Some of the art by Emiliano Mammucari for the game in exhibition at the Brazilian Embassy.

The Cangaceiros, legendary bandits of 19th-20th century in the Brazilian northeast, have entered the collective imagination through movies, books, and comics, and are now the protagonists in a board game produced by the Italian game publisher Ergo Ludo Editions, published in English by Ares Games. Cangaceiros, developed to be faithful to the theme and historical sources, was presented in an event at the Brazilian Embassy in Rome, Italy, on March 15th, to celebrate the opening of the exhibition “Cangaceiros: from History to Boardgame”.

The exhibition features the stunning art created for the game by comic book artist Emiliano Mammucari, and shows how a long historical period, full of events, has been condensed into a gaming experience of about 2 hours. The Brazilian Embassy is also hosting an exhibition of historical photos and related books inside the Embassy Library.

Historical photos at the Embassy Library.

At the opening ceremony, a panel about the theme was held with the participation of Emiliano Mammucari, Alessandro Lanzuisi - the game publisher - Luca Bacchini, professor of Portuguese and Brazilian literature at Sapienza University in Rome, and Zé Galia, a Brazilian musician who played four folk songs related to the theme.

Professor Bacchini talked about the Sertão, hostile semi-arid northeastern inland territory, the background for the deeds of the “cangaceiros”, their way of life, the lives of some of the most famous bandits and their representation in pop culture, and cited movies inspired to the theme like “O cangaceiro” (The Bandit, directed by Lima Barreto, 1953), “Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol” (Black God, White Devil, by Glauber Rocha, 1964), and “O Cangaceiro” (Viva Cangaceiro, by Giovanni Fago, 1969, with Tomas Milian), and several stories and characters featured in Italian graphic novels.

From the left, prof. Luca Bacchini, Emiliano Mammucari and Alessandro Lanzuisi.

The Ergo Ludo team and artist Emiliano Mammucari gave a talk about the game development. The proposal of the theme by Marco Vassallo, a big expert of everything related to the “cangaceiros;” the assignment of the game design to Roberto Pestrin, and the challenge of recreating the struggle for survival in a hostile territory and the tension of relentless escape and conflicts, being careful to incorporate accurate historical details. The artwork plays an important role in the game, and Mammucari depicted the 20 cangaceiros cards, using as a reference historical images and the biography of the real characters. At the end of the presentation, two tables were set up to play demo games.

The exhibition is open to the public until April 14th at the Embassy of Brazil in Piazza Navona, Rome. Ergo Ludo team will hold demo games every Friday, with booking by email to

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