Bibliographic data

Abramo, Alcione: Ensino criativo de história do Brasil - colônia. São Paulo: Editora do Brasil, 10th ed., repr. [10. Aufl., Nachdr.], 1976, 42–43.

"Our origins in the past"

[p. 42]

The third element in the creation of our people a was the black , which came from Africa starting in 1550. […]

[depiction of men doing Capoeira]


[p. 43]

[depiction of a slave being tortured]

Castigo de escravo.


The slaves came from various regions of Africa, mostly from the Portuguese colonies, and belonged to different nations: Bantus, Congolese, Angolan, Sudanese, Yorubas and Ewe. In general, they had a more developed culture than our indigenous people: they knew tillage, livestock breeding, smithery with metals such as copper and bronze, foundries and mining. They were skilled artists and fashioned sculptures from wood and metal and paintings on cloth or wood. Some groups, like the Yorubas and Malês b , had come into contact with the Arabs, thereby obtaining advanced knowledge, even of writing. Most of them settled in Bahia.

In their country of origin, the Africans were, like our indigenous peoples, divided into tribes, scattered in villages. The inhabitants of a village were related to each other and also had a war chief and a spiritual leader. The most important decisions were in the hands of the village or tribal elders who gathered in council.

Their religion, customs, dances, music, songs and food merged with the culture that the Portuguese had brought, just as the culture of the indigenous peoples did. This mixture created the Brazilian culture, which is rich and varied due to the influence of these three races.

Concerning the mix of races, the cross between a white person and an indigenous person resulted in the mestizo , the cross between a black and an indigenous person the cafuzo , and the cross between a white and a black person the mulatto .

[a] Translator’s note: Literally: of our ethnicity.

[b] Translator’s note: The term Malês designated Muslim slaves in Brazil.


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