Dutch Brazilian

Dutch Brazilian
Dutch Brazilian
Neerlando Brasileiro  · Nederlandse Brazilianen
Chico Buarque.jpg Joao mauricio wanderley.jpg Nelson Angelo Piquet.jpg Gilberto Freyre.JPG
Notable Dutch Brazilians:

Chico Buarque · João Maurício Wanderley
Nelson Piquet, Jr. · Gilberto Freyre

Total population
4,434,021[citation needed]
Regions with significant populations

Mainly Northeastern, Southern and Southeastern Brazil


Brazilian Portuguese, Dutch.


Predominantly Catholic and Protestant

Related ethnic groups

White Brazilian, Dutch people, Flemish, Frisians

A Dutch Brazilian (Dutch: Nederlandse Brazilianen, Portuguese: Neerlando-brasileiro or Holando-brasileiro) is a Brazilian of full or partial Dutch ancestry. Dutch Brazilians are mainly descendants of immigrants from the Netherlands[citation needed], but there are few who are descendants of Flemish or Afrikaner immigrants[citation needed].

The Dutch were among the first Europeans settling in Brazil during the 17th century. They controlled the northern coast of Brazil from 1630 to 1654. A significant number of Dutch immigrants arrived in that period. The state of Pernambuco was once a colony of the Dutch Republic from 1630 to 1661. There are a considerable number of people who are descendants of the Dutch colonists in Pernambuco, because at that time Alagoas was part of Pernambuco.[1][2]

During the 19th and 20th century, Dutch immigrants from the Netherlands immigrated to the Brazil's Center-South, founded a few cities and prospered.[3] The majority of Dutch Brazilians reside in Espírito Santo, Paraná,[4] Rio Grande do Sul and São Paulo.[5] There are also small groups of Dutch Brazilians in Goiás, Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro.[6]


Dutch presence in Brazil

The Dutch West India Company was established in Amsterdam in 1621 and soon came into contact with the overseas domains of Portugal and Spain. The Dutch had already visited Brazil's coast, and possession of its brazilwood and sugar became an object of interest of the new company. By 1630, the Dutch occupied Pernambuco establishing the colony New Holland and gradually expanded their conquests to Ceará and to the north into Rio Grande do Norte.

In 1637, Count Johan Maurits of Nassau-Siegen (1604–1679) arrived in Recife, the captaincy (a political and administrative division of colonial times) of Pernambuco, to become the first Dutch governor. He was assigned by the Dutch West India Company to consolidate the Dutch settlements and economic interests in Brazil. The count was a good administrator of the city and of Dutch interests in general. His government was distinguished by the presence of men of distinguished learning, among them painters such as Albert Eckhout (1637–1664) and Frans Post (1612-ca.1680), as well as naturalists such as Zacharias Wagner (1614–1668), who documented Brazil's flora and fauna. In 1647, Count Maurits' biographer, Garpar Barleus (1584–1648), wrote Rerum per Octennium in Brasilia (History of Deeds Done in Eight Years in Brazil), considered the most important work about colonial Brazil.

The Luso-Brazilian population living in northeastern Brazil, the area under Dutch control from 1624 to 1654, resisted at first but later submitted to the control of the Dutch. After Count Johan Maurits left Brazil, the population rebelled against the Dutch. In 1648-49 the Luso-Brazilians defeated the Dutch in the first and second battles of Guararapes and gradually recovered their land. In addition, the wars between England and the Dutch Republic were weakening Dutch power everywhere. In January 1654 the Dutch surrendered and signed the Treaty of Taborda, but only as a provisory pact. By May 1654 the Dutch Republic demanded the colony back. However, on 6 August 1661 New Holland was formally ceded to Portugal through the Treaty of The Hague.

Even though Dutch rule in northeastern Brazil was relatively brief, it left an indelible mark on the architecture and art of the region. Depictions by Dutch painters of the new country and its spectacular natural life were among the first such portrayals to be shown in Europe. In addition, the Dutch founded the first synagogue in the Americas, in Recife in 1636.[7]

Brazilians´s surnames of Dutch Origin

Some surnames present in Brazil are from Dutch colonization in the 17th century[1] [2][3][4][5]:

  • Wanderley or Vanderlei from the Dutch Van der Ley. The surname arrived in Brazil by Kaspar Niuhoff Van Der Ley by 1630, a cavalry captain from the Dutch army.
  • Holanda, family founded in Brazil by Arnau Florentz (son of the Baron of Rhijnsburg, today Rijnsburg) that changed his surname to Arnau Holanda(Holland in Portuguese) when came to Brazil.
  • Rollemberg or Rolemberg.

The second wave

Windmill De immigrant in Castro, Paraná

The first Dutch immigrants to Brazil went to the state of Espírito Santo between 1858 and 1862, where they established the settlement of Holanda. This settlement of five hundred mainly Reformed folk from West Zeeuws-Vlaanderen in the province of Zeeland was not successful. All further immigration ceased and contacts with the homeland withered. The "lost settlement" was only rediscovered after one hundred and ten years, in 1973. Except for the Zeelanders in Holanda, Brazil attracted few Dutch until after 1900. From 1906 through 1913 over 3,500 Dutch emigrated there, mainly in 1908-1909.

After the Second World War, the Dutch Organization of Catholic Farmers and Vegetable Growers (KNBTB) coordinated a new flow of Dutch immigrants in search for a new life and new opportunities in Brazil. The most known Dutch settlements in Brazil are Holambra I and Holambra II (because they became leading producers of flowers), but others settlements where established as well, and in time these small villages became cities. Alongside Holambra I and II, the main settlements are:

  • Alto Garças (Mato Grosso - 1972);
  • Arapoti (Paraná - 1960);
  • Brasolândia (Minas Gerais - 1985);
  • Castrolândia (Paraná - 1951);
  • Gonçalves Júnior (Paraná - 1889);
  • Itiquera (Mato Grosso - 1972);
  • Maracaju (Mato Grosso do Sul - 1972);
  • Monte Alegre (Paraná - 1949);
  • Não-Me-Toque (Rio Grande do Sul - 1949);
  • Paracatu (Minas Gerais - 1972);
  • Rio Verde (Goiás - 1985);
  • Tijuquinhas (Santa Catarina - 1950);
  • Tronco (Paraná - 1953);

Also arrived after Second World War were Eurasian refugees of mixed Indonesian and Dutch blood called Indos. These Indos traveled to Brazil because the Dutch society did not consider their war experience in Indonesia, and did not recognize the European status the Indos held dearly in their mother country.[8] The number of Indos in Brazil was never counted because they are a part of the overall Dutch-Brazilian population.

Colony of Holambra

Holambra is a municipality in São Paulo. The colony Holambra (from the words Holland-America-Brazil) and The Cooperativa Agropecuária de Holambra (Cattle Farming Cooperation of Holambra) were founded in 1948 by Catholic Dutch immigrants at the farm Fazenda Ribeirão, situated between the cities Jaguariúna, Santo Antônio de Posse, Artur Nogueira and Cosmópolis. After a referendum in 1991 where 98% of the population voted in favor of political autonomy for the area, Holambra gained city status in January 1993.

The cows that were shipped in from the Netherlands by the initial colonists did not survive the heat and tropical diseases so the colonists diversified to pig and chicken farming. As the colony around the farm grew in the following decades, the focus shifted from agriculture to horticulture. Famous for its large production of flowers and plants and for the yearly event Expoflora, Holambra receives ten thousands of tourists each year. In April 1998 this fact was recognized as Holambra gained the status of Estância Turística, touristic location.[9]

Notable Dutch Brazilians

See also


External links

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