Moira, Goa

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Moira is located in Goa
Location of Moira in Goa
Moira is located in India
Moira (India)
Coordinates: 15°35′39″N 73°50′24″E / 15.59417°N 73.84000°E / 15.59417; 73.84000Coordinates: 15°35′39″N 73°50′24″E / 15.59417°N 73.84000°E / 15.59417; 73.84000
Country India
State Goa
District North Goa
Sub-district Bardez
Time zone UTC+5:30 (IST)
Postcode 403507
Area code(s) 0832

Moira ([mɔjɽɛ̃ː]) is a village in the Bardez Taluka of the North Goa District in India. It has been home to a number of notable individuals from Goa,[1] and is known for its bananas (known as Mundollchim kellim in Konkani).

"Village of wise fools"[edit]

In his essay "The Wise Fools of Moira",[2] Prof Lucio Rodrigues writes: "Moira is a beautiful Village in the Taluka of Bardez , North Goa District in the tiny western State of India, Goa. It lies a few miles away from city of Mapuca, the capital of the Taluka and Sub-district of Bardez. The river of Mapuca flows along its southern, western and northern sides, making its soil very fertile. The village is famous for many things, among others for its banana plantations, which yield big, long bananas, called munnouchinz kellim in Konkani, and each fruit is equal to a square meal... But the bananas are not Moira’s chief claim to fame among Goan villages. The people are as famous, if not more than their kellim, so famous indeed that they have passed into simile and proverb and legend. They are among the most industrious people of Goa.... This wisdom has a stamp of its own which defies definition.... Even in Konkani it has not been possible to give this baffling quality an appropriate term. This is how the people of Bardez describe the indefinite trait. To moiddekar num re, he is a guy from Moira, sar-koch moiddekar, every inch like a guy from Moira; taka matxem moiddechem assa, he’s got a bit of it from Moira. That it is the thing."

Glenis Maria D'Souza, a native of Moira, describes the village and its people: "If you behave a little idiosyncratic [sic] in Goa, don't be surprised if you are called a 'Moidekar'. The legendary village of wise fools, Moira, is a cozy hamlet well located in the heart of Bardez, cuddled on either side by the Mapusa river branch of Mandovi and its Uskoi branch."[3]

Early history[edit]

Large, white church
Moira Church at dusk

Historian Teotónio de Souza published a brochure on Moirá for its church's 350th anniversary in 1986. When the church was built, two Flemish brothers lived in Goa: diamond dealers Jacques and Joseph de Coutre. At the beginning of the 17th century, the arrival of the Dutch in the waters around India led the Portuguese administration in Goa to keep a close watch on the Dutch. Some, including the Coutre brothers, were arrested and sent back to Lisbon. Coutre's autobiographical account in manuscript is in the National Library of Spain. In it, he describes his adventures in Goa and elsewhere in Asia.

A deed drawn up in Goa on 14 March 1623 and preserved in the National Library of Lisbon records that Joseph de Coutre (known as "Couto" in Goa) financially assisted the Franciscans to build the first Moira church. This conflicts with the story told by Paulo de Trindade, who said that the church was financed entirely by the Moidekars.

The Augsburg-born businessman (1559–1637) had links to Augsburg bankers. Although he was better connected than the Coutre brothers in Portuguese circles, he was expelled in 1624. Cron contributed to the chapel for St. Francis Xavier on the eve of Francis' canonisation and tried to help the Capuchins, but the casados (white settlers) thought he was a Dutch spy and he was expelled. Like the Coutre brothers, his wealth gained him favour in the Spanish court (which ruled Portugal at the time).

Goa Inquisition[edit]

Although men and women were arrested by the Holy Office of the Inquisition during its auto-da-fé in the cathedral on 7 December 1664, Moira was relatively unscathed by the Portuguese Inquisition.


Local historian Leroy Veloso has identified five vangodd (founding families, or clans) in Moira.[4] According to Veloso, the third vangodd is a composite of families with a number of surnames. They include Jack de Sequeira, Erasmo Sequeira, Carmo Azavedo, John Maximian Nazare and Silvestre Nazaré.

Notable residents[edit]

  • Jack Sequeira – Politician
  • Erasmo de Sequeira – Former Member of Parliament for South Goa
  • Carmo Azavedo – Former editor of O Heraldo
  • Goculdas S Nagvenkar – Former FIFA assistant referee
  • John Maximian Nazareth – Believed to have been Asia's first Queen's Counsel
  • Silvestre Nazaré – Nuclear scientist[5]
  • Manuel Francisco D'Cruz – Educator
  • Anthony da Silva, SJ – Former rovincial of the Jesuits of the Goa Province
  • Teotonio R de Souza – Historian
  • Maxwell Anthony Francis Pinto – Social worker
  • Joaquim D'souza- Ex-GM of Mapusa Urban Co-operative Bank and President of Communidade
  • Floriano Lobo – Social activist and founder of the Goa Su-Raj Party
  • Late Philomena D'Cruz - Music teacher
  • Leroy Veloso - Professor of Social Work in Don Bosco College, Panjim.
  • Deepa Awchat – Chef
  • Theodore Francis Mendonca – Labour-law attorney
  • Eve D'Souza – Radio and television personality[6]
  • Loretta D'Souza e Shreedharan – Field hockey player
  • Rishad D'Cruz - Director & winner of Special Jury Award -IFFI Goa.
  • Nilton D'Cruz - Sr. Executive Engineer at Unichem Laboratories Ltd, Pilerne, Saligao.

St. Xavier High School[edit]

St. Xavier High School is a co-educational school run by the Diocesan Society of Education in Panaji and founded in 1935. It is recognised by the Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education in Porvorim and the Directorate of Education in Panaji.


  1. ^ Noronha, Frederick. "Goans are all over the world, doing all kinds of things". Archived from the original on 24 October 2009. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  2. ^ Rodrigues, Lucio. Abolim: The Flower Songs, Folk Tales and Legends of Goa, Goa:Goa,1556, 2015.
  3. ^ D'souza, Glenis Maria. "The Majestic Village of Moira". Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  4. ^ Veloso, Leroy (13 September 2007). "Kulachars in Moira". Moira-Net. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Profiling a Moiranet Member: Dr Silvestre Nazare". Moira-Net. 9 April 2007. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  6. ^ Archived 16 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]