A batizado (pronounced “ba-chi-za-doh”) is an initiation and grading ceremony where capoeira students receive their first capoeira cord. The students wear their cord around their waist through the belt loops of their pants. The cords are hand made with wool of various colours. The first cord is made from the colours red, black, and white. The 2nd to 9th (final) cords are made from the colours of the Brazilian flag, blue, green, yellow, and white. As a capoeira student progresses and improves in the art of capoeira, they change their cords at the batizado ceremony in another capoeira tradition known as the troca de corda, or change of cords. To reach the master level (mestre de capoeira) the student needs to dedicate their life to capoeira and can take up to 30 years of training.
The batizado and troca de cordas must be supervised by the mestre of the group, in our case, Mestre Pintor, and the group’s highest ranking instructors and happens only once a year.
The Grupo Bantus Capoeira Cord System
Higher cords are received according to capoeira skills, knowledge and effort to improve the game and active participation in the group.
The cord system for children under 15 years old is based on age.
Preata/Vermelha (14anos/years old)
Preata/Azul (13anos/years old)
Preata/Amarela (12anos/years old)
Preta/Verde (11anos/years old)
Branca/Preta (10anos/years old)
Branca/Vermelha (9anos/years old)
Branca/Azul (8anos/years old)
Branca/Amarela (7anos/years old)
Branca/Verde (6anos/years old)
Branca (5 anos/years old)
About Capoeira Nicknames (Apelidos)
Before it was legalised, the punishment for practicing Capoeira was extreme, and the police were vicious in their attempt to stamp out the art. Capoeira continued to be practiced, but it moved further underground. Rodas were often held in areas with plenty of escape routes, and a special rhythm called cavalaria was added to the music to warn players that the police were coming.
To avoid being persecuted, Capoeiristas also gave themselves nicknames, often more than one. This made it much harder for the police to discover their true identities. This tradition continues to this day. When a person is baptized into Capoeira at the batizado ceremony, they are given a nickname.
Their nickname is usually based on a personal character trait or an event that person is famous for.