The Roots

It must be stressed that there are many other theories attempting to explain the origins of Capoeira. According to one prevalent theory, Capoeira was a fight that was disguised as a dance so that it could be practiced unbeknownst to the white slave owners. This seems unlikely because, when African culture was being repressed, all forms of African dancing suffered prohibition.

There is another theory involving the initiation ritual (efundula) of the Mucupes in the South of Angola, for when girls became a woman. The young warriors engaged a warrior’s fight-dance, the N’golo, or “dance of the zebras,” which was thought to be Capoeira itself. This theory has yet to be satisfactorily proven, and if the N’Golo did exist, it would have been one of several dances that contributed to the creation of early Capoeira.

Other theories mix Zumbi, the legendary leader of the Quilombo dos Palmares (a community made up of those who managed to flee from slavery) with the origins of Capoeira, without any reliable information on the matter.

All of these theories are extremely important when we try to understand the myth that surrounds Capoeira, but they cannot be accepted as historical fact with the limited information presently available. Perhaps with further research, the theory that Capoeira comes from a mix of various African dances and fights that developed in Brasil, primarily in the 19th century, will also become outdated in future years.