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Resgate, the "ransoming" of indigenous peoples held as captives in the interior of Brazil during the colonial period. Portuguese law banned the direct enslaving of native Brazilians by colonists but allowed Indians already held as slaves by other Indians or those slated for death in tribal rituals to become the slaves of colonists. The exchange of such captives between tribes and colonists was seen by the Portuguese as "ransoming," for the colonists liberated the captives who in turn repaid their deliverers with lifetime service. Widely abused, resgate provided a thin legal patina for the illegal enslavement of native peoples in colonial Brazil

See alsoSlavery: Brazil .


Alexander Marchant, From Barter to Slavery: The Economic Relations of Portuguese and Indians in the Settlement of Brazil, 1500–1580 (1966).

John Hemming, Red Gold: The Conquest of the Brazilian Indians (1978).

                                    Alida C. Metcalf

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