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Manduca da Praia


Capoeira Wiki-Word of the Week: Manduca da Praia (Update)

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This week's Capoeira Wiki-Word is:


Manduca da Praia



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From Mestre Nestor Capoeira's "Capoeira:  Roots of the Dance-Fight Game," pgs 151-153...


According to Moraes Filho in "Festas e tradições populares do Brasil," (1901),

Manduca da Praia was known by all of Rio's (de Janeiro) population.  He was acknowledged as a businessman and a many-votes voter of the São José district.

Manduca da Praia answered a total of of 27 police charges on causing light and heavy wounds but was always acquitted on all charges through his personal influence or that of his friends.

He was a tall light-skinned mestizo, strong, arrogant, and when we met him he had a long, pointed, copper and gray beard.  He wore a white fur or a straw hat on top of his head.  Big bloodshot eyes, walking in a rhythmic and resolute way, his figure had something that inspired fear and yet also exuded confidence.  Always well dressed in a long thick coat, heavy gold chain with a watch, pointed shoes, a colored scarf with a ring, he used only a thin Indian bamboo cane as a weapon.

Manduca had a fish stall at the Market Square.  He was honest in his business, mad good money and treated himself very well.  Living in the Cidade Nova Quarter, he was not influenced by the local capoeira types, nor by those of other quarters.  He kept himself apart, being a capoeira player at his own risk.

Fast as a shadow, he started his career as a tough young rogue on the corner of Curral de Lavradio Street  and Senado Street, where today there is a stage coach shop.  He would fight and jump on wild bulls and then avoid them easily. 

In São José district's elections he arranged to hand out the ballots, redistributing them to suit his purposes.  Nobody disputed his skillfulness in the knifings and fights proper to those occasions.  One day, in the big Penha fair, he fought so gallantly against a group armed with clubs that some ended up lying in the streets and the rest were unable to continue the fight.  But what turned him into a celebrity in our city [Rio de Janeiro] was the arrival of the Portuguese deputy Santana, an extremely distinguished gentleman, and invincible fighter with the stick, of prodigious muscular strength.  Santana, who enjoyed fights and never backed down, had heard about Manduca and went to search for him.  When they met, Santana challenged MAnduca, but with one camelo [blow] Santana was projected up in the air.  Afterwards they drank champagne together and became friends.


From Wikipedia...

Manduca da Praia lived around 1850 in Rio de Janeiro, at which time the capoeiristas were part of maltas [gangs], the two were the main Nagôs and Guaiamus.

Manduca was not in any of them because he had a fish stall and did security for illustrious people and he thought that (being in a malta [gang]) would hamper his businesses.