Luiz Américo da Silva, Mestre Mentirinha, was born on the 28 th of August 1950. In 1956, around 6 years old, he passed with his mother in Bonsucesso and heard a different sound that he did not recognise and asked his mother to bring him around to see what was happening. When he got there he realised that that was the sound of the berimbau. He was amazed at what he was seeing, people training a fight following the rhythm of that instrument.
He then asked his mother to enrol him to Groupo de Capoeira Sou Bento Piccano that was lead by Mr Osvaldo Lisboa dos Santos, better known as Mestre Parana, who didn’t charge anything and taught in his back yard. Due to the music that he came in one day singing, Mestre Parana said now tell me another little lie, from which he got his nick name Michrina. He got other nick names such as Indio after. Later on, at about 15 years of age, in 1965 he started to teach capoeira to a group of people. In 1966 he was in a roda in the hall of ESTAÇÃO PRIMEIRA DE MANGUEIRA, when Mestre Parana introduced him as Mestre Mintrinha. At that time there were 3 capoeira groups: Grupo de Capoeira São Bento Pequeno from Master Paraná in Bonsucesso, Mestre Artur Emídio in Higienópolis, and Master Mário Santos, da Bonfim, in Olaria. In 1966 Mestre Mitrinha was invited by Mestre Maio Santos to teach in his gym.
During his life as a capoeirista, Mestre Mintrinha has had glorious moments such as when he became the first Brazilian capoeira champion, and four times champion of capoeira in Interstates, organised by the Brazilian confederation of Pugilism. Famous wherever he goes, it is necessary for just his gunga to play to notice that there is the oldest living capoeira mestre in Rio de Janero, not to mention an excellent percussionist. Mestre Mintirinha has travelled 18 countries and has had the opportunity to record with Paul Simon, and has met Maria Bethania when he was young. During a period of his life he worked for Instituto Padre Severino, where he taught capoeira and met his wife Miss Cleide who motivated him to teach in gymnasiums, and he funded group Terra de Capoeira that has existed for 9 years. Mestre Mintirinha is known for training kicking bags of 120 kg and the first capoeirista to break tables, tiles and other objects. The Mestre received the most honourable title given to a citizen of Rio de Janeiro, which is the Comenda Tiradentes in the Assembléia Legislativa do Estado of Rio de Janeiro.
Some famous phrases spoken by Mestre Mititina:
“I am the wind you pass and when I pass you stay”
“I am a little grain of sand in an ocean called capoeira, and the master is called god”.