Capoeira

Capoeira is a form of Afro-Brazilian marshal arts. The word capoeira is believed to come from several sources. It could have originated from the Tupi Indian vocabulary meaning 'hiding in the grass.' Caa meaning 'down' and 'little' in the Tupi indian language and puoera meaning grass. Capoeira could have reference fugitive slaves clearing grass to form quilombos. The indian theory is probably unlikely since it came out at the time when Brazil's elite tried to put an indian face to the country, and the coboclo (mixed indian and white) was representative of that image. Capoeira could have referenced a basket for carrying birds to market, a capa. Capoeira games were played at market. It could have come from the word 'kipura', which was a movement of roosters. 

Like all African based traditions in Brazil, capoeira was shunned and suppress. Capoeira survived via secret meetings and initiation ceremonies during the colonial period. It began to be accepted during the 1930s, under the Vargas Regime, which chose to emphasize and embrace everything Brazilian. Mestre Bimba played a significant role in the formalization and transmission of modern capoeira.

Capoeira is performed and exercised around a roda(circle). It is performed with a berimbau, a stringlike instrument. The berimbau provides rhythm. The following instrument can also be used; pandeiro, atabaque, surdo, cuíca, repinique.

Works Cited

Almeida, Ponciano(2007). Capoeira:The Martial Arts Series. New Holland Publishers. ISBN 1845377613, 9781845377618.

Capoeira, Nestor(2012). Capoeira: Roots of the Dance-Fight-Game. North Atlantic Books. ISBN 1583946373, 9781583946374