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ICAF Seattle is a non-profit educational organization committed to the cultivation, preservation, and growth of the African Brazilian cultural art form Capoeira Angola. Our goal is the creation of a strong and vibrant community committed to social transformation through empowering individuals to overcome both self and societally imposed limitations.
WHAT IS CAPOEIRA ANGOLA?
Capoeira Angola is an Afro-Brazilian art form–a fluid, rhythmic martial art; a ritual; a dance of deceptive vulnerability, wit, and grace. The intricate movements of Capoeira Angola weave tradition, history, spirituality, and philosophy into a uniquely beautiful “game”. Like many African based traditions, it is orally transmitted from masters (mestres) to students.
Capoeira was used by enslaved Africans in Brazil to fight against colonial oppression. After emancipation of the slaves, Capoeira continued to develop in Brazil, however, it was outlawed for almost 400 years and so it was practiced in secret. To teach and practice Capoeira Angola was legalized in the 1930’s. It survives because of the wisdom and dedication of a handful of mestres and their devoted students.
Played in a circle (roda), the game (jogo) of Capoeira Angola is an improvised combination of movements, a mix of acrobatics, rituals, and dance. The players respectfully demonstrate their skills in Capoeira while singing songs in Portugese and playing instruments.