It is my extreme pleasure, to introduce you to a great Capoeira Mestre, and an amazing human being. This is, Mestre Negoativo.
Mestre Negoativo is a Cultural Activist and Researcher of Afro-Mineira traditions of Bantu and Vissungo origin. He is the founder of the Lamparina Cultural Center in Bela Horizonte, and author of the book “Capoeiragem no País das Gerais”.
Mestre Negoativo is absolutely passionate about music and worships the berimbau. It’s very inspiring to hear him talk about the berimbau with so much love…
His inspiration are the great masters WALDEMAR, GATO PRETO, CANJIQUINHA, and TRAIRA. A lot of their knowledge about the berimbau was lost over the years and the rhythms they played were almost forgotten. Mestre Negoativo makes it his mission to keep this knowledge alive by passing this knowledge to his students.
In this video and the description below, Mestre Negoativo gives us some study material to work on, as well as links for those who want to buy his berimbaus, which I highly recommend.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him in Los Angeles, on the first leg of his 2022 U.S.A. tour.
For 4 magickal days, he shared some of his vast knowledge with us. This is what my capoeira angola teacher had to say about him:
“Mestre Negoativo is a force of nature. I feel that there are people and or events in our lives that when they interact with us that we are a better person for it. From the moment he landed until he departed each day was filled with laughter, learning, and fun.
The corelation between capoeira and nature is interconnected; capoeiristas rely on mother nature for sustenance, nurturing, care, and life. I felt Mestre Negoativo’s arrival on Earth Day weekend was syncronous especially with his view on the connection between capoeira and nature.
Mestre spoke out against the deforestation of the rainforest as a voice of the Amazon, and shared his knowledge and insight about the conscious musicality of capoeira and its African roots at the El Sereno community Garden, Eastside Cafe Caracol & Capoeira Batuque’s Main Studio in Culver City.
Thank you Mestre Negoativo for bringing your funk, your flavor, and dende! We got down like James Brown and had to get on up like Curtis Mayfield.”
Now, let me tell you what I got out his visit.
You see, since we hosted him here in L.A., we got to hang out and eat with him, as well as take his workshops. I’m not gonna go into detail, but being with him showed me how the art of Capoeira is a manifestation of nature.
Let me explain.
Like many animals, human beings can be domesticated. And we have created a society where domestication is the norm.
From the moment we’re born, our elders begin a process of domestication that has been repeated for many generations, even though we humans have been wild for most of our history.
This domestication process requires us to suppress the things that make us most human. Our innate awareness, our boundless passion and joy, our desire to live every moment of life fully and completely.
You can say that Capoeira is an antidote to this domestication.
When we learn Capoeira, we can develop the aforementioned attributes (Among other qualities), and in the process, become better people.
This lession was impressed on me the day we went hiking near Eaton Canyon Falls in Pasadena, Ca. We had brought instruments with us, and I started to play a pandeiro, the way I was taught. Now personally, I thought I was getting a good rhythm out of it, but when Mestre Negoativo took the pandeiro from me and proceeded to teach us how HE played it, I was amazed. The way he played was so vibrant, so ALIVE. It made me want to dance, to move, to PLAY right then and there.
You see, a lot of people in Capoeira may be good, or very good at playing any or all of the instruments, or singing all of the songs in perfect Portuguese but not be necessarily good at bringing out the feeling of joy, of passion, of playfulness that I was just talking about. They seem to play music or sing as a matter of course, and there’s no LIFE to it.
This is VERY important, because in a Roda, the quality of the games is greatly affected by the quality of the bateria (band).
I posted this video to try to show you what I’m talking about here… Of course the mestre didn’t go into as much detail as he does in this video, but with some lessons, you just have to BE THERE to understand.
Now as far as Martial arts goes…
Inside all of us is a natural ability to deal with conflict, whether that conflict is verbal or physical in nature. While we’re learning Capoeira, we explore how it’s practice can develop confidence, a shift in our perception of conflict, and ultimately, a path into our most natural and effective state of being.
Of course this can apply to many Martial Arts, But I’m talking about Capoeira here.
Now, I want to switch gears a bit and tell you about a place that is special to Mestre Negoativo’s heart, and the hearts of the community of Maria Goretti… LAMPARINA.
The Lamparina Cultural Center is an independent, non-profit community initiative that provides classes, educational workshops to discuss diversity and cultural events for children, youth and seniors.
The Cultural Center doesn’t pay salaries and fees, as all artistic and educational work is voluntary. However, there is a fixed monthly expense for the maintenance of the space and assistance for the transport of the workshops, to subsidize, light, water, cleaning, transport and snacks for the participants, janitor, internet/telephone and transport.
Through the Evoé Cultural platform, they hope to make a monthly recurring collection of BRL 1,500.00 ($287.05), which is essential for expenses.
If you would like to learn more about Lamparina, and/or would like to donate, please check out the links below.
And for those of you with mobile phones…
So, what is Mestre Negoativo up to these days?
Well, currently he is still teaching in many places, whether in person or in online classes, and researching about the Berimbau de Barriga, its historical processes, and the transformations of African-based musicality in the transition to the 21st century.
And speaking of music…
Yes, he’s also been making some great albums.
If you want to keep up to date on what he’s currently has going on, click on the links below.