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The Malhão is a Portuguese circle dance and song in 2
from Estremadura.[1] The first line of one version is "Malhão, malhão, o malhão do norte" which can be translated as "winnower, winnower, o winnower of the North." The form of alternate endings derives from the cossante or cosaute, a courtly sung dance originating in 11th century France.[2] The dance is also preserved in Malacca.[3] The song also exists as the base of a fado, with local variations as in the Malhão de Cinfães, Malhão das Pulgas, and Malhão de Águeda, all recorded by Amália Rodrigues.[4]


  1. ^ Musical Terms Worldwide: From a Musician Point of View Jan Laurens Hartong, Simon Mills, Peter van Amstel - 2007 Page 157 "MALHÃO [European dance]. Portuguese circle dance in 2
    found along its western coast."
  2. ^ Rodney Gallop Portugal: A Book of Folk-ways 1936- Page 193 "And even to-day the last echoes of the cossante have not died away, for in 1931 I copied a version of the Malhao (a dance-song) from Estremadura, which, though lacking a refrain and more than two couplets, has the alternating endings of the cantiga d'amigo. "
  3. ^ Margaret Sarkissian D'Albuquerque's Children: Performing Tradition in Malaysia's Settlement. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 2004 Page 142 ".. are carefully attributed to regions of Portugal well known for folldoric music and dance — Algarve and Minho, ... He only associates one further dance, "O Malhão," directly with Portugal (and then only vaguely, calling it "the most famous ..."
  4. ^ Richard Elliott Fado and the Place of Longing: Loss, Memory and the City 2010 - Page 54 "Whether it is possible to find in Amalia's performance of the song the voice that de Brito tells us can resolve the problem ... In 1967 Valentim de Carvalho released three EPs of folk songs: 'Amalia Canta Portugal', 'Malhão de Cinfaes' and"