Ie viva meu Mestra, Part 2: Mestra Suelly

6 12 2007

Unfortunately, there is way less information out there that I could find on Mestra Suelly than there is on Mestra Edna Lima. However, I will make up for it at the end by directing you to a beautiful article on her final troca de corda, written by Mestre Acordeon himself!

(L to R) Mestra Suelly, Mestre Acordeon, Mestre Ra
Suellen Einarsen, or Mestra Suelly, is the first North American woman to become a capoeira mestre. She currently runs a United Capoeira Association academy in Berkeley, California, along with Mestres Acordeon and Ra. Mestra Suelly was also one of Mestre Acordeon’s first students in the United States, when she joined his class in San Francisco, 1983.

A professional dancer by the time she started capoeira, Mestra Suelly took naturally to the fluid, expressive art. She continued developing her dance career as her capoeira experience accumlated, eventually helping to found the widely successful Joe Goode Performance Group.

Since then, Mestra Suelly has toured, performed with, and left the group (1997), and of course–earned her mestra’s cord, which ocurred in 2000. For an incredibly compelling description of the occasion, please read Mestre Acordeon’s article, “Mestra Suelly: The Making of a Mestra“.


Postscript: The one (slightly disappointing) issue I have with Mestre Acordeon’s article is (as you’ve probably guessed), his reference to Mestra Suelly as “being my woman”. I honestly have no idea what that means! Does he consider her “his woman” patronizingly, since Mestre Acordeon “brought up” Suelly capoeira-wise, and helped her be the first American woman to reach the rank of mestre? Or does he mean that they are in a relationship (which, however, still doesn’t make it sound better)? If anyone could clarify, I’d greatly appreciate it!

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4 responses

31 12 2007

A comment on your postscript:

In Portuguese, “minha mulher” (literally translated “my woman”) actually means “my wife.” Sometimes “my serious girlfriend”, but “wife” is more common.

Interestingly, the reverse isn’t used: you don’t say “meu homem” (“my man”) to refer to your husband. Instead it’s “meu marido” (my husband) or “meu esposo” (my spouse). Men can also use “minha esposa” (my [female] spouse).

31 12 2007

That is interesting, and yet…I guess not very surprising? Since calling someone “my man” or “my woman” still connotes some sort of possession, even if it doesn’t *really* mean it, so looking at history/society/etc., somehow it kind of figures that “my woman” is normal usage while “my man” isn’t, and that the man is actually referred to by the correct title at all times (husband or spouse). Thanks for the information, Shayna!

5 05 2009

For the record-they are a very happily married couple and I believe he uses it as a term of endearment.

3 08 2010

So, wait, wait, wait… Does that mean he’s not oppressing and patronizing her?

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