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Among capoeira circles and intellectual gatherings: disputes about the meaning of capoeira in Brazil (1930 - 1969)


The aim of this thesis is to analyze how baiana capoeira stared to be imagined as a symbol of Brazilians identity by intellectuals and capoeira players between the decades of 1930 and 1960's trying to answer two main questions: which were the aspects that motivated some intellectuals from this period to study Bahia's capoeira, thereby selecting some features, especially the music aspect, in the search to interpret capoeira as a symbol of regional and national identity? How some of the most influential baiana capoeira players explored the relations and interpretations of these intellectuals and power authorities, confirming or refuting their ideas? The conclusion which this work demonstrates is that the baiana capoeira, popularized in a period of massive appropriation of the popular manifestations by the State, was also able to constitute itself as a cultural strategy, able to make the difference to people who were producing it, shifting in this manner power dispositions. In the innumerable battles that capoeira players, intellectuals and other actors were involved, they tried to maintain or shift status, always trying to harmonize the imagination they had about capoeira with the perspectives of others involved in the dispute. Fight and art of encounter and separation. (AU)

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