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Mandinga

Power and Deception in Afro-Brazilian Capoeira

Sergio González Varela

This article is about the meaning of mandinga in Afro-Brazilian capoeira as it is practiced in the city of Salvador, Brazil. Capoeira is an art form that combines elements of ritual, play, and fight. My main argument focuses on the mandinga as an indigenous form of power that shapes social relations, bodily interaction, magic acts, and the definition of a person. The concept of mandinga offers an understanding of the deceptive logic of capoeira and contributes to the development of an ethnographic theory of power. The emphasis here is on the importance of mandinga as a strategy for fighting and as a principle for social interaction with strong ontological implications. It is considered a cosmological force that affects the foundations of subjective reality and the perception of the world.

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The Religious Foundations of Capoeira Angola

The Cosmopolitics of an Apparently Non-religious Practice

Sergio González Varela

apprehension of a kind of energy, which sometimes is called mandinga or is referred to as malandragem (roguery). Capoeira mestres consider the former to be the secret of capoeira, the latter to be the possession of deceptive skills that are utilized to