A dobrão is the thick coin used to play the berimbau, and mine had gone missing after our July 26 street roda. I had others at home… but for capoeiristas, it’s more than just a piece of lost property. You develop a certain affinity with your dobrão; it’s the part of the berimbau you always carry with you. Baquetas are a dime a dozen, but losing a dobrão is almost like losing a patuá, a protective amulet.
In this ladainha, M. Poloca includes the dobrão among the mystical factors for maintaining a corpo fechado (literally, a “closed body,” one that is supernaturally protected):
Eu tenho corpo fechado [I have a closed body]
Por olho não morro não [I cannot be killed by the evil eye]
Eu tenho meu protetor [I have my protector]
Me pegar não é fácil não [It’s not easy to catch me]
Contra faca de ticum [Against knives made of ticum]
Aprendi uma oração [I learned a prayer]
Sapato com presa dentro [A shoe with a bird’s claw inside]
O meu pé não boto não [I do not put on my foot]
Não uso roupa dos outros [I don’t wear others’ clothing]
Nem empresto o meu dobrão [Nor do I lend my dobrão]
Não como comida alheia [I don’t eat strange food]
Roupa minha, vendo não [Nor do I sell my clothes]
Dia de roda não bebo [On the day of a roda, I don’t drink]
Em mulher não ponho a mão [Nor do I touch a woman]
Do I believe a dobrão has real magical powers?
Am I still influenced by the superstition?
I’ve had a crappy last couple of days and so yesterday when I found my lost dobrão, I took it as a sign that maybe my luck is turning…