Capoeira – The Brazilian People’s Wisdom

Mestre Angoleiro
Mestre Angoleiro, by Alice Martins

The first version of this article was written in the 26th of December, 2006 in Brasília, and took chance of an episode with Meste Angoleiro (on the photo), followed with a good chat with him, to discuss some dangers of a traditionalist approach to Capoeira.

After meeting some new friends and bouncing back these ideas, I realised that the issue is as pertinent as ever, so here it goes a revised version as an inaugural posting.


Capoeira – The Brazilian Peoples’ Wisdom

-“Capoeira is the Brazilian peoples’ wisdom.” This is how Mestre Angoleiro (J. Bamberg), Mestre Bimba’s disciple, tells us how his teacher use to define Capoeira. Today, Mestre Angoleiro feels bothered by the “new traditions” in Capoeira… Quite a fellow!

A while ago arriving at an event, he was presented before starting the roda holding his berimbau viola. The responsible came and said: “- Mestre, here is the gunga for you!” Mestre Angoleiro insisted on playing his own viola and yet another comment followed: “-Here in this group the tradition is that the gungacomands the roda and, since you are the oldest Mestre here, you must play the gunga.” Mestre Angoleiro gingou1 for a while from outside the roda, without playing either instruments or singing any song, patiently waiting until the end of the event, and then thanked everyone before leaving. Continue reading Capoeira – The Brazilian People’s Wisdom