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Thread: Capoeira

  1. #1
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    Default Capoeira

    Wikipedia: "Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art developed initially by African slaves in Brazil, starting in the colonial period."

    Apparently, there is a book by a Korean who travelled around learning martial arts and claimed he saw Capoeira being practised by a tribe in Indonesia. Naturally, perhaps, he made the assumption that it may have originated in Indonesia. I haven't seen the book myself yet.

    Anyone else heard about this?

  2. #2
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    Default

    I haven't heard that story, but the history of capoiera is fairly well-documented. For short summaries I'd look at "Martial Arts in the Modern World" by Green and Svinth and Green's MA encyclopedia. Perhaps what the Korean observer noted was Indonesion dance-fighting similar to what the anthropologist Clifford Geertz has described. Geertz described fighting dances during his fieldwork in Indonesia. He called it, "Penchak" (not the more common Pencak-Silat). He explained that the local Muslim authorities actively promoted the practice of this art because it gave young men a physical outlet other than secular soccer. This is pretty interesting as an example of the fusion of reliogious practice with martial arts outside of East Asia. However, it is not capoiera.

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