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Casa Grande and Senzala

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Originally published  1933

Author  Gilberto Freyre
Casa-Grande & Senzala httpsgatasnegrasbrasileirasfileswordpresscom
Works by Gilberto Freyre  The Mansions and the S, Vida social no Brasil nos mead

Published in 1933, Casa-Grande e Senzala (English: The Masters and the Slaves) is a book by Gilberto Freyre, about the formation of Brazilian society. The Casa-Grande ("big house") refers to the slave owner's residence on a sugarcane plantation, where whole towns were owned and managed by one man. The senzala ("slave quarters") refers to the dwellings of the black working class, where they originally worked as slaves, and later as servants.

The book deals with race/class separation and miscegenation and is generally considered a classic of modern cultural anthropology. In Freyre's opinion, the hierarchy imposed by those in the Casa-Grande was an expression of a patriarchal society. In this book the author refutes the idea that Brazilians were an "inferior race" because of race-mixing. He points to the positive elements that permeated Brazilian culture because of miscegenation (especially among the Portuguese, Indians, and Africans). Portugal, like Brazil, is described as being culturally and racially influenced by "an energetic infusion of Moorish and Negro blood, the effects of which persist to this day in the Portuguese people and the Portuguese character".

References

Casa-Grande & Senzala Wikipedia


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