Bahia (12a)

Comment: Capoeira is a martial art that combines foot fighting, music, dance, and traditional African and Brazilian cultures. For this reason, capoeira is a significant aspect of Brazilian (and Latin American) humanities. This art grew out of black slaves' lives, when they were forbidden by their masters to fight; so the slaves concealed this practice in the guise of a gymnastic kind of dance. The image on the left is an 1825 painting,"Capoeira or the Dance of War" by Johann Moritz Rugendas (1802 - 1858). The image on the right is from <>; it shows a scene of Brazilian capoeira dancers. Rugendas was a German painter who travelled extensively throughout Latin America where he painted scenes of customs known as "local color." He went to Brazil in 1821, where he began doing illustrations for a European scientific expedition. Among the places in which he painted his illustrations and watercolors were Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, and Ouro Preto. In Paris in 1835, he published his major book, Voyage Pittoresque dans le Brésil [Picturesque Voyage to Brazil]. This book is one of the most important documents about 19th century Brazil. From 1831 to 1845 he travelled throughout Haiti, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Perú, and Bolivia. For a fine discussion and a sample of some of his works see: => Rugendas.