n Latin American Report - Capoeira as an African-Brazilian struggle dance

Volume 28, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0256-6060



The study of African culture in the diaspora has concentrated on the survival of Africans in the United States of America. However, there is need to pay attention to developments in Brazil. This is principally important because Brazil has a significant black presence as a result of the slave trade. This article makes use of the specific case of a unique dance, capoeira, to examine the survival of African culture in Brazil. Capoeira is a complex, elegant and spiritual dance that was developed by slaves. Although there is some debate, it is probable that it was developed in Angola and was taken to Brazil. In this article, capoeira is approached as an African-Brazilian struggle dance. Attention is drawn to its complexity and varied significance. The article argues that capoeira demonstrates the extent to which Africans resisted slavery and came up with strategies for freedom.

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