Calinda


Calinda (aka "Calenda" and "Mousondi") is an African stick dance art. It's also used in many other countries around the world now. It's related to Capoeria in some way. Some say that Capoeria was developed from Calinda.

Calinda (Kalinda) is martial art, as well as kind of folk music and dance in the Caribbean which arose in the 1720s. Calinda is the French spelling, and the Spanish equivalent is calenda; it is a kind of stick-fighting dance tradition commonly seen practiced during Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago.

Though it is more commonly practiced as a dance because of the violent outcome of stick fighting, its roots are still that of a martial art originating from Africa, and stick fights still occur in the remoter parts of Trinidad.

Kalenda is one name assigned to an Afro-Caribbean form of stick fighting as practiced in Haiti and entering the United States through the port city of New Orleans. It is also practiced in other parts of the Caribbean, such as Martinique.

The well-known Cajun song "Allons dancer Colinda" is about a Cajun boy asking a girl named Colinda to do a risqué dance with him; probably derived from the Calinda dance which was reported to have been performed in New Orleans by Afro-Caribbean slaves brought to Louisiana.

It is easy to draw a comparison between the two arts.  Like in Capoeira, Kalinda is influenced by Afro-religions, and the fighters often get into a trance-like state.  A Kalinda match involves two fighters battling with sticks; the symbol of Capoeira is the Berimbau (a musical instrument used in all Capoeira matches); the process of building the stick and the Berimbau includes choosing the wood, cutting it and preparing it in a ritualistic way.  Further comparisons between the two arts can be drawn through the presence of circles or “wheels.”  Also both Capoeira and Kalinda greatly influenced their respective cultures, in particular music, dance and the theatre.