Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance and music. It was created in Brazil by descendants of African slaves with Brazil native influence. Capoeira has quick and complex moves, using mainly power, speed, and leverage for leg sweeps.
There are many opinions as to how Capoeira specifically came to be… Some say it was a form of self-defense disguised as a dance to ward off landowners’ suspicions, it was a common past-time of slaves while they sold chickens in the market ( dictionary definition of “capoeira” is chicken coop) and some suggest it descended from or was influenced by the N’golo zebra dance in Africa, a contest for young men with a dowry-waived bride as the prize.
Is not only a martial art or a small aspect of Brazilian society, but an active exporter of Brazilian culture all over the world. Since the 1970s masters of the art form began to emigrate and teach Capoeira in other countries.
The martial art or war dance aspect is still present and, like old times, is still subtle and disguised, leading many non-practitioners to ignore its presence. Trickery is ever present and experts never take their sights off their opponents in a Capoeira game. An attack can be disguised even as a friendly gesture.
The martial artists “spar” or “fight” play. This is done inside a ring of other capoeiristas, called the roda which means wheel in Portuguese. Players often try to trick and outwit each other, looking for ways to trip the other person up while avoiding having the same happen to them. The capoeira game is also considered a dialogue between two players, with their actions and reactions together forming anything from a pleasant conversation to a heated argument, to rounds of teasing and bantering, to a lesson being given and received. It is really interesting to watch once you understand what is taking place. Music plays a fundamental role in Capoeira, and makes the martial art what it is. At the head of every roda plays the bateria, with the rest of the roda clapping and singing along. Songs are sung in Portuguese, often follow a call-and-response style, and are about legends of old or what is going on at present in the roda.
This last week was Week of Capoeira in Barra Mansa, a city close to where we live but unfortunately we did not get there, although have periodically seen demonstrations of Capoeira in Resende and even when we went to Buzios.
Capoeira …Symbol of the Brazilian culture, symbol of the ethnic amalgam that characterizes Brazil, symbol of resistance to the oppression, Capoeira definitely changed its image and became a source of pride to Brazilian people. It is officially considered a cultural heritage of Brazil!
What another lovely day here in Resende. Enjoy your weekend!!