Capoeira Wiki-Word of the Week: Preto Velho (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.
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- Preto Velho (Old Black Man)
- Those are spirits of old slaves who died in captivity or after being beaten or flogged by their masters. They are wise, peaceful and kind spirits that know all about suffering, compassion, forgiveness and hope. Some of them are considered to be the old Yoruban priests that were first brought to Brazil. They also often prescribe herbal remedies. The female counterpart of this spirit is the Preta Velha ("old black woman") who demonstrates maternal compassion and concern. In the beginning of Umbanda, Preto Velho introduced himself as an old slave who died after being flogged for some unjust accusation; today, Pretos Velhos introduce themselves as old slaves who died in persecution after they run away from the plantation.