Cultural Groups
Amigos do Divino

A traditional music band, “Amigos do Divino” is a group based in Arrifes.


Countrymen, simple farmers, but proud workers, this is how people from Arrifes would be described. In the past, the village was the birthplace of singers, poets and instrumentalists who boosted the history of the island’s popular culture. The Arrifes Folk Group was born out of one of the most picturesque local traditions, the Carnival Balls. Once the dancing party was formed and Carnival ended, a group of young people guided by some elders decided to go further and created a folk group that would preserve their traditions and customs.

Established in 1992, the group has held its annual festival since that date together with other local groups and some from the mainland and other islands on an exchange basis. This is also a way for them to increase their knowledge and to be part of this great family, Portuguese folklore.

The group has continuously collected their local traditions and has brought past practices to the present, including the home slaughter of animals, the evenings spent husking corn and others. Their outfits reflect how local people would go about their daily life and how they would dress on solemn days, like Sunday, when it was time to “meet God.” Apart from the variety of costumes, the group also showcases the resources available on the then isolated island. Wool, linen and leather were the most common raw materials. The way they were used and put together varied with the type of work and seasons. The Capote e Capelo (traditional cloak and hood), the Carapuça (traditional conical cap) and the Wool Cap stand out in their outfits, with the latter representing the local rural people, as it represents cattle herders in the mainland.

The most relevant musical instrument the group uses is a local type of guitar that is known as Viola da Terra (literally, Local Guitar), Viola dos Dois Corações (Double Heart Guitar) or Viola de Arame (String Guitar). Its wobbly sound, sad in Saudade tunes and cheerful in Chamarrita tunes, does not leave anyone from the island indifferent, and the same is true for visitors who are charmed by its sound. According to some researchers, its origins can be traced back to three guitars from the mainland – the braguesa (Braga), the amarantina (Coimbra) and the campaniça (Alentejo) – and to the first settlers. The combination of these three guitars resulted in the Viola da Terra, which has kept its shape, tuning and playing style unchanged.

During work in the fields or any festive occasion in which a Viola da Terra was present, locals displayed their joy. Dancing appeared spontaneously, usually with people lined in a circle under the command of an older man or anyone else who was more skillful.

In a public square, the Viola da Terra was the call for people to start dancing, and then the boys would hurriedly invite the girls, as this was one of the few opportunities they had to talk to them about dating or even to touch them. Pezinho da Vila was one of the most requested songs, as singers would use them to satirize local people and situations, leading to everyone’s excitement. This song has become so popular that today it is one of the best known and most representative of the Azores Islands. But feelings were also expressed in these public squares, and Saudade is one of the songs that carried all of its meaning to the dance. Couples would dance with their heads down, remembering old times, people who had left for distant places, and others for much further away, to the hereafter next to God. That is how our people express themselves in a simple but heartfelt way. This is what the folk group intends to leave behind, not only about the past but also about the present, researching the past and teaching the young. This work is always exhaustive because no one can ever be sure, but the desire to continue discovering a little bit more about themselves is quite obvious.

Brumas da Terra

A band that sings only Portuguese songs rooted in pop music and also some original songs.


Group 433 from Arrifes, whose patron is the founder of the Scout Movement, Baden Powell, was founded in 1976. Today, the group has about 90 members divided in 4 sections.

Grupo de Jovens Caminhantes (GROUP OF YOUNG WALKERS)

The Grupo de Jovens Caminhantes (Group of Young Walkers) was founded on March 24, 1997, and since then, it has participated in as many activities as possible in the village. It currently has 28 members.

Sementes de Esperança (SEEDS OF HOPE)

The group Sementes da Esperança (Seeds of Hope) consists of 15 young people and 4 coordinators. It is a recent group that has only existed for 20 months. This group includes young people finishing their journey in catechesis and young people who have already received the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Their motto is to keep hope alive and to leave their mark in all the places where they go. They carry out one or two activities per month, both religious and social, but always taking the others into consideration and embracing their mission as a discovery.

Today they are here accompanied by their friends and family to honor Our Lady of the Star.