The Suppresion of Culture

Starting around 1814, Capoeira and other forms of African cultural expression suffered repression and were prohibited in some places by the slave masters and overseers. Up until that date, forms of African cultural expression were permitted and sometimes even encouraged, not only as a safety gauge against internal pressures created by slavery but also to bring out the differences between various African groups, in a spirit of “divide and conquer”. However, in 1808 king Dom Joao VI and his court arrived in Brasil and everything changed. The newcomers understood the necessity of destroying a people’s culture in order to dominate them, and Capoeira began to be persecuted in a process, which would culminate with its being outlawed in 1892.