CAPOEIRA

Video! Watch the video a martial art/dance which originated with the slaves as a secret ritual. Download and play “Capoeira” video. (10 mb)

Capoeira, the popular acrobatic dance, was developed by the slaves in Brazil as a tool of insurrection against their masters. When it was prohibited from the slave barracks, the slaves moved it to the forest. To disguise their intentions, they turned it into an acrobatic dance with fluid, circular movements, the fighters playful and respectful.

The clapping of hands and plucking of the berimbau, a one-stringed musical instrument made from a gourd and a rod, originally served to alert fighters to the approach of the boss. Later it was incorporated into the dance to maintain the rhythm. Semicircles of spectator-musicians sing an initial chula before the fight and provide the percussion during the fight.

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