Capoeira Angola - Bushcraft - Archery - Primitive/Ancestral Skills

Vadiacao de Oxossi takes capoeira angola as its foundation and philosophical point of departure out into the world of Nature and the world of folks - developing this amazing connection into a variety of inter-related explorations of our natural environments together with concepts of liberty & self-reliance woven through with primitive (or ancestral) technologies - including woodlore, bushcraft, wilderness survival, team-building skills, and extended self-defense training outside from what is conventionally found in contemporary capoeira angola curricula.

A common motto shared in capoeira lore is "a roda é igual a vida" (the capoeira ring equals life) essentially expressing the sentiment that dynamics which exist in the game of capoeira pertain and extend directly into the realm of our lives as they are lived - that what can be found in the capoeira ring expresses much of what can and may manifest for us in the world at large.

Currently the only on-going programs we have available to the public here at Vadiacao de Oxossi are our capoeira trainings. These are held in several locations around the country, each location led by an instructor who is a senior student of Perere. All other aspects of our educational curriculum, activities, and events are complimentary and supplementary to our focus of transmitting our capoeira angola tradition in a thorough and satisfying way to all our group members. In the near future Vadiacao de Oxossi will be - with the ongoing support of our members and community - expanding into a proper school with additional programs, workshops, events and activities for everyone interested in what we have to share. Please stay tuned.

Every so often I am contacted by individuals or groups who study capoeira or other martial arts & self-defense systems who are interested in my message and orientation with capoeira, capoeira-informed bladed weapons techniques, and nature awareness skills to offer workshops and trainings. All my study groups around North America originate from just this sort of inquiry. I have had the good fortune of being invited to teach capoeira and related arts all across North America and establish positive and lasting relationship and help in building strong communities. If you are interested in something similar please feel most welcome to make contact. There is much to explore and share - life is an adventure!

Perere - Head Instructor and Mestre for Vadiacao de Oxossi

Capoeira Angola
A Traditional Martial Art and Game/Sport of Bahia Brazil

Our curriculum is based on the skills, knowledge , philosophy & folklore of capoeira angola - with its core teachings of Malicia, Malandragem, and Mandinga -  and grounded in a dogma-free foundation of Respect, Responsibility, Safety, and Liberty imparted to me by my teacher Mestre Nô.

The principles of Malicia which serve as the foundation for the life philosophy of the Angoleiro are infused & informed by the concepts of Preparedness, Capacity, Resoluteness, Flexibility, Opportunism, and Adaptability, I've taken these tried-and-true principles and continue to develop them outward from their capoeira application and into all the many and diverse tools involved with bushcraft and primitive life-skills.

Students learn the fundamentals of effective strategy, economy of motion, situational awareness, critical thinking, falling skills, and self-defense through the rites of the game. Creating a personal expression and interpretation of traditional skills for themselves that blends seamlessly with the theater of dangers and obstacles of the Ring.

The berimbau commands the roda. We explore the rites and interplay of the ring through the ever entrancing rhythms laid down by the musical bow. Through its voice and symbols we develop patience and self-control, the ability to listen and sense energies and the shift and flow of the game.

With the bataria we explore a form of camaraderie and teamwork to a common goal, to strive together to guide the roda to its fullest expression through music, song, rites, and sage advice.

With our jogos (game-play) in the ring - player-against-player bent towards winning the circle - we bring our life experience, our hard-earned skills and knowledge to bear - The roda equals and reflects the circumstances of our lives - of its perils and beauties, and also its potentials for success and transformation: that taking of 'certain' defeat and turning it around at the last possible second into victory! It re-enacts a hero's journey, the path of the Sun,  the cycles of nature and more.


Vadiacao de Oxossi is made up of members who are currently spread all across the United States. Many of us are centered around active programs in a few locations around the country, and several individuals are away to University or are on their own solo path while staying in a mentored relationship with me.

As a community we strive to meet together at least once a season for all-group gatherings. This quarterly gathering started in the late 1990's in a previous incarnation of our community, and we have been going strong now for nearly 15 years. At these weekend-long gatherings we focus the main block of our daily schedule to capoeira training and play, surrounding the time before and after for coming together to share meals, make plans, catch up on news, and explore a wide variety of knacks and bushcraft skills. These can range from making cordage from gathered plant fibers, to flintknapping, to making forays outdoors in search of new harvestable materials and resources.

Berimbau Making


Considered an important aspect of fully learning the art of Capoeira by many a mestre, making a berimbau is a very satisfying and fulfilling activity. It introduces a wide range of tools and materials and construction principles that are both practical and useful. Which can translate directly into archery bow making while also laying a great foundation for learning many bushcraft skills and knacks. Here are some images from past workshops lead by Pererê

Here's a group shot after instructing my
first berimbau making workshop - held in Seattle, WA. 1996

A successful berimbau making workshop in Iowa City, IA in 2006
I think this is taken around Midnight after a long full day.

Group shot from a workshop in Baton Rouge, LA. with a great group of capoeira folks from all over the region back in 2009

Primitive Skills and Bushcraft
Knowledge and Skills of the natural world held in your muscles and bones.

Primitive skills and Bushcraft consist of a truly enormous knowledge base encompassing a wide range of tools, techniques, and materials that tend to evolve around the needs of the people using them together with the materials available to them and the shaping forces of the environment and seasons. Calling them 'primitive' is accurate only in that they are primal - they came first.

But primitive often implies to modern ears a sense of lacking in sophistication, lacking in refinement or effectiveness, and nothing could be further from the truth. Energy conservation and effectiveness to purpose play enormous parts in influencing the development of primitive technologies. It is our lack of understanding and insight that interprets our ancient roots in the natural world as brutish and under-developed.

Tools, materials, and finished objects made from the resources of the environment may be rough and ready, or very finely crafted depending on the needs and skills of the makers. Calling them primitive may make it all sound a bit crude or unsophisticated, but far from this - the technologies developed in native cultures are often very refined, incredibly attenuated to purpose, and generally very dialed-in to the principles of energy conservation - a critical criteria to the success of humans living and thriving in nature and surviving in moments of crisis.

Harvesting wood for making berimbaus

It may seem obvious once stated that
berimbau (Musical Bow) crafting and Archery Bow crafting share tremendous parallels - but this often eludes many modern people. In traditional cultures the two instruments are frequently found to be expressions from a single principle - and this truth has been a huge inspiration for Perere towards the development of VdO.

Here strolling around out in the bushes of Port Townsend, WA. with one of my senior instructors Cupido - I am  introducing some of the better woods to be found here for making berimbaus here in the Pacific NW. Not surprisingly, these same woods have often been used historically by native peoples in this region to fashion archery bows and arrows.

 Primitive/Traditional Archery
making bows and arrows by hand

Shaping out a self-bow with a machete

A sample of bows crafted by
Pererê made from the woods of Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) and California hazel (Corylus cornuta var. californica)

As a quick and easy survival alternative dead standing evergreen tree branches can make surprisingly stout shooters. Here's a collection we made together as a group
during our Summer gathering
. Bowstrings spun up by hand where made of hemp twine. Great stuff.

Using fire to straighten arrow shafts


Arrows can be made from a wide variety of trees and shrubs and other easily gathered plant and mineral materials. Arrows can be tipped with points or blunts (or boxing gloves! - a tip of the hat to Oliver Queen!) depending on their intended purpose. The trick is getting them to fly true!

Pererê has knapped from Pacific NW Obsidian

Stone points on shafts of Oceanspray (
Holodiscus discolor)

Glass is an excellent medium to learn knapping on.
It is plentiful and relatively easy to work


Other related Skills we explore and develop on

fire lighting and camping

water and

habitat & seasonal preparedness


gourd crafting


cordage and natural fibercraft

primitive tools & green carpentry

plant foods and medicines

animal sign & relations

hunting, fishing, foraging & scrounging

musical instruments

storytelling and other good medicine

so much more interesting stuff!