This feature is designed to spark your interest in researching the world of capoeira's vocabulary, history, and philosophy.

Our Capoeira Wiki-Word series invited you to research the word of the week and post your definition(s) and translations. At the end of each week, the entries will be reviewed and then summarized into a translation and a definition of the Capoeira Wiki-Word of the week.

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This week's Capoeira Wiki-Word is:


Aruandê

 

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From Mestre Demetrius and his school Aruandê Capoeoeira's website

 

Aruandê: the word created by Brasilian slaves to mean heaven, the promised... freedom.

The word Aruandê was born in Brazil during the time of early slavery. Aruandê came from the word Aruanda and Aruanda was created from the word Luanda.

Luanda (formerly called Loanda) is the capital and largest city of Angola. Portuguese explorer Paulo Dias de Novais founded Luanda in 1575 as "São Paulo de Loanda". ... The city served as the center of a large slave trade to Brazil from c.1550 to c.1850.

Still a city today, Luanda was once the largest port for the Portuguese trafficking of slaves to Africa for over 300 years. It was in Luanda that the slaves were gathered, chained, stored in the basements of ships and sent off across the Atlantic to be sold in Brazil. 

Angolans, one of the first of the large African groups in Brazil to come in contact with the Brazilian Amerindians and caboclos, used the expression "caboclos de Aruanda", which literally "Indians from Luanda", the capital of Angola, Africa. However, in Afro-Brazilian religious references, a caboclo is the spirit of a dead Indian and Aruanda is the "spiritland" to where he goes to rest.

The transformation from the world Luanda to Aruanda occured slowly overtime. To the early generations of slaves, Luanda burned deep in their memory as the last vision they had of home, their last taste of freedom. For this reason, wherever the slave was transported in Brazil, he fondly recalled and spoke of his African city "Luanda." Slavery continued on for centuries, though, and as time passed, children were born into slavery that had never known Africa, nor of a city called Luanda. They had never travelled on ships, nor seen a port.

As this magical idea of a place called Luanda passed from slave to slave, none of which whom knew Africa or the actual city of Luanda, the word got transformed. "Luanda" became "Aruanda". It was where the slave once lived free, where the slave lived equal and in peace.

Overtime, the word Aruanda no longer represented a city, it represented the idea of liberty. For some, liberty meant a land far away, hidden in the forest. For others, liberty meant death, a freeing of the spirit. Where the caboloco went after his death... Aruanda could only mean heaven.

ARUANDÊ, interj. An expression commonly encountered in Capoeira music. Ex: “Iê, aruandê, câmara!”. From the word aruande followed by an "ê" for emphasis.

The idea of Aruanda became such a strong vision, that it was always followed by cries of excitement, words of emphasis. So, the "ê" of Aruandê became a part of the final meaning, creating one total word: Aruandê.

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