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The African slaves brought to Bahia especially those of the Bantu ethnic group developed numerous musical and dance traditions Most originated in the recncavo region during the colonial era and are still practiced today Some such as samba and capoeira have gained international popularity The samba-de-roda is a dance done by soloists in the center of a circle Capoeira is an intricate dancemartial art created by slaves for the purpose of defending themselves It is performed within a circle which its participants enter in pairs to the rhythm of a bow-like instrument called the berimbau Closely related to capoeira is maculel an acrobatic warrior dance In maculel people dance in pairs cross-striking either sugar canes or machetes to the beat of the atabaque a long cylindrical drum Finally Bahia is also known for its African-derived culinary tradition Slaves introduced new ways of cooking and seasoning meat fish and chicken Bahian food is usually cooked with peppers spices and the dark oil of the dend palm tree One example is acaraj a fried bean fritter stuffed with dried peppered shrimp Women known as baianas sell acaraj on street corners throughout Bahia Other dishes of African origin include carur moqueca and vatap Carur is a mix of broiled okra and onions shrimp and pepper that is traditionally served with fried fish such as grouper Moqueca is a type of stew that usually contains fish shrimp oyster or crab cooked in dend oil and coconut milk Perhaps the most famous dish of African origin in Bahia is vatap a seafood dish served in a thick manioc-based sauce African-derived traditions have long been Bahias source of vitality Historically however they have been repressed by state and federal governments Afro-Brazilian practices such as Candombl and capoeira were not widely accepted and embraced until the 1970s At that time Bahia was re-Africanized through a surge of black pride influenced by the black freedom movements in the United States and Africa The
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