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Legacy Oral History Online Collection

Guimares Audio Clip and Transcript

Guimares Audio Clip

Interviewer:  Patricia Bulitt

JG: Capoeira was a dance brought by the slaves from Africa and what happened was – because they were black – they [were] poor people – they [were] taken as criminal because Capoeira is very acrobatic and it’s [a] self-defense dance. I can talk afterwards about that, but just to give a little bit, a little bit back….

So, they used to play Capoeira and dance Capoeira, the martial dance, you know -  in front of the military band; and in 1930’s the government prohibited Capoeira because it was too dangerous, but they can’t stop a cultural dance.

PB: They can’t stop a cultural dance?

JG: No!

PB: That’s an important statement right there.

JG: What they did – what the people did was they kept in front the band, pretending [they were] dancing something else. That’s how the Frêvo started because Frêvo – if you see Frêvo, if you see CapoeiraFrêvo is taking a lot from Capoeira.

PB: And do you know approximately what year they outlawed Capoeira?

JG: Okay, that was like the ‘30’s I believe.

PB: In 1930?

JG: Yeah, so Frêvo is still a dance in progress, it’s still a lot of new steps coming up; and so, what they did, they used a little umbrella to do some acrobatics, with the umbrella, but that umbrella could also be a weapon.

©Museum of Performance + Design

Jefe Guimares
Guimares Audio Clip and Transcript