Maculele is a traditional form of dance with sticks derived from African war dances. It is an element of Brazilian folklore. Maculele comes from Santo Amaro da Purificação (Bahia - Brazil). Dancers during the smaller ritual use sticks symbolizing the weapon. The sticks were later replaced by machetes which slaves used on sugar cane plantations during the colonization of Brazil.
Maculele was usually done at the end of the sugar cane harvest. Its main characters are attackers and defenders. Dancers play numerous forms of attack and defense movements, including cross-bending over the heads and in front of the body, thus symbolizing blocking strategies. Maculele is basically a dance with truncheons, sometimes it is also a dance with machetes and even torches.
The origin of the maculele, however, is quite a controversial matter. Some say that the first attempts to dance the maculele originate from the slave dance, who in this way wanted to relieve their anger against enslavement. Others say that the slaves used poles and mosques to defend themselves against the punishment of their masters, which later turned into a dance.
The maculele steps are very similar to other Brazilian dances such as "frevo", "Moçambique" or "Bate-pau" and many more.