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Urška Habjan


This article is the result of twenty-one months of fieldwork among the capoeiristas in Brazil, primarily in the city of Salvador, between 2003 and 2013. The fieldwork methodology was based on participant observation. It also included conducting interviews and informal conversations, listening to life stories of locals, and writing a diary. My personal experiences within capoeira and the improvement of my own skills enabled me to better grasp what capoeira is about. By participating, I more fully understood the corporeal strain and pleasure involved in this particular embodied practice.

The socio-economic situation of Brazilian society based on racial and gender discrimination enhances the cultivation of capoeiristic habitus and dictates the need for the acquisition of capoeiristic skills and attitudes in order to cope with, understand, and live within an unequal world. Capoeiristic habitus consists of knowledge, attitudes and skills enabling capoeiristas to stay in tune with the environment of lurking danger, to face with an ambiguous, unstable and uncertain environment. Capoeiristic habitus can be embodied early in life or learnt and acquired as a by-product of capoeira training. But it remains important whether the environment in which a capoeirista practises tolerates or inhibits the cultivation of capoeiristic skills. 

 Key words: capoeira, embodiment, skills, body and mind

Urška Habjan is PhD student of Anthropology

Cite this article:
Habjan Urska. EMBODIMENT OF CAPOEIRA SKILLS. Innovative Issues and Approaches in Social Sciences, vol.8, no.3:118-134, DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.12959/issn.1855-0541.IIASS-2015-no3-art06

Digital Object Identifier(DOI): http://dx.doi.org/10.12959/issn.1855-0541.IIASS-2015-no3-art06

View full text in pdf: http://www.iiass.com/pdf/IIASS-2015-no3-art06.pdf


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