- Portuguese Brazilian
|group=flagicon|Portugal Portuguese Brazilian flagicon|Brazil
Portuguese immigrants in Brazil
poptime= No official numbers (the vast majority of Brazilians have some Portuguese ancestry)
White Brazilian, Portuguese people Brazilhas long been a melting potfor a wide range of cultures. From colonial times Portuguese Brazilians have favoured assimilation and tolerance for other peoples, and intermarriage was more acceptable in Brazil than in most other European colonies. Portuguese are the main European ethnic group in Brazil, and most Brazilians can trace their ancestry to an ethnic Portuguese or a mixed-race Portuguese. Portuguese Brazilians first appeared in the colonial period, in the 16th century, as settlers and colonists, though most arrived in the early 20th century, as immigrants.
Immigration to Brazil
First Portuguese (1500-1700)
On 22 April 1500, the first Portuguese explorer,
Pedro Álvares Cabral, disembarked in what nowadays is Porto Seguro, Brazil. Initially, the Portuguese believed they had discovered an island, but soon learned they had come across a vast new continent. Unbeknownst to them at the time, they were laying the foundations of what was to become the world's most populous Lusophonenation. Throughout the early 16th century, Portuguese emigration to Brazil remained very low. Only a small quantity of Portuguese, often living among the Amerindians, actually settled in Brazil.
Some of the earliest colonists for whom we have written records are
João Ramalhoand Caramuru. At the time the Portuguese Crown was focused on securing its highly lucrative Portuguese Empirein Asia, and so did little to protect the newly discovered lands in the Americas from foreign interlopers. As a result, many pirates, mainly French, began dealing in pau brasilwith the Amerindians. This situation worried Portugal, which in the 1530s started to colonize Brazil, principally for defensive reasons. The towns of Cananéia(1531), São Vicente(1532) and Iguape(1538) date from that period.
By the mid-16th century, Portuguese colonists were already settling in significant numbers, mainly along the coastal regions of Brazil. Numerous cities were established, including Salvador (1549),
São Paulo(1554) and Rio de Janeiro(1565). While some Portuguese settlers came willingly, many were "degredados". Nevertheless, these deported convicts were not thieves and murderers, as is often believed, but rather tended to be people guilty of committing "crimes" against religion or morality. Thus, they were primarily New Christians, individuals accused of witchcraft or sorcery, reprobate priests, blasphemers, homosexuals and adulturers. In other words, these exiles were condemned for "criminal" behavior that would not be considered illegal by modern standards.
During the 17th century, most Portuguese settlers in Brazil were relatively wealthy people who moved to the northeastern part of the country to establish the first
sugarplantations. Some were Sephardi Jewswho had been expelled from Portugal by the Inquisition. The city of Recife, in particular, had a thriving Jewishcommunity, which founded the first synagogue in the Americas, i.e. the Kahal Zur Israel Synagogue. Some Portuguese-Gypsies also immigrated to Brazil during this period.
Most of these Portuguese were men. The number of
Portuguese womenin Brazil during the colonial period was low. For that reason, many Portuguese menhad relationships with Amerindian women and, later, with female African slaves, which then resulted in racial miscegenation.
Growing Portuguese immigrants (1700-1850)
In the 18th century, immigration to Brazil from Portugal increased dramatically. Many
goldand diamondmines were discovered in the region of Minas Gerais, which then led to the arrival of not only Portuguese, but also of native-born Brazilians. Regarding the former, most were peasants from the Minhoregion in Northern Portugal. In the beginning, Portugal stimulated the immigration of "minhotos" to Brazil. After some time, however, the number of departures was so great that the Portuguese Crown had to establish barriers to further immigration. Most of these Portuguese involved in the goldrushended up settling in Minas Gerais and in the Center-West region of Brazil, where they founded dozens of cities such as Ouro Preto, Congonhas, Mariana, São João del Rei, Tiradentes, Goiás, etc.
Ouro Preto, Minas Geraisan 18th century colonial city and UNESCO World Heritage Site.] Between 1748 and 1756, approximately 6,000 settlers from the Azores Islandsarrived in the Southern Region of Brazil. The majority, composed of small farmers and fishermen, settled along the litoral of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sulstates. Florianópolisand Porto Alegrewere founded by Azoreans, who accounted for over half of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina's population in the late 18th century. Unlike previous trends, in the south entire Portuguese families came to seek a better life for themselves, not just men. In passing, a small settlement of Macanese peoplefrom Macaualso occurred. During this period, the number of Portuguese women in Brazil increased, which resulted in a larger white population. This was especially true in Southern Brazil.
A significant immigration of very rich Portuguese to Brazil occurred in 1808, when Queen
Maria I of Portugaland her son and regent, the future João VI of Portugal, fleeing from Napoleon, relocated to Brazil with 15,000 members of the royal family, nobles and government and established themselves in Rio de Janeiro. They returned to Portugal in 1821, and in 1822 Brazil became independent. Thousands of ordinary Portuguese settlers left Brazil after independence.
Waves of Portuguese immigrants (1850-1960)
After independence from
Portugalin 1822, Portuguese emigration to Brazil continued and, instead of a decrease, the Portuguese population actually increased significantly. In 1850, the traffic of African slavesto Brazil was forbidden, and the Brazilian Government worked towards attracting European immigration to Brazil in order to obtain workers for the coffeeplantations that were spreading enormously in the region. Consequently, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, hundreds of thousands of Portuguese immigrated to Brazil. Most of them were peasants from the rural areas of Portugal and tended to immigrate as entire families. The majority settled in urban centers, mainly in São Pauloand Rio de Janeiro, working mainly as small traders. They and their descendants were quick to organize themselves and establish mutual aidsocieties (such as the "Casas de Portugal"), hospitals (e.g. Beneficência Portuguesa de São Paulo, Beneficência Portuguesa de Porto Alegre, Hospital Português de Salvador, Real Hospital Português de Recife, etc.), libraries (e.g. Real Gabinete Português de Leitura in Rio de Janeiro and in Salvador), newspapers, magazines and even major sports clubs with football teams, including the " Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama" and "Associação Atlética Portuguesa" in Rio de Janeiro, the " Associação Portuguesa de Desportos" in São Paulo, the " Associação Atlética Portuguesa Santista" in Santos, and the " Associação Portuguesa Londrinense" in Londrina.
Low Portuguese immigration (1960-present)
In the 1930s, the Brazilian President
Getúlio Vargascreated a law that established difficulties to the settlement of immigrants in Brazil. This law made Portuguese immigration decline. However, between 1940 and 1960 (when António de Oliveira Salazarruled as dictator), thousands of Portuguese, even from their African possessions and Macau, still immigrated to Brazil. After that, with the growth of the Portuguese economy, very few Portuguese immigrants settled in Brazil.
Portuguese immigration in numbers
Portuguese immigration to Brazil from the beginning of colonization, in 1500, until present day in 1990
Source: Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics (
Nationality 1500-1700 1701-1760 1808-1817 1827-1829 1837-1841 1856-1857 1881-1900 1901-1930 1931-1950 1951-1960 1961-1967 1981-1991 Portuguese 100,000 600,000 24,000 2,004 629 16,108 316,204 754,147 148,699 235,635 54,767 4,605
Salvador, Bahiacelebrating Saint Gonçalo, in 1718.] Brazilwas colonized by Portugal, and both countries share many cultural aspects: the language, the main religion and many traditions. After independence, the elite of Brazil, even though they were of Portuguese descent, tried to diminish the Portuguese culture in the new country, and establish a "Brazilian culture", different from that of Portugal. Portuguese immigration to Brazil has occurred since the 15th century. Since then, the Portuguese mixed a lot with other ethnic groups of Brazil, first with the Amerindianslater with Africans.
From the 19th century, their Portuguese-Brazilian descendants mixed with other European immigrants in Brazil, such as Italians and Germans. For all these reasons, many Portuguese-Brazilians of old ancestry do not know or are not interested about their Portuguese ancestry and do not have much affinity with Portugal, different from other more recent immigrant groups in Brazil, such as
Japanese Brazilians, who are for the most part, still connected with Japan.
The more recent immigrant groups of Portuguese in Brazil keep a close relation with Portugal and the Portuguese culture mainly through the "Casa de Portugal". [ [http://www.casadeportugal.com.br/historia.asp Casa de Portugal] ] Several events also take place to keep a cultural interchange between Portuguese and Brazilian students, [ [http://www.universiabrasil.net/materia/materia.jsp?materia=6495 Universia Brasil] ] and between the Portuguese community in Brazil and Portugal. There are many Portuguese associations "Associações Portuguesas" in Brazil. Other institutions preserve the cultural heritage of the Portuguese community like the "Real Gabinete" [ [http://www.realgabinete.com.br/htm/rgpl.htm Real Gabinete] ] and the Liceu Literário. [ [http://www.liceuliterario.org.br/ Liceu Literário] ]
Today, news online like "Mundo Lusíada" [ [http://www.mundolusiada.com.br/"Mundo Lusíada"] ] keeps the Portuguese immigrants informed about the many cultural events of the Portuguese community in Brazil. A recent analysis suggests that the more recent Portuguese immigrants (from 1900 onwards) had "low rates of intermarriage with native Brazilians and other immigrants". [cite journal |author=Klein HS |title= [The social and economic integration of Portuguese immigrants in Brazil at the end of the nineteenth century and in the twentieth century] |language=Portuguese |journal=Rev Bras Estud Popul |volume=6 |issue=2 |pages=17–37 |year=1989 |pmid=12342854 |doi= |url=]
Many Portuguese who had a significant importance in the
Brazilian cultureare known in Brazil as being Brazilians. This way, much of the Portuguese peopleinfluence and contribution has been systematically erased from the Brazilian culture. Tomás Antônio Gonzaga, Padre António Vieira, Carmen Mirandaare some of the Portuguese who are presented as Brazilians. The Brazilian culture is in large part derived from the Portuguese culture and for the similarities between both cultures and the relatively easy integrationof immigrants in Brazil, makes it nearly impossible for some to keep a separate Portuguese identity. Starting from the second generation, Portuguese descendants start seeing themselves as purely Brazilians.
Portuguese in the world
The Portuguese in contemporary Brazil
Portuguese people are the largest immigrant community in Brazil. In the 2000 census, there were 213,203 Portuguese immigrants in Brazil, most of them immigrated in the mid-20th century, and the community is in full decline, because the majority of them are old people. [ [http://www.migrationinformation.org/Profiles/display.cfm?ID=311 Migration Information Source - Shaping Brazil: The Role of International Migration ] ]
In recent years, some Portuguese pensioners have been moving to Brazil, mainly to the northeast, attracted by the
tropicalweather and the beaches. [ [http://www.camaraportuguesa.com.br/default.asp?pag=noticias&id_noticia=-142 Câmara Portuguesa de Comércio no Brasil ] ]
The Brazilians in contemporary Portugal
The biggest immigrant community in Portugal, after the Ukrainian, is the Brazilian one with more than 67 thousand Brazilians resident in 2004 and an estimated 80 thousand in 2007. More than 40 thousand also living in Portugal are waiting to be legalized. (Casa do Brasil 2007)
How many Brazilians have Portuguese ancestry?
Most Brazilians have some degree of Portuguese ancestry: some may trace their ancestry to 16th century settlers, while others have recent Portuguese origin, dating back to the mid-20th century. Due to the intensive race mixing, Brazilians of different races may have Portuguese ancestry: Whites, Blacks, Amerindians and mixed-race people.cite journal |author=Parra FC, Amado RC, Lambertucci JR, Rocha J, Antunes CM, Pena SD |title=Color and genomic ancestry in Brazilians |journal=Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. |volume=100 |issue=1 |pages=177–82 |year=2003 |month=Jan |pmid=12509516 |pmc=140919 |doi=10.1073/pnas.0126614100 |url=]
There are no official figures about how many Brazilians have Portuguese roots. This is mainly because the immigration to Brazil from
Portugalis very old, making it almost impossible to find correct numbers. Even with Portuguese heritage, many Portuguese-Brazilians identify themselves as being simply Brazilians, since Portuguese culture was a dominant cultural influence in the formation of Brazil (like many Americans which though of British ancestry will never describe themselves as of British extraction, but only as "Americans").
In 1872, there were 3.7 million
Whitesin Brazil (the vast majority of them of Portuguese ancestry), 4.1 million mixed-racepeople (mostly of Portuguese-Amerindian-African ancestry) and 1.9 million Blacks. These numbers give the percentage of 80% of people with total or partial Portuguese ancestry in Brazil in the 1870s. [ [http://www.ibge.gov.br/ibgeteen/povoamento/tabelas/populacao_cor.htm Evolução da população brasileira segundo a cor ] ] At that time, Portuguese were the only Europeans to settle Brazil in large numbers, since other groups only started arriving in large numbers after 1875 (mainly Italians).
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a new large wave of immigrants from Portugal arrived. From 1881 to 1991, over 1.5 million Portuguese immigrated to Brazil. In 1906, for example, there were 133,393 Portuguese-born people living in
Rio de Janeiro, comprising 16% of the city's population. Rio is, still today, considered the largest "Portuguese city" outside of Portugal itself. [ [http://www1.ibge.gov.br/brasil500/portugueses.html Brasil 500 anos ] ] [ [http://observatorio.ultimosegundo.ig.com.br/artigos/da020420033.htm Observatorio da Imprensa - Materias - 02/04/2003 ] ]
Genetic studies also confirm the strong Portuguese racial influence in Brazilians. According to a study, at least half of the Brazilian population's
Y Chromosomecomes from Portugal. Black Brazilians have an average of 48% non-African genes, most of them may come from Portuguese ancestors. [ [http://web.educom.pt/p-pmndn/genes_cabral.htm Os Genes de Cabral ] ]
Some notable Portuguese-Brazilians
Braziliansare at least partially of Portuguese descent. However, for the sake of brevity, the following list only mentions a few well-known individuals who were either born in Portugalor who have close Portuguese ancestry, i.e. 1st or 2nd generation.
Historic colonial Portuguese figures of Brazil
The following Portuguese people were either born in Brazil when it belonged to the
Portuguese empire, thus Portuguese, or in Kingdom of Portugal. At this time to be a Brazilian was to be a Portuguese born in Brazil.
Baltazar Fernandes(explorer and early colonist; born in Portugal);
Bartolomeu de Gusmão(colonial inventor and naturalist; born in Brazil);
Brás Cubas(founder of Santos; born in Portugal);
Caramuru(early settler of Bahia; born in Portugal);
Estácio de Sá(soldier and co-founder of Rio de Janeiro; born in Portugal);
Manuel da Nóbrega(co-founder of São Paulo; born in Portugal);
Mem de Sá(Governor-General of Brazil and founder of Rio de Janeiro; born in Portugal);
Pedro Teixeira(explorer of the Amazonregion; born in Portugal);
Tiradentes(revolutionary who participated in the Inconfidência Mineira; born in Brazil).
Historic Brazilian figures
Although still born under the
Portuguese empire,with the independence of Brazil they acquired the Brazilian nationality:
*Dom Pedro I (Brazilian emperor; Portuguese father);
Frei Galvão(first Brazilian saint; Portuguese father);
Domitila, Marchioness of Santos(noblewoman and mistress of Pedro I of Brazil; Azorean-Portuguese grandparents);
*Dom Pedro II (Brazilian emperor; Portugues father);
José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva(naturalist and statesman; Portuguese grandparents).
Abílio dos Santos Diniz(chairman and former owner of Grupo Pão de Açúcar; Portuguese parents);
*Albino Sousa Cruz (founder of "Souza Cruz"; Portuguese-born);
*Antônio Alberto Saraiva (businessman and founder of
Antônio Ermírio de Moraes(businessman, chairman of Grupo Votorantim; Portuguese grandfather);
*Dimas de Melo Pimenta (founder of "DIMEP"; Portuguese-born);
*Fernando Augusto Saraiva (geologist chairman and former owner of (GEA) Ambiental SS Ltda; Portuguese parents);
*Irineu Evangelista de Sousa (Barão de Mauá) (industrialist; Azorean-Portuguese grandparents)
*Joaquim Inácio da Fonseca Saraiva (founder of "Livraria Saraiva" bookstore chain; Portuguese-born);
*José Francisco Correia (Conde de Agrolongo) (industrialist and philanthropist; Portuguese-born);
*Luís Dumont Vilares (businessman, founder of "Indústrias Villares", manufacturer of Atlas elevators; Portuguese-born);
*Manoel Saraiva (businessman, co-founder of (MTE) Metalúrgica Termo Elétrica; Portuguese-born)
*Maria da Conceição Tavares (economist; Portuguese-born);
*Valentim dos Santos Diniz (businessman, founder of
Grupo Pão de Açúcar; Portuguese-born).
Aluísio Azevedo(writer; Portuguese ancestry - Brazilian-born);
Antônio Gonçalves Dias(poet; Portuguese father);
*Padre António Vieira (writer; Portuguese-born);
Augusto Boal(playwright and essayist; Portuguese parents);
*Augusto Emílio Zaluar (poet, writer and journalist; Portuguese-born);
Basílio da Gama(poet and writer; Portuguese father);
Casimiro de Abreu(writer; Portuguese father);
Cecília Meireles(writer; Portuguese grandparents);
Cláudio Manuel da Costa(writer; Portuguese father);
Coelho Neto(writer; Portuguese father);
Euclides da Cunha(writer; grandparents);
Gregório de Matos(colonial poet; Portuguese father);
João Ubaldo Ribeiro(writer; Portuguese paternal grandfather);
Machado de Assis(writer, Portuguese mother);
Manuel Antônio de Almeida(writer; Portuguese parents);
Rubem Fonseca(writer; Portuguese parents);
Tomás Antônio Gonzaga(poet and involved in the Inconfidência Mineira; Portuguese-born).
*Andre da Silva Gomes (colonial composer; Portuguese-born);
Arthur Napoleão dos Santos(composer and pianist);
Carmen Miranda(singer and Hollywood actress; Portuguese-born);
César Guerra-Peixe(composer and conductor; Portuguese father);
Daniela Mercury(singer; Portuguese father);
*Dóris Monteiro (singer; Portuguese parents);
Fernanda Abreu(singer and songwriter; Portuguese father);
*Francisco de Morais Alves (singer; Portuguese parents);
*Aníbal Augusto Sardinha (Garoto) (violinist and composer; Portuguese parents);
Joanna(singer and songwriter; Portuguese father);
*João Ricardo Carneiro Teixeira Pinto (principal composer of "
Secos & Molhados"; Portuguese-born);
Marcos Portugal(colonial composer; Portuguese-born);
Nelson Gonçalves(singer; Portuguese parents);
*Nilton Bastos (sambista; Portuguese father);
Roberto Leal(singer; Portuguese-born).
*Alberto Pacheco (Professor at
São Paulo State Universityspecialist on cemeterycontamination and groundwater; Portuguese-born).
Amácio Mazzaropi(actor and film-maker; Portuguese mother);
*Antunes Filho (theater director de teatro; Portuguese parents);
*Bibi Ferreira (actress; Portuguese maternal grandmother);
*Elza Gomes (actress; Portuguese-born);
Eugênia Câmara(actress; Portuguese-born);
*Fabiana Oliveira (actress; Portuguese father);
Fernanda Montenegro(Oscar-nominated actress; Portuguese grandparents);
*Lília Cabral (atriz, mãe portuguesa);
*Maria Adelaide Amaral (playwright; Portuguese-born);
Marília Pêra(actress; Portuguese father);
*Procópio Ferreira (actor; Portuguese parents);
*Ruth Escobar (actress and businesswoman; Portuguese-born);
Ruy Guerra(director; Portuguese-born);
Thiago Lacerda(actor; Portuguese grandparents);
*Anderson Deco (Portuguese footballer; unknown).
*Antônio Francisco Lisboa (Aleijadinho) (colonial sculptor and architect; Portuguese father);
*Agostinho da Piedade (first sculptor in Brazil; Portuguese-born);
Artur Barrio(sculptor and artist; Portuguese-born);
*Christiano Júnior (photographer; Portuguese-born);
*Joaquim Insley Pacheco (photographer; Portuguese-born);
*Joaquim Tenreiro (plastic artist, Portuguese-born);
*Manuel da Costa Ataíde (colonial painter; Portuguese parents);
*Mestre Valentim (colonial sculptor; Portuguese father);
*Ricardo Severo (architect who introduced the
neocolonial style; Portuguese-born);
Victor Meirelles(painter; Azorean-Portuguese parents).
Government and politics
Afonso Augusto Moreira Pena(Portuguese ancestry- Brazilian citizenship);
Antônio Carlos Magalhães(politician; paternal Portuguese grandparents);
Artur da Costa e Silva(Brazilian president; Portuguese parents);
Fernando Henrique Cardoso(Brazilian president; Portuguese grandparents);
Getúlio Vargas(Brazilian president; descendant of Azorean-Portuguese);
*José Gomes Temporão (Health Minister in the Lula administration, Portuguese-born);
Mário Covas(politician; Portuguese grandparents);
*Nicolau Pereira de Campos Vergueiro ("Senador Vergueiro") (politician; Portuguese-born);
Rodrigues Alves(Brazilian president; Portuguese grandparents);
Rubem Fonseca(Brazilian writer).
Geographic distribution of Portuguese
Demography of Brazil
White Latin American
* [http://www.casadobrasil.info/spip.php?article243 Casa do Brasil quer imigração em debate na cimeira UE-Brasil]
* [http://www.bitourism.com/countryinfo/countryinfo_immigration.asp##PO Article about immigration to Brazil]
* [http://www.ibge.gov.br/brasil500/index2.html IBGE, in Portuguese]
* [http://www.casadobrasil.info/spip.php?article243 Casa do Brasil quer imigração em debate na cimeira UE-Brasil]
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