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Revista Brasileira de História

Print version ISSN 0102-0188On-line version ISSN 1806-9347


PAES, Gabriela Segarra Martins. The Negros d’Água of the Ribeira de Iguape River: Myth and History in a Narrative Elaborated by the Ribeira Valley’s Black Communities. Rev. Bras. Hist. [online]. 2019, vol.39, n.81, pp.71-91.  Epub July 29, 2019. ISSN 0102-0188.

This article addresses the importance of the waters of the Ribeira River to the Ribeira Valley’s history. Its waters have been explored since the sixteenth century, when expeditions were launched from its mouth in search of metals. Precious metals were subsequently discovered along the upper and middle courses of the river, where mining camps were established. In the late eighteenth century, mining went into decline and rice began to be cultivated on a commercial scale. The rice fields followed the courses of the Ribeira River and its tributaries, with the waters ensuring the fertility of soils and proving energy to run water mill and places to moor canoes. Between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, many Africans worked in the mines and plantations of the Ribeira. Among their myths and beliefs, the article highlights the negros d’água, analysed from an Atlantic perspective, that is, understanding the cultural formations created on American soil as elaborations that emerged from the meeting of diverse peoples, possessing different worldviews and brought into contact under slavery.

Keywords : former quilombos; Ribeira Valley; popular culture.

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