Luiz da Câmara Cascudo

Lúcia Gaspar
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 Writer and folklorist, born in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, on 30 December 1898 and died in the same city on 30 July 1986. He is one of the most important researchers of the ethnic roots of Brazil.

At the age of six he already knew how to read. He studied Latin for three years with Master João Tibúrcio. In 1922 he learnt to read English to accompany travellers to Africa and Asia. It was he who translated the book Travels in Brazil, by English traveller Henry Koster, one of the most valuable works for the knowledge and interpretation of Brazil at the beginning of the 19th century.

In his youth he lived at the Vila Cascudo hostel, in the Tirol neighbourhood, where literary meetings were held.

He studied at the Atheneu Norte Riograndense and studied medicine at the Bahia and Rio de Janeiro Faculties of Medicine, in Salvador and Rio de Janeiro, until 4th year.

In 1928, he graduated from the Recife Faculty of Law and also concluded the Ethnography course at the Faculty of Philosophy of Rio Grande do Norte in the same year.

He was the father of two children: Fernando Luís and Anna Maria, fruits of his marriage to Dhália Freire on 21 April 1929.

His professional rise began as a journalist at the periodical A Imprensa, owned by his father, Coronel Francisco Cascudo. A Imprensa published his first chronicle, O Tempo e Eu (Time and I), in a column entitled Bric-a-Brac on 18 October 1918. He wrote for various newspapers in Natal and some other of the country’s cities, including maintaining daily columns in the periodicals A República and Diário de Natal, from 1939 to 1952 and from 1959 to1960.

In 1920 he wrote the introduction and the notes to the poetic anthology of Lourival Açucena, Versos Reunidos (Reunited Verses).

He published his first book at the age of twenty-three, Alma Patrícia (Patriotic Soul) (1921), a critical and bio-bibliographical study of 18 writers and poets either born or established in the State of Rio Grande do Norte.

He was a professor of International Public Law at the Recife Faculty of Law, and of General Ethnology at the Faculty of Philosophy in Natal.

He wrote about a wide range of subjects. His specialisation was in ethnography and folklore, but his predilection was for the areas of history, geography and biography, especially of Rio Grande do Norte.

He is considered the Pope of Brazilian folklore. He published, among others, the following works:

Alma patrícia (Patriotic Soul) (1921); Joio: página de literatura e crítica (Joio: Page of Literature and Critique) (1924); Conde D´Eu (Count D’Eu) (1933); Vaqueiros e cantadores: folclore poético do sertão de Pernambuco, Paraíba, Rio Grande do Norte e Ceará (Cowboys and Singers: Poetic Folklore from the Semi-Arid Regions of Pernambuco, Paraíba, Rio Grande do Norte and Céara) (1939); Antologia do folclore brasileiro (Anthology of Brazilian Folklore) (1943); Geografia dos mitos brasileiros (Geography of Brazilian Myths) (1947); Os holandeses no Rio Grande do Norte (The Dutch in Rio Grande do Norte) (1949); Meleágro: depoimento e pesquisa sobre a magia branca no Brasil (Meleágro: Statement and Research on the White Wizard in Brazil) (1951); Dicionário do folclore brasileiro (Dictionary of Brazilian Folklore) (1954); História do Rio Grande do Norte (History of Rio Grande do Norte) (1955); Geografia do Brasil holandês (Georgraphy of Dutch Brazil) (1956); Jangadas: uma pesquisa etnográfica (Jangadas: An Ethnographic Study) (1957); Rede de dormir (Sleeping Hammock) (1959); A cozinha africana no Brasil (African Cuisine in Brazil) (1964); Made in Africa: pesquisa e notas (Made in Africa: Research and Notes) (1965); História da República no Rio Grande do Norte (History of the Republic in Rio Grande do Norte) (1965); Prelúdio da cachaça (Prelude of Cachaça) (1968); História da alimentação no Brasil (History of Alimentation in Brazil) (1967-1968); Ensaios de etnografia brasileira (Essays of Brazilian Ethnography) (1971); Sociologia da açúcar: pesquisa e dedução (Sociology of Sugar: Research and Deduction) (1971); A vaquejada nordestina e suas origens (The Northeast Cowboy and His Origins) (1974); Antologia da alimentação no Brasil (Anthology of Alimentation in Brazil) (1977).

Recife, 18 July 2003.
(Text updated on 27 February 2009).
Translated by Peter Leamy, February 2011.


COSTA, Américo de Oliveira. Viagem ao universo e Câmara Cascudo. Natal: Fundação José Augusto, 1969.
MAMEDE, Zila. Luís da Câmara Cascudo: 50 anos de vida intelectual, 1918-1968: bibliografia anotada. Natal: Fundação José Augusto, 1970. v.1, pt. 1.
MEMORIAL Câmara Cascudo. Natal, [198_]. Folder.
SOUTO MAIOR, Mário. Dicionário de folcloristas brasileiros. Recife: 10-10 Comunicação e Editora, 1999. p.116-117.


Source: GASPAR, Lúcia. Luiz da Câmara Cascudo. Pesquisa Escolar On-Line, Joaquim Nabuco Foudation, Recife. Available at: <http://basilio.fundaj.gov.br/pesquisaescolar/>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009.


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