Mestre Pastinha Weekend in Chicago!

FICA-Chicago has set the dates for its Annual Mestre Pastinha/ Zumbi Weekend Event:

November 8 - 11
Chicago, Illinois

Start packing up your yellow shirts, buy your plane/bus tickets, and you'll be all set to go in November! More information to come.

Thanks T Beto.


Photos from Event in Japan


Here are some pictures of M Valmir's trip to Japan a few months back. Looks like it was a great success and a lot of fun. A few years back, we in DC were lucky to have extended visits from Aki, Toshi, Shima, Iuna, and some other capoeiristas from Japan. We are working on returning the favor in the near future.

All interested are welcome to join.

Thanks for the pictures, Aki!

More pictures on the Portuguese side of the blog.


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CINEMAFRO, Cobra Mansa, and Angola Event Recap

On August 17, CINEMAFRO hosted a showing of the film “Saudades de quem te ama” about Angola followed by a discussion with M Cobra Mansa, who has made various research trips to Angola. The event took place at the beautiful FICA-Bahia space (I’m not just saying that, you can see how nice it is in the pics). If you missed it, here are pictures along with a bit of the dialogue that took place.

Thoughts from M Cobra Mansa:

About the film:

Well, I consider “Saudades de quem te ama” to be like a poem and that Richard did a magnificent job showing the realities of Angola. The rich Angola and the miserable Angola, and that there is a need for social-political support. So, for me it provided a good base because before I went to Angola, I had that idealistic vision of the Angola of angoleiros (capoeiristas).

The film and the reality of Angola:

The reality that I saw is very shocking. We saw the real side of Angola and when I arrived there it was like I was watching the film again, the social conditions are very fragile and the political system is still fragile, and there is a lot of corruption. So, in this way, I felt the reality of Angola, but the film shows this as well and it allowed me to arrive there well prepared.

Izabel de Fátima

M Cobra Mansa

Just so you can really feel like you were there: the screen.

Thanks to CINEMAFRO for the excellent contribution.


M Jogo de Dentro in Milan, Italy

For everyone in Europe, or planning on being there over the next three months, M Jogo de Dentro will be in Milan, Italy from October 14 to December 12, leading classes in the I Vivência de Capoeira Angola. He will be doing a series of lectures, rodas, classes for those who are interested. Prices are listed here.

For more information, contact Leonardo at: 0039 389 1625394
Or e-mail: llrossi79(at)yahoo(dot)it

Thanks to Leonardo in Milan for the information.


Event in Honor of Mestre João Pequeno

Opening of the project “Meia Lua- Creating with an Old Mestre: Rodas, histories, and art

CECA (Centro Esportivo de Capoeira Angola) in partnership with CRIA (Centro de Referência Integral de Adolescentes) is honored to invite the community to the opening of the project “Meia Lua – Creating with an Old Mestre: Rodas, histories, and art. The event will honor Mestre João Pequeno de Pastinha with yet another title: that of Mestre of Popular Culture.

August 18, 2007
4:00 pm
Forte do Santo Antonio além do Carmo

“Grande é Deus, pequeno sou eu.” – Mestre João Pequeno
(I don’t think you need that translated…)

Congratulations, M João Pequeno!

History of Capoeira Music

The Casa de Mandinga in Salvador hosts all sorts of events related to capoeria. When you are in Salvador training and practicing your berimbau, make sure you check out what's on their schedule to expand your knowledge of capoeira's history and philosophy as well.

This week Casa de Mandinga drops knowledge about:

The Trajectory of Capoeira Music

Commentary from capoeiristas from the 1960s about:

And the music that they inherited.

Commentary from mestres about the music they play:

Boa Gente
Cobrinha Mansa
João Pequeno
Jogo de Dentro
Lua Rasta

August 22, 2007
6:30 pm
Rua Comendador José Alves Ferreira, 160, Garcia


Capoeira Encounter in Paradise (Nicaragua)

From the capoeira folks in Central America:

Dear brothers & sisters:
Well, here we are on the island in a lake in Nicaragua, the only fresh water lake in the world that has sharks. We met up to do some capoeira. There were eighteen people from Honduras, two from Costa Rica, ten from Guatemala, and ten from Nicaragua. It was the first capoeira encounter in Central America, and in September, we will have the second encounter in Guatemala in another paradise-like place.

A big hug from your friend, Maloquinho

Thanks! Keep sending us your photos and event wrap-ups.

More pictures on the Portuguese side of the blog.


Film & Discussion with M Cobra Mansa

Another event from the folks at CINEMAFRO:

What: Film and discussion with Mestre Cobra Mansa
When: August 17, 2007, starting at 7:00 pm
Where: FICA-Bahia, Avenida Carlos Gomes no. 111, Salvador, Bahia

A mosaic of everyday city life in post-war Angola through the musical poetry of Paulo Flores, who brought the film “Angola Saudades de Quem te Ama” by Richard Pakleppa.

This is an African production that will be shown by CINEMAFRO in partnership with the Fundação Internacional de Capoeira Angola, followed by a discussion with Mestre Cobra Mansa.

Capoeira Angola Event in Italy

Info from an upcoming event in Italy.

What: 4th Capoeira Workshop in Salento (the heel of the boot!)
When: August 12-19, 2007
Where: Corsano, Italy
Invited: Mestre Ras Ciro Lima (Academia João Pequeno de Pastinha)
& Mestre Zequinha (Capoeira Angola Pernambuco)

You will find more details of the event here. Have fun!


Celebrating 25 Years of M Valmir

In our final post celebrating “Malungos: 25 Years of Mestres Valmir, Janja, Paulinha, Poloca, and Boca do Rio, we hear from Mestre Valmir. Mestre Valmir has one of the most important Capoeira Angola academies in Salvador, Bahia, located in the center of the city, and he also administers various projects around the city. This interview was done at the 2002 FICA International Encounter held in Washington, DC.

My name is Valmir Damasceno. I don’t have a capoeira knickname. I am a son of Salvador Bahia, born in the Lower City, precisely in Massaranduba. I always liked capoeira…

… In 1980, Mestre Moraes came from Rio de Janeiro and brought with him another student of his, who at that time was already a mestre of capoeira, Cobrinha. So, I knew Mestre Moraes, and he said, “Go there. Go to the group.” He wrote the address and I went.

Arriving there, it was my first contact with capoeira, to be seeing Mestre Moraes, Cobrinha, and other students who began with us at that time, Paulinha, Poloca, Janja, and other people.

I left GCAP in 1996… I started to give class in a park in the city, like this, in a field. And from there I went to Via Magia (a community center in Salvador). I did class on a soccer field. When it rained, we went to a small alleyway. The rodas took place on Saturday under a tree.

Afterwards, we went to a sports club located in Dois do Julho, which is a neighborhood in Salvador in the center of the city. From there, we looked for the space that we are in today, which is on the fifth floor of a building on Carlos Gomez Avenue.

Congratulations M Valmir on 25 years of Capoeira Angola! Here’s to many more!


Celebrating 25 years of M Poloca

Mestre Poloca, besides being a great capoeiristas, is also an arts educator. He creates beautiful designs for Grupo Nzinga and he uses the art of Capoeira Angola in his classroom work with children. In the November 2003 issue of “Toques d’Angola”, M Poloca published an article about the use of the legends of Capoeira Angola in his work with kids. In the article, he gives various real-life examples of his own use of these legends with different groups of children. The article is insightful, and serves as an excellent reference for anyone looking to teach Capoeira Angola to children.

Here is a taste:

Another connection that I establish using Capoeira as pedagogy, is through the use of a story that I adapted from the real life of the famous Mestre Vincente Ferreira Pastinha, the greatest figure in Capoeira Angola...

It is the story of one of the greatest legends of capoeira, with which other black children in Brazil can identify.

While I tell the short story, the children are called to play the parts. In the beginning, nobody is obliged to say anything. .. Because many of the scenes are repeated, the children soon realize that they have to speak and in the end, some even dare to improvise, as was the case with a boy named Manú, about 5 or 6 years old, in Brasília. In truth, the idea to tell the history of “Little Vincent” came from him…

… He loved it and kept asking that I tell him the story every time we met. The following day, I would give a story and capoeira workshop with children. I decided to tell the story of “Little Vincent” this time with the help of the young boy, Manú, who soon took the main role. After, the boy Tigor, 12 years old, student of Nzinga/SP, took the part of Honorato, and from there, the other children took the rest of the parts—the evil mother, the teacher, the friend, and Benedito- creating a real dramatization of this story. We closed with the ritual of a capoeira roda, a magical moment in which we played music and capoeira.

What a great story and a fabulous class (I want to do it, too!). This article is available in Portuguese in our archives, or I believe you can purchase the magazine from Grupo Nzinga in Salvador.

Congratulations to 25 years of Capoeira Angola, M Poloca. We hope for many more.


Celebrating 25 Years of M Boca do Rio

The third in our series of posts celebrating the 25 years of Mestres Valmir, Boca do Rio, Poloca, Janja, and Paulinha, we present to you a short history of M Boca do Rio’s time in capoeira from the Grupo Zimba website:

Marcelo was born in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. In the capoeira world, his knickname is Boca do Rio. He began to practice Capoeira Angola in 1982 with the Grupo Capoeira Angola Pelourinho (GCAP), where he earned the title of contra-mestre from Mestre Moraes. From that time, he has given classes in São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Curitiba, Florianópolis, and Porto Alegre.

Today, he is the mestre of the Grupo de Capoeira Angola Zimba, where he gives class and is responsible for a berimbau orchestra, the organizing of international capoeira seminars and meetings whose objective is the rescuing of the capoeirista angoleiro integrating the secular traditions of Capoeira Angola, whether it be movements, or in the maintenance of its rituals.

With respect to the coordination of Grupo Zimba, his work is recognized as one of the strongest references of traditional Capoeira Angola in Salvador.

Here is a corridor written by M Boca do Rio:

O mandingueiro, mandingueiro

Cadê o mandingueiro

-Mandinguero , mandingueiro

é o trabalhador

- mandinguero , mandinguero

é o pedreiro

- mandinguero , mandinguero

é o carpinteiro

-mandinguero , mandinguero

é o trabalhador

-mandinguero, mandinguero

é o vendedor

-mandinguero, mandinguero

o verdadeiro mandinguero

-mandinguero, mandinguero

esta na obra trabalhando

Congratulations on 25 years mandinga, M Boca do Rio!


Celebrating 25 Years of M Paulinha

Because we are not in Salvador (where we would really like to be!), here at the Archives Blog we continue to celebrate virtually the 25th Anniversary of Mestres Janja, Paulinha, Poloca, Valmir and Boca do Rio in Capoeira Angola. Here is the second post in our series devoted to these Capoeira Angola teachers.

Beyond the roda, both Mestres Paulinha and Janja are well-known for their academic achievements. As well as top Capoeira Angola players, they are distinguished university professors, lecturers, and published scholars. The excerpt below is from an article written by M Paulinha entitled, “Capoeira Angola and Anti-Racism” that first appeared in the magazine Toques d’Angola, in November 2004. The whole piece is excellent, and you can read the entire translation at ShaynaM’s website, Capoeira Connection, along with other translated pieces.

M Paulinha writes about the growth of Capoeira Angola as an ever-widening vehicle for marginalized social expressions following efforts by the Brazilian state to turn capoeira into a “national sport”. She traces Capoeira Angola’s growth as part of the black movement, as a growing space for women (in large part due to the work of Paulinha and Janja themselves), and most recently, as a zone of international and cultural understanding. Here is a bit:

In the beginning of the 1980s, the creation of the Grupo de Capoeira Angola Pelourinho (GCAP) in Rio de Janeiro and later in Bahia marked a significant change in the situation. Founded by Mestre Pedro Moraes Trinidade (Mestre Moraes), GCAP implemented a series of actions promoting the re-valorization of Capoeira Angola and the recognition of the importance of old and famous mestres, such as Mestre Pastinha himself. With an ideology that affirmed capoeira’s African roots and denounced the injustices suffered by so many capoeiristas and Afro-descendents, this group was the precursor of a movement that became wide and diverse.

Through the realization of events in homage to Mestre Pastinha, GCAP managed to reunite old practitioners of Capoeira Angola and attract new admirers and people interested in learning the traditional game. The format of these events was innovative because it created bridges between the practitioners of Capoeira Angola and other segments of society such as: religious leaders, especially those linked to the Candomblés of Angola; anti-racist organizations of the “black movement”; organizations involved with other forms of black culture; intellectuals and scholars; and governmental organizations, especially in the cultural area. In some years, these events gained larger proportions, assuming a national and international character, and began to be held by other nascent groups of Capoeira Angola, mainly during the 1990s. Such events were established as an important part of a regular calendar activities that helped to construct the new community of “angoleiros”.

One important aspect of the ideology and actions implemented by the Capoeira Angola groups created in this period involves the denunciation of racism in Brazil. The events promoted in memory of Mestre Pastinha, carried out on the date of his death (November 13th), soon became part of the agenda of commemorations and reflections of the National Day of Black Consciousness (November 20th). More than a coincidence of dates, this approximation reveals a process of growing politicization in the universe of Capoeira Angola, synchronized with the general trend in the black cultural scene in Bahia...

... This community became very heterogeneous – including people of various ethnic and racial origins, social classes, nationalities, genders, ages, and sexual orientations- and this has been the backdrop for the construction of the angoleiro’s identity. Therefore, affirming oneself as an “angoleiro(a)” today implies dealing with diversity, rejecting any ideal of purity and homogeneity.

Congratulations to M Paulinha on her 25 years in Capoeira Angola!

Thanks to ShaynaM for the translation & link.