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Capoeira: The History of Afro-Brazilian Martial Art (Sport by Matthi Assuncao

By Matthi Assuncao

Initially the look after of Afro-Brazilian slaves, the marginalized and the underclasses in Brazilian society, capoeira is now a mainstream activity, taught in Brazilian colleges and practised by means of a number of social sessions worldwide. a few advocates now search Olympic attractiveness for Capoeira. This obvious swap within the which means and objective of Capeoira has resulted in conflicts among traditionalists, who view capoeira as their historical past descended from the maroons, a weapon for use opposed to the injustice and repression; and reformers, who desire to see Capoeira strengthen as a global activity. Capoeira: The heritage of Afro-Brazilian Martial paintings explores Capoeira as a box of disagreement the place different struggles that divide Brazilian society are performed out. It includes either the 1st finished English language evaluation of archive and modern literature in relation to Capoeira, in addition to the 1st scholarly account of Capoeira's historical past and improvement.

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Additional resources for Capoeira: The History of Afro-Brazilian Martial Art (Sport in the Global Society, 45)

Sample text

Julio César de Souza Tavares defended the first academic thesis on capoeira at the University of Brasília, in 1984. He argued that capoeira constituted a ‘bodily archive’ of slaves and their descendants, and characterized it as […] an expression of sociocultural resistance, as a counter-power to the dominant logic universe of slave society. 78 24 COMPETING MASTER NARRATIVES Militants from the Brazilian Black Movement (Movimento Negro) often sought inspiration and advice from the more established US groups.

Often they challenge to what extent other, rival students ‘really’ learned from him. In that respect all interviews with old mestres, albeit an crucial element for the reconstruction of capoeira’s more recent past, are nevertheless as biased as any written, ‘outsider’ source, if only for different reasons. Furthermore, many students of capoeira history seem to ignore the problem of ‘feedback’ in the mestres’ narratives. As with everybody else, their discourse changes over time, according to shifts in their world views and to the new developments of the art.

Even though they share some of the perspectives of discourses emphasizing the ethnic character of the art, they can also be quite distinct in their conclusions from the narratives we discussed so far. Some of them actively promote a pan-African agenda which impacts heavily on the way capoeira is perceived and re-appropriated. In 1965, the Angolan artist Álbano Neves e Sousa visited Brazil. His journey was part of a wider pursuit. Neves e Sousa aimed to document the multiple links between popular cultures of the Portuguese colonies in Africa and Brazil, anticipating thus the idea of a ‘Black Atlantic’.

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