Malícia, Axé and Mandinga: Tacit Skills and
Amado’s novel includes a long list of the capoeira players who had assembled around Mestre Pastinha. The first he names, Beetle (Besouro), was a real man, but he ‘lives’ in contemporary capoeira as a mythical player who had all the indeterminate qualities we discuss in this chapter. Amado’s decision to start with Beetle is a good place for us to begin the chapter on the tacit skills and knowledge needed to become a good capoeira player. We will return to his legend in the section on magic.