Friday, March 23, 2012

Rugendas (1802-1858). Water Bearers. Quarrels were constant in the fountains. In painting, slaves and a sentry.

The sanitation and hygiene habits were poor, not anachronistic, but in that it contributed to the proliferation of bad smells and disease. Every day, slaves were the sources and fountains, just at sunrise, in search of clean water. Carrying large containers - usually supported in their heads - and may be destined to house their masters or others, in this case working as slaves for gain, profit for their owners. The washing of clothes was also made ​​outside of the homes in the same places or on the borders of the sources of rivers. At dusk, it was the task of slaves, known as Tigers 3 transport to the beaches, ditches or places far pots with droppings collected in the homes. The use of water and waste disposal was a habit that has long caused problems, even with a reduced number of inhabitants.

No record of protest from the Franciscan Fathers, dated 1641, demanding solution to the stench of Lake San Antonio, courtesy of urban occupation in the early days for the deployment of a tannery. The Board upheld the protest and eventually increase the ditch bleeding of the Lagoon, which is considered one of the first works to rehabilitate the city. Later works were performed, as the construction of the Carioca Aqueduct in 1723, allowing the water to the fountains came closer to the people 4 .

From early works to the installation and expansion of the system of water supply and sewage, decades later, the household distribution, mainly done by slaves, was the main form of access to the "precious liquid". As for waste, little has been done to resolve its destination. The House and later the Inspector of Public Works had undertaken to clear the main urban trenches, but the contamination of water continued to cause a bad odor and proliferation of mosquitoes. Therefore, the task of transforming the city of Rio de Janeiro and other urban centers of the colony in a "civilized region" was in some way, the size of their health problems. Resolve them through the reformulation and urban renewal, or at least drive them away, was a condition for passing to be well regarded in the eyes of new residents and travelers, acquiring such status. It was necessary to go beyond opulence.

But the epidemiological environment of the time, associated with lack of drinking water continued to cause outbreaks and epidemics of cholera for many decades (in sad remain to this day), making the risk of permanent death, especially in February and March. From 1847, annual leave in Petrópolis became sanitary solution adopted by the royal family: "Petrópolis emerged as a solution of urban sanitation, as a prophylactic measure in favor of the royal family and the elite of the court, since it was impossible to sanitize River in the summer time all the dangers, the emperor and his close retreated, they moved to the mountain & rdquo 5 . For lower layers, main victims of epidemics, there was little to be done.

Mechanism related to sanitation are the personal hygiene habits, practiced in the recesses of homes in intimate rituals increasingly under European influence, especially in urban centers. There was heterogeneity in the habits and utensils, as a result of stratification of colonial society. Refinement and extreme simplicity coexisted in the same houses, inhabited by slaves and their owners wealthy. Poorer families, usually holding at least one slave, made ​​use of very few hygiene items 6 , still not as common to all, while the wealthy took advantage of the new opening is to provide noble instruments. Homemade soaps to wash and shave, natural essences and oils for the hair kept coming to Brazilian ports, with new varieties and smells.

The presence of the Court raised this refinement to new levels. Bidets, basins and appliances were now more diversified and worked. The habits themselves, whose records come from the homes of the wealthiest families - such as washing hands before and after meals, the washing of feet before sleep, hot baths and therapeutic behavior and the use of urinals - have changed little until the coming sweeping modernization of the early twentieth century. Like cleaning the house, made with simple tools, the arms of the same slaves responsible for domestic duties. (translated source: GTAGUAS)

In ancient times it has been worse because of poor knowledge and infrastructure, the houses of Brazil in 1850 (162 years ago), collected the feces in urinals, which were deposited in barrels at a particular place of residence, to be carried by slaves and thrown into a nearby river, or lake. These chargers Feces were called "Tigers", some say it was because of the appearance due to the striped stools that flowed through the body, because the other bystanders fled as one flees from a real tiger, not to cross the path of these carriers, and there is also the version that only has the courage of a tiger would be possible to accomplish this task.

When a "tiger" went on, people cover his nose with scarves, turned his face cringed. By far, the "tigreiros" been warning residents with his staff "Open your eyes! Open your eyes! "The bystanders shrank, afraid that a simple brush entailed a filthy bathroom.

The treatment of liquid waste generated frequent complaints from residents, because another common habit in the city was empty the chamber pots filled with the tops of houses, without forgiving the walker passing by the street distracted, anytime of day or night. The executioners were lurking behind the windows of houses, waiting for some disaffected pass to "honor him" with excrement thrown out the window. The situation was so serious that in 1831 the City Council issued a regulation requiring that the pitch of "water" to the street could only be done at night, and yet, after being given a notice for three times: " Water will! ... Water will! ... Water will! []

Sem sistemas de esgoto, os djetos eram ariados diretamete nos rios, e eram os escravos que se encarregavam do servico.  Sema Illustrada, 1861.  Poorly translated in English:  "Without sewage systems, the djetos were Ariados diretamete rivers, and were the slaves who were in charge of the service."

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