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Slaves, freedmen and free men of colour in the transition from slavery in Brazil. A case study: The life, times and ideas of Dom Obá II d'Africa, Prince of the People, c.1845-1890

Da Silva, Eduardo; (1992) Slaves, freedmen and free men of colour in the transition from slavery in Brazil. A case study: The life, times and ideas of Dom Obá II d'Africa, Prince of the People, c.1845-1890. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This work is an attempt to recover aspects of the daily life, the cultural ambience and the symbolic universe which existed amongst slaves, freedmen and free men of colour in 19th Century Brazil through a case study of the life and ideas of the self-styled Dom Oba II d'Africa (Oba meaning king in Yoruba), a "street character" who lived in the city of Rio de Janeiro in the final decades of both slavery and Empire. To his social superiors Dom Oba was half-crazy; to Rio's slaves, freedmen and free men of colour, he was revered as a royal prince, the Prince of the People. For the historian he represents an unsuspected link between the dominant groups of the day and the common Brazilian people, then emerging from the breakdown of traditional society. In the first four chapters, the thesis attempts to reconstruct the life of Dom Oba as thoroughly as is possible in view of the fragmentary nature of the documentation. The next two chapters (5 and 6) are, on the one hand, an investigation into the nature of his relationship with the Brazilian Emperor, Dom Pedro II, and on the other, into the extent and nature of his leadership within his own kingdom, the "little Africa" of Rio de Janeiro. Chapter 7 deals with the general range of Dom Oba's ideas and in particular his thinking on political and social questions, on the process of abolition and on inter-racial relationships. The last chapter is a discussion of the roots of and the influences on Dom Oba's ideas, his basic suppositions and symbols and his vision of history.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Slaves, freedmen and free men of colour in the transition from slavery in Brazil. A case study: The life, times and ideas of Dom Obá II d'Africa, Prince of the People, c.1845-1890
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by ProQuest.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of the Americas
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10119513
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