift can capture
the spirit of Brazil!

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Logo photo by Jane M. Sawyer; Beach photo by "jfelias", both courtesy of morguefile.com
Carnaval costume by "jr_durao"; Mountain road by "sr_wilson";
River in Amazon by "carapana", all three courtesy of stock.xchang.