• Barbosa do Cabeça*
     Mestre Barbosa 
    19?? - 19??

    The ABC

    19?? - Was born in Cachoeira, Bahia.

    1937 - On the 14th January participated in a capoeira roda in the II Afro-Brazilian Congress in Ribeira, Salvador (see the photos below and read more here). The same year he appears in Edison Carneiro's book Negros Bantus as one of the informants of capoeira de Angola. As in the newspapers and in the book his name appears right after Querido de Deus, we can deduct his prominence.

    1943/4 - Started to teach M João Pequeno in M Cobrinha Verde's academy in Chame-Chame.

    1953 - M João Grande encountered him in a roda in Roça do Lobo in Salvador.

    19?? - Died.

    * Cabeça Street, Dois de Julho neighborhood, Salvador.


    • Playing M Barbosa (red square) and M Juvenal
      II Afro-Brazilian Congress
      Ribeira, 1937
      Edison Carneiro's photo

    M Barbosa

    The location map

    M Barbosa

    M Barbosa in the memories

    • Edison Carneiro


      To write this book, I got the most efficient help [..] from Samuel "Querido de Deus", Barbosa and Zeppelin, when it comes to capoeira de Angola.

      Negros Bantus, 1937

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      Newspaper Estado da Bahia

      At half past nine in the morning, there will be, on the basketball field of Regatta Club Itapagipe, a demonstration of capoeira de Angola, the fetishist fight of the bantu negroes of Bahia. The "vadiação" will be led by Samuel Querido de Deus, who is considered by his peers as the best capoeirista of Bahia, and there will be a contest of Barbosa, Onça Preta, Juvenal, Zeppelin, Bugaia, Fernandes, Eutychio, Nenen, Zei, Ambrosio, Barroso, Arthur Mattos, Raphael, Edgard, Damião and other adepts of the great art of Mangangá.

      Estado da Bahia, 13.01.1937

      Today, in the morning, there was a demonstration of capoeira de Angola in the Regatta Club Itapagipe, of which 'vadiação' various capoeiristas took part, including Barbosa, Zeppelin, Bugaia, Onça Preta, Juvenal and others.

      Estado da Bahia, 14.01.1937

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      M João Pequeno

      [João Pequeno's] learning didn't start in an academy, but with a porter called Barbosa, from Dois de Julho Square, «who took me training and there was always a capoeira roda».

      Jornal da Bahia, 1982

      «He [a work buddy] had a friend, who was a capoeirista, the deceased Barbosa. He was a capoeira mestre. That time the capoeira master was the one who taught, who has a capoeira roda. And there were only four people that time who were classified as mestres. These were Cobrinha Verde, who had a capoeira roda in Salvador's neighborhood called Chame-Chame. It was a neighborhood of mango trees. Waldemar da Liberdade had a roda, but it was on pavement, on the street. It was mestre Bimba who had a place for capoeira. And mestre Pastinha, who had his association, that was called the Sport Center of Capoeira Angola.

      «And then [the work buddy] introduced me to Barbosa, who was his friend. One day he called me, saying: «Lets go, Barbosa will be there! Lets go, I'll introduce him to you». He took me there and Barbosa, looking at me, asked: «You want to learn capoeira?» I at that time, having come from out of town, distrustful, said: «I do». And he said, looking at me: «Don't worry, you will learn capoeira». So since then I followed him. But he didn't have a place to teach in. We went to Cobrinha Verde's capoeira roda. He gave me a lesson and said: «Keep looking. Keep looking, because when you look you will see and learn». And so we went whereever there was a capoeira roda. I went to São Tomé de Paripe, because he has a capoeirista there who was a police captain called Chimba. We went there, to play capoeira at his place. And like this I was growing in capoeira».

      Track 6 of M João Pequeno's CD, 2000

      «Cândido had a friend called Barbosa, a porter, who worked on the market of the Dois de Julho Square. Looking for this friend I asked him to teach me capoeira».

      A life of capoeira. M João Pequeno, 2000.

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      M João Grande

      «When one day I was crossing the bridge that connected Tororó to Garcia, and there was the Roça do Lobo invasion. I got there and met João Pequeno, Barbosa, Gordo, Cobrinha Verde, Tiburcinho, Manoel Carregador. I saw the three sticks of the berimbaus. I asked Barbosa and João Pequeno: - «What is this?» And they said: - «This is capoeira!»

      Interview to Abelha (Poloca), 2004

      «One Sunday I was in Tororó and later went downhill. There below was Roça do Lobo, a neighborhood, where only poor people lived, really poor. I got there and from up above I saw a little roda. When I got down, I saw the roda and three little sticks bouncing, but I didn't know what capoeira was. I asked then from the deceased Mestre Barbosa: «Hey mister, what is this? «This is capoeira»».»

      EInterviews to Maurício Castro, 2001 and 2005

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      M Waldemar

      «[..] Barbosa from Cabeça, a porter, the capoeirista with the best technique that I've seen [..]».

      Diário de Notícias, 1970

      «I met a capoeirista, which whom we had a draw, we had a draw on voices and singing. He was called Barbosa. He was a porter in Cabeça, here in [..]. He was a porter. He was the son of Cachoeira, but he had a son of bitch of a voice. We had a draw. When we got to capoeira, he said: «You sing a ladainha and I will sing one of mine.» I sang the ABC of Riachão. On that one I won, because he couldn't sing it. The ABC of Riachão he didn't sing. When I sang Vilela, he couldn't sing it. But he had a voice! He had a voice. But ABC of Riachão he couldn't sing. The Quarrel of Riachão with the Devil he didn't sing, because he didn't know all the lyrics. He sang other ladainhas. But mine, that I took from the book, the stories that the book had, he didn't know. Pedro Cem he didn't know. It was me who introduced it in Bahia. It's a damn beautiful ladainha.»

      Interview to M Negoativo, 1987

      «I didn't see anyone play more than me. But I'll tell you the names of some who've already died: Barbosa, Onça Preta - this one is in Rio, old, but alive - Eutíquio, Gato Preto's father, Daniel played capoeira, but not only.


      «I found a good capoeira singer here, we faced each-other. He had the same voice I have. The people even said he looked like me, the deceased Barbosa, from Cabeça. He sang alot, played the berimbau alot and played capoeira alot. From Cachoeira. He was a good master.»

      Interview to M Luiz Renato, 1989

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      M Noronha

      [The deceased] Barboza, a porter of the 2 de Julho Square.

      M Noronha's manuscripts, 1976

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