Brazil Costumes: Carnival Feathered Wings:

Brazil Carnival Feathered Wings: Carnival Back Pieces Examples For Sale

In the Brazilian Carnival Costume community, many are the components that make up a Carnival costume. For show samba dancers and famous celebrities, Carnival designers often use a very important accessory, which creates a marvelous visual effect:  The “costeiros” , feathered back-pieces, or “esplendores” , as they are called in Portuguese.   This feathered back piece accessory, in English, can also be referred to as a carnival “shoulder adornment” or even "featherd wings".  On this carnival community article, we will explain how and in what context these attractive carnival costume accessories can used by revelers all over the world.  We will be posting below photos of many different carnival feathered back pieces.

Carnival back pieces examples


Carnival costumes are always associated with glamour, exuberance, and luxury. With the “costeiros” or back-pieces it could not be different. Traditionally, costeiros started to be used on main carnival parade celebrities or “high-lights” members of a samba-school during the Rio carnival. ( In Portuguese these flash celebrities are called “destaques”.) Later, the “esplendores” or back-pieces became part of “common” revelers´ costumes, as samba-schools parades became richer, especially in terms of plumes and feathers. Entire carnival parade wings today have costumes with some kind of “shoulder adornment” or “esplendores”, with different kind of materials being used.

Feathered Wings Front view!

Front carnival feathered wings

And back view!

back piece feathered carnival

Above we see Mangueira Muse and Model Lillian Duarte in beautiful Costume with a feathered backpiece

What eventually became a “trademark” for both Carnival Queens and samba show-girls was the heavy feathered type of “costeiros” / back-pieces. Actually, many of the Brazilian Carnival celebrities “compete” each year during the carnival parade to see who will present a fancier and eye-catching costume. The majority of the most stunning costumes in Brazil indeed have built-in “costeiros” or “back-pieces”, since it is the single piece in Carnival Queen costume that holds the greatest number of feathers. Costeiros feathers are normally made of 4 (four) kind: pheasant ( Lady Amherst Feathers) , Turkey feathers , goose, and peacock feathers ( less commonly used ). 

Some Brazilian-Rio Carnival Queen back-pieces may have up to 1500 feathers and are also decorated with other artistic elements, like Swarovski crystals to enhance even more the overall look. Many of the feathers could be painted too. Some of these full carnival costumes may cost from US$ 5.000 up to US$ 15.000,00 and could take 2 or 3 months to be totally crafted (including design/ style modifications).   The individual costeiros evidently cost less ( from US$ 500,00 all the way to US$ 2.000,00).  Today, with a whole new rage of materials, simpler kind of back pieces can start costing from US$ 250,00.

Below a prototype Brazil Carnival Shop just exported to Australia.

Front view of Costeiro with model Bianca Cordeiro!

Brazil Carnival costeiros

And back view of the Costeiro - Esplendor designed by Bruno Villaça

Back piece feathered carnival rio

A second type of Carnival reveler/ samba character which is notorious for using feathered costeiros or back-pieces are samba show girls. These type of passistas normally make use of feathered headdresses and costeiros in order to create a “volume” within a stage performance. Many Carnival show girls aside from the feathered costeiros may also use feathered arm bracelets. These are attached in different parts of the arm, but should allow movements for the freedom of the samba dance routines.

Below, we see a simpler kind of shoulder adornment!

Feather back piece Carnival

Again we see the marvelous Lillian Duarte with a green arm bracelets.

Finally, sizes of feathered carnival costeiros / back-pieces and carnival bracelets can vary substantially, which obviously influences in a direct manner it´s cost, as well as production time-frame. Their designs also vary tremendously: Some are very vertical, others have large wings, other may have more of a “horizontal twist”, while other have long tails, and the list goes on…

We see now a more elaborate "Show Type" Feathered Costumes & Carnival Back Piece !

Carnival Feathered wings

On this article, we are presented photos of a few examples of Brazilian Carnival costeiros / back-pieces in their final production phase.

Please email us if you have any questions regarding these beautiful pieces of artwork.

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