This weekend the 10th Capoeira Madeira FGC Festival was held in Machico. For those who do not know what capoeira is, it is a Brazilian martial art originated by African slaves brought by the Portugese. Capoeira was banned because the slaves did not have any kind of freedom, that’s why they disguised it as a dance, but it never ceased to be a struggle to be able to defend itself from the settlers, there was a law that illegitimated capoeira. That is why they even had to be called by fictitious names so that they would not recognize the one who was practicing capoeira. They say that if the police saw someone practicing capoeira they would tie a fist to the tail of one horse and the other fist to another parallel horse. The two horses were released and put to run to the barracks. This was only one of the punishments, because of these the capoeira began to disguise itself as a dance without losing the original blows and introducing some new ones from other struggles. Capoeira can be a game too (cheating, malice) and only violence is combined if necessary. Now times have changed and it is no longer a forbidden fight and has been evolving but without losing its roots. Once a year the people who practice this sport of a certain group meet for a weekend where we met all the participants and guests we were invited to attend. Among them were the teachers of capoira and the mestres and contramestres (the masters of capoeira) With its auorizacion the capoeiristas (people who practice capoeira) could change color corda (rope) that shows the snow each one has. Also this ceremony serves to give the welcome to the new capoeirista who will receive their first corda (batizado). Apart from this there are also activities related to capoeira and different classrooms about this culture. Among them we had a workshop to learn to play the berimbau (essential instrument in capoeira) is very difficult to play because it consists of a branch of a tree ( from biriba) an open dry pumkin that acts as a resonation box, a thin wire metal (in Brazil is extracted from the wheels of cars) a stone or bent with which we can change the tone of the music, grabs with one hand, a drumstick to play and a cxixi that is an instrument echo with braided straw and that the seeds of the pumpkin are put inside. This one grabs with the same hand of the ramrod. The birimbau stick only grabs with the extended cable just grabs with a finger! The other workshops were ejrcicio de caoeira, samba, maculele (a Brazilian dance) … Different activities change in the different groups but there are also similar times and money depends but the most important is the energy and motivation that this day brings to each capoerista.
Lara Monedero Lanza
Volunteer at Teatro Metaphora – Associação de Amigos das Artes
European Voluntary Service – Erasmus+
To know more: https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity_en
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