Maculelê is another brazilian dance/fight which has similar roots like Capoeira. It is probably of african and/or indian origin, too. Though Maculelê and its past are even more uncertain than Capoeira's.
One theory says Maculelê arose during the work at the sugar cane fields. Others say Maculelê was danced at Thanksgiving and that it would have a religious origin. Maybe it was even a fighting technique of the slaves once!
Another legend tells the story of a man who stayed with the women and children at the village when the others were hunting and fishing. When the place was assaulted the man gave his life while he was protecting them with only two sticks in his hands. To honor this man they danced Maculelê.
The origins of Maculelê are not certain but it actually became almost extinct after the abolition of slavery in the year 1888 and wasn't seen much anymore. In the beginning of the 20th century Maculelê was brought back into life and integrated into modern Capoeira by Vavá and Mestre Popo. By consequence nowadays you can find Maculelê mainly in Capoeira schools.
Contrary to Capoeira Maculelê is a fight with sticks and knives. Any fighter has either two wooden sticks (port. grimas) which are about 50cm long or two knives (machetes) as they were used for the harvesting of sugar cane. The dancers wear the usual costumes made of straw (port. palha) for bahian dances.
Maculelê is practised similar to Capoeira in a roda in which two dancers are opposed to each other. The dance is accompanied by changing songs and clapping. The tact and therefore the speed of the moves is given by the Atabaque while the dancers hit their sticks/knives in a certain rhythm against the others'.
The movements that are used within can be according to the dancer's will rather acrobatic or dancing.