Origins of the Berimbau

The berimbau is the soul of the roda. Its origins are ancient. In its earliest forms, it was the first string instrument ever invented by men. It was brought to Brazil by Africans where it was developed to the form we know today. During colonial Brazil, the berimbau was played by street vendors, dancers and even during religious ceremonies. It was called by many names, like urucungu, madimba and mbulumbumba. The berimbau eventually became an essential part of Capoeira. Today, every capoerista learns to play and sing at the rythim of the different berimbau toques (rhythms). Axé