Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Two more reasons I like Maputo - capoeira and the seawall mural

Capoeira by the bay.

Capoeira is an Brazilian martial art developed by enslaved Africans starting in the 1500s. It originated in Nigeria nad Angola, where fighting between rivals was done to music. Participants form a 'roda' (circle) and take turns playing instruments, singing, and sparring in pairs in the centre of the circle.

Today, the game [usually] involves no actual contact and is marked by fluid, acrobatic play as well as feints, subterfuge, and extensive use yoga-like poses in quick succession. Among advanced players, sweeps, kicks, and headbutts are delivered and evaded with incredible precision.

Technique, strategy and fitness are essential in capoeira, as is the berimbau, a single-stringed percussion instrument. The berimbau is basically a musical bow (4 to 5 feet long) with a steel wire stretched across it and a gourd tied to one end for amplification.
Three berimbaus.
Note the two berimbau players behind the dancers. There is a tambourine and a tom-tom as well.

Capoeira by the bay, 4 seconds later.
If you turn 180 degrees, with your back to the capoeira and the bay, you would see this mosaic. If you were to take ten steps forward, you would see that the mosaic consists of many many 2-4 cm ceramic fragments.

Sea wall mosaic.

Sea wall mosaic, 4 meters over.
Though I asked the artists (pictured below) about the mural , I could learn little about who commissioned it or how long it was destined to be. They were just happy to be doing a shady section.

It was approximately 200 meters as of three weeks ago, and growing.
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