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Capoeira - An Afro-Brazilian Martial Art: History, Culture and Practice

On Saturday 20 October, the School of History, Classics & Archaeology and Mão no Chão Capoeira Angola Scotland will be pleased to present an afternoon of talks, discussion, movement and music to mark Black History Month 2012.

Painting by Johann Moritz Rugendas

‘Jogar Capoëra - Danse de la guerre’ by Johann Moritz Rugendas (1802–1858)

Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that incorporates dance, song, music and oral history. Its roots are to be found in Brazilian slave society, as well as - via the transatlantic slave trade - in central Africa.

Today, capoeira is practised by millions of people across the world. Grounded in a rich and constantly evolving oral tradition that celebrates resistance to slavery, it provides fertile ground for exploring the history of Brazil, slavery and abolition, and the African Diaspora.

The event

Please come along for an afternoon of talks, discussion, movement and music to explore this Afro-Brazilian practice.

Booking: Places are limited and must be booked online in advance at:

Date: Saturday 20 October 2012

Time: 1pm - 6pm

Venue: Faculty Room North, David Hume Tower, The University of Edinburgh, George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9JX


With a guest talk by historian and capoeirista Dr Matthias Assunção (University of Essex), and the participation of local capoeira group Mão no Chão Capoeira Angola Scotland, this event will mark Black History Month 2012.

The afternoon will include a short taster session of basic capoeira moves, as well as music.

Please be aware that participation in the movement session is at your own risk but the session will not involve anything strenuous. If you would like to take part please bring or wear some comfortable trousers and trainers.

Provisional schedule
1.00 Introduction
1.15 “Doing Capoeira in Scotland” - talk by representative of Mão no Chão Capoeira Angola Scotland
1.45 “Slavery and Brazilian history” - talk by Camillia Cowling, Lecturer in Latin American History, The University of Edinburgh
2.00 Questions and discussion
2.15 “The Angolan Roots of Capoeira” - talk by Dr Matthias Assunção, Reader, University of Essex
2.45 Questions and discussion
3.00 Break
3.30 Showing of documentary “Verses and Cudgels: Stick Playing in the Afro-Brazilian Culture of the Paraíba Valley (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)”
4.00Questions and discussion
4.30 Capoeira music and movement taster session and demonstration by Mão no Chão
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