Women in Capoeira Music

There are various ladainhas and corridos that commemorate the presence of women in Capoeira. At the women's conference in Atlanta last year, and at the conference this year, we went around the room, each person singing a different song that talked about women in capoeira. Of course, Dona Maria do Camboatá was one of the first to be sung!

Dona Maria do Camboatá
Ela chega na venda ela manda botar
Dona Maria do Camboatá
Ela chama o menino e manda comprár
Dona Maria do Camboatá
Se não tem, se não acha ela manda trocar
Dona Maria do Camboatá
É do camboatá, é do Camboatá
Dona Maria do Camboatá
Volta na venda prá reclamar
Dona Maria do Camboatá
Ela chega na venda e começa a gingar
Dona Maria do Camboatá
Ela chega na venda e dá salto mortá
Dona Maria do Camboatá
É do camboatá, é do Camboatá
Dona Maria do Camboatá
Uma dose de cana prá ela tomar
Dona Maria do Camboatá
Ela senta na mesa e manda botar
Dona Maria do Camboatá
Ela vem de Mutá, ela vem de Mutá
Dona Maria do Camboatá


On Tour: M Cobra Mansa Around the World

If you are in the area on any of these dates, you can catch Mestre Cobra Mansa on his world tour:
March 28 - April 1, New Orleans, USA

April 4 - 6, Baltimore, USA

April 19 - 21, Boston, USA

April 10 - 13, New Orleans, USA

April 26 - 27, New York (Mestre Joao Grande), USA

May 1 - 5, Montpellier, France

May 6 - 12, Switzerland

May 12 - 14, Paris

May 15 - 18, Greece

May 19, Birthday Party

May 21 - 25, Italy

May 26, USA

May 29 - June 9, Japan

June 10, USA

June 12 - 17, Moscow

June 19 - 23, Austria

June 25 - 30, London

July 3 - July 7, Kiev

July 10 - 13, Vienna, Austria

September 4 - 7, Chicago, USA

Have fun.

FICA-Baltimore Celebrates 5 Years

Friday, April 4th:
Children’s Fun n’ Games hour 5pm - 6pm Open House Mixer 6:30pm – 10pm

Saturday, April 5th:
Children’s Capoeira Workshop 9:30am - 11am (Led by Mestre Cobra Mansa)
Samba Drumming workshop for Kids 11:30am - 1pm (Led by Babajan of Samba Trovao)
Adult Beginner’s Movement workshop 2pm - 4pm
Adult Intermediate/Advanced Movement workshop 2pm - 4pm (Led by Mestre Cobra Mansa)
ICAF-Baltimore 5 year celebration ‘Brazilian Style’ 8pm -12am

Sunday, April 6th:
Adult Intensive Capoeira Workshop 9am - Noon
ICAF-Baltimore 5 Year celebration Roda 2pm - 6pm

Monday, April 7th:
Free introductory class to Capoeira Angola 6pm - 8pm

Workshop Prices:
$50 for entire weekend (includes shirt and admission to party)
$15 per Adult workshop
$5 for Children’s workshop.
$15 for Party, with donation going to Kilomba Tenonde
Samba Drumming class is Free.
$15 for Anniversary T-shirt

Workshops are being held at the Harlem Park Recreation Center, 700 N. Calhoun Street Baltimore, MD

Party is being held at 1401 Light Street, Baltimore, MD (old Enoch Pratt Library)

Mestre Cobra Mansa- ICAF founder and known world wide as a Capoeirista and scholar on Afro-Brasilian Culture. Mestre Cobra is also the founder of Kilombo Tenonde, a non-profit farm and cultural center in Bahia, Brazil, dedicated to permaculture and green living.

Treinel Skher Brown- ICAF-Baltimore leader and one of the founding members of ICAF-DC, Treinel Skher has studied under Mestre Cobra for the past 14 years and in addition to leading ICAF-Baltimore, he works in the Baltimore area teaching Capoeira to youth.

Livaldi Pereira da Cruz aka Babajan, is a world class percussionist and leader of Samba Trovao, Washington DC’s premier Brazilian percussion ensemble. Babajan also plays professionally in the DC and Baltimore area.

For a printable version of the schedule and driving directions, click here.

Thanks to Jason for the flyer.


Chicago Rodathon: April 5th

If you plan on hanging out in the middle of the U.S.A. next weekend:

ICAF Chicago invites you to join us for our annual fundraiser, and all-day roda where ICAF Chicago will play capoeira for 8 hours, NON-STOP!

Proceeds from this year's Roda-Thon will support the 14th Annual International Capoeira Angola Encounter taking place in Chicago on September 4-7, 2008. You can help support us by sponsoring a member of ICAF Chicago on a per-hour basis our by making a flat contribution. ICAF Chicago is a non-profit 501c(3) organization and all contributions are tax-deductible.

The Roda-Thon is free for all that would like to watch and support ICAF Chicago. For those who would like to participate in the roda there is a $10 suggested donation.


Edna Lima: Capoeira Trailblazer

Edna Lima has blazed trails for women in capoeira in Brazil and the United Status. She began training capoeira in Brazil, and today has a school in New York. Edna Lima is not only a mestra of capoeira, but also a Godan, fifth degree blackbelt in karate. She has received many honors and awards for her work in Brazil, the U.S., and around the world. Read a little more about Edna Lima:

Edna Lima is a well-known professor and “performer” of capoeira. Edna has a university degree in physical education and has developed a Capoeira teaching program for schools in Brazil. She is also a professor in the Department of Dance at the University of Long Island in the United States. Edna Lima participated in the movie “Rooftops”, and has also appeared in magazines such as Fitness Magazine, American Health, Vogue Paris, and Cosmopolitan, In the summer of 2001 she was honored by the New York City Council as a heroine of African-American culture. Beyond her work in New York, she is also a well-known capoeirista in Brazil and Europe, and she is regualry invited to participate in Capoeira events around the world…

How would you describe the significance of Capoeira for you?

Philosophy of life! For me, life is like a game of capoeira; you have to know how to give the right blows in the right situations. In life, you cannot make a decision without first analyzing all the consequences. In capoeira, when you make the decision to attack, you have to have in your mind the defense or counter-attack. If you are not prepared, don’t take that first step. In my life, I have various plans, if one does not work, I go with another. Flexibility and agiity in action, intelligence to choose the right option, are qualities that should be developed and aquired in life as in capoeira. In capoeira, you should respect your opponent, even if the person is a beginner. You may be surprised in the game, because in capoeira everything happens very quickly. Speed in action and reaction, I learned to use in capoeira as well as in my day-to-day.

How do male capoeiristas react, in general and in the game, to you, a female

When I started, there were not young girls doing capoeira. So, the boys and the professor made no distinction. This helped greatly in my development as a person and as a capoeirista.

In 1981, when I was only twenty years old, I graduated with a red belt (Mestre) from my capoeira teacher, Mestre Tabosa. I began to understand that male capoeiristas didn’t like the idea. Capoeiristas from all over came to test the new and only woman Mestra. The played very aggressively with me as if they had never played before. If I were not in good physical shape and well trained, I would not have been able to deal with the pressure. Thanks to Mestre Tabosa, my friends from that time who always pushed me, and my mother, I stayed with capoeira.

Read the whole interview here (in Portuguese).

Read more about Edna Lima here (in English).


Mestre Janja: Reflections on Women in Capoeira

Here’s an excerpt of I Came Here to Play written by Mestre Janja and published in the fifth edition of Caxixi, Capoeira Angola’s literary magazine:

Perhaps few people have had the privilege that I have of participating in the conferences organized by the women of FICA…over the past ten years…

Even though [the presence of women] is not yet common in capoeira, nobody can deny the persistence, courage, dedication, and organizational models that these women have developed…

However, if this is a time of celebration, I also cannot help but lament that absence of many other women who have participated in these conference yet did not stay with capoeira…

A new sexist ethic is penetrating the discourse of “tradition”, confusing, masking other themes that often push us into disputes and fratricidal wars, without at least the conditions to reflect that it is in the subalternization of our condition as women that there is a reinvention of these traditions that can weigh down our bodies and souls like muzzles, controlling our language and our behavior…

We are here to re-affirm our commitment to capoeira, and at the same time, say that we are conscious of the many collaborations that we have emprendido so that capoeira may be truly a place in which diversity is not just a semantic construction, but a political commitment with liberty.

Long live the woman capoeira!


2008 Calendar so far..

These are the special events we have listed for the rest of the year:

23 - 27, event with Mestre João Grande – New York, USA
25 – 27, workshops with M Rosalvo – Padova, Italy

1 – 4, Encounter in Montpellier – Montpellier, France
9 – 12, XIII Encounter "Angola Dobrada" – Freiburg, Germany

4-6, African Encounter – Mozambique
11 – 13, Grupo Estrela do Norte Event – Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
16 - 20, Annual Encounter, Filhos de Angola - Brighton, UK
24 – August 4, Jogo de Dentro Encounter – Salvador & Capão

4 – 7, FICA International Encounter – Chicago, USA

Mestre Pastinha / Zumbi Weekend - Seattle, USA

If your event is missing, let us know at: ficadcarchives (at) gmail (dot) com.


(Not So Lazy) Sunday in New York City

Njoli & Adrian.

See more pictures here!

FICA-NYC hosted its monthly roda this weekend. Present at the roda were capoeiristas from Mestre João Grande’s school, Grupo Quintal, FICA-Philadelphia, FICA-DC, Grupo Novo Kilombo (Boston), FICA-Oakland, and some other groups. FICA-NYC were great hosts, and provided lots of food and drinks to keep our energy up. The bateria was great and there were a lot of fun games.

Following the end of the roda, we packed our stuff and walked down to Mestre João Grande’s school where the roda was already rolling. Again, we had a >blast< and enjoyed seeing all our friends who train at the Capoeira Angola Center. We dragged ourselves away from the roda at 8 pm (we had a four hour drive back to DC!) and it was still going strong.

Post FICA-NYC roda photo.

Next time you are in NYC on the third Sunday of the month, be sure to stop by the FICA-NYC roda at Six Harmonies Martial Arts Studio at 232 7th Avenue, between 23rd & 24th, 2nd floor.

And if you are in NYC on any given Sunday, don’t miss the roda at Mestre João Grande’s school, starts at 2 and goes til it ends. The school is located at 104 W 14th Street, 3rd Floor.

Thanks to Orlando from FICA-NYC for the pictures.


2008 Women's Conference Wrap-Up!

**More pictures will be added. Check back soon!**

The 10th Annual Women's Conference in Washington, DC was a great success!

The conference started on Monday with the opening of the Malungos photo exhibit at the Mocha Hut Cafe. On Tuesday, we had a screening of the movie, "The Shape of Water" and a talk by Sylvia Robinson, founder of the Emergence Community Arts Center (where FICA-DC makes its home) and distinguished FICA-DC member. On Wednesday night, we heard from women martial artists, inlcuding Paulinha and Janja, in a very informative panel discussion.

Anne, T Andrea, T Gege, & CM Cristina

The conference opened on Thussday night with a presentation by renowned activist and singer Luci Murphy, accompanied by Isa Angulo. Following this, we had a roda... and the capoeira pretty much kept rolling til Sunday night.

M Paulinha

M Janja

Invited guests M Janja, M Paulinha, M Cobra Mansa, CM Cristina, T Gege, & T Andrea gave great classes. M Juradir was also in attendance, on his way to Seattle, and CM Silvinho stopped by for a bit. M Cobra Mansa gave a 6:00 am training. On Friday there were 6 people, on Saturday there were 35 people, and on Sunday there were more than 50 people- definitely a record for the 6 am training in DC.

Boys came too. M Cobra Mansa & Jamel

We had a great discussion session during the conference. Five topics of interest were selected, and people gathered in groups, each group discussing a topic for about two hours. After the discussions, everyone came together and heard a short presentation about the discussion by a member of the group. It was very successful.

The event ended with a closing roda that was a lot of fun. See for yourself:

During the conference, we also had a photo exhibit celebrating women in Capoeira Angola at the FICA-DC space, as well as the Malungos exhibit at Mocha Hut. And we put together another issue of the renowned Capoeira Angola literary magazine, Caxixi. Thanks to everyone who submitted works. It looks great!

Special thanks to everyone who joined us and contributed to this energetic and joyful event. We welcomed capoeiristas from Hawaii, Oakland, L.A., Seattle, Chicago, New Orleans, Kentucky, Atlanta, Richmond, Philadelphia, New York, Maine, Ohio, Indiana, and Japan!! (I am sure there are even more locales that I am forgetting...)


Check out this photo album to see more of the fun! Photos from T Gege, Javier, and others.

Still can't get enough? Visit the official "I Came Here to Play" 10th Annual Women's Conference blog for more conference details, including discussion summaries, post-conference reflections, and a glimpse of the Malungos photo exhibit.

Photos by Sylvia, from Universal Capoeira Angola Academy in Washington, DC.


Mestres Paulinha & Poloca Visit Washington

Way back in January, FICA-DC had the privilege to host Mestres Paulinha and Poloca for a weekend of training. It was a blast, and Mestre Paulinha made a big pot of munguzá to ring in the new year. Here are some pictures from our first roda of the year.

8th Annual GCFA Conference Dates

8th International Encounter, Grupo Capoeira Filhos de Angola

When: July 16 – 20, 2008
Where: Brighton, UK

Check back at their website for updates on this event.

This will be a 5 day cultural extravaganza, with workshops in Capoeira Angola, Afro-Brazilian dance and percussion every day, as well as performances every night, amongst ourselves and for the public.

We’re planning street rodas, live music on the seafront, kids events, a film show, and all sorts of interventions and merry-making.

There will be guest teachers, top capoeiristas showing their skills, and showcases of the rich talent we have in Brighton in the Brazilian music scene.

sounds great!


XIII Capoeria Angola Encounter in Freiburg

This looks like a lot of fun:

When: May 9 - 12, 2008
Where: Freiburg, Germany

The ACAD e.V. (Associação de Capoeira Angola Dobrada) with Mestre Rogério presents the XIII. Encontro de Capoeria Angola in Freiburg.

The official program with different guests is not yet finalized, but will be published in shortly. The Encontro will be held at the Deutsch-Französische Gymnasium (German-French-School) again. Sleeping space will be available.

Here are some images from 2006.

We welcome you to join our Encontro and please take note of the date.

Thanks to Lars for the notice!

And in German:


Vom 9.-12. Mai 2008 veranstaltet die ACAD e.V. (Associação de Capoeira Angola Dobrada) mit Mestre Rogério das "XIII. Encontro de Capoeria Angola in Freiburg".

Das offizielle Programm mit den geladenen Gästen wird später veröffentlicht. Veranstaltungsort mit Übernachtungsmöglichkeit ist wieder das Deutsch-Französische Gymnasium.
Hierzu Bilder aus dem Jahre 2006 im Anhang. Wir laden herzlich ein und bitten den Termin vorzumerken.

Danke für Ihre Hilfe, Lars!

No Fio da Navalha: 9th Anniversary Party & CD Drop

Cenorinha: 9th Anniverary of “No Fio da Navalha”

Celebration Roda & Drop of the 1st CD of the group, “Aprenda a Aprender”

Date: March 15, 2008 at 7:30 pm
Where: Rua Julio Ribeiro,120, Sacadura Cabral, Santo André-SP
Contact: cenoranofiodanavalha (at) hotmail (dot) com, or call (0xx11)9853-8495
Click here for the No Fio da Navalha website


Rodas will now happen every other week. Rodas will be followed by our Samba de Roda, always from 6 - 7:30 pm.

Classes: Mondays & Wednesdays from 7 – 9 pm, Sundays from 10 am – noon

The DVD, “No Fio da Navalha” is now available. For more information, use the contact information above.

Jesus Cristo , Mestre dos Mestres!!!!!