This book is freely available in an open access edition thanks to TOME
(Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem)—a collaboration of the Association of
American Universities, the Association of University Presses, and the Association
of Research Libraries—and the generous support of Duke University.
of the game of capoeira and its practice across borders
Originating in the Black Atlantic world as a fusion of dance and martial
art, capoeira was a marginalized practice for much of its history. Today it is globally popular. This ethnographic memoir weaves together the history of capoeira,
recent transformations in the practice, and personal insights from author Katya
Wesolowski’s thirty years of experience as a capoeirista.
follows Wesolowski’s journey from novice to instructor while drawing on her decades of research as an anthropologist in
Brazil, Angola, Europe, and the United States. In a story of local practice and
global flow, Wesolowski offers an intimate portrait of the game and what it
means in people’s lives. She reveals camaraderie and conviviality in the
capoeira ring as well as tensions and ruptures involving race, gender, and
competing claims over how this artful play should be practiced. Capoeira brings
people together and yet is never free of histories of struggle, and these too
play out in the game’s encounters.
In her at once clear-sighted and
hopeful analysis, Wesolowski ultimately argues that capoeira offers
opportunities for connection, dialogue, and collaboration in a world that is
increasingly fractured. In doing so, capoeira can transform lives, create
social spheres, and shape mobile futures.
Publication of this work made possible by a
Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan grant from the
National Endowment for the Humanities.