Portuguese New Christians in Brazil, Paraguay, and Chile
New Shreds of Evidence from the Literature of the 19th and 20th Centuries
Palavras-chave:Mato Grosso do Sul, Visconde de Taunay, Sobrenome Lopes
In 1497, Portuguese Jews were forced to convert to the Catholic religion. After the conversion, they were named New Christians. Some of them kept their religious practices secret (they were also called “Marranos”), others mixed their beliefs with Christianism, and others were completely integrated into the new religion. In all cases, they suffered legal and social discrimination for centuries. Although the challenges and obstacles to be overpassed, a lot has already been investigated about the History of Portuguese New Christians in Brazilian Northeastern and Southeastern states. But there is still a lack of knowledge in the Center-Western states and other Latin American countries. The current paper aims to investigate the shreds of evidence of “Marranos”, Portuguese Jews, and/or New Christians in two historical books, La Retraite de Laguna (in French) and Viña del Mar (in Spanish). The first was written in the 19th century about an episode of the War between Brazil and Paraguay. The second was written, in the 20th century, about the History of the Chilean city of Viña del Mar. Original excerpts are presented, translated to English, and the possibility of being evidence of the presence of Portuguese New Christians is discussed. In this regard, the current paper contributes by proposing a new source of research and expanding the geographical and historical perspectives of investigation. However, the main limitation is that it brings only shreds of evidence and not definitive answers. In this way, the paper contributes by suggesting new pathways for future investigations.
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