chapter  9
18 Pages

‘Being Carried Out’: Women’s Bodies and Masculinity Inside and Outside the Capoeira Ring

WithMenara Lube Guizardi, Annelou Ypeij

This chapter focuses on the practice of a male capoeirista carrying a female capoeirista out of the capoeira ring. It considers a subtle symbolic bodily practice that indicates gender inequality and conflict inside the capoeira roda. Black male slaves have created capoeira in the context of the racism and injustices of the Brazilian slavery society of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The masculine body and men's supposedly superior skills facilitate men's superior position in the group hierarchy. Masters who depend on the collective for their livelihood and social mobility defend their leadership fiercely, inside and outside the ring, with their masculine bodies, authoritarian leadership and social talents. The gendered outcome of the capoeira game is that men struggle among each other over leadership, while women's role is limited to supporting the reputation of the leaders.