|Regions with significant populations|
|Portugal 11,000,000 (2011)|
|Brazil||+190,000,000 (Portuguese ancestry)
±5,000,000 (eligible for Portuguese citizenship)
|United States||1,471,549 (Portuguese ancestry)|
|France||798,837 and 1,161,900 (Portuguese ancestry)|
|Guyana||50,000 (Portuguese ancestry)|
|Rest of Europe||30,822|
|Rest of the Americas||24,776|
|Rest of Africa||8,965|
|predominantly Roman Catholic|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Galicians, Spanish peoples and other Western Europeans|
The Portuguese (Portuguese: os portugueses) are a Western Romance nation and ethnic group native to the country of Portugal, in the west of the Iberian Peninsula of Southwestern Europe. Their language is Portuguese, and Roman Catholicism is their predominant religion.
Historically, the Portuguese descend from the Pre-Celts who inhabited the Iberian Peninsula with the Lusitanians forming the manifold identity of the country, followed by the Romans. Other major segments include the Suebi, the Visigoths and the Gallaeci.
Due to the large historical extent of the Portuguese Empire and the colonization of territories in Asia, Africa and the Americas, as well as historical and recent emigration, Portuguese communities can be found in many diverse regions around the globe, and a large Portuguese diaspora exists.
Portuguese People were a key factor to the Age of Exploration, discovering several unknown lands to the Europeans in Americas, Africa, Asia and probably in Oceania. Most famous Portuguese people outside Portugal are/were Navigators (Vasco da Gama, Henry the Navigator or Ferdinand Magellan), Football Players or Coaches (Pauleta, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luís Figo or José Mourinho), Writers or Poets (José Saramago, Luís de Camões or Fernando Pessoa) and Singers (Amália Rodrigues, Steve Perry, Nuno Bettencourt, Nelly Furtado).
- 1 Ancestry
- 2 Romanization
- 3 General traits
- 4 Demography
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The Portuguese are a Southwestern European population, with origins predominantly from Atlantic Europe, Western Europe and the Western Mediterranean. At foundation, the Portuguese, like other population groups from the western and central regions of the Iberian Peninsula, are an Atlantic Celtic people who have been very substantially "Romanized" over time.
The earliest modern humans inhabiting Portugal are believed to have been Paleolithic peoples that may have arrived in the Iberian Peninsula as early as 35,000 to 40,000 years ago. Current interpretation of Y-chromosome and mtDNA data suggests that modern-day Portuguese trace a significant amount of these lineages to the paleolithic peoples who began settling the European continent between the end of the last glaciation around 45,000 years ago.
Northern Iberia is believed to have been a major Ice-age refuge from which Paleolithic humans later colonized Europe. Migrations from what is now Northern Iberia during the Paleolithic and Mesolithic, links modern Iberians to the populations of much of Western Europe and particularly the British Isles and Atlantic Europe. Recent books published by geneticists Bryan Sykes, Stephen Oppenheimer and Spencer Wells have argued the large Paleolithic and Mesolithic Iberian influence in the modern day Irish, Welsh and Scottish gene-pool as well as parts of the English. Indeed, Y-chromosome haplogroup R1b (of Paleolithic origin) is the most common haplogroup in practically all of the Iberian peninsula and western Europe. Within the R1b haplogroup there are modal haplotypes. One of the best-characterized of these haplotypes is the Atlantic Modal Haplotype (AMH). This haplotype reaches the highest frequencies in the Iberian Peninsula and in the British Isles. In Portugal it reckons generally 60% in the South summing 80% northwards, and in some regions 90%.
The Neolithic colonization of Europe from Western Asia and the Middle East beginning around 10,000 years ago reached Iberia, as most of the rest of the continent although, according to the demic diffusion model, its impact was most in the southern and eastern regions of the European continent.
Starting in the 3rd millennium BC as well as in the Bronze Age, the first wave of migrations into Iberia of speakers of Indo-European languages occurred. These were later (7th and 5th Centuries BC) followed by others that can be identified as Celts.
Eventually, urban cultures developed in southern Iberia, such as Tartessos, influenced by the Phoenician colonization of coastal Mediterranean Iberia, with strong competition from the Greek colonization.
These two processes defined Iberia's, and Portugal's, cultural landscape - Mediterranean towards the southeast and a Continental in the northwest, as historian José Mattoso describes it. Given the origins from Paleolithic and Neolithic settlers as well as Indo-European migrations, one can say that the Portuguese ethnic origin is mainly a mixture of pre-Roman Pre-Indo-Europeans (such as, in other parts of Iberia, the Iberians, Tartessians and Aquitanians), Pre-Celtic, Proto-Celtic and Celtic peoples, producing peoples such as the Lusitanians of Lusitania, the Calaicians or Gallaeci of Gallaecia, the Celtici and the Cynetes of the Alentejo and the Algarve.
Other minor influences included the Phoenicians/Carthaginians (small semi-permanent commercial coastal establishments in the south before 200 BC), the Vandals (Silingi and Hasdingi) and the Sarmatian Alans (both migrated to North Africa, while some were partially integrated by the Visigoths and Suebi), and the Visigoths and Suebi (including the Buri, permanently established in the early 5th century), Saqaliba (people of Slavic origin), who also settled in what is today Portuguese territory.
The ancestry of modern Portuguese has been influenced by the many people which have passed on its territory throughout history. Overall, these people include the Pre-Roman People of the Iberian Peninsula (such as the Lusitanians, Calaicians, Celtici, Cynetes and other minor local tribes as the Bracari, Coelerni, Equaesi, Grovii, Interamici, Leuni, Luanqui, Limici, Narbasi, Nemetati, Paesuri, Quaquerni, Seurbi, Tamagani, Tapoli, Turduli, Turduli Veteres, Turdulorum Oppida, Turodi and Zoelae), and probably for some cases Romans, Vandals, Suebi and Buri, Visigoths, Vikings, Alans and Saqaliba.
Most Berber/Arab Muslim, native Portuguese (Iberian) Muslims, and Jews were expelled from the Iberian Peninsula during the Reconquista, by the repression of persecutions of the Inquisition and the re-population of Christians, with many crusaders settling in Portugal. Settlers also came from Burgundy and Flanders, settling in mainland Portugal and later in the archipelagos of Azores and Madeira (Descobrimentos).
According to studies, more than 55% of the Portuguese population is straight descendant of Celts.
Portuguese people have also maintained a certain degree of cultural and ethnic-specific characteristics ratio with the Basques, since ancient times. The results of the present HLA study in Portuguese populations show that they have features in common with Basques and Spaniards from Madrid: a high frequency of the HLA-haplotypes A29-B44-DR7 (ancient western Europeans) and A1-B8-DR3 are found as common characteristics. Portuguese and Basques do not show the Mediterranean A33-B14-DR1 haplotype, suggesting a lower admixture with Mediterraneans. The Portuguese have a characteristic unique among world populations: a high frequency of HLA-A25-B18-DR15 and A26-B38-DR13, which may reflect a still detectable founder effect coming from ancient Portuguese, i.e., Oestriminis and Conii.
The Lusitanians (or Lusitānus/Lusitani in Latin) were an Indo-European speaking people living in the Western Iberian Peninsula long before it became the Roman province of Lusitania (modern Portugal, Extremadura and a small part of Salamanca). They spoke the Lusitanian language, of which only a few short written fragments survive. Culturally, whether or not the Lusitanians should be classified as Celtic is disputed by scholars but their language contained many Celtic influences and they did share some major cultural elements with the neighboring Gallaecia to the north and the Celtiberians to the east. Most Portuguese consider the Lusitanians as their ancestors. The most notable Lusitanian was Viriathus. People from Portugal's northern regions (Minho, Douro, Tras-os-Montes) identify more with the Gallaecian Celts.
It has been hypothesized that the Lusitanians may have originated in the Alps and settled in the region in the 6th century BC. Some modern scholars consider them to be indigenous and initially dominated by the Celts, before gaining full independence from them. The archeologist Scarlat Lambrino proposed that they were originally a tribal group of Celtic origin related to the Lusones.
The first area settled by the Lusitanians was probably the Douro valley and the region of Beira Alta; then they moved south, and expanded on both sides of the Tagus river, before being conquered by the Romans.
The original Roman province of Lusitania was extended north of the areas occupied by the Lusitanians to include the territories of Asturias and Gallaecia but these were soon ceded to the jurisdiction of the Provincia Tarraconensis in the north, while the south remained the Provincia Lusitania et Vettones. After this, Lusitania's northern border was along the Douro river, while its eastern border passed through Salmantica and Caesarobriga to the Anas (Guadiana) river.
The Lusitanians were a single large tribe that lived between the rivers Douro and Tagus. As the Lusitanians fought fiercely against the Romans for independence, the name Lusitania was adopted by the Gallaeci, tribes living north of the Douro, and other closely surrounding tribes, eventually spreading as a label to all the nearby peoples fighting Roman rule in the west of Iberia. It was for this reason that the Romans came to name their original province in the area, that initially covered the entire western side of the Iberian peninsula, Lusitania.
Tribes, often known by their Latin names, living in the area of modern Portugal, prior to Roman rule:
- Bardili (Turduli) - living in the Setúbal peninsula;
- Bracari - living between the rivers Tâmega and Cávado, in the area of the modern city of Braga;
- Callaici -living north of the River Douro;
- Celtici - Celts living in Alentejo;
- Coelerni - living in the mountains between the rivers Tua and Sabor;
- Cynetes or Conii - living in the Algarve and the south of Alentejo;
- Equaesi - living in the most mountainous region of modern Portugal;
- Grovii - a mysterious tribe living in the Minho valley;
- Interamici - living in Trás-os-Montes and in the border areas with Galicia (in modern Spain);
- Leuni - living between the rivers Lima and Minho;
- Luanqui - living between the rivers Tâmega and Tua;
- Lusitani - being the most numerous and dominant of the region;
- Limici - living in the swamps of the river Lima, on the border between Portugal and Galicia);
- Narbasi - living in the north of modern Portugal (interior) and nearby area of southern Galicia;
- Nemetati - living north of the Douro Valley in the area of Mondim;
- Paesuri - a dependent tribe of the Lusitanians, living between the rivers Douro and Vouga;
- Quaquerni - living in the mountains at the mouths of rivers Cavado and Tâmega;
- Seurbi - living between the rivers Cávado and Lima (or even reaching the river Minho);
- Tamagani - from the area of Chaves, near the river Tâmega;
- Tapoli - another dependent tribe of the Lusitanians, living north of the river Tagus, on the border between modern Portugal and Spain;
- Turduli - in the east of Alentejo (Guadiana Valley);
- Turduli Veteres - the "ancient Turduli" living south of the estuary of the river Douro;
- Turdulorum Oppida - Turduli living in the Portuguese region of Estremadura;
- Turodi - living in Trás-os-Montes and bordering areas of Galicia;
- Vettones - living in the Spanish provinces of Ávila and Salamanca, as well as parts of Zamora, Toledo and Cáceres;
- Zoelae - living in the mountains of Serra da Nogueira, Sanabria and Culebra, up to the mountains of Mogadouro in northern Portugal and adjacent areas of Galicia.
Since 193 BC, the Lusitanians had been fighting the Romans. In 150 BC, they were defeated by Praetor Servius Galba: springing a clever trap, he killed 9,000 Lusitanians and later sold 20,000 more as slaves in Gaul (modern France). Three years later (147 BC), Viriathus became the leader of the Lusitanians and severely damaged the Roman rule in Lusitania and beyond. In 139 BC Viriathus was betrayed and killed in his sleep by his companions (who had been sent as emissaries to the Romans), Audax, Ditalcus and Minurus, bribed by Marcus Popillius Laenas. However, when Audax, Ditalcus and Minurus returned to receive their reward by the Romans, the Consul Servilius Caepio ordered their execution, declaring, "Rome does not pay traitors".
After Viriathus' rule, the Lusitanians became largely romanized, adopting Roman Culture and Language. The Lusitanian cities, in a manner similar to those of the rest of the Roman-Iberian peninsula, eventually gained the status of "Citizens of Rome". The Portuguese language itself is a local evolution of the Roman language, Latin.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (August 2013)|
Modern Portuguese are an Iberian ethnic group and their ancestry is very similar to other western and southern European peoples, particularly from Spain, with whom they share ancestry and have some cultural proximity. It is largely consistent with the geographic position of the western part of the Iberian peninsula, located on the extreme southwest of continental Europe. There are clear connections with Atlantic Europe and Western Europe as well as parts of the Western Mediterranean. Dark to medium brown hair and brown and hazel eyes predominate in a majority of Portuguese people. However, light brown and blond hair and blue or green eyes are also found with some regular frequency. Chestnut and auburn-colored hair types occur generally. Light, true red hair (meaning red shades that are non-auburn) is seen on occasion.
Well designed pigmentation field studies by Tamagnini (1916, 1936), Correa (1919) and others recorded national average fair hair ("blondism") frequencies of between 18 and 20%. Approximately 11% are legitimate blond shades, mainly medium to ash blond, and the remainder (7-9%) light brown. True red hair (ginger) amounts to approximately 3%. However, there are higher percentages of individuals with auburn and dark red-brown shades. Light eyes (hazel not included) run between 20-49% for the Portuguese, according to recently published pigmentation maps of Europe (see P. Frost, 2006). A new study by Candille et al. (2012) shows the Portuguese to have substantially lighter hair and skin tone than major Southeast European countries, approximately the same average skin pigmentation as Central - west European peoples. The research fundamentally confirms the field studies produced by Tamagnini and Correa, even though the former unfortunately favored eugenics and was a strong supporter of the Salazar dictatorship.
Demographics of Portugal
There are around 10.2 million native Portuguese in Portugal, out of a total population of 10.75 million (estimate).
Native minority languages in Portugal
A small minority of about 15,000 speak the Mirandese language, close to Leonese in the municipalities of Miranda do Douro, Vimioso and Mogadouro. All of the speakers are bilingual with Portuguese.
An even smaller minority of no more than 2,000 people speak Barranquenho, a dialect of Portuguese heavily influenced by Extremaduran, spoken in the Portuguese town of Barrancos (in the border between Extremadura and Andalusia, in Spain, and Portugal).
Ethnic minorities in Portugal
People from the former colonies (namely Brazil, Africa - Afro-Portuguese, and parts of India) have, in the last two to three decades, migrated to Portugal. More recently, a great number of Slavs, especially Ukrainians (now the third biggest ethnic minority), are also migrating to Portugal. There is also a small Chinese minority.
In addition, there is a small minority Gypsies (Ciganos) of about 40,000 people, Muslims about 34,000 people and an even smaller minority of Jews of about 5,000 persons (some Ashkenazi, the majority Sephardi, such as the Belmonte Jews).
The Portuguese diaspora
|China (incl. Macau)||129,735|
In the whole world there are easily more than one hundred million people with recognizable Portuguese ancestors, due to the colonial expansion and worldwide immigration of Portuguese from the 16th century onwards to India, the Americas, Macau (see Macanese people), East-Timor, Malaysia, Indonesia and Africa. Between 1886 and 1966, Portugal lost to emigration more than any West European country except Ireland. From the middle of the 19th century to the late 1950s, nearly two million Portuguese left Europe to live in Brazil and the United States. About 40 million Brazilians have relatively recent Portuguese background, due to massive immigration in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. About 1.2 million Brazilian citizens are native Portuguese. Significant verified Portuguese minorities exist in: (see table)
In the United States, there are Portuguese communities in New Jersey, the New England states, and California. In the Pacific, Hawaii has a sizable Portuguese element that goes back 150 years (see Portuguese Americans and Luso Americans), Australia and New Zealand also have Portuguese communities (see Portuguese Australian, Portuguese New Zealander). Canada, particularly Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia, has developed a significant Portuguese community since 1940 (see Portuguese Canadians). Argentina (See Portuguese Argentine and Cape Verdean Argentine) and Uruguay (see Portuguese Uruguayan) had Portuguese immigration in the early 20th century. So has Chile where an estimated 50,000 descendants live, as the country's maritime industries attracted a small number of Portuguese as well.. Portuguese fishermen, farmers and laborers dispersed across the Caribbean, especially Bermuda (3.75% to 10% of the population), Guyana (4.3% of the population in 1891), Trinidad, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the island of Barbados where there is high influence from the Portuguese community.
In the early twentieth century the Portuguese government encouraged white emigration to Angola and Mozambique, and by the 1970s, there were up to 1 million Portuguese settlers living in their overseas African provinces. An estimated 800,000 Portuguese returned to Portugal as the country's African possessions gained independence in 1975, after the Carnation Revolution, while others moved to Brazil and south to South Africa.
As of 1989, some 4,000,000 Portuguese were living abroad, mainly in France, Germany, Brazil, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Canada, Venezuela, and the United States.
Portuguese constitute 13% of the population of Luxembourg. In 2006 there were estimates to be over half a million people of Portuguese origin in the United Kingdom (see Portuguese in the United Kingdom), this is considerably larger than the around 88,000 Portuguese born people alone residing in the country in 2009 (estimation) (however this figure doesn't include British born people of Portuguese descent). In areas such as Thetford and the crown dependencies of Jersey and Guernsey, the Portuguese form the largest ethnic minority groups at 30% of the population, 20% and 3% respectively. The British capital London is home to the largest number of Portuguese people in the UK, with the majority being found in the boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth and Westminster.
As a result of interracial marriage and cultural influence, there are Portuguese influenced people with their own culture and Portuguese based dialects in parts of the world other than former Portuguese colonies, most notably in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia (see Kristang people), Barbados, Jamaica (see Portuguese immigration to Jamaica), Aruba, Curaçao, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana (see Portuguese immigrants in Guyana), Equatorial Guinea and Sri Lanka (see Burgher people and Portuguese Burghers).
Portuguese ancestry in the Brazilian population
|This section's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (January 2013)|
|Source: Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics (IBGE)|
In colonial times, over 700,000 Portuguese settled in Brazil, and most of them went there during the gold rush of the 18th century. They managed to be the only significant European population to populate the country during colonization. The Portuguese migration was strongly marked by the predominance of men (colonial reports from the 16th and 17th centuries almost always report the absence or rarity of Portuguese women). The multiplication of descendants of Portuguese settlers happened to a large degree through miscegenation with black and amerindian women. In fact, in colonial Brazil the Portuguese men competed for the women, because among the African slaves the female component was also a small minority. This explains why the Portuguese men left more descendants in Brazil than the Amerindian or African men did. The Indian and African women were "dominated" by the Portuguese men, preventing men of color to find partners with whom they could have children. Added to this, White people had a much better quality of life and therefore a lower mortality rate than the black and indigenous population. Then, even though the Portuguese migration during colonial Brazil was smaller (5 million Indians estimated at the beginning of colonization and 3 to 4 million Africans brought since then, compared to the descendants of the over 700,000 Portuguese immigrants) the "white" population (whose ancestry was predominantly Portuguese) was as large as the "non white" population in the early 19th century, just before independence from Portugal.
After independence from Portugal in 1822, around 1.7 million Portuguese immigrants settled in Brazil. Portuguese immigration into Brazil in the 19th and 20th centuries was marked by its concentration in the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The immigrants opted mostly for urban centers. Portuguese women appeared with some regularity among immigrants, with percentage variation in different decades and regions of the country. However, even among the more recent influx of Portuguese immigrants at the turn of the 20th century, there were 319 men to each 100 women among them. The Portuguese were different from other immigrants in Brazil, like the Germans, or Italians who brought many women along with them (even though the proportion of men was higher in any immigrant community). Despite the small female proportion, Portuguese men married mainly Portuguese women. Female immigrants rarely married Brazilian men. In this context, the Portuguese had a rate of endogamy which was higher than any other European immigrant community, and behind only the Japanese among all immigrants.
Even with Portuguese heritage, many Portuguese-Brazilians identify themselves as being simply Brazilians, since Portuguese culture was a dominant cultural influence in the formation of Brazil (like many British Americans in the United States, who will never describe themselves as of British extraction, but only as "Americans").
In 1872, there were 3.7 million Whites in Brazil (the vast majority of them of Portuguese ancestry), 4.1 million mixed-race people (mostly of Portuguese-African-Native American ancestry) and 1.9 million Blacks. These numbers give the percentage of 80% of people with total or partial Portuguese ancestry in Brazil in the 1870s.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a new large wave of immigrants from Portugal arrived. From 1881 to 1991, over 1.5 million Portuguese immigrated to Brazil. In 1906, for example, there were 133,393 Portuguese-born people living in Rio de Janeiro, comprising 16% of the city's population. Rio is, still today, considered the largest "Portuguese city" outside of Portugal itself,with 1% Portuguese-born people.
Genetic studies also confirm the strong Portuguese genetic influence in Brazilians. According to a study, at least half of the Brazilian population's Y Chromosome comes from Portugal. Black Brazilians have an average of 48% non-African genes, most of them may come from Portuguese ancestors. On the other hand, 33% Amerindian and 28% African contribution to the total mtDNA of white Brazilians was found
It was estimated that around five million or more Brazilians can acquire Portuguese citizenship, due to the last Portuguese nationality law that grants citizenship to grandchildren of Portuguese nationals.
- Genetic history of Europe
- Genetic history of the Iberian Peninsula
- European ethnic groups
- List of Portuguese people
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Portuguese people.|
- Detailed map of the Pre-Roman Peoples of Iberia (around 200 BC)
- Wikimedia Atlas of Portugal
- Portugal (Emigration) from CIA Country Studies Series