Friday, January 14, 2011


Well, well..finally Zambiacongo is no longer (just the name, our Mestre and the organisation structure is still the same), replaced by... Xango!!

When I got the sms from Bom Garoto, first thought was: "Xango.. sounds familiar..", second thought was: "...why Xango?" When Prof. Caracol announced the possibility of a name change during workshop, it generated a bit of a buzz.. Some of us wondered if the new name would have the same 'Ooomph!' as Zambiacongo.. In the end, Xango it is!

Here's a round-up again of "Why Xango?" for those who missed the session with Alif (and also, for posterity =D )

1. 'Xango' in capoeira was used to refer to any movement that involves back flip/ backhand spring, and when you see topless guys in white pants, doing back flip movements, the word that comes to mind would be, "Capoeira!"

(Apparently Mestre Luiz and his brother were watching an old capoeira video with this movement when he was inspired to take the name.)

Nowadays, the 'xango' movements have been divided out into more specific moves: macaquinho, macaco, salto mortal, etc.

2. Apparently though, there was a bit of a problem because Xango is also the name of an 'orisha' (spirit) in the candomble religion (the African religion brought over by slaves to Brazil.. maybe a post on that next time?) and since Mestre does not practice candomble, he does not want the group to be associated with spirits.. (Little did he know how some of NUS capoeira members love Exu.. >< ) In the end, to differentiate it, the orisha's name is spelt 'Xangô' but our group's name is 'Xango' (without the 'rooftop' on the 'o' haha..)

Coincidentally, Xangô is a protective and loving orisha who is worshiped with singing and and dancing, and the rhythm used for that is.. barravento! Which is Mestre's apelido haha.. Check out the rhythm here:

Plus! The skin color of the orisha is red, which is... Mestre's favorite color!

And there you have it.. The two definite signs that we should be called Xango =D

A bit about the deity...

Xangô was the fourth king of the Oyo people of Africa, who brought prosperity to his kingdom. He died by committing suicide and entered the pantheon of gods, becoming the Sky Father, the God of Thunder and Lightning. He is a symbol of the African resistance against European powers, and is in turn symbolized by the oshe (double-headed axe) representing swift and balanced justice. (Isn't it cool that 'Axe' is his weapon? ;p ) He rules the colour red and white. (Singapore flag yay! ;p ) Apparently also, Xangô has three wives >< (maybe the reason he committed suicide? ) He is a protector, and loves music.. He owns three Bata (double-headed drums)! And he can breathe fire from his mouth.. if that is not cool, I don't know what is!

For those who want to know more:

(the origin of Xangô is particularly interesting)

Que roda maravilhosa e essa

E o Xango capoeira

Em cada som, em cada toque, em cada ginga

Tem um estilo de jogo...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

so quero diexar bem claro que o grupo xango capoeira ja existe desde de 1992 criado pelo mestre xango meu mestre.hje sou representante do grupo no PR entre outas filiaçoes MT,RS,RJ e MG.
Obrigado Contra Mestre Ja-Grupo Xangô Capoeira