In the capoeira environment, mandinga has many meanings, including the power that capoeira players have to disguise their real intentions and trick their opponent. It is a way to invoke some forces to blur the opponent’s vision of reality almost like hypnotizing him or her into a trance-like state so that they can’t see what is coming. It can also be magic, like a trick, that confuses and distracts the opponent. However, much more than any of the above meanings, the word mandinga has a very special meaning as a way of referring to capoeiristas that are very expressive in their game and know how to embellish their jogo* (or game) with beautiful and impressive gestures. These gestures are sometimes very theatrical, sometimes like a primitive dance, and sometimes imitating all kinds of animals, including monkeys, jaguars, snakes, eagles, and bulls.

Want to know even more? check out the Mandinga website.