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Capoeira Wiki-Word of the Week: Axé (Update)

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:

Axé

Update

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Excerpts from the website CANDOMBLE - Uma Religião sem Mistérios a Serviço do Povo.  

Translated by yours truly Guatambu (any improvements to the translation contact me)

O Axé

A magical energy, the universal sacred of the orixá.  A powerful energy that is always neutral. Manipulated and directed by men through the orixás and their symbols and/or elements. "

The most precious of Ilê*, axé is the force that ensures dynamic existence.It is transmitted, should be maintained and developed, as all forces may increase or decrease; and this variation is related to the activity and conduct of the ritual.The conduct is determined by the scrupulous observance of the duties and obligations of each holder of axé, yourself, orixá, and Ilê.The development of individual and group axé affects the axé of the Ilê.

* - Ilê requires its own definition here.  Ilê is basically synonymous with terreiro.  A terreiro is a temple or house of candomblê.  Think of it like you would your local church, synagogue, mosque, or buddhist temple. Each of these types of houses of worship have their unique characteristics in terms of symbols, architecture, look, and feel, and the same is true for a terreiro.   - Guatambu

"The axé is connected to the initiated, and directly proportional to its ritual conduct -  the relationship with his deity, his community, his duties and his babalorixá (priest of candomblé)."

The strength of the axé is contained and transmitted by certain elements and material substances, is transmitted to humans and objects, maintaining and renewing the powers of accomplishment.The axé is contained in a variety of representative elements of the kingdoms: animal, vegetable and mineral, water (fresh and salt), earth, and forest (untamed vegetation or urban space).It is contained in the natural and essential substances of each being whether simple or complex, living or dead, that make up the universe.

There are places, sounds, objects and body parts (especially animal) impregnated with axé.  For example, the heart, liver, lungs, gizzard, kidney, feet, hands, tail, bones, teeth, ivory, genitals, roots, leaves , river water, sea, rain, lake, pool, waterfall, orô (prayer), Adja (sort of bell), illus (drums) ... 

Every ritual act and offering involves the transmission and revitalization of axé.To be truly active, these ritual acts and offerings must come from the combination of those elements that allow for a specific result or achievement.  To receive axé means to incorporate the symbolic elements that represent the vital and essential principles of all that exists.

Xerife pointed out Mestre Acordeon's song "Pedir o Axé", and added the lyrics with translation below...

Vamos pedir o axé

(Lets ask Axé)

Pressa roda começar

(So this round can begin)

De conforme os fundamentos

(Within the fundations)

Capoeira e candomblé

(Capoeira and candomblé)

Axé Babá

(Axé Babá)

Oh ie viva Meu Deus! AXÉ BABÁ

(Oh yea viva my god! Axé Babá)

Oh Ie viva Seu Bimba! MEU CAMARÁ

(Oh yea viva my Bimba! My friend)

Oh ie é mestre meu! SEMPRE SERÁ

(Oh yea you are my master! ALWAYS WILL BE)

Oh ie volta do mundo! QUE O MUNDO DÁ

(Oh yeaa the world spins! That the world does)

Vamos pedir o axé, meu pai! MEU PAI XANGô

(Lets ask axé, my father! My father Xangô)

Vamos pedir o axé, minha mãe! IEMANJÁ

(Lets ask axé, my mother! IEMANJA)

Vamos pedir o axé, meu rei! REI OXALÁ

(Lets ask Axé, my king! KING OXALÁ)

Vamos pedir o axé, meu pai MEU PAI XANGÔ

(Lets ask Axé, my father MY FATHER XANGÔ)

Reparado added from Mestre Acordeon's book...

"Aché (Axé, Asé) is the magic force that moves all things in the universe according to the African religions in Brazil. It exists in all realms of nature and can be transmitted through specific rituals. Although Capoeira has no direct connection with religion, the capoeiristas, as the majority of Brazilians, are related one way or another with Afro-Brazilian rituals. Aché in Capoeira means the connection with the roots, a special energy to be developed by any capoeirista. To wish aché to someone means to wish good luck. For those who believe, some special people transmit aché through their wishes."

p.6 Almeida, Bira(Mestre Acordeon). Capoeira: A Brazilian Art Form. Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 1986. Print.

Espantalho added...

“At the heart of this Yoruba religion is the concept of àse, an individual’s personal spiritual power, which grows throughout life through a person’s diligent application to doing good deeds, coupled with appropriate and calm behavior and with service to the gods in the form of sacrifice. The reciprocity of service between gods and humans is essentially the giving of strength, the renewal of àse to the orisa through blood sacrifice of animals designated as belonging to a specific deity. Renewed and grateful deities in turn bless their supportive worshipers with added ase. The rules of this loving support between humans and gods are all known to that father-of-all-knowledge, the babalawo”

~The Way of the Orisa by Philip Neimark p. XII

Babalawo is a priest of Yoruba religion.

“The orisa are energy that, for the most part, represent aspects of nature. Osun (pronounced O-SHUN) represents sweet waters, love, money, conception; Sango (pronounced Zhan-GO) represents thunder and lightning, strategy, and he is the warrior; Esu (pronounced A-shew), messenger to Oludumare (the single God), owner of roads and opportunities, owner of ase (spiritual energy)…”

~The Way of the Orisa by Philip Neimark p. 14

“In Ifa, blood sacrifice is usually undertaken for major problems and for initiation. When an animal has been used to remove illness or misfortune, its flesh is not eaten. When an animal is offered as part of the process of initiation or for the enhancement of some joyous moment such as childbirth, marriage, or the opening of a new business, the animal will be skinned and prepared for cooking. The meal of that animal is thought to carry powerful àse, or energy, and is good for all who partake. In this, Ifa is very similar to the Hebraic concept of kosher. The animal is made kosher when the rabbi lets its blood while offering prayers to God. The act of making something kosher was not intended to be restrictive but rather transcendent; the individual eating the kosher food is supposed to acquire the spirituality of the sacrifice itself. And as in the Jewish tradition, in Ifa only a trained holy person (babalawo, or priest) who has been initiated into the use of the knife can perform the ceremonies”

~The Way of the Orisa by Philip Neimark p. 38

For people who have a problem with blood sacrifice, eating a chicken sandwich is no different.

“Esu is also the possessor of divine ase, the inner energy and power that allows us to access the right side of the brain and use its powers. Ase is similar to, but more than aura, soul, or spirituality. It is a living, breathing, palpable flow of energy that can either increase or diminish, depending on our behavior.”

~The Way of the Orisa by Philip Neimark p. 76

O Pé, who is from Nigeria and brings from his own experience growing up there, added...

Axé (Àse, in yoruba spelling) is one of those words that I always heard as a kid but never translated. As far as I was concerned, translation was pointless because the context of its use was quite foreign to "western" cultures. The word usually came up in call-and-response exchanges between a priest/medium and a supplicant. The supplicant would bring a sacrifice or offering to the medium who would then present it to the gods. During the presentation, the medium invokes the blessings of the gods on behalf of the supplicant. The supplicant responds with "Àse" after each invocation. The simplest such ritual involves a medium pouring out libations in celebration of some important cultural event. So I guess in my mind, "Àse" is just a word used to claim the blessings of the gods; very much similar to the way christians say "amen" after a prayer.

I hesitate to refer to the context as "Yoruba religion". To the "un-westernized" yoruba person, the gods, libations, sacrifices and all things spiritual are an inextricable part of life. The spiritual laws are simply part of the mechanics of the observable world - the physical laws are not enough. In that sense, I contend that it's just Yoruba culture.

That's my take on it. I don't know how it applies to capoeira. I have always been puzzled by its widespread use in Brazilian hybrid religions since I assumed (probably incorrectly) that the majority of slaves in Brazil were not acquainted with Yoruba culture.

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Capoeira Fitness Tip of the Week

This feature is designed to give you functional training tools for your off days when you are not training capoeira. We will be looking at various exercises that we will have as resources for you to devise a strategy for your overall physical development as a capoeirista.

The goals are:

Overall Physical Health

Promoting Longevity

Improved Performance in your capoeira training and game

This is a great exercise for the wrists.  I have to admit i was really excited when I saw it. It's quick and effective... always a great combination!

Remember patience and gradual progress are your friends when trying to build the kind of strength we use in capoeira.  Imagine where you will be in not too long with the conditioning we do at the end of class!  Woohooo!

Enjoy!

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Capoeira Song of the Week: Ijexá É A Dança Do Nego

You submit the songs.  We show you the lyrics, translation, and give some phonetic spelling to help your pronunciation.

The format works like this:

The lyrics in Portuguese are in bold

The phonetic spelling for pronunciation is in italics with the STRESSED SYLLABLES IN ALL CAPITALS with syllables se-pa-ra-ted by dash-es

The English translation is in regular text

 

From Ponta de Flecha.  Enjoy!

 

Ijexá É A Dança Do Nego

 

 Ijexá é a dança do nego 

 Eeh-zhey-SHAH eh/ah ah DAHNH-sah dooh NEH-gooh

Ijexá is the dance of the Afro-brazilian man (woman/people)

 

(coro/chorus) 

Ijexá é a dança do nego

 Eeh-zhey-SHAH eh/ah ah DAHNH-sah dooh NEH-gooh

Ijexá is the dance of the Afro-brazilian man (woman/people)

 

E o nego é, é Nagô 

Eeh ooh NEH-gooh eh/ah, eh/ah nah-GOH 

And the Afro-brazilian man is, is Nagô

 

(coro/chorus) 

E o nego é, é Nagô 

Eeh ooh NEH-gooh eh/ah, eh/ah nah-GOH

And the Afro-brazilian man is, is Nagô

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

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:

Hino da Capoeira

ps

Don't forget to cite your sources!

 

Update

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The hino da capoeira literally translates to "anthem of capoeira."

According to students of Mestre Bimba that I haven't asked about this, it came to be the call come together and make a roda.   

They said that Mestre Bimba used the rhythm as a way to tune the berimbau before the roda at the end of class.  With time, it became the signal that it was time make a roda and play capoeira

Now it's a part of capoeira's musical history, and still is used today.

For those that are curious, it is not the same as the berimbau rhythm Santa Maria

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Capoeira Song of the Week: Se Pudesse Eu Voltava No Tempo IaIá

You submit the songs.  We show you the lyrics, translation, and give some phonetic spelling to help your pronunciation.

The format works like this:

The lyrics in Portuguese are in bold

The phonetic spelling for pronunciation is in italics with the      STRESSED SYLLABLES IN ALL CAPITALS with syllables se-pa-ra-ted by   dash-es

The English translation is in regular text

 

Per Risos's request...

 

Se Pudesse Eu Voltava No Tempo


(coro/chorus)

Se pudesse eu voltava no tempo iaiá

See pooh-DEH-see eh/oo vohl-TAH-vah noo TEHM-pooh ya-YA

If I could back in time Yaya

Se pudesse eu voltava no tempo ioiô

See pooh-DEH-see eh/oo vohl-TAH-vah noo TEHM-pooh yo-YO

If I could  back in time Yoyo 

Se pudesse eu voltava no tempo iaiá

See pooh-DEH-see eh/oo vohl-TAH-vah noo TEHM-pooh ya-YA

If I could back in time Yaya

Eu voltava no tempo ioiô

Eh/oo vohl-TAH-vah noo TEHM-pooh yo-YO

I would go back in time Yoyo  

Eu voltava no tempo iaiá

Eh/oo vohl-TAH-vah noo TEHM-pooh ya-YA

I would go back in time Yaya

 

(solo/lead verses)

 

Eu voltava para ver Mestre Bimba jogando,

Eh/oo vohl-TAH-vah PAH-rah vehr MEHS-tree BEEM-bah zhoh-GAHN-dooh

I would go back to see Mestre Bimba playing,

Eu voltava para ver seu Pastinha tambem,

Eh/oo vohl-TAH-vah PAH-rah vehr seh/oo pahs-TEEN-yah tahm-behng

I would go back to see Pastinha also,

Eu voltava para ver seu Traira,

Eh/oo vohl-TAH-vah PAH-rah vehr seh/oo trah-EE-rah

I would go back to see your Traira,  

Eu voltava para ver Waldemar,

Eh/oo vohl-TAH-vah PAH-rah vehr wahl-deh-MAHRH

I would go back to see Waldemar

Eu voltava para ver Besouro Mangangá,

Eh/oo vohl-TAH-vah PAH-rah vehr bee-ZOH-rooh mahng-gahng-GAH

I would go back to see Mangangá Beetle,

Se pudesse

See pooh-DEH-see

If I could

 

Eu voltava para ver Atenilo jogando,

Eh/oo vohl-TAH-vah PAH-rah vehr ah-teh-NEE-loo zhoh-GAHN-dooh

I would return to see Atenilo playing,

E ouvir cantar Mucungé,

ee oh-VEERH cahn-TAHRH moo-koon-ZHEH

And hear Mucungé sing,

Eu voltava para ver Caiçara,

Eh/oo vohl-TAH-vah PAH-rah vehr kigh-SAH-rah

I would return to see Rascal,

Eu voltava para ver Paraná,

Eh/oo vohl-TAH-vah PAH-rah vehr pah-rah-NAH

I returned to see Paraná,

Eu voltava para ver Onça Preta e Aberré,

Eh/oo vohl-TAH-vah PAH-rah vehr OHN-sah PREH-tah ee ah-beh-HEY

I returned to see Leopard and Aberrê,

Se pudesse 

See pooh-DEH-see

If I could

 

Eu voltava para ver a luta do Batuque, 

Eh/oo vohl-TAH-vah PAH-rah vehr ah LOO-tah dooh bah-TOOH-key

I returned to see the fight of Batuque ,

Eu voltava para ver o brilho da navalha,

Eh/oo vohl-TAH-vah PAH-rah vehr oo BREEL-yooh dah nah-VAHL-yah

I returned to see the flash of the razor

Na Bahia para ver Mestre Noronha,

nah bah-EE-ah PAH-rah vehr MEHS-tree noh-ROHEENG-ya

In Bahia to see Mestre Noronha,

No Recife para ver Nascimento Grande,

nooh heh-SEE-fee PAH-rah vehr nah-see-MEHN-tooh GRAHN-jeeh

In Recife  to see Nascimento Grande,

E no Rio para ver o Manduca da Praia,

ee nooh HEE-ooh PAH-rah vehr oo mahn-DOOH-cah dah PRIGH-ya

And in Rio to see Manduca da Praia,

Se pudesse

See pooh-DEH-see

If I could

 

Eu voltava no tempo de sinhá,

Eh/oo vohl-TAH-vah noo TEHM-pooh deeh seeng-YA

I would go back in time mistress,

Para ver como tudo aconteceu,

PAH-rah vehr KOH-mooh TOO-dooh ah-kohn-teh-SEH/OO

To see how it all happened, 

Se pudesse eu voltava no tempo,

See pooh-DEH-see eh/oo vohl-TAH-vah noo TEHM-pooh

If I could go back in time,

Eu voltava no engenho e na senzala

Eh/oo vohl-TAH-vah noo ehng-ZHENG-yoo ee nah sehn-ZAH-lah

I would return to the plantation and slave quarters

Para ver como a capoeira nasceu,

 PAH-rah vehr KOH-mooh ah kah-pooh-EY-rah nah-SEH/OO

To see how capoeira was born,

Se pudesse

See pooh-DEH-see

If I could

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Capoeira Wiki-Word of the Week: Trajetória (Update)

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:

Trajetória 

ps

Please cite your sources

Update

Trajetória  literally translates to the word "trajectory" in English.

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The way it is used a lot in capoeira and other aspects of Brazilian culture involves someone's path or progression within an discipline or art. 

Let's say you were able to sit down with Mestre Bimba and interview him.  One of the first questions you might well ask about his time in capoeira area would be, "Como foi sua trajetória na capoeira?" 

This would be like asking him, "Tell about how you got into capoeira, who your trained with, and the things you remember that got you where you are today."

You would be opening up an opportunity for the person to tell you their history in the art.  A long story, but a chance for a great one because it could encompass many years, as it would for a Mestre in capoeira. 

Unfortunately, trajetória is an abstract concept, in that there is no picture of someone's trajetória to take or even show since it's going to be a series of events that make up a life.  (If yo can think of a way to use pictures, then please post some in the comments)

The main point is that it is a great way to ask someone (a Mestre or Mestra) to tell their story to you. 

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