In honor of the Passing of Mestre Peixinho of Grupo Senzala...

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:

 

Senzala

 

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A Senzala era um grande alojamento que se destinava à moradia dos escravos dos engenhos e das fazendas no Brasil.

The Senzala was a large structure which was intended to house the slaves of the mills and farms in Brazil.

No século XIX, Morais registrou como brasileirismo: a casa dos pretos escravos ou casa semelhante, muito simples e resistente, telhada ou palhoça. Era o que Joaquim Nabuco dizia ser "o grande pombal negro". A origem é africana, valendo o mesmo que morada, habitação, ambundo. Sempre em sua frente tinha um grande tronco com uma corda para enforcar e surrar negros, chamado de pelourinho.

In the nineteenth century, Morais registered as brasileirismo: the home of black slaves or similar house, very simple and sturdy, tiled or thatched roof.  Joaquim Nabuco  referred to it as "the great black pigeon coop."  The origin is African, meaning the same as dwelling, housing, ambundo. In front there always was a large trunk with a rope for hanging and beating blacks, called the pelourinho.


Como os negros eram considerados pelos europeus como amaldiçoados por Deus e seres sem alma, os donos de fazenda achavam-se no direito de castigá-los pois acreditavam que fazendo isso ganhariam uma bênção de Deus, além de colocar medo nas crianças escravas, já que todos os castigos eram feitos em frente de todos os habitantes da senzala.

As blacks were regarded by Europeans as cursed by God and soulless beings, the farm owners thought they had the right to punish the blacks because they believed that doing so would gain them a blessing from God, as well as putting fear in the slave children, since all punishments were done in front of all the inhabitants of the slave quarters.

As senzalas tinham grandes janelas com grandes grades e seus moradores só saiam de lá para trabalhar e apanhar. Os escravos praticamente sempre dormiam em palha ou em chão duro. Os homens viviam separados das mulheres e das crianças.

   Senzalas had large windows with large grids and their residents only left  to work and to be punished. The slaves almost always slept on straw or on the hard floor. The men were separated from women and children.

Atualmente, algumas fazendas de café situadas na região Sudeste ainda conservam senzalas e que podem ser visitadas por turistas. No Vale do Paraíba, por exemplo, há numerosas sedes de propriedades rurais que utilizadas para a filmagem de telenovelas, sobretudo nos municípios fluminenses de Vassouras e Valença e Cantagalo.

   Currently, some coffee farms located in the Southeast still retain slave quarters and can be visited by tourists. In the Paraíba Valley, for example, there are numerous venues that are used for the filming of soap operas, especially in the municipalities of the state of Rio de Janeiro like   Vassouras, Valencia and Cantagalo.

 

  
Espantalho brings us this entry from
page 16 of The Little Capoeira Book by Mestre Nestor Capoeira

 

"In the beginning of the 1960's, capoeira students from Rio's middle class, after studying with Mestre Bimba in Salvador, returned to Rio and began a self-taught apprenticeship. Ten years later, the Senzala school reached its apex with the capoeira rodas in the neighborhood of Cosme Velho and became the most famous group in Brazil, practicing and teaching a new Regional-Senzala style that would influence capoeira players all over the country." 

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