Casa-Grande & Senzala

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Published in 1933, Casa-Grande e Senzala (English: The Masters and the Slaves) is a book by Gilberto Freyre, about the formation of the Brazilian society. The "Casa-Grande" (big house) refers to the landlords residences in sugar plantations, where whole towns were owned and managed by one man. The "senzala" (slave quarters) refers to the dwelling of the black working class, where they originally worked as slaves, and later as servants.[1] [2] [3] [4]

In Freyre's opinion, the architecture of the Casa-Grande was an expression of a patriarchal society. In this book the author refutes the idea that Brazil would have an "inferior race" because of race-mixing. He points to the positive elements that permeate the Brazilian cultural formation because of miscegenation (especially between Portuguese, Indians and Africans).

The book deals with race/class separation, and miscegenation and is generally considered a classic of modern cultural anthropology.


  1. ^ Barickman, B. J. "Revisiting the Casa-grande: Plantation and Cane-Farming Households in Early Nineteenth-Century Bahia". Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "The Masters and the Slaves [Casa-Grande & Senzala]: A Study ...". Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  3. ^ Veracini, Lorenzo. "A. Isfahani-Hammond: White Negritude". Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Lehmann, David. "GILBERTO FREYRE". Retrieved 31 January 2014.