Research Repository

Engolo and Capoeira. From Ethnic to Diasporic Combat Games in the Southern Atlantic

Röhrig Assunção, Matthias (2020) 'Engolo and Capoeira. From Ethnic to Diasporic Combat Games in the Southern Atlantic.' Tempo, 26 (3). pp. 522-556. ISSN 1413-7704

1980-542X-tem-26-03-522.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview


This article provides a re-examination of the main Afrocentric narrative of capoeira origins, the engolo or ‘Zebra Dance’, in light of historical primary sources and new ethnographic evidence gathered during fieldwork in south-west Angola. By examining engolo’s bodily techniques, its socio-historical context and cultural meanings, the piece emphasises its insertion into a pastoral lifestyle and highlights the relatively narrow ethnic character of the practice in Angola. This analysis and the comparison with capoeira helps us to develop certain hypotheses about the formation, migration, and re-invention of diasporic combat games between southern Angola and coastal Brazil, and more broadly, to increase our understanding of how African cultures spread across the southern Atlantic.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Engolo; Capoeira; Martial Arts; Angola; Brazil; Afro-Brazilian culture
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities
Faculty of Humanities > History, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2020 16:14
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:08

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item