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The art of capoeira

Monday July 08, 2002

Capoeira originated in Brazil approximately 400 years ago as a way for slaves to practice self-defense without alerting their masters to the true intentions of the art. Capoeira training, disguised as ritualistic dance, helped unite the diverse slave populations stolen from Africa and shipped to Brazil. 

As capoeira became more popular among slaves, so did rebellion. Capoeira was subsequently outlawed and practiced underground until the 1930s when it was recognized as a sport and an intrinsic part of Brazilian history.