Learning Capoeira

Learning Capoeira : Lessons in Cunning from an Afro-Brazilian Art

3.73 (34 ratings by Goodreads)
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Capoeira is the most elaborate martial art of the African Diaspora, a spectacular combination of dance, acrobatic kicks, and evasive maneuvers. Typically played as a game in which two players vie to control space, demonstrate superior mobility, and trip, kick, or head-butt each other to the ground at a moment of vulnerability, capoiera resembles a combination of acrobatic dance, slow martial arts sparring, and improvised musical performance. Learning Capoeira is an ethnographic study based on participant observation and more than ten years of apprenticeship in the acrobatic martial art. Rather than treating capoeira on a sociologica or cultural level, this book takes an experience-centered approach towards exploring the effects of the art on a player's perceptions and social interactions outside the roda, the "ring" in which the game is played. The text is innovative by example, demonstrating how an experience-centered analysis and ethnographic apprenticeship might produce rich, compelling understanding of a distinctive cultural world.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 139.7 x 208.3 x 17.8mm | 226.8g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • numeorus halftones
  • 0195176979
  • 9780195176971
  • 1,296,793

Review quote

"This book is about the changes students undergo as they learn the art. The results are striking. Using phenomoenolgical analysis, exploring physiological memory, and the tried and true personal anecdotes, Downey offers testimony that academia's shift to the personal has benefits."--Joshua M. Rosenthal. Latin American Research Reviewshow more

Table of contents

Introduction ; 1. Inside and Outside of the Roda ; I. LEARNING ; 2. Learning Skills ; 3. Following in a Mestre's Footsteps ; II. REMEMBERING ; 4. History in an Epic Register ; 5. The Long Struggle for Liberation ; III. PLAYING ; 6. Singing History into Play ; 7. Hearing the Berimbau ; 8. Play with a Sinister Past ; IV. HABITS ; 9. The Rogue's Swagger ; 10. Closing the Body ; 11. Walking in Evil ; V. CHANGES ; 12. The Limits of Whitening ; 13. Tearing Out the Shame ; 14. The Danger of Mechanization ; VI. CONCLUSION ; 15. Lessons from the Roda ; Bibliographyshow more

Rating details

34 ratings
3.73 out of 5 stars
5 18% (6)
4 50% (17)
3 24% (8)
2 6% (2)
1 3% (1)
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