Source: Correio da Bahia – December 27, 2008
Translation into English by Shayna McHugh
Yesterday, almost 50 members of the “old guard” of capoeira angola in Bahia gathered together in yet another roda for peace. The event began at 5 PM on the Largo do Cruzeiro de São Francisco, in the Terreiro de Jesus. Around 100 people were there, including students and mestres from various parts of Brazil and of the world.
“The goal is to protest against violence, mainly in the peripheral neighborhoods, where the majority of capoeiristas live,” said 63-year-old Mestre Boa Gente, one of the organizers of this event, which has been held for almost ten years. Another aim is to preserve the history of capoeira angola, from which capoeira regional originated.
Mestres from all over Brazil and from various places in the world traveled to Bahia to participate in the roda. Many great mestres played: Pelé do Tonel, Boca Rica, Boa Gente, Pelé da Bomba, Alfinete, and Pele de Onça (the singer and composer Tonho Matéria), among others.
Mestre João Pequeno, who turns 91 years old this Saturday, was honored at the event, although he was not present. A student of Mestre Pastinha (one of the main mestres in capoeira’s history), João Pequeno is the oldest and one of the most important active mestres of capoeira angola.
His birthday will be celebrated with a capoeira roda beginning at 9 AM in the Forte Santo Antônio Além do Carmo. A little after 5 PM, João Pequeno will make his presentation.