CAPOEIRA GLOSSARY

CAPOEIRA GLOSSARY

The following is a list of Capoeira terms and definitions. We use these terms in class for students to get more involved into Brazilian culture.

  • Abada – Capoeira Pants
  • Agogo – Two tone bell instrument
  • Angoleiro – Person who practices the angola style of capoeira
  • Apellido – Nickname given to students by their mentor. Originally used for anonymity
  • Atabaque – Brazilian Drum
  • Aviso – A berimbau beat
  • Bamba – a tough guy; capoeira expert; expert in physical sparring as well as wordplay
  • Bater – To beat
  • Batizado – Literally meaning baptism, batizado is an initiation ceremony of capoeira
  • Batuque – A music and African Game that was once popular in Brazil. Players stand in a circle; one player stands in the center in a defensive position, and another moves around him, suddenly attacking. The attacking player tries to throw the defending player to the ground with blows from his legs. Mestre Bimba’s father was said to be a champion Batuque player.
  • Beriba – Wood used to make a Berimbau.
  • Capoeira Angola – Traditional style of capoeira lower to the ground and usually played slower
  • Cintura desprezada – A sequence created by Mestre Bimba full of throws and flips. Its practice is intended to acclimate the practitioner to falling, landing and throwing.
  • Corridos – Songs with a call and response
  • Gunga – Berimbau with largest cabaça, It makes the deepest pitch and is in charge of the base rhythem and tempo. It is usually played by the most senior ranked capoeiristas present.
  • Martello – Literaly meaning hammer
  • Saida – Exit
  • Santo – Saint
  • Sem – Without
  • Tocar – To touch, to play an instrument.
  • Verga – The bowed beriba wood of the Berimbau
  • Volta Ao Mundo – Literally ” Around the world” refers to the circling of the roda by both of the players inside the roda. Usually done when a player or players are tired or to “start over” or “change the conversation.”

  • Academia – Capoeira school or venue
  • Aluno – Student
  • Angola – Traditional style of capoeira lower to the ground and usually played slower
  • Arame – Wire used as the single string on the berimbau
  • Au – Cartwheel
  • Axe – good energy; capoeira energy; life force
  • Baqueta – Stick used for playing the berimbau, by striking the arame. Also Sticks for Batucada and some times used to describe a Maculele stick (Grima)
  • Bateria – A line of instruments. Either in a capoeira roda or a batucada group
  • Batucada – Is the World famous Brazilian drumming. Where teams of percussionists play rhythms using 3 kinds of drums( Repinique, Surdo and Caixa) , cowbells and shakers.
  • Berimbau – Lead instrument in capoeira. Instrument made of bowed wood, a wire as the single string and a gourd as a resonator.
  • Cabaça – The gourd on a berimbau used as the instrument’s resonating box.
  • Capoeira Regional – A style of capoeira associated with Mestre Bimba. Faster and more upright
  • Corpo fechado – When a Candomble ritual is performed to magically protect the subject from harm they are said to have corpo Fechado (Closed body).
  • Fundamentos – Fundamentals
  • Jogo – game
  • Quilombo – When the African slaves escaped their oppressors they would come together in villages built deep into the forests where the Portuguese would not be able to find them. These villages were known as Quilombos
  • Samba – A popular Brazilian dance and rhythm
  • São – Saint (possessive)
  • Roda – Circle of people in which capoeira is played
  • Toque – Rhythm
  • Viola – A berimbau with a small cabaça; it creates a higher pitch.
  • Zumbi – Legend has it, that Zumbi was the greatest leader of the most famous Quilombo in Brazil’s history. Often referred to as King Zumbi