We are the first school of Capoeira Angola to be established in Australia and our aim is to promote and preserve Capoeira Angola while respecting its tradition and rituals, as well as to maintain the respect for and the recognition of all Mestres especially the older generation of Mestres who are the guardians of this Afro-Brazilian culture.
The Escola de Capoeira Angola Mato Rasteiro (ECAMAR) was founded by Mestre Roxinho in 1998 in Salvador, Bahia. In 2000 Mestre Roxinho took ECAMAR to Lins, São Paulo, where Capoeira Angola was still relatively unknown. He established his school and began to introduce Capoeira Angola and other elements of Afro-Brazilian culture to the people of Lins. The school was also the site of various social and cultural projects organised by the local community with the collaboration of Mestre Roxinho’s students.
This was the time that Mestre Roxinho initiated a series of open seminars to study and bring about the understanding of the value of Afro-Brazilian culture inside the practice of Capoeira Angola. The idea was to support the movement of recognition of Capoeira Angola as an expression of African tradition in Brazil. By celebrating and affirming African culture, the poorer community, which is most of the afro-descendant background, can continue a process of undoing the social exclusion that they are still suffering in Brazil.
In Lins, Mestre Roxinho initiated Project Bantu, classes for at-risk children and adolescents. The same project that started in São Paulo is now underway in Australia, the Philippines and New Zealand. The program is delivered to children and teenage refugees and Indigenous Australians who are suffering from marginalisation inside the Australian society.
In Sydney, ECAMAR holds every year an international event with guest Mestres from Brazil. The event takes place around the 20th of every November as both a connection with the Black Consciousness celebrations taking place during this month all over Brazil and the commemoration of the day of death of Zumbi dos Palmares, a great reference for the black people of Brazil.
Every year we celebrate International Women’s Day with a Roda dedicated to women and lead by women in addition to holding discussions on international and national women’s rights issues.