Associação Brasileira de Apoio e Desenvolvimento da Arte – Capoeira

Maculelê: Dança e Luta


Santo Amaro da Purificação, no Recôncavo Baiano, cidade marcada pelo verde dos canaviais, é terra rica em manifestações da cultura popular de herança africana. Berço da capoeira baiana, foi também o palco de surgimento do Maculelê, dança de forte expressão dramática, destinada a participantes do sexo masculino, que dançam em grupo, batendo as grimas (bastões) ao ritmo dos atabaques e ao som de cânticos em dialetos africanos ou em linguagem popular. Dentre todos os folguedos de Santo Amaro, o Maculelê era o mais contagiante, pelo ritmo vibrante e riqueza de cores.
Sua origem, porém, como aliás ocorre em relação a todas as manifestações folclóricas de matriz africana, é obscura e desconhecida. Acredita-se que seja um ato popular de origem africana que teria florescido no século XVIII nos canaviais de Santo Amaro, e que passara a integrar as comemorações locais. Há quem sustente, no entanto, que o Maculelê tem também raízes indígenas, sendo então de origem afro-indígena.
Conta a lenda que a encenação do Maculelê baseia-se em um episódio épico ocorrido numa aldeia primitiva do reino de Iorubá, em que, certa vez, saíram todos juntos os guerreiros para caçar, permanecendo na aldeia apenas 22 homens, na maioria idosos, junto das mulheres e crianças. Disso aproveitou-se uma tribo inimiga para atacar, com maior número de guerreiros. Os 22 homens remanescentes teriam então se armado de curtos bastões de pau e enfrentado os invasores, demonstrando tanta coragem que conseguiram pó-los em debandada. Quando retornaram os outros guerreiros, tomaram conhecimento do ocorrido e promoveram grande festa, na qual os 22 homens demonstraram a forma pela qual combateram os invasores. O episódio passou então a ser comemorado freqüentemente pelos membros da tribo, enriquecido com música característica e movimentos corporais peculiares. A dança seria assim uma homenagem à coragem daqueles bravos 22 homens.
No início deste século (XX), com a morte dos grandes mestres do Maculelê de Santo Amaro da Purificação, o folguedo deixou de constar, por muitos anos, das festas da padroeira. Até que, em 1943, apareceu um novo mestre – Paulino Aluísio de Andrade, conhecido como Popó do Maculelê, considerado por muitos como o “pai do Maculelê no Brasil”. Mestre Popó reuniu parentes e amigos, a quem ensinou a dança, baseando-se em suas lembranças, pretendendo incluí-la novamente nas festas religiosas locais. Formou um grupo, o “Conjunto de Maculelê de Santo Amaro”, que ficou muito conhecido.
Nos estudos desenvolvidos por Manoel Querino (1851-1923) se encontram indicações de que o Maculelê seria um fragmento do Cucumbi, dança dramática em que os negros batiam roletes de madeira, acompanhados por cantos. Luís da Câmara Cascudo, em seu “Dicionário do Folclore Brasileiro”, aponta a semelhança do Maculelê com os Congos e Moçambiques. Deve-se citar também o livro de Emília Biancardi, “Olelê Maculelê”, um dos mais completos estudos sobre o assunto.
Hoje em dia, o Maculelê se encontra integrado na relação de atividades folclóricas brasileiras e é freqüentemente apresentado nas exibições de grupos de capoeira, grupos folclóricos, colégios e universidades. Contudo, convém registrar as observações feitas por Augusto José Fascio Lopes, o mestre Baiano Anzol, ex-aluno do mestre Bimba e professor de Capoeira na Universidade federal do Rio de Janeiro: “…neste trabalho de disseminação, o Maculelê vem sofrendo profundas alterações em sua coreografia e indumentária, cujo resultado reverte em uma descaracterização. Exemplo: o que era originalmente apresentado como uma dança coreografada em círculo, com uma dupla de figurantes movimentando-se no seu interior sob o comando do mestre do Maculelê, foi substituído por uma entrada em fila indiana com as duplas dançando isoladamente e não tendo mais o comando do mestre. O gingado quebrado, voltado para o frevo, foi substituído por uma ginga dura, de pouco molejo.
“Mais recentemente, faz-se a apresentação sem a entrada em fila. Cada figurante posta-se isoladamente, sem compor os pares, e realiza movimentos em separado, mais nos moldes de uma aula comum de ginástica do que de uma apresentação folclórica requintada.
“Deve-se reconhecer que não só o Maculelê mas todas as demais manifestações populares vivas ficam sempre muito expostas a modificações ao longo do tempo e com o passar dos anos. (…) Entendo que todas essas modificações devam ficar registradas, para permitir que os pesquisadores, no futuro, possam estudar as transformações sofridas e também para orientar melhor aqueles que vierem a praticar esse folguedo popular de extrema riqueza plástica, rítmica e musical que é o Maculelê.”

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Santo Amaro da Purificação, in Recôncavo, city marked by green cane fields, is a land rich in manifestations of popular culture of African heritage. Cradle of Bahian capoeira, it was also the stage for the upcoming Maculelê, powerful dance drama, intended for male participants who dance by groups, clapping their tears (sticks) to the rhythm of the drums and of the sound of hymns sung in African dialects or in popular language. Among all the festivals of Santo Amaro, Maculelê was the most contagious, because of the vibrant rhythm and of rich colors.
Its origin, however, as indeed it occurs in relation to all the folklore of African origin, is obscure and unknown. It’s believed to be a popular act of African origin that have flourished in the eighteenth century in the sugar plantations of Santo Amaro, and that will join the local celebrations. Some thinks, however, that the Maculelê also has indigenous roots, it means african-Indian origins.
Legend says that the staging of Maculelê is based on an epic episode occurred in a primitive village in the kingdom of Yoruba. It tells that once the warriors went out together to hunt, leaving in the village only 22 men, mostly elderly, with women and children. An enemy tribe took advantage of this and attacked with a greater number of warriors. The remaining 22 men armed with short sticks of wood and faced the invaders, showing great courage. They managed to save the village. When the other warriors came back home, discovered what happened and decided to celebrate with a great feast, in which the 22 men shown the way they fought the invaders. The episode then began to be celebrated frequently by members of the tribe, enriched with music and body movements of peculiar characteristic. The dance would be like a tribute to the courage of those brave 22 men.
At the beginning of this century (XX), with the death of the great masters of Maculelê of Santo Amaro de Purificaçaão, this tradition disappeared for many years from the festivals of the patron. Then in 1943, appeared a new master – Paulino Aluisio de Andrade, known as Popo’s Maculelê, considered by many as the “father of Maculelê in Brazil”. Master Popo met relatives and friends and taught them the dance, based on his memories, intending to include it again in the local religious festivals.Formed a group, the “Set Maculelê of Santo Amaro”, which became widely known.
Studies made by Manoel Querino (1851-1923) indicate that it could have been a fragment of Maculelê Cucumbi, dance drama in which blacks were beating rollers of wood, accompanied by singing. Luis da Camara Cascudo, in his “Dictionary of Brazilian Folklore”, notes the similarity between the Maculelê and the Congo and Mozambique. It should be also mentioned the book of Emilia Biancardi, “Olele Maculelê”, as one of the most comprehensive study on the subject.
Today, the Maculelê is integrated in the ratio of Brazilian folkloric activities and is frequently shown in exhibitions of capoeira groups, folk groups, colleges and universities. However, you should record the observations made by Jose Augusto Lopes Fascio, the master Baiano Anzol, a former student of Mestre Bimba and Capoeira’s teacher at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro: “(…) Trying to spread this dance around, the Maculelê has undergone profound changes in its choreography and costumes, which results in a distortion. Example: what was originally presented as a choreographed dance in a circle, with a couple of extras moving inside under the command of Master Maculelê, it was replaced by an entry in row dancing, and the couple dancing isolated and not following the command of the master anymore. The “gingado quebrado”, almost turning into a “frevo”, was replaced by a “ginga dura”, with less of springiness.
“More recently, the presentation is made without the entry in row. Each dancer stands isolated, without composing the pairs, and performs movements separately, more like a common school gym exhibition than an exquisite folkloric presentation .
“It should be recognized that not only Maculelê but all the other popular live events are always very exposed to changes over time and over the years. (…) I understand that such modifications need to be recorded, to allow researchers in the future to study the transformations and also to better guide those who come to practice this popular art of extreme plastic, rhythmic and musical aspects which is the Maculelê”.

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Η Santo Amaro da Purificação στο Recôncavo, μια πόλη χαρακτηρισμένη από τις φυτείες ζαχαροκάλαμου, είναι μια γη πλούσια σε εκδηλώσεις της παραδοσιακής κουλτούρας της Αφρικανικής κληρονομιάς. Το λίκνο της Bahian Capoeira ήταν επίσης το πεδίο δράσης για το ανερχόμενο Maculelê, ένα δυνατό χορευτικό δράμα, προοριζόμενο για άντρες οι οποίοι χορεύουν σε ομάδες, χτυπώντας τα ξύλα τους στο ρυθμό των τυμπάνων και στον ήχο των ύμνων που τραγούδιονται σε Αφρικανικές διαλέκτους ή την παραδοσιακή γλώσσα. Σε όλες τις γιορτές στο Santo Amaro, το Maculelê ήταν το πιο μεταδοτικό λόγω του ζωηρού ρυθμού και των έντονων χρωμάτων.
Οι ρίζες του όμως, όπως άλλωστε συμβαίνει με όλες τις λαϊκές παραδόσεις αφρικανικής καταγωγής, είναι σκοτεινές και άγνωστες. Πιστεύεται πως ήταν μια παραδοσιακή πράξη Αφρικανικής καταγωγής που άκμασε κατά τον δέκατο όγδοο αιώνα στις φυτείες ζάχαρης του Santo Amaro, και ότι έγινε μέρος των τοπικών γιορτών. Παρ’ όλα αυτά, μερικοί πιστεύουν ότι το Maculelê έχει γηγενείς ρίζες, δηλαδή Αφρό-Ινδική καταγωγή.
Ο μύθος λέει ότι το στήσιμο του Maculelê βασίζεται σε ένα επικό επεισόδιο που συνέβη σε ένα πρωτόγονο χωριό στο βασίλειο των Yoruba. Λέει πως κάποτε οι πολεμιστές έφυγαν μαζί για κυνήγι, αφήνοντας στο χωριό μόνο 22 άντρες, κυρίως ηλικιωμένους, με γυναίκες και παιδιά. Μια εχθρική φυλή εκμεταλλεύτηκε την κατάσταση κα επιτέθηκε με περισσότερους πολεμιστές. Οι εναπομείναντες 22 άντρες οπλίστηκαν με κοντές ξύλινες βέργες και αντιμετώπισαν τον εχθρό, δείχνοντας σπουδαίο θάρρος. Όταν επέστρεψαν οι υπόλοιποι πολεμιστές, ανακάλυψαν τι είχε συμβεί και αποφάσισαν να το γιορτάσουν με μια μεγάλη γιορτή όπου οι 22 άντρες έδειξαν τον τρόπο με τον οποίο πολέμησαν τους εισβολείς. Εκ τότε, το επεισόδιο αυτό άρχισε να γιορτάζεται τακτικά από τα μέλη της φυλής, εμπλουτισμένο με μουσική και κινήσεις του σώματος με ιδιαίτερα χαρακτηριστικά. Ο χορός θα ήταν κάτι σαν φόρος τιμής προς το κουράγιο εκείνων των 22 αντρών.
Στις αρχές αυτού του αιώνα (XX), με τον θάνατο των μεγάλων δασκάλων του Maculelê του Santo Amaro de Purificação, αυτή η παράδοση εξαφανίστηκε για πολλά χρόνια από τα πανηγύρια της πολιούχου. Το 1943, εμφανίστηκε ένας νέος δάσκαλος – Paulino Aluisio de Andrade, γνωστός ως ο Popo του Maculelê, ο οποίος θεωρείται από πολλούς ο «πατέρας του Maculelê στη Βραζιλία”. Ο Master Popo συνάντησε συγγενείς και φίλους και τους δίδαξε τον χορό, βασιζόμενος σε αναμνήσεις, με σκοπό να συμπεριλαμβάνεται ξανά στις τοπικές θρησκευτικές γιορτές. Δημιούργησε μια ομάδα, το «Set Maculelê of Santo Amaro», η οποία έγινε ευρέως γνωστή.
Μελέτες που πραγματοποιήθηκαν από τον Manoel Querino (1851-1923) υποδεικνύουν ότι θα μπορούσε να είναι κομμάτι του Maculelê Cucumbi, ένας δραματικός χορός στον οποίο οι μαύροι χτυπούσαν ρυθμικά ξύλινους κυλίνδρους με τη συνοδεία τραγουδιού. Ο Luis da Camara Cascudo, στο «Λεξικό της Βραζιλιάνικης Λαογραφίας», υπογραμμίζει την ομοιότητα μεταξύ του Maculelê και παρόμοιων πρακτικών στο Κονγκό και τη Μοζαμβίκη. Πρέπει επίσης να αναφερθεί το βιβλίο της Emilia Biancardi, «Olele Maculelê», σαν μία από τις πιο κατανοητές μελέτες πάνω στο αντικείμενο.
Σήμερα, το Maculelê έχει ενσωματωθεί σε αναλογία στις βραζιλιάνικες λαογραφικές δραστηριότητες και παρουσιάζεται τακτικά σε επιδείξεις ομάδων Capoeira, παραδοσιακών ομάδων, κολλεγίων και πανεπιστημίων. Ωστόσο, πρέπει να καταγραφούν οι παρατηρήσεις του Jose Augusto Lopes Fascio, του δασκάλου Baiano Anzol, πρώην μαθητή του Metre Bimba και δασκάλου της Capoeira στο Ομοσπονδιακό Πανεπιστήμιο του Ρίο ντε Τζανέιρο: “(…) Επιδιώκοντας τη διάδοση του χορού, το Maculelê έχει υποστεί βαθιές αλλαγές στη χορογραφία και τα κοστούμια του γεγονός το οποίο οδηγεί σε στρέβλωση. Παράδειγμα: Αυτό που παρουσιαζόταν αρχικά σαν χορογραφημένος χορός μέσα σε ένα κύκλο, με ένα ζευγάρι να κινείται μέσα του υπό τις διαταγές του Master Maculelê, αντικαταστάθηκε από μια είσοδο χορεύοντας στη σειρά και με το ζευγάρι να χορεύει μόνο χωρίς να ακολουθεί τις διαταγές του master πια. Το “gingado quebrado”, σχεδόν τροποποιημένο σε “frevo”, αντικαταστάθηκε από μια “ginga dura” με λιγότερη ελαστικότητα.”
“Πιο πρόσφατα, η παρουσίαση γίνεται χωρίς την είσοδο σε σειρά. Κάθε χορευτής στέκεται μόνος, χωρίς να δημιουργούνται ζευγάρια, και εκτελεί κινήσεις ξεχωριστά σαν να πρόκειται περισσότερο για κοινές σχολικές γυμναστικές επιδείξεις παρά για μια εξαιρετική παραδοσιακή παρουσίαση.
“Πρέπει να αναγνωριστεί ότι όχι μόνο το Maculelê αλλά όλα τα παραδοσιακά ζωντανά γεγονότα εκτίθενται πάντα σε αλλαγές με το πέρασμα των ετών (…) Καταλαβαίνω ότι τέτοιες τροποποιήσεις πρέπει να καταγράφονται ώστε να επιτρέπουν στους ερευνητές στο μέλλον να μελετούν τις μετατροπές και να καθοδηγούν καλύτερα εκείνους οι οποίοι έρχονται να εξασκήσουν αυτή την παραδοσιακή τέχνη των απολύτως πλαστικών, ρυθμικών και μουσικών παραμέτρων η οποία είναι το Maculelê”.

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