Courtesy of Marcel at

The Brazilian People`s Capoeira

What is Capoeira after all? Is it a fight, a martial art, a dance, a self defense, a sport, an art, a body therapy, popular culture or is it a folklore? It is all of that and much more! Capoeira is music, poetry, part, play, entertainment and a fighting system. It`s a manifestation and expression of an oppressed people in search of their survival, freedom and dignity.

Capoeira is a national phenomenon. It is an expression of a synthesis of gestures and movements which characterize our African heritage. Little academic and historic information has been documented about it, considering the amount of research done in Brazil about its national social memory.

However, in Capoeira, the oral and corporeal nature of the memory of the Brazilian people sends us back to the beginning of Brazil`s history: to slavery, to the black people`s battles for freedom and to the people`s suffering and aspirations, from the time of the discovery of Brazil up to the present day and leads us to the recovery of national identity.

This argument makes sense, when we admit that in the last 30 years we have been witnessing the effective reappearance of Capoeira on the Brazilian scene, especially in Rio de Janeiro, where with the emergence of ABADÁ-CAPOEIRA it left the ghetto in which was confined due to heritage of discrimination against Africans an their descendants and entered the city`s southern zone, conquering the middle class youth as well, and from there took off abroad.