History of Berimbau
The Berimbau has a rich history dating back to the slave trade era in Brazil. It is believed that the instrument’s origins can be traced back to African cultures, particularly the Bantu people, who brought their music traditions with them to Brazil. The Berimbau is similar to a bow, and the string is made of steel wire or gut. The player uses a wooden stick called a “vaqueta” to strike the string, and a gourd resonator is used to amplify the sound. The player also uses a coin or stone to change the pitch of the instrument.
In the early days of capoeira, the Berimbau was used as a tool for communication between slaves. Since slaves were not allowed to talk to each other, they used the Berimbau to send messages to each other in secret. The Berimbau’s unique sound carried across long distances, and the different rhythms and patterns had specific meanings. For example, the “toque de angola” rhythm signaled danger, while the “toque de samba” rhythm signaled a time of celebration.