Besouro Mangangá


Song Lyrics

Besouro Mangangá

Besouro Mangangá

Besouro Mangangá

Besouro Mangangá


Cidade de Santo Amaro

Terra do Maculele

Viu os Mestres Popo e Vavá

E viu Besouro a nascer


Besouro Mangangá

Besouro Mangangá


Besouro cordão de ouro

Manoel Henrique Pereira

Desordeiro pra polícia

Uma lenda pra Capoeira


Besouro Mangangá

Besouro Mangangá


A lenda diz que Mangangá

Também sabia voar

Transformando em besouro

Pra da polícia escapar


Besouro Mangangá

Besouro Mangangá


Mataram Besouro Preto

Não foi tiro nem navalha

Com uma faca de tucum

Na velha Maracangalha


Besouro Mangangá

Besouro Mangangá

English Translation

Besouro Mangangá

Besouro Mangangá

Besouro Mangangá

Besouro Mangangá


The city of Santo Amaro

The land of Maculele

I saw the Masters Popo and Vava

And saw the birth of Besouro


Besouro Mangangá

Besouro Mangangá


Besouro cordão de ouro

Manoel Henrique Pereira

Made mass to the police

A legend to the Capoeira


Besouro Mangangá

Besouro Mangangá


The legend tells that Mangangá

Also knew to fly

Transform to Beatle

To escape the police


Besouro Mangangá

Besouro Mangangá


Killed Besouro Preto

It wasn’t and shoot and not a knife

With Faca de Tucum

In the old Maracangalha


Besouro Mangangá

Besouro Mangangá

History and sentiment behind song

Besouro became a folk legend in Bahia in Brazil, as he became renowned for fighting injustice and standing up for the oppressed and impoverished black population in the area. Although slavery was officially abolished, many poor black workers were only “paid” with accommodation and food: it was really still slavery, just under a different name. The “police” were the armed enforcers of the powerful landlords, ensuring the status quo. The legends state that Besouro refused to accept these injustices, and would demand fair pay for his labour and that of the local people. When the plantation owners would call in the police in an attempt to quell the uprisings, he would use his amazing capoeira skills to fight for justice. There are numerous stories where Besouro would be hugely outnumbered by police armed with weapons and guns, but would escape unharmed to fight another day. His apelido “Besouro” referred to this ability to always escape these precarious situations: Like a beetle he could scurry away or take flight, evading capture. “Mangangá” is a word of African origin, which refers to a type of magical spell, which is used to create a “closed body” (corpo fechado), making it invincible against attack, even from knives and bullets, providing that the person wears a “Patua” (magic amulet) and abstains from sex.