Brazilians in Nigeria

Brazilians in Nigeria
Regions with significant populations
Lagos, Calabar, Port Harcourt
English · Languages of Nigeria · Portuguese

Roman Catholicism


Protestantism · Islam · Afro-Brazilian Religions
Related ethnic groups
Afro-Brazilian · Americo-Liberian · Sierra Leone Creole people · Tabom people · Brazilian diaspora

Brazilians in Nigeria consist mostly of descendants of freed Afro-Brazilian slaves who left Brazil and settled in Nigeria as well as expatriates from Brazil.


Main article: Saro (Nigeria)

The first recorded repatriation of African people from Brazil to what is now Nigeria was a government-lead deportation in 1835 in the aftermath of a Yoruba and Hausa led rebellion in the city of Salvador known as the Malê Revolt.[1] Most of the Brazilian returnees along with returnees from Cuba started migrating to Africa after slavery was abolished in those countries, in 1880 and 1888 respectively. Many of the returnees chose to return to Nigeria for cultural, missionary and economic reasons. Many of them were originally descended from the Yoruba and the Igbo, because of this, they were mostly regarded as a part of the ethnic groups found in the southern regions of Nigeria. In Lagos, they were given the watery terrains of Popo Aguda as their settlement. By the 1880s, they comprised about 9% of the population of Lagos.


Returnees from Brazil and their present-day descendants were and are more commonly called "Agudas" (a form of agudão, the standard Portuguese word for cotton).[2] Most of them are Catholics and they also worshiped African Orishas which they had also worshiped in Brazil. Some of the Agudas are also Muslims. Most of them also still have Portuguese names. Some common Portuguese family names in Nigeria include Da Silveira, De Silva, De Souza, and Moreira.

Brazilian architecture in Nigeria is a legacy of the thousands of freed slaves who returned to Nigeria in the 19th century.[3] Trained as carpenters, cabinetmakers, masons and bricklayers in Brazil, the ex-slaves were notably technically skilled artisans and were known for their exuberant and individualistic style on doorways, brightly painted facades and chunky concrete columns, borrowing from the baroque styles popular in Brazil through the 18th century.

The Brazilian returnees also popularized the use of Cassava as a food crop.[4] They had pioneered trade with Brazil in the mid nineteenth century. But by the 1880s, ruinous competitors and an economic downturn had forced many to abandon the export trade. Agriculture soon became an avenue to supplement shortfalls in economic activity.

See also


  1. Figueiredo, Eurídice (2009). "Os Brasileiros Retornados à África" (PDF). Diálogos Interamericanos nº 38: 51–70 via Cadernos de Letras da UFF.
  3. "IN NIGERIA, TOUCHES OF BRAZILIAN STYLE", The New York Times, 26 March 1987.
  4. Faluyi p 11,12.
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