Cartola ( Agenor de Oliveira)
- Carlos Sandroni
and one of the founders of Escola de Samba Estação Primeira de Mangueira (literally, First Station of Mangueira Samba School), was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 11 October 1908 to Sebastião Joaquim de Oliveira, a carpenter, and Aída Gomes de Oliveira, a housewife. Although the registrar mistakenly recorded the name “Angenor” on Cartola’s baptism certificate, the name by which he was formally called through adulthood is “Agenor.” Cartola (literally, “top hat”) is a nickname he received while still a teenager. He worked in construction, and used a small “cartola” to prevent dirtying his head with spatters of cement. He adopted the nickname, using it throughout his career as a sambista (samba performer) and musician. In fact, he was even referred to as Cartola by his friends and relatives.
Cartola only completed his studies up to the fourth grade Until the age of 11 he lived in neighborhoods of ...
A version of this article originally appeared in The Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography.