Nigôlo tooks its beginning in 1991 when Lua Santana and his family moved to Morro do Chapéu, a village in the Chapada Diamantina, Bahia, Brazil. There he bought a small piece of land with the aim of living there following the principles of environmental sustainability and preservation, including reforestation of the whole area.
During the same period, in 1994, started the group of Capoeira Angola, having the main objective of helping the most socially vulnerable children and young people giving them the knowledge and confidence to be part of the “felicidadania”. Slowly, thanks also to the help of Ana Maria Jacobs, it brought together the necessary elements for the realisation of the social project nowadays known as Projeto Minhoca (port. = earthworm).
Afterwards, thanks to the encounter of Lua Santana with Suni, Luca and Barbara Tomasi, two more groups of the above mentioned movement were born in Munich, Germany. These groups, on the basis of Capoeira Angola, support together along with other entities, the Minhoca Project and also the Herbarium, an ecological project that is starting to take shape, having as main objective the preservation of Mother Earth.
In this way, we define the Capoeira Angola that we practice, being born of the most legitimate yearnings of freedom of the black people, as a dance, a dialogue, a ritual, a game, a culture, a feeling, a "vagrancy", a group joining, and at last, a "cunning" of the celebration of life, directed toward the union of body, mind and spirit, in the path for the harmony of the being, for a worthier world.
The Name Nigôlo
N'GOLO is the name given to a ritual of African tribes in Angola, based on the ritual of pairing of zebras. Carried from Angola to Brasil, during the slavery period, as part of the black African peoples' cultural knowledge, it is believed to be one of the elements that inspired Capoeira Angola. In fact, during the ritual, zebras make movements very similar to the movements made by two people playing Capoeira.
In this way, desiring to strengthen the sacred bonds to life of the nature, and with respect to the "whole" we found an identity in this word that we translated into Portuguese as NIGôLO, as our young children say:
NIGÔLO, pela harmonia do Ser ...
NIGÔLO, for the harmony of being ...
Ginga dos quatro elementos,
Artimanha da vida, ritual,
Na volta do mundo girando,
Órbita: caminho natural.
Mestre Lua Santana
Mestre Lua Santana considers himself pupil of mestre Caiçara who was, with the permission of Lua’s father, the person who introduced him to Capoeira. He was born and grew up in the quarter Libertade in San Salvador, Bahia – where he had the possibility to attend to the roda and lessons of the great masters (mestres) of that time as João Pequeno, Valdemar, Virgilio, Dois de Ouro and others. Since then he met and he trained with several capoeiristas many of them that are mestres nowadays such as, for example, Cobra Mança e Rosalvo.
He lives with his family in Morro do Chapéu, within the Chapada Diamantina in Bahia. He dedicates himself to the Minhoca project, where he teaches Educational arts and Capoeira. Main principles of his life are expressed in his work of environment preservation and in his sculptures focusing on the harmony of the being.
Since 2001 he regularly visits Germany, trains with the groups of Munich and gives workshops of Capoeira Angola.