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

Our Capoeira Wiki-Word series invites 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.

Submit your entries in the comments section below!

This week's Capoeira Wiki-Word is:


Princesa Isabel



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From Xerife...


I find that most words and concepts are expressed through the songs of Capoeria. Learning them can truly unlock a lot of the intricacies of the art and give greater depth of meaning to the movement. This song is one of my all time favorites. English translation below.

By – O Grande Mestre Ezequiel

Salve, salve, salve
A princesa Isabel no mundo inteiro
Com a pena e o papel
Acabou com o cativeiro
Salve, salve, salve

Salute, salute, salute
Princess Isabel throughout the world
With a pen and paper
She ended captivity (slavery)

Ela nasceu na Bahia
Mas sofreu transformação
Não existem mais escravos
Hoje quem joga é o patrão

She was born in Bahia
But she suffered transformation
There are no longer slaves
Today is the boss who plays

Capoeira é liberdade
É luta de escravidão
Capoeira é a raiz
Dentro da libertação

Capoeira is freedom, it is the slave's fight
Capoeira is the root, inside liberation

Ela nasceu na senzala
Se criou nos quilombos e nos porões
A corrente trincava, o chicote (???)

Born in the slave quarters,
raised in the runaway slave communities and in the cellars (where slaves were kept)
the chains were snapped and the whip (???)

E o negro gritava na escuridão
Quem sabe onde ele mora?
Ele mora no meu coração
Quem sabe onde ele mora?
Ele mora no meu coração

The black man yelled in the darkness
Who knows where he lives
He lives in my heart
Who knows where he lives
He lives in my heart...




After the deaths of her elder and younger brothers, Afonso and Pedro, on 11 Jun 1847 and 9 Jan 1850, Isabel was proclaimed imperial princess by the General Assembly and heir presumptive of the throne (10 Aug 1850) in accordance with the Constitution.

She married (15 Oct 1864) Louis-Philippe-Marie-Ferdinand-Gaston d'Orléans, comte d'Eu, eldest son of Louis-Charles-Philippe-Raphaël d'Orléans, duc de Nemours, and grandson of Louis-Philippe I, King of the French.

Before his departure to the war with Paraguay and subsequent trip to Europe, Pedro II promulgated a law on regency (15 May 1871), which provided for installation of Isabel as Imperial Princess Regent. She acted as provisional head of state until the return of her father on 30 Mar 1872.

The second Regency Act was promulgated on 20 Oct 1875 and on 26 Mar 1876 when Pedro II began his journey to Europe and the United States.

The third trip of the emperor took place in 1887-1888.

During her second and third regency, using her legal prerogatives Isabel sanctioned the law freeing all children to be born of slave mothers (28 Sep 1871) and the law abolishing slavery (Lei Áurea or the Golden Law, 13 May 1888). [1]


[1] "Princess Isabel of Brazil: Gender and Power in the Nineteenth Century", by Roderick J. Barman (Scholarly Resources, Wilmington 2002).



From her English page...


Dona Isabel (29 July 1846 – 14 November 1921)

Nicknamed "the Redemptress (a Redentora)",   Isabel was born in Rio de Janeiro, the eldest daughter of Emperor Dom Pedro II and Dona Teresa Cristina of the Two Sicilies and thus a member of the Brazilian branch of the House of Bragança.

The early death of both of his sons had an enormous impact on Pedro II. Aside from his personal grief, the loss of his sons affected his future conduct as monarch and would determine the fate of the Empire. In the Emperor's eyes, the deaths of his children seemed to harbinger an eventual end of the Imperial system. The future of the monarchy as an institution no longer concerned Pedro II, as he increasingly began seeing his position as being nothing more than that of Head of State for his lifetime.

Although the Emperor still had a legal successor in his beloved daughter Isabel, the male-dominated society of the time left him little hope that a woman could rule Brazil. He was fond and respectful of the women in his life, but he did not consider it feasible that Isabel could survive as monarch, given the political realities and climate.

In Pedro II's own words, his daughters' education "should not differ from that given to men, combined with that suited the other sex, but in a manner that does not distract from the first."[23][21][35] He "provided his daughters with a broad, democratic and rigorous education, through both its curriculum and the teachers who taught it."


From her Portuguese Wikipedia page...


Liberal, a princesa uniu-se aos partidários da abolição da escravidão. Apoiou jovens políticos e artistas, embora muitos dos chamados abolicionistas estivessem aliados ao incipiente movimento republicano. Financiava a alforria de ex-escravos com seu próprio dinheiro e apoiava a comunidade do Quilombo do Leblon, que cultivava camélias brancas, símbolo do abolicionismo. Chegava mesmo a receber fugitivos em sua residência em Petrópolis.

Liberal, the princess joined the supporters of the abolition of slavery. She supported young artists and politicians, although many of thse referred to as  abolitionists were allies  nascent republican movement. She financed the enfranchisement of former slaves with her own money and supported the community Quilombo do Leblon, which grew white camellias, a symbol of abolitionism. She would even receive fugitives at her home in Petrópolis.