Mestre Moraes on Mestre Juvenal

Mestre Moraes, president of the Grupo Capoeira Angola Pelourinho, is one of the most respected capoeira mestres in the world, recognized internationally not only for his game and work to preserve Capoeira Angola, but also for his knowledge of the history and philosophy of capoeira.

We have already posted some of his work and interviews to this blog, but now Mestre Moraes is writing his own blog, which is full of amazing stories, reflections, and information. It is an amazing resource – and yet another reason to sharpen your Portuguese skills. Take advantage of his blog and visit it often.

Here is a translation of a recent post:

Mestre Juvenal was one of many mestres who defended capoeira with the force of someone who defends his own life. He was a student of Mestre Samuel Querido-de-Deus, who compared him to a jaguar because of his great agility. A longshoresman like many of the capoeiristas of his time, he took advantage of his break time after meals on the edge of the docks to practice the noble art with his friends.

When interviewed by the reporter Cháudio Tavares of the magazine “O Cruzeiro” in 1948, he confirmed that capoeira was his “cachaça”, not forgetting to highlight Capoeira Angola, “to distinguish it from the Regional of Mestre Bimba” according to the reporter’s interpretation.

Mestre Juvenal behaved differently than some angoleiros, contemporaries of the memorialist Manuel Querino who considered them“…pretentious, excessively talkative, with particular gestures, troublemakers, those who introduced “capoeiragem” to Bahia." Due to cultural and social dynamics, Juvenal was not like those described by Querino. He cultivated certain characteristics of his time: he was muscular, thin, but also agile and flexible, also talkative and mannered. According to Tavares, he was not a malandro, nor a professional capoeirista of the time that could be contracted to perform little services for the big guys. Like other capoeiristas of his time, Juvenal was a worker, a longshoresman who passed his day and into the night in the “pesado”. Could it be that this situation dedicated the capoeirista even more to capoeira? I don’t know.

Juvenal was proud of the mestre who taught him the secrets of a capoeirista "who, whether free or pinned down, could attack any adversary".
Read more at the blog.

Thanks to Mexicana for the tip.

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