place and emergence
The "invasion" of Corta Braço, in 1946[!], today the neighborhood of Pero Vaz, was the first social movement, in Salvador [..].
Carvalho and Pereira, 2014.
The occupation started in August of 1946, in the beginning only a few families occupied the area, most of them the ones that lived close to the place [..]. According to some old inhabitants, the name comes from the fact that there was a thick buchland which sheltered all kinds of thieves that attacked and injured with knives the passer-bys who took the alternative road between the Liberdade Road and the Baixa de Quintas.
The year of 1946 registers the first great collective invasion in the city of Salvador, the invasion of Corta-Braço, situated exactly in the popular Liberdade neighborhood, which, despite the constant juridical and police actions to be desoccupied, is legalized in 1947 as an act of dispossession by the then governor Otávio Mangabeira, the final tow of the New State and of the return to the process of democratical election.
The land was liberated to the inhabitants of the place on the 1st May of 1947.
Newspaper O Momento, 1948
[..] during its first years, between 1946 and 1948, Corta Braço became the headquarters of weekly meetings of Mestre Waldemar's capoeira roda. Some years later the roda turns into a hut [..].
The creation of Corta Braço and «O Momento»
Sunday, 11the April 1948
They unload trash in Corta-Braço
REAL NEGLECT FOR PEOPLE'S HEALTH - THE NEIGHBORHOOD IS COMPLETELY INFECTED
The inhabitants of Corta-Braço are revolted with the authority's attitude. These send to one of the squares of Corta-Braço daily many truckloads of trash infecting all the surroundings.
Exactly when there's a market and when the inhabitants are buying things for the day, 10 meters from there trucks unload rotten trash, where you see also many dead decaying animals.
A restaurant that is situated on the square has its hygene being harmed, putting its clients under hazard. The amount of flies is enourmous.
A group of people living there were talking to our reporter and saying that if the autorities don't take measures to end with this filth which is a real harm to the people's health, the people with take their own measures, because Mr Mangabeira promised them water, electricity and pavement, but is sending them as present daily kilos and more kilos of stinking trash.
This was a note provided by the Society to Help "O Momento" [S.A.M., also written on the poster], Liberdade Section, complying with its statutes that they sent to defend the collective interests of their members and all the local inhabitants.
NEW MANAGEMENT OF THE S. A. M.
The new management of S.A.M. in Liberdade will take office today publicly during the big public ceremony to commemorate the III anniversary of "O MOMENTO" [see the poster on the photos above!] on General Savaget Street, 43 where there will be present councilman Almir Matos, director of the people's newspaper, the Eng. Fernando Santana, president of the Central C. of S.A.M. and Raimundo Schaun in charge of the organization of the Central C. S.A.M.
the ABC of Manoel Agnelo dos Santos
«[..] in the beginning, there was no passage. But the passage was never named «Agnelo's passage» by the local government. There is no such name in Salvador. The name «Agnelo's passage» was given by mestre Waldemar and his capoeira students who formed the roda in front of Agnelo's bar/hut/supermarket. So it was an informal name. My grandfather simply authorized the roda to happen in front of his commercial establishment. My grandfather's hut in the 40-s was a bar that later became a small shop and later a supermarket. [..] the houses on the photo [see farther below!] are in fact his market hut.
My mother and aunts/uncles were raised in the house on top of the supermarket. And I until the age of 16 [year 2000] visited my grandfather's house for parties and gatherings. My godmother also lived there. Besides supermarket my grandfather opened a cinema and organized even parties. It was Agnelo's party. In the 50-s and 60-s. The cinema was on top of the shop. It was in the 50-s.»
Waldemar «Vavá» Oliveira, Sr Agnelo's grandson, 22nd September 2020
1916 - Was born Manoel Agnelo dos Santos in Engenho de Baixo in Recôncavo Baiano.
1947 - His son Agnelo Emmanuel Regis dos Santos was born.
1948 - Pierre Verger's photos of M Waldemar's roda in front of his bar.
1949 - His daughter Maria da Conceição Regis Nogueira Santos was born.
2000 - Died.
The place of the Old Agnelo's Roda and Bar
(W and A on the map)
In the past years we have collected various mentions of "Agnelo" in the words of old masters and researchers. Also there now has appeared a video where M Olavo shows the place. Read and see more below!
Old masters about Agnelo
M Lua Rasta-
[..] in M Bigodinho's, Resistencia, Lapinha, later Agnelo Bar, M Waldemar's roda.
[..] Besides the little Agnelo shop, where you could drink cachaça during the roda [..]
[..] The activities of the hut kept on going until the 1970-s, when it "started to deactivate slowly, taking place only for some more time, in Liberdade, Pero Vaz (where it was born), in front of the Agnelo Bar".
The first hut, a hut covered with palm leaves, was there on Padre Antônio Street, there at the Back of Agnelo.
Mestre Bom Cabrito used to go to the rodas that took place on Sundays at the entrance of teh old Pero Vaz, in front of the Agnelo shop, in the Liberdade neighborhood, run by Mestre Waldemar, in the end of the 1970-s.
M Barba Branca
The first time I saw capoeira was in Pero Vaz in Agnelo in a "shop" [..] when I was 13/14 [1970/71] [..]
M Olavo shows where the bar and the roda were situated
Pierre Verger's photos
We have 14 photos by Pierre Verger in Corta Braço, Liberdade, Salvador. For what we know Verger sent those to the Life Magazine in the United States (we found 9 photos in the Life archive). We don't yet know if these were published in the magazine.
In the study of Lühning and Pamfílio of 2012 titled «The winding ins and outs between oral history and photographic documentation: capoeira in Salvador on Pierre Verger's photos» they identified among others a group of photos which they described like this:
h) [later group 8] Other place in Liberdade, possibly also in Corta Braço, still without exact identification - 14 photos.
Also saying that: The photos of the groups 7 and 8, were mentioned by Verger in his notes as being from a place called Corta-Braço, part of the neighborhood of Liberdade, although visibly from two different places. The smalled group of photos shows people to the side of a mud hut, all in working clothes, however not identified.
Velhosmestres.com is posting all the 14 photos down below. On one of them to our eys M Waldemar manifests himself (red square) clearly. He is 31 years old, short, perhaps still without the moustache that he sports 5 years later on Brill's 1953 photos.
Besides him it's possible we identified M Zacarias (blue square), who started to learn with Waldemar in 1942. You can compare him with the photos of 1955 from Mário Cravo's place.
NB! These are the earliest photos of M Waldemar and Zacarias that we know of.
The gallery of 14 photos
of the roda
We read in Lühning and Pamfílio, 2012, that: [The notebooks with almost daily notes of Verger in French, relating to the possible perios of documentation] inform in telegraphic and sometimes obscure style, names of contacts, visited places, his work on the negatives, photos and revelations, as f.ex. in 20/11/1946 "... port portos capoeira ...", in 11/4/1948 [Sunday]: “... Corta Braço - Waldemar capoeira...” or then in 23/10/1948 [Saturday]: “... Waldemar - Port - Juvenal...”.
This takes us to the confirmation that the year of the photos is 1948, probably April.
On the door and on the window of the bar we can see a poster. We managed to decipher the following: III ANNIVERSARY OF "O MOMENTO". This is to say the anniversary of the newspaper O Momento [The Moment] that was started in 1945. There's what looks like Society to Help "O MOMENTO" written also. Number 9 is saying 9th April*. So the poster is saying the 9th, but as M Waldemar's roda was always on Sundays, the day of the photos would be 11th April 1948 (the one from Pierre Verger's notes). The party however lasted for 3 days. Read more below!
* O Momento on 17th March 1948 for example writes: "On the party of "O MOMENTO"'s anniversary on 9th April [..]"
On the crossing of the Pero Vaz Street with the Padre Antônio Street nowadays there's a roda (marked with an 'R' on the map above!) organized by a group called Capoeira Barro Negro.
On the crossing of Pero Vaz street with Padre Antônio street today there's a roda (marked with 'R' on the map above) organized by Capoeira Barro Negro group.