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Lieutenant Chamberlain
Views and costumes of Rio de Janeiro

 

Views and Costumes of the City and Neighbourhood of
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,
 
from Drawings taken by Lieutenant Chamberlain, Royal Artillery,
 
During the Years 1819 and 1820,
 
with Descriptive Explanation,
 
London:Printed for Thomas M'Lean, No. 26 Haymarket,
by Howlette and Brimmer, Columbian Press, No. 10, Frith Street, Soho Square
1822

 

Plate 4: A Market stall

Chamberlain's MARKET STALL
A Market Stall
click on pic to enlarge (640x441 jpeg, 388kb)

(...)

These Stalls are usually the property of free Negresses who deal in
poultry, vegetables, fruit, pulse, and Indian corn, sometimes also selling
bread and fryed fish. They are the resort of idle, gossiping blacks, of
which several are seen indulging their natural inclination of listening to
other folks business. Here a boy with a basket sent out by his master to
seek employement, has got into a dispute with the stall woman, which
attracts the attention of a negress carrying a tray with wine and caçhaça
(a kind of bad rum, the common spirit of the country) for sale ; of
another vending milho or Indian corn ; of a barber's boy who forgets that
his master's customers are anxiously waiting for him ; and of the owner of
another stall which she has abandoned for the moment from an irresistible
desire to become a party in the war of words.

The Negro with a loaded basket on his head, though arrested in
his progress by what is going on, does not however cease playing upon his
favourite mabimba lungungo, an African musical instrument in the shape
of a bow, with a wire instead of a string. At the end where the bow is held
is fixed an empty calabash or wooden bowl, which being placed against the
naked stomach enables the performer to feel as well as to hear the music he
[p. 2/2]
is making. The manner of playing is very simple. The wire being well
stretched, is gently struck, producing a note, which is modulated by the
fingers of the other hand pinching the wire in various places according to
the fancy ; its compass is very small, and the airs played upon it are few ;
they are generally accompanied by the performer with the voice, and
and consist of ditties of his native countries sung in his native language.

The older owner of this stall entirely enveloped in the fumes and delights
of her pipe, heeds not what is going on around her.


Chamberlain's MARIMBA LUNGUNGO Chamberlain is the first author that we know of to picture what he says is called the marimba lungungo (we feel free to correct mabimba into the known common denomination of African instruments, marimba), termed by others urucongo and a number of other names, and today, with some changes in making and in the manner of playing, generally called the berimbau and associated with capoeira.

List of capoeira historical documents


Liste de documents historiques sur la capoeira


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Lucia Palmares & Pol Briand
3, rue de la Palestine 75019 Paris
Tel. : (33) 1 4239 6436
Email : polbrian@capoeira-palmares.fr

Association de Capoeira Palmares de Paris