Capoeira Besouro

In the late 1970’s, Capoeira Besouro was founded by Mestre Beicola (a student of Mestre Touro) in a poor project area of Rio de Janeiro called Quitungo. Mestre Beicola created the symbol of Capoeira Besouro.

The Capoeira Besouro symbol is surrounded by a capoeira “cordel” which is the belt worn by the capoeirista once s/he has been baptized into the sport. In the center of the symbol is a “besouro” – also known as a beetle.  Within the besouro is the “atabaque” – the drum that holds the rhythm for capoeira music, and two “berimbaus” that cross each other. The berimbau is the instrument that is key to the music of capoeira. The “besouro” comes from a legendary capoeirista known as Besouro Manganga who was a brutal and fierce capoeira fighter in the late 1800’s when capoeira was illegal. During police raids, Besouro Manganga would disappear in the midst of the scuffles. People would then notice a beetle flying away. Legends say that Besouro Manganga transformed himself into a beetle in order to escape the police and evade captivity. 

Mestre Beicola developed a very strong capoeira school in Rio de Janeiro, with several students who continued on to be Mestres themselves. Among them were Anjo, Sidinho, Sardinha, and Kinha – they all began teaching capoeira in Brazil and continued the tradition of Capoeira Besouro. Mestre Beicola moved to California and continued teaching capoeira in Palo Alto. He now heads a capoeira school known as Capoeira Narahari.
Capoeira Besouro continues through many of Mestre Beicola’s students. There are several schools all over the world. Capoeira Besouro can be found in Los Angeles (Mestre Batata), Oakland (Contra- Mestre Montanha), Oahu (Mestre Kinha), Italy, Rio de Janeiro (Contra- Mestres Naja and Barra Mansa),  and Vitoria (Professor Cebola), Brazil.


Mestre Beicola and Mestre Kinha

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