Capoeira is a ritual game that combines elements of fight and dance. As sport and Afro-Brazilian folk art, it is now practiced around the world. Capoeira’s roots are mostly traced to Central Western Africa, but animal symbolism also connects capoeira to native Brazilian faith. To the practitioners of the art, animal myths are commonly present even in the names of the moves, such as monkey, parrot’s beak or stingray’s tail. However, capoeira songs not only include mention of Catholic saints and African orixá-deities, but also the caboclo Indian spirits, which in northern Brazilian traditions can take the form of an animal.
Why at the beginning of the capoeira ring does the rooster sing ”Cocorocô”? nd who is called upon for protection from snake’s poison?
Inkeri Aula is a cultural anthropologist (Ph.L.) writing her dissertation on the globalization of Afro-Brazilian culture in capoeira.