Capoeira gives an artistic face to combat. Within the game there is a feeling of beauty.
The capoeirista is an artist and an athlete, a warrior and a poet.
Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art played to the pulsating rhythms of a berimbau, atabaque, and pandeiro. Originally developed by African slaves living in Brazil's Senzalas (slaves houses) in the 1700s and 1800s, Capoeira has its roots in West African courtship and war dances. Capoeiristas stand shoulder to shoulder forming a roda (circle) within which the players enter to play the game. Those forming the circle keep cadence with their clapping. During the jogo (game) each player attempts to use their malendragem (trickery) and malicia (cunning) to read and out-wit the other in the ultimate physical game of chess, in which only the hands, feet, and head are typically permitted to touch the floor. The best games are a complex dialogue of effortless kicks and evasions, acrobatics and theatrics.
Negroes fighting, Brazil. c. 1824. Painting by Augustus Earle
Mestre Borracha playing Capoeira with camaradas (friends)
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