On July 15, Iphan (O Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional, The National Institute of Historic and Artistic Patrimony) voted to register capoeira as an official cultural patrimony of Brazil in the Palácio Rio Branco. As the vote was taken inside, hundreds of capoeiristas played in Angola and Regional rodas in the square outside of the building.
Click on the link below to read the whole article (in Portuguese), published in the magazine História, and to watch some videos of the FICA-Bahia/ Grupo Nzinga roda, as well as interviews with Mestres, including Mestre Janja and Mestre Russo.
Here is a little bit of the article translated for your enjoyment:
Mestres on all sides. Each one is a celebrity, not instantly, but created over the course of decades of experience and dedication.
Consecrated by the people for their knowledge- expressed through movement, music, words or in a look- the cultural mission of capoeira mestres in the world has now been officially recognized by the Brazilian government.
July 15, 2008 is the historic date. On this day, united in the Palácio Rio Branco, in Salvador, in a ritual more formal than their irreverent rodas, dozens of mestres from all over Brazil testified as to why capoeira should be registered as an immaterial cultural patrimony of Brazil by the National Institute of Historic and Artistic Patrimony (O Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional, Iphan)
Members of the Consultative Council of the Cultural Patrimony of Iphan voted on the registration, in the presence of the Interim Minister of Culture, Juca Ferreria; the governor of Bahia, Jacques Warner; and the President of Iphan, Luiz Fernando de Almeida, among other authorities.
Outside, in the Praça Tomé de Sousa, in the Cidade Alta, rodas hummed on all sides. Between the zum-zum-zum and the isquidim-dom-dom, hundreds of capoeiristas mingled in a atmosphere of peace and mutual respect. The old guard showed that youth is a state of the spirit, while the younger generation already showed its malandragem.
Click here to read the whole article (in Portuguese) and watch some great videos.
Thanks to T Gege for the link.