Ancestral Technologies

The issues that Jongo da Serrinha has been addressing for the past 60 years are all linked to brazilian structural racism, social inequality, and the vulnerability that this generates within Brazilian society. A vulnerability that is made explicit through a racism that has its roots in the trafficking of black African bodies and their enslavement within an economy based on colonialism and social violence that structures inequality to profit, thus creating entire disposable populations that are mostly black.

Black Lives Matter

Memory is our main tool for building a critical consciousness capable of creating essential and structural foundations for the construction of an ethical, just and autonomous life to be able to resist the violence of colonial oppression still present in the country. Jongo da Serrinha collaborates, therefore, so that historically oppressed and socially disposable populations can create ethical, social and economic autonomy, aiming at the development of the country as a whole.
The culture and memory of Serrinha are used here as tools to enter into a negotiation with problems generated by the precariousness of the black body and its socioeconomic vulnerability (we are talking about extreme poverty, drug trafficking, violence against women, educational deficits and unemployment).

Work fronts

The legacy of jongo is precisely this “technology of survival” of African origins that in Jongo da Serrinha is articulated on multiple fronts:

Environment and Resilience

Investments in cultural heritage through actions, preservation policies, education and dissemination of the heritage and legacy of jongo and its ancestral technologies of resistance to oppression
wealth management under community and self-management promoting economic and social sustainability
Construction and management of cultural facilities (Casa do jongo da Serrinha, Terreirinho, Terreiro da Granny Maria Joana, Collection of Aunt Maria do Jongo and the Collection of Jongo da Serrinha) that promote a community management of the ancestral heritage of the jongo and its roots in African cosmology through cultural spaces (physical and digital) that promote access to wide audience.

Prosperity and means of sustainability

across various public funding mechanisms (prizes, awards and partnerships with the public authorities and its institutions) as well as private entities(crowdfunding and partnerships with other organizations) we invest in cultural actions generating direct and indirect jobs for community members, students and teachers, and the public in cultural management and participation. We also promote cultural community management to create economic sustainability by expanding access to economic and sustainability mechanisms.

Knowledge and skills

through the jongo da serrinha school and the jongo da serrinha centre we promote an education that reaches young people and adults through ancestral technologies promoting a sustainable vision of community actions, of education and preservation of knowledge through culture and the arts. Education and culture are the pillars of the work of the NGO.

Inclusion and participation

Through multiple cultural and artistic actions that NGO has been for 60 years working tirelessly against all kinds of violence and racism for social cohesion expanding access to traditional and ancestral culture, promoting its relevance for the community, the city and the country. participation and freedom of access to Afro-descendant arts and cultures are fundamental in the work of the jongo da serrinha to build and maintain an anti-racist socio-economic cohesion, combating daily economic, political and social exclusion through cultural, artistic and social projects.


Our work fronts are articulated along three main lines of action that develop into a seires of actions, iniitatives, occupations and opportunities:

Escola do Jongo


in 20 years, about three thousand direct students and 12,000 people indirectly were catered for; currently the School serves about 200 students, in the Casa do Jongo da Serrinha, between 5 and 18 years old with complementary activities to formal education, linked to African-based cultures. The four local public schools are partners of the project and for 10 years have also worked in partnership with UFRJ through its extension program. The School offers daily classes in jongo (adult and children), capoeira, literature, recreation, popular culture, stretching, theater and percussion (samba, jongo and Brazilian rhythms).

Afro-Brazilian culture is the main source of social technologies for education and content for community activities. The workshops of singing, drums, popular culture, jongo, percussion, memory and arts are offered free of charge daily, to about 200 children and young people of Serrinha.
In addition, weekly events (parties, visits and/or artistic presentations) take place bringing together residents, tourists, partners strengthening sustainability network and community ties in the region.
Despite having a higher population density index (number of inhabitants per household) than in communities such as Maré (3.36), Rocinha (3.31) and Complexo do Alemão (3.62), Serrinha (4.09) is less populous, with today about 8.000 residents, while the other communities cited have about 70,000 residents, according to data from the City Hall. Its built-up area also has fewer dwellings per square meter. Most of the community’s buildings are one- or two-storey houses and there are still several houses in the community around the 1920s and 1930s.
Serrinha has only two kindergartens (Grandma Maria Joanna and Aunt Maria do Jongo) and two municipal elementary schools (Dominican Republic and Mestre Darcy do Jongo), and has no high school or health center.
According to data from the Slum-Neighborhood, 9% of people aged 7 years or older are illiterate, and only 16.4% completed the 8th grade of the 1st degree; among those aged 18 to 39 years, only 12 completed the 3rd grade, and, in total, only 21 people completed the 3rd grade (0.9% of the population). Among people aged 10 years or older, and only 3.2% reported attending some vocational course. These data clearly point to an insufficient educational background of the local population.

Prizes and awards

2010 – Prêmio Asas ( Culture Ministry of Brasil)
2005 e 2007 – Prêmio Itaú Unicef
2004 – Prêmio Golfinho de Ouro/Secretariat of Culture of the State of Rio de Janeiro
2004 – Prêmio Somos Patrimônio / Convênio Andrés Bello (Colômbia)
2003 – Medal of Honour for Cultural Merit/ Presidency of the Republic of Brasil 2002 – Prêmio Petrobras Rival “Resistência Cultural” for the CD Book “Jongo da Serrinha”/ Petrobras
2002 – Prêmio Orilaxé for afro brasilian culture / Afroreggae

Cultural Heritage

Community Spaces

Casa do Jongo da Serrinha, Terreirinho on Rua da Balaiada and Terreiro da Granny Maria Joana are among the most important spaces of Rio’s black culture. Casa do Jongo received in its five years of existence about 120,000 people, including samba circles, concerts, workshops, circus and theater performances, TV shows, groups of foreign tourists, residents and the provision of social services such as dentist and registration of documents.
The group’s headquarters functions as a cultural center, school and incubator of artistic groups (Molecada que agita, Heirs, Cia de Aruanda and Boi Daqui). It is one of the few active public cultural spaces in the northern region, inside a favela, and operates from Monday to Sunday.

Casa do Jongo da Serrinha

In 2013 the City of Rio de Janeiro ceded a building in Serrinha, create its new home. The new home was inaugurated on the 29th of November 2015 in partenship with the city of Rio de Janeiro. The building was rebuilt follwing an architectural project develped by Jongo da Serrinha in partenship with RUA Arquitetos.
This new and powerful cultural centre established within a favela in the inner-city suburbs has already become a reference point whose influence can be felt way beyond the boundaries of Madureira, the suburb it is built within.
The Jongo da Serrinha House in addition to housing the Jongo School, The Jongo da Serrinha Museum, the store with products and objects produced in the community, also hosts multiple parties, events, awards, samba and jongo, is equipped with a recording studio, a dance studio, a library and spaces with toys.
We work primarily with children and adolescents in our community and beyond, creating relationships over time that offer education and alternatives to the violence and marginalization created by a very active drug traffricking business that rules the community in every aspect, police violence and societal exclusion due to race and social situation.
By offering classes in music-related disciplines, food, a library, a play space and a community museum we give children a sense of belonging, we create relationships based on care and affection, we offer education and lasting connections.
In a world where guns are the norm, where police shoot to kill children, where society does not have a place for you, we strive to offer opportunities for self- determination, for community building, we help build a community around human connection and opportunities for expression.

Cultural and Artistic Group

The group is actively in cultural production, having released the country’s first jongo album in 2001 (Rival BR Award) which had as one of its impacts the popularization of the word “jongo” in the country. In addition to two albums, the group accumulates more than 60 years of presentations, workshops and lectures around the world, from public schools to countries such as Japan, Germany, the United Arab Emirates and the USA.
In addition to the shows, Jongo da Serrinha produces photographs, exhibitions, books and acts as an articulator of the Jongo and Caxambu Network of the Southeast that brings together more than 50 jongueira communities in the states of Minas, São Paulo and Rio and Espírito Santo. In Rio de Janeiro it is the main articulator of the network that brings together 11 jongueira communities . This important action of transmission of ancestral wisdoms of the jongo, the continuous research and organization of the historical collection of Serrinha (one of the 5 centuries-old slums of the city) and the jongueiros, has in Casa do Jongo da Serrinha its permanent museum in addition to virtual collection on the site.


The work of Jongo da Serrinha contributes to the following Agenda 2030 objectives:

End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Reduce inequality within and among countries

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels


rua compositor silas de oliveira 101 21360-340 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil


(+55) 21 3457-4176