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date: 28 November 2022

Cangaço and Cangaceiros: Rural Banditry in the Brazilian Northeastlocked

Cangaço and Cangaceiros: Rural Banditry in the Brazilian Northeastlocked

  • Luiz Bernardo PericásLuiz Bernardo PericásDepartment of History, Universidade de São Paulo


The cangaço was a social phenomenon related to rural banditry in the backlands of the Brazilian Northeast (an area referred to as the sertão). Beginning in the nineteenth century, the cangaço reached its peak with the actions of Virgulino Ferreira, popularly known as Lampião, the most important and emblematic leader of these outlaws, during the 1920s and 1930s. Its demise came with the start of the dictatorial Estado Novo regime in 1937. The cangaço received widespread coverage in the local press and was amply depicted in the visual arts, literature, and cinema, enduring as one of the most distinctive and controversial subjects in Brazilian cultural history.


  • History of Brazil
  • Social History

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