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
DistrictNorth Goa
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
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).

Early history[edit]

Large, white church
Moira Church at dusk

The village derives its name from either from 'Moriya', which describes a Mauryan settlement (the 'mor' (transl. peacock) was an important symbol of the Maurya empire) or from 'Moim', a locality near Tivim (many of Moira's initial settlers came from Tivim).[2]

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.

"Village of wise fools"[edit]

In his essay "The Wise Fools of Moira",[3] Prof Lucio Rodrigues writes about how the village is famous for its banana plantations, which yield big, long bananas, called munnouchinz kellim in Konkani. He goes on to describe how the people are just as famous as the bananas. 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'."[4] The villagers are known thus for being hardworking and fun-loving at the same time.[2]


Local historian Leroy Veloso has identified five vangodd (founding families, or clans) in Moira.[5] 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[6]
  • Manuel Francisco D'Cruz – educator
  • Anthony da Silva, SJ – former provincial 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[7]
  • Loretta D'Souza e Shreedharan – field hockey player[8]
  • Rishad D'Cruz - director and winner of Special Jury Award -IFFI Goa
  • Nilton D'Cruz - senior executive engineer at Unichem Laboratories Ltd, Pilerne, Saligao
  • Shridhar Sinai Usgaonkar - Advocate


  • The backwaters of Moira provide a scenic view[9]
  • Assoçiacão Académica de Moira: Sataporio locality's Moira Club was founded in 1920
  • Dr Jack de Sequeira's ancestral house: It is located at Bambordem
  • Moira bridge: This bridge at Atafondem connects Moira to Bastora and was built in 1978
  • Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church: Built in 1636, it is located between Raim and Calizor. From 1838, it housed a unique bell, which had previously been part of Old Goa's Madre de Deus convent
  • St Xavier’s High School: Founded on June 5, 1935 it is run by the Diocesan Society of Education[2]


  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.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  2. ^ a b c Mendis, Isidore (28 August 2018). "Village of Famed Bananas & 'Wise Fools'". The Times of India. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  3. ^ Rodrigues, Lucio (2015). Abolim: The Flower Songs, Folk Tales and Legends of Goa. Goa: Goa,1556.
  4. ^ D'souza, Glenis Maria. "The Majestic Village of Moira". Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  5. ^ Veloso, Leroy (13 September 2007). "Kulachars in Moira". Moira-Net. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  6. ^ "Profiling a Moiranet Member: Dr Silvestre Nazare". Moira-Net. 9 April 2007. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  7. ^ Archived 16 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "AAP names Khalap's daughter-in-law in new list". The Times of India. 29 November 2016. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  9. ^ Goyal, Anuradha (26 February 2015). "Walk Through The Backwaters Of Moira Goa". Inditales. Retrieved 7 October 2019.

External links[edit]