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The Lançados (literally the thrown out ones[1]) were settlers and adventurers of Portuguese origin in Senegambia, the Cape Verde Islands, Guinea, Sierra Leone and other areas on the coast of West Africa. Many were Jews, often New Christians, escaping persecution from the Portuguese Inquisition. Lançados often took African wives from local ruling families, enabling protection and advantageous trading ties. They established clandestine trading networks in weaponry, spices, and sometimes slaves, garnering anger from the Portuguese Crown due to its inability to collect taxes.

Although never large in numbers, mixed-race children born to the Lançados and their African wives and concubines served as crucial intermediaries between Europeans and native Africans. These hybrid wielded significant power in the early development of port economies such as Bissau and Cacheu.

They were the progenitors of the Crioulo language and culture, and indirectly influenced the Papiamento language.

See also[edit]

Notable Lançados[edit]


  1. ^ Pardue, Derek (2015). Cape Verde, Let's Go: Creole Rappers and Citizenship in Portugal. Champaign: University of Illinois Press. p. 42. |access-date= requires |url= (help)

Mark, Peter (2011). The Forgotten Diaspora: Jewish Communities in West Africa and the Making of the Atlantic World. Cambridge University Press. p. 280. ISBN 0521192862.