From the Archives: History of the Academy of João Pequeno de Pastinha

This short history of Mestre João Pequeno’s school in the Forte do Santo Antônio Alem do Carmo was published in June of this year (2007) in the Diário de São Jorge, based in the state of Goiás. You can read the whole thing (in Portuguese) here.

Inaugurated in 1982, following the death of Mestre Pastinha, the Academia de João Pequeno de Pastinha had a great influence on the renovation of the Historic Center of Salvador (Pelourinho)…

In the early 1980s, Capoeira Angola was practiced in only two or three academies in the city of Salvador. They were groups of resistance that committed themselves to the diffusion of a lifestyle philosophy and not simply the formation of “folkloric groups”… Few resisted the influence of the “sportization” and folklorization of Capoeira Angola. In this context, the Academia de João Pequeno de Pastinha was born.

Created to combat this tendency, the academy became an important element in the revitalization of Capoeira Angola, preserving the line of Pastinha. Mestre Pastinha himself legitimized João Pequeno to drive this process. “They [referring to João Pequeno and João Grande, his two contramestres at that time] will be the great capoeiristas of the future, and for this I worked and struggled with them and for them. They will be mestres, not professors of improvisation like some around here that only serve to destroy our beautiful tradition. I taught everything I know to these two guys, even the pulo de gato. Because of this, I have great hope for the future.” (Diário de Notícias 10/3/1970)

Please send us any memories, articles, interviews, or pictures of Mestre João Pequeno that you would like to share with the Capoeira Angola community upon Mestre’s 90th birthday.

FICA-DC Archives–12/9/07

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