Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Capoeira History 101

Hassan found this video. It's not about Capoeira history, but looks like, as a man says, a 'nice animation'.

I stumbled upon this related video. It's a charcoal drawing of the slavery era of capoeira. It's a very interesting medium because it can convey/evoke so much in so little and in so many other ways than a -AACK!- 'documentary'. In my humble opinion, this is not so much a lesson in historical fact than it is how capoeiristas engage with, reconstruct (because no one alive today really lived through those times), and invoke the past, a lesson in how they feel the past inflects capoeira's present. Ah, nevermind. When we get a history major, we'll get him to type an entire blogpost on historicity (NOT to be confused with 'history').

The lyrics (performed by Mestre Toni Vargas) for the first part can be found here.

I haven't found an English translation, and it's beyond my meagre smattering, so you'll just have to settle with downloading it into your ringtone.

BUT if you need a visual interpretation, I think this video does a pretty good job. It's in-your-face (the video), but that's probably because reality is tough. Fact: People do bad things to each other. So brace yourself; this isn't going to be pretty.

Stay humane,

P.S. - some of you may have accidentally learnt 'S-dobrado'. It means 'double S'. You can search for examples of the move on Youtube, but you should never learn Capoeira from the Net. Seriously. I mean it. Stop it now.

P.P.S. - Here's my translation of the lyrics (take with a pinch of salt):

Slave ship
Floating tomb
My motherland is distant
Pain and desperation

Chorus: Slave ship

Separated on a wandering ship
Sailing, yearning
Africa is distant
Hear my song

chorus: Slave ship

Mother that lost her child
King that lost his queen
People that lost their spirit
While wasting away


Yihao said...

Hey EW thanks so much for updating us constantly with Capoeira news and facts.

I think it makes Capoeira much more interesting when we can read more about it in between practices.

So just because there are no comments doesn't mean no one's reading! Keep posting!

EW said...

*sniff* *sob* It's nice to know someone appreciates me, even though Yi Hao is not exactly the troves of screaming women I was promised when I joined capoeira. Thank you, thank you. You win 5000 points!