Jun 24

B – Bahia – Bujão

Bahia

  • A state in northeastern Brazil. It has the highest percentage of Brazilians of African descent and is internationally known as a center of Afro-Bahian culture. Bahia is known as the "cradle of capoeira" because it was the only place that capoeira survived the intense police persecution of the late 19th and early 20th centuries; the art then spread from Bahia to other cities in Brazil and subsequently other countries.

Bahia minha Bahia / Capital é Salvador
Quem não conhece capoeira / Não pode dar seu valor

Bahia, my Bahia / Its capitol is Salvador
Whoever doesn't know capoeira / Does not know its value

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Balançar

  • To swing, to sway.

Nem tudo que reluz é ouro / Nem tudo que balança cai
Not everything that glitters is gold / Not everything that sways, falls

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Bananeira

  • Banana tree. In capoeira, it is also used to refer to a handstand.

Meu facão bateu embaixo / A bananeira caiu
My machete struck low / The banana tree fell

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Baqueta

  • Thin stick used to hit the arame and thus play the berimbau. It is usually made of beriba wood, but can also be made of ticum or bamboo.

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Bará

  • A quality of Exu, the being believed to be the messenger between men and the gods. Bará refers to the private or personal character of Exu inside each divine or mortal entity.

Ô Besouro Preto, Ô Besouro Preto, Bará

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Baraúna

  • A type of large tree.

Baraúna caiu, quanto mais eu
The tree fell; how much more likely am I to fall?

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Barravento

  • From barlavento, a nautical term meaning “the side from which the wind blows.” It can also signify a person losing balance, as though they felt a slight dizziness. In certain candomblé lineages, it is the name of a fast percussion rhythm and also the shaking of the body that one experiences just before being completely possessed by one’s orixá.

Valha-me Deus, Senhor São Bento / Vou jogar meu barravento
Help me God, Lord Saint Benedict / I ’m going to play my barravento

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Barro Vermelho

  • A place on Itaparica Island.

Lemba ê, Lemba / Lemba do Barro Vermelho
Lemba, Lemba / Lemba of Barro Vermelho

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Bater

  • To hit, to beat up.

Não bata na criança que a criança cresce
Quem bate não se lembra, quem apanha não esquece

Don’t hit the child, because the child grows
Whoever hits never remembers
Whoever gets beaten up never forgets

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Bateria

  • The orchestra of capoeira. The types of instruments used to form the bateria depend on the style of capoeira. Rodas of capoeira angola typically use three berimbaus (a gunga, médio, and viola), one or two pandeiros, an atabaque, agogô, and reco-reco. Rodas of Mestre Bimba's traditional capoeira regional use one berimbau and two pandeiros. Rodas of capoeira contemporânea are in between, typically using more instruments than Bimba's regional, but fewer than capoeira angola.

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Batizado

  • Baptism. It is the initiation of new students into the capoeira group. This tradition was started by Mestre Bimba in the 1930s; the batizado consisted of the initiates' first time playing in the roda to the sound of the berimbau. In modern batizados, new students receive their first cordão (cord) as well as an apelido (nickname). The batizado often happens together with a troca de cordões (changing of cords), in which more experienced students can advance from one cord level to another. Batizados are usually held once a year and also include workshops with invited mestres as well as performances of other cultural traditions such as maculelê, samba de roda, and Afro-Brazilian dance. Capoeira groups of the regional and contemporânea styles practice the tradition of the batizado, whereas groups of capoeira angola do not.

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Batuque

  • Batuque was another Brazilian dance with African roots; it used to be played in Bahia until the early twentieth century, but is now extinct. The players would form a circle; one player would stand in the center while another tried to knock him down with trips and blows with the legs. A similar game called pernada existed in Rio de Janeiro. Mestre Bimba's father was said to be a champion of batuque, and Mestre Bimba may have taken certain movements (such as vingativa as well as the various types of banda) from batuque and incorporated them into his capoeira regional.
  • "Batuque" was also a more general term used to refer to any practice that involved drumming, such as capoeira, candomblé, samba, and percussion.

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Beriba (or Biriba)

  • The wood used to make the berimbau.

Beriba é pau pra fazer berimbau
Beriba is the wood used to make the berimbau

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Berimbau

  • Musical bow, the main musical instrument of capoeira.

Berimbau é um instrumento tocado de uma corda só
Berimbau is an instrument with just one cord

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Beira

  • Edge, side.

Na beira do mar, na beira do mar
Aprendi a jogar capoeira de angola na beira do mar

On the seaside, on the seaside
I learned to play capoeira on the seaside

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Bem-ti-vi

  • A small bird common in Brazil. Its name is derived from a phrase meaning “nice to see” – it has a black and white head, yellow belly, and brown wings.

Bem-ti-vi jogou gameleira no chão
The bem-ti-vi bird threw the fig tree to the ground

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Besouro

  • Beetle. Also the nickname of a famous capoeirista from Santo Amaro, who was said to be able to turn into a beetle and fly away when in a tough situation.

Zum zum zum, Besouro Mangangá / Batia na polícia de soldado a general
Zoom zoom zoom, Besouro Mangangá / He beat up the police soldiers and generals

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Boi

  • Ox, bull.

Laça o boi, vaqueiro / Não deixe o boi escapar
Lasso the bull, cowboy / Don’t let it escape

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Bom - Boa

  • Good (bom is the masculine form and boa is the feminine form).

O menino é bom, bate palma pra ele
The boy is good, clap your hands for him

Roda é boa, roda é boa / Capoeira a roda é boa
The roda is good, the roda is good / The capoeira roda is good

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Bonito - Bonita

  • Beautiful.

Jogo de dentro, jogo de fora / Jogo bonito é o jogo de angola
Inside game, outside game / The game of angola is a beautiful game

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Brevenuto

  • A proper name derived from the Italian word for welcome: benvenuto.

Sou eu sou eu / Quem vem lá? / Sou eu Brevenuto
It’s me, it’s me / Who goes there? / It’s me Brevenuto

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Brincadeira

  • Playfulness.

Vamos começar a brincadeira / Abrincadeira de capoeira
Let’s begin the playfulness / The playfulness of capoeira

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Bujão

  • A cylinder of gas. In Brazil, it can be used as slang to describe someone who is short and stout like a gas cylinder. It can also have the connotation of being rather dense and dim-witted. Mestre João Pequeno wrote the following song for his grandson, “who is very fat.”

Ô bujão, ô bujão, ô bujão / Capoeira angola não tem agressão
Oh bujão, oh bujão, oh bujão / Capoeira angola does not have aggression

 

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