Cannibalizing the World Brazilian musicians have a knack for blurring the boundaries of the musical traditions of their country and mixing one tradition with another. Music and musicians from rural and urban areas of Brazil freely interact with each other, regional traditions are embedded in national forms of music, and musicians often serve as cultural mediators linking the interests of different sectors of Brazilian society. Further complicating the musical landscape is the fact that Brazilian musicians of all social ranks and racial identifications demonstrate a keen ability to mix their local, regional, and national traditions with nonBrazilian musical influences. All of this mixing in the music of Brazil is part of the more general characteristic of hybridity noted for Brazilian society in Chapter 1. Intellectuals first championed racial mixture as the defining national characteristic of the country in the early twentieth century, and the idea of cultural hybridity permeated the realm of artistic production as well. For instance, an important branch of the Brazilian vanguard modernist movement of the 1920s espoused the notion that visual artists, writers, and composers should selectively cannibalize both Brazilian and non-Brazilian cultural sources in order to produce genuine Brazilian art forms. It was in the act of cannibalizing, not in the search for an exotic Brazilian cultural essence, that these artists defined themselves as Brazilian; the act of freely devouring and digesting multiple sourcesforeign and domestic-became one of the defining characteristics of their artistic production.