• 114
    Daniel Coutinho
     Mestre Noronha 
    3/Aug/1909 - 17/Nov/1977

    📻 Velhos Mestres

    M Noronha. Dança de Guerra, 1968
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    • 6.
    • 7.
      Dona Maria
    • 8.
      Quebra gereba
    • 9.
      Jararaca no cajueiro
    • 10.
      Tiririca é faca de corta. Minha toalha rendada
    • 11.
      Foi estivadô
    • 14.
      Vá dizê ao meu sinhô. Quem quizê piedade. Adi lê lê

    M Noronha, 1968

    ABC of M Noronha

    1909 - Was born on 3rd August in Beco do Girassol, Baixa dos Sapateiros, Salvador son of José Coutinho and Maria Conceição.

    1917 - He started his capoeira apprenticeship with M Cândido Pequeno (Cândido da Costa) in Beco de Xaréu. From the same year he describes a capoeira roda in Curva Grande in his book.

    1920-s - With his brother M Livino Boca da Barra (Livino Malvadeza) he founded the Centro de Capoeira Angola Conceição da Praia and taught in Maciel de Baixo, n° 31, in Salvador.

    1941 - Together with other mestres he handed their Centro Nacional de Capoeira de Origem Angola on Ladeira da Pedra, Gengibirra, in Liberdade to M Pastinha.

    1971 - Gave information for Jair Moura's article. The article Capoeirista in the old days didn't "play while working" was published in A Tarde, Salvador, 10th July [read below].

    1968 - He participated in Jair Moura's film called Dança de Guerra. Listen to the songs of the recording above.

    1976 - On 29th April he completed his book called O ABC DA CAPOEIRA ANGOLA - Os Manuscritos do Mestre Noronha. Frede Abreu published it in 1993.

    1977 - Died on 17th November.

    Photo gallery

    • A Tarde. Salvador, 10 jul. 1971
      Capoeirista in the old days didn't "play while working"

    • Read the text below

    • Read the text below

    • Read the text below

    • Art and a means of defense of capoeira are still practised. The tough guys, however, are dissappearing. The times are different.
    • A Tarde. Salvador, 10 jul. 1971
      Capoeirista in the old days didn't "play while working"

    • M Noronha
      Jair Moura collection

    • M Noronha, 1976
      Kazado Wa Mukuna collection

    • Standing:
      Totonho de Maré,
      Indio do Mercado Modelo,
      João Grande.
      Playing: João Pequeno and Jair Moura
      Dança de Guerra film
      Jair Moura collection

    • M Pastinha (at the back) and M Noronha
      Jair Moura collection

    • M Noronha

    • The cover of M Noronha's book
      Published by Frede Abreu in 1993

    • The cover of the LP of Dança de Guerra film, 1968

    • page 1

    • page 4

    • page 5

    • page 6

    • page 7

    M Noronha


    • page 2


      Capoeirista in the old days didn't "play while working"
      A Tarde. Salvador, 10 Jul. 1971
      Jair Moura

      The bahian capoeirista in the old days never walked around without his machete called "cow's rib", or a sharpened "marlin" (a small sword, which was a sharp blade, with one or two cutting edges). These were his inseparable companions. On the neck they didn't go without talismans containing strong prayers to avoid bad moments, warning them of the bad. The charm, together with a rosary, was also used between the thorax and the armpit, both strung together with a string, joined around the throat.

      Twenty relics could serve for the making of the talisman: „Pedra d’ara“ [piece of marble with an internal compartment filled with the relics of martyred saints - velhosmestres.com], „agnus-dei“ [figure of a lamb bearing a flag or a cross], „sanguinho“ [or purificator, was a thin piece of napkin-shaped cloth that was used to wipe off the chalice after consecrating the wine into Christ's blood], „calix-bento“ ["holy chalice], „cera de vela benta“ [wax of the holy candle], „leite de N. Senhora“, which was a white stone with an image on one of its sides, „terra da cova de Salomão“ [earth from Solomon's tomb] among others. The capoeirista that had his talisman made of any of these substances, had the power or virtue according to the ingrained superstition, to get rid of all the threats, becoming string and corageous, managing, even, to have the power to turn himself into a tree stump, when needed. That was called a "closed body" or "to close the body" by the superstitious.

      The charms were carried inside cloth or leather pockets, together with strong prayers, like the "Solomon's five", that in a correct language is "Solomon's sign" and the inicials "JMJ" (Jesus, Mary, Joseph), with marvellous effects, against the harms, chiefly the plots of rivals, death in combat, etc. The prayer called "Solomon's arch", well known by old masters, was the most common among capoeiristas. It ended like this::

      Close the body,
      protect yourself brother,
      in the holy arch of Solomon“

      Capoeirista who used a talisman was known in these times as „cacundeiro“ (mandingueiro). The talismans were prepared on Good Fridays and contained threads from priests' robes or the „santo-lenho“ [piece of the Holy Cross] and bless these during the procession of the Dead Lord, to obtain divine protection.

      It was a cause for pride of the capoeirista to hate the Police. Capoeira was persecuted by the authorities, and to "vadiar" in these times it was indispensable to have the police permit. When there were however folk festivities the desired concession was given by the them Police Chief Hanequim Dantas. «I got a lot of help from Canon Manoel Barboa, Vicar of the Matrice of Conceição da Praia, to have the authorities' permission to play around in the feast of the Immaculate Conception [8th December]», reveals the old Daniel Coutinho, nicknamed "Noronha".

      A quatrain which was sung a lot in these days reflects capoeirista's disgust against the repressive means of the authorities:

      I didn't learn to be a priest
      nor to become a doctor
      I learned capoêra
      to kick the inspector's ass
      Ê aquindèrreis!
      Capoêra is a false guy
      he'll beat you,
      prepare your stomach
      to take a beating!

      Some capoeiristas were protected by important figures of the society, had their godfathers, which was the case of Samuel da Calçada, Tibiririco Focinho de Porco, Sete Mortes, Luís Escalvino, Mansu Valente, fearsome capoeirista, who with his "bicuda" ["needle", a knife], made a whole police detachment run in Cais do Ouro, today Deodoro Square, and Pedro Mineiro, the last one, appointed as henchman of Álvaro Cova, Police Chief and protected by the Ex-Governor José Joaquim Seabra.

    • +

      page 3

      Anúm is a black bird
      that doesn't sing in a cage
      not inside
      nor outside
      only sings on an anthill
      when it sees the ant outside

      I was home
      Captain called me
      to help win
      the war against Paraguay
      when the mandingueiro got there
      Paraguay is worth nothing

      Who wants frozen fish
      go to the Preguiça beach
      because the army soldier
      is finishing off police

      „Noronha“ has had various professions in his life: mill worker, docker, and works lately in the „Sindicato dos Conferentes e Consertadores de Carga e Descarga do Pôrto da Cidade do Salvador“ [Port of Salvador]. He was put there in the year 1939, by Captain Nascimento, who was the agent of this City, and today is the Captain of Long Course.

      He's married a second time. In the first, he was 28 years old, and the wife died during childbirth. With the second, Mrs Maria Joana Batista Coutinho, who's called "Dofana", from the „Kêtu“ nation, whose orixá is „Iansã“, he's lived with for around 30 years. From these marridges, he's had 3 children with the first, and 6 with the second.

    • +

      page 4

      The peculiarity of Mansu Valente can be seen in the folk song [listen above]:

      Who wants to have pity
      go behind the prison bars
      where there's Mansu Valente
      in the dark without a candle

      When it comes to the violent life, and the tragic end of troublemaker Pedro Mineiro, we encounter information in verses sung in the "roda da capoeira" when it's exhibitions take place:

      In the Galinho bar
      which was on Sé Square
      Pedro Minêro killed a sailor
      because of Maria José
      in the port of Bahia there were
      Battleship Idaban
      and Torpedoship Piaui
      the insubordinate sailor
      jumped the ship to have a party
      they sent to kill Pedro Minêro
      inside the police station
      Auê, take notice,
      capoêra has its grounds...

      Capoêra will kick your ass...

      The „Baixinha“, in Taboão, was the place to reunite the tough guys of the old days, continues Daniel. In the twenties, the police cavalry squads had a lot of work in combating the crimes that were committed there, almost all made with a headbutt „churuméla“ and razor-knife.

      The newspapers of the time register these happenings in the police chronicles of Salvador. A Tade tells on 29.1.1915: "In the „15 Mistérios“ Square the capoeirista called Manoel Mendes, also known as "Manoel Tié" got rid of Reinaldo Pereira Lopes using headbutts".

      „In the place called „Carvão“, Inácio Loiola de Miranda, fought with soldeir called Aristides José de Santana, who pulled out the sabre, striking, in vain, a series of hits on the troublemaker, who dodged, using capoeira, and ended up killing the soldeir with a headbutt (A Tarde 18.12.1916). In Taboão, José Batista da Cruz, called „Guruxinha“, was striked with a razor-knife by a fishmonger and capoeirista Pedro dos Santos, „Pedro Porreta“, aided by his brother Pedro de Alcântara, „Piroca“. The victim later died“ (A Tarde 14.12.1920).

      Among the tough guys of capoeiragem of the past, "Noronha" remembers the names of Eutiquio das Malhadas, Alfeu Balbúrdia, Felipe Negrão, Zacarias Grande, Bigode de Sêda, Livino Diogo, Hilário Rosa de Viterbo (Bilusca), Antônio das Neves (Maré), Percílio Engraxate, Geraldo Chapeleiro, Geraldo Pé de Abelha, Eduardo Carrocinha, Pedro Agonia, Domingos Ferro Velho, Júlio Cabeça de Leitoa, Negrão Benedito Cão, Cirilo Grande, Amorzinho, who was a "strong guy", but liked the white, and Ricardo Doqueiro, of who, some are still alive in the list of alive people.

      Daniel Coutinho, a bahian, born in Baixa dos Sapateiros, almost 70 years old [61, born in 1909 - velhosmestres.com], son of José Coutinho and Misses Maria Conceições, both of indian blood, is one of them. Still a boy he learned the difficult art of capoeira, the art of the "solta" and the "rabo-de-arraia", with a black Angolan descendant, the old Cândido Pequeno.

      Noronha, despite the weight of years, handles with ease the „gunga“, (berimbau).

      Daniel remembers that on 2nd February, in a place called „Cabrito“, in the Bay Area, every year the Yemanjá cult was celebrated. They arranged a "summerhouse" (platform) in the churchyard of Igrejinha and for the joy of the Holy devotees, the party started with samba, batuque, capoeira and lasted for three days. These festivities were organized bu Galindeu, an old master, who practised the african rites, and was very respected there in Cabrito, where there was a large clientele amoing the people who worshipped Iansã. He died, eighty years old.

      Daniel changes remembering the past lost in the mist of time, and murmurs some songs, that were sung by him in the "roda of vadiagem", where the old mestre linked the stomach to the "gunga" (berimbau), to the handclaps and to the grunt of the "bode" (pandeiro).

      Tiririca is a cutting knife
      it only cuts the Sinhá boys
      cacunbuca is a kitchen knife
      that comes from Mucungê
      Mucungê that comes from beyond the tide
      the tide that is a sinner's bag [?]

      Women what you sell there
      is rice from Maranhão
      my Master sent me sell it
      in Solomon's tomb

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