Samba is a Brazilian dance and musical genre originating in Bahia and with its roots in Brazil (Rio De Janeiro) and Africa via the West African slave trade and African religious traditions. It is recognized around the world as a symbol of Brazil and the Brazilian Carnival. Considered one of the most popular Brazilian cultural expressions, samba has become an icon of Brazilian national identity.
The Bahian Samba de Roda (dance circle), which became a UNESCO Heritage of Humanity in 2005, is the main root of the samba carioca, the samba that is played and danced in Rio de Janeiro. The modern samba that emerged at the beginning of the 20th century is basically 2/4 tempo. In addition to rhythm and bar, samba brings a whole historical culture of food, varied dances (miudinho, coco, samba de roda, and pernada), parties, clothes such as linen shirts, and the NAIF painting of established names such as Nelson Sargento, Guilherme de Brito, and Heitor dos Prazeres. Anonymous community artists, including painters, sculptors, designers, and stylists, make the clothes, costumes, carnival floats, and cars, opening the doors of schools of samba. The Samba National Day is celebrated on December 2. The Samba arrived in Europe from South America in late 1930s. There are several theories about the origin of the word samba. One of them claims that samba came from the word Zumba or Zamba, both coming from Arabic, from when the Moors invaded the Iberian Peninsula in the 8th century.
As the samba consolidated as an urban and modern expression, it began to be played on radio stations, spreading across the hills and neighborhoods to the affluent southern areas of Rio de Janeiro. Initially viewed with prejudice and discrimination because it had black roots, the samba, because of its hypnotic rhythms and melodic intonations in addition to its playful lyrics, eventually conquered the white middle class as well. Carmen Miranda popularized samba internationally through her Hollywood films.