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Mandu Ladino (?–1719)

Mandu Ladino (?–1719)

Mandu Ladino (d. 1719), leader of one of the largest Indian rebellions in the Brazilian colonial period. Mandu Ladino was a "civilized" (ladino means "latinized" or "civilized") Indian, who had been educated by the Jesuits. The revolt began in 1712 because of Tapuia resentment of forced labor in support of a Portuguese garrison. The Tapuia also wanted to avenge Indian killings committed by the Portuguese commander, Antônio da Cunha Souto-Maior, and his men, whose brutality including decapitating Indians for sport.

Mandu's 400 men sacked military garrisons, burned ranches, and killed Portuguese soldiers and settlers in Ceará, Piauí and Maranhão, but they spared missionaries. When Portuguese troops attacked a group of Tupi Indians, they too joined the rebellion and killed 88 people. Rebels destroyed at least 100 ranches, causing substantial losses.

Several Portuguese military expeditions against Mandu failed. The governor of Maranhão led one expedition in 1716 and surrounded Mandu's village, but a premature shot alerted the Indians and allowed them to escape. A rival group of the Tapuia, the Tobajara, defeated Mandu Ladino in a series of engagements, reducing his force to about 50 men. They killed him as he attempted to escape across a river.

See alsoSlavery: Indian Slavery and Forced Labor; Tapuia.


John Hemming, Red Gold (1979).

Additional Bibliography

Cunha, Manuela Carneiro da, and Francisco M Salzano. História dos índios no Brasil. São Paulo: Fundação de Amparo á Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo, 1998.

Prezia, Benedito, and Eduardo Hoornaert. Brasil indígena: 500 anos de resistência. São Paulo: FTD, 2000.

                                      Ross Wilkinson

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