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Pictures for Printing - Brazil lifestyle

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A Jangada is a watercraft made of wood used by fishermen from the northern region of Brazil. Its construction depends on the correct use of materials such as fluctuation woods (like the Brazilian balsa, and other rare species), artisan tissues and ropes. The traditional Jangada doesn't have any metallic elements like nails; its structure is completely put together with joints and lashings using ropes made of hand-woven fibers. Today it appears that the jangadas only show up in the northern region of Brazil starting at Rio Grande do Norte and ending at Piauí for curious historic reasons, because we could have jangada sailors all over the Brazilian coast. This was due to the systematic elimination of all sailing craft that weren't controlled by the Portuguese, a law applied since the 17th century with the exploration of Minas Gerais (central-southern area of Brazil). The law was in place to halt illegal gold trafficking. This part of the north Brazilian coast was unpopulated and impassable for the transatlantic sailing ships, since it is brushed by the powerful ocean currents from Guyana, which made it very difficult for the European boats to sail in. With its admirable capacity of sailing upwind, and using the force of the wind to beat the ocean currents, the jangada found this part of the Brazilian coast as its ideal place, until the arrival of motorized boats which made (curiously, a few, until today) ports since the 19th century. Knowledge of constructing this family of artisan watercraft is nearing extinction - although there are still communities of fishermen present from the original group to occupy the Brazilian coast, the traditional jangada is no longer built from logs of varying size. The current jangada is made from industrial wooden boards, or formed with mechanical cutting instruments.