CAPOEIRA GLOSSARY

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

 

  • Abada – Capoeira Pants
  • Academia – Capoeira school or venue
  • Agogo – Two tone bell instrument
  • Aluno – Student
  • Angoleiro – Person who practices the angola style of capoeira
  • Apellido – Nickname given to students by their mentor. Originally used for anonymity
  • Arame – Wire used as the single string on the berimbau
  • Atabaque – Brazilian Drum
  • Au – Cartwheel
  • Axe – good energy; capoeira energy; life force
  • 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, an
    d 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.
  • 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.
  • Beriba – Wood used to make a Berimbau.
  • 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 Angola – Traditional style of capoeira lower to the ground and usually played slower
  • 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).
  • 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
  • Fundamentos – Fundamentals
  • Gunga – Berimbau with largest cabaça, It makes the deepest pitch and is in charge of the base rhythm and tempo. It is usually played by the most senior ranked capoeiristas present.
  • Jogo – game
  • Martello – Literally meaning hammer
  • Quilombo – When the African people escaped their oppressors (or were freed by other Africans) 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
  • Roda – Circle of people in which capoeira is played
  • Saida – Exit
  • Santo – Saint
  • Samba – A popular Brazilian dance and rhythm
  • São – Saint (possessive)
  • Sem – Without
  • Tocar – To touch, to play an instrument.
  • Toque – Rhythm
  • Verga – The bowed beriba wood of the Berimbau
  • Viola – A berimbau with a small cabaça; it creates a higher pitch.
  • 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.”
  • 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
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