Subject: Fitting in -- colonial official to anthropologist
FITTING IN: COLONIAL OFFICIAL TO ANTHROPOLOGIST
Taking a closer look at writing that goes back a century
By Robert S. Newman
Since Portuguese India ceased to exist only in 1961, anyone who
wishes to do work on Goa, Daman or Diu, must be prepared to delve
into Portuguese language materials, or at least to speak a certain
modicum of Portuguese. For historians, it is axiomatic that
without Portuguese you cannot go far in studying Goa. If history
students interested in the area are not yet able to read in
Portuguese, the number of sources available for research are
drastically reduced. Many sources in English, such as Richard
Burton's Goa and the Blue Mountains, for example, are shallow and
not worth much for the serious historian.1 Though specialists on
the Portuguese in Asia tend to focus on the period 1498-1640, later
periods also offer interesting episodes and material for thought.
For anthropologists, the case is not so clear-cut. Most
of us do not spend time poring over dusty texts in
archives, translating the letters and reports of
long-dead priests or officials. In my case, I read in
the well-known Portuguese books of travel, ethnography,
and journalism published in the 19th and 20th centuries,2
but my major concern was to observe daily life in Goa and
talk to Goans of all walks of life.
I did so using English, Hindi, and some Portuguese. Though I would
hardly call my Portuguese "fluent", it was sufficient to persuade
the older generation that I might not be one of those "English-only
barbarians" that surrounded them. I conducted two or three
interviews in Portuguese as well. Though I was interested in
modern Portuguese language documents on the history and culture of
Goans, I did not find many that went beyond cursory glances, proud
attestances of Goa's thorough Catholicism, and repeated statements
that Goa would be forever Portuguese and that its culture was
utterly unlike that of neighboring India, as if Goa had sprung from
the sea like some Venus on a seashell!
Spending a month in Lisboa in 1979, after my initial period of
research in Goa, I haunted old book shops in the Rua Misericordia
and Rua da Rosa, not exactly an unpleasant chore! On one June
afternoon I discovered, in a pile of 'ephemera', a battered copy of
a document entitled "Relatorio acerca da Administracao Geral dos
Campos Nacionaes de Assolna, Velim, Ambelim, Talvorda, Nuem e
Ragibaga relativo a 1897", written by one Major Fernando Leal. It
cost 80 escudos, rather less than two American dollars. As I had
already begun my studies of that exact area of Goa, I bought it
with great excitement, but due to the usual pressures of life,
later forgot for many years that I even owned such a document.
Eight years later, I took up residence in that very same Assolna
and spent four months there. I read my Lisboa purchase of
long-before only after returning from my research work. Major Leal
had lived at Assolna in the 1890s as the administrator of the area.
Ninety years thus separated me from him. Reading his report, I
found a man whose concerns and sensibilities, in some important
ways, differed immensely from mine, yet in others, he remained a
man whom I regretted intensely not being able to meet.
This brief offering is an attempt to do three things.
First, to inform readers what they might learn from
reading this document. Second, to show how the report
gave me an idea of the conditions prevailing in Assolna
nearly a century before, let me realize how much change
had occurred. And third, to try to link official
perspectives of the colonial period and my own
perspective as an anthropologist in the same place nearly
a century later. Certain passages in the report
bolstered my own work because they proved what I
continually said about Goan society.
In short, I wish to describe what use the document was to me. I
provide translations of parts of the document here to illustrate
that use in greater detail.
Major Leal, the administrator of Assolna, Velim and outlying
hamlets, reports that he could not, as required, send in the report
on time, blaming his ill health, saying,
Thus, I hope due consideration will be given to excuse the
imperfection of this document which is not as complete as might
have been desirable. Another reason for this imperfection is
the bad state of health of the undersigned and also the
extremely bad sanitary conditions of this village [*Assolna],
which is the seat of administration here, where cholera-morbus
has a hold and continues to claim victims, proportionately more
than in any other inhabited place in this country. p.3
This brings him immediately to the general question of public
health. He calls for a number of needed improvements such as a
couple of roads, a bridge, draining unhealthy swamps, and
relocating the cemetery. With a sense of ironic humor he makes a
number of trenchant criticism of the state of public health in his
district. He goes on at some length and his comments are worth
reading. I have tried to preserve some of the flowery nature of
Portuguese prose, so much at variance with today's dry
We see that cholera-morbus has carried off more lives in
Assolna, relative to population, than in any other village. I
call it 'cholera-morbus' without hesitation because a great
number of those stricken by the epidemic, which is still raging
in Assolna and other parts of Salcete District, succumb with a
violent rapidity exhibiting all the well-known symptoms of the
Gangetic scourge. We also see that cholera has hung on here for
a longer period than in other parts. We can observe its
permanent residence in certain bairros [trans. note: quarters or
sections of a village -- the term is still used today]. It is
especially rampant in the bairro called Passagem, called by this
name because it is along the left bank of the River Sal, where
the three ferry boats or "passage" boats linking Assolna to the
villages of Chinchinim and Cavelossim on the right bank most
frequently land. Now, we know that the comma-bacillus (as it
was called by the person who first studied and described it,
thus acquiring the right to name it) follows the general
biological law common to all living beings, from people to
plants, and tries to live wherever conditions are best for its
particular development. That optimum condition, for the
dreadful microbe we are talking about, is known to be in swampy
land. Furthermore, it is known that the above-mentioned bairro
is situated among small ponds and swamps, the major ones of
which are permanent, both winter and summer. Some lie in the
area called Soradi to the west of the docking area in Passagem,
while others are to the east of the same docking area; these
last lie near, below, and beside the village church. Thus I am
forced to conclude that the violence, virulence and permanent
residence in Assolna of the epidemic we are discussing stem
chiefly from conditions in Passagem and its surroundings. And I
may add that it is not in the least improbable that if these
sources of infection are not quickly eradicated that cholera,
typhus, and other swamp-generated infections will come to be
endemic in Assolna.
To prevent the onset of such great dangers to public health,
nothing less is required than an energetic initiative by the
general government [of Goa]. It is widely known hereabouts that
one of the owners of the land where these sources of infection
exist was warned by the parish administrator to get rid of them.
He did not make the least effort to comply, while the owner of
the property which contains one of the major, most dangerous,
swamps states that he was never told to fill it in or dry it up.
Major Leal launches into a discussion of other improvements that
are needed in his jurisdiction. The word "Estado" refers to O
Estado da India Portuguesa, the official name for Goa and the small
enclaves to the north.
Besides the capital of the Estado, [*Panjim or, as it was often
called then, Nova Goa] besides Mormugao and the capitals of the
concelhos [*districts of the Portuguese administration], there is
no other town in Portuguese India of greater importance than
Assolna. This importance is not due to its population, which is
rather scanty, nor to its area, which is limited, nor to the wealth
of its inhabitants, who are in general just barely comfortable.
No, though this importance partly owes to its being the seat of
this administration, which comprises vast lands situated in six
villages, Assolna, Velim, Ambelim, Talvorda, Nuem and Ragibaga, the
principal reason is due its geographical situation on the bank of
the Sal River, only a short distance from its mouth.
Assolna is the obligatory transit point for all those from south of
the river who are heading north to central Salcete, the capital of
the Estado, or the northern districts of Goa. That means, people
from the western part of Balli district [*now called Quepem] and
the northwest section of Canacona, who are remote from the main
road from Cortalim to PolÃ©m. It is obvious that the same route is
necessary for those who travel in the opposite direction.
For this reason, for motives which I will state below, Assolna
is a commercial center, reached by both land and sea. Far more
populated areas, for example, the two large, populous
neighboring villages of Velim, to the south, and Chinchinim to
the north, do not possess the market that Assolna has, a market
that provisions the people for many miles around. What is more,
this locality is a real interior port, a docking point for
domestic ships, which beyond the Betul bar, carry on a
considerable coastal trade with the English ports to the north
and south of Goa's frontier, mainly Bombay. Thus, it is really
incomprehensible how a place of this level of importance does
not possess, up to today, a single meter of road that could at
least link it with the main road that passes through Cuncolim,
only three kilometers from Assolna! Such a small branch road
would be of evident and considerable advantage to the Estado and
to its people as well. Its construction would require
relatively insignificant expense, little more than the
expropriation of some relevant land, seeing that the road would
cross, for the most part, lands belonging to the Estado. A good
section, perhaps a third, or the distance of one kilometer,
would coincide with the extensive, long bund of Bandavarim, now
planted with coconut palms, which borders Cuncolim.
This bund, that belongs to the state and keeps back the water
stored up in the Bandavarim reservoir (which is used to irrigate
the state-owned rice fields situated to the north of the same
bund) would be substantially reinforced by the construction of a
road on top of it. This would allow the Estado to avoid some
considerable expense commonly incurred in repairing that bund.
Right now the Estado is paying heavily for the major project of
repairing three huge breaks and other damage incurred in the
widespread flooding of mid-June last. [*1897] There is not a
single difficult place in the whole length of the proposed
branch road. The way lies on ground as flat as if it were a
petrified liquid surface. Necessary engineering work would
consist of restoring a little old bridge over the stream from
Cuncolim, besides one or two culverts for the passage of water.
In view of this long-neglected project, it seems to me that when
assured of its real necessity, his Excellency the
Governor-General will not hesitate to order the completion of
this worthwhile and inexpensive improvement. It is hard to
understand why it has not been done up to now.
It is convenient to remember at this point that the municipal
road of Chinchinim, on the other bank from Assolna, is no
substitute for the road between Assolna and Cuncolim. Assolna's
river (without a bridge, which, judging by the dimensions that
it would need, should be extremely inexpensive) could offer a
solution to the continuity of transport, but it prevents the
transit of vehicles from one bank to the other. Presently it
represents just an inconvenience, a waste and loss of time
resulting from the disembarkation and re-embarkation of goods
and passengers on the jetties on the road in Chinchinim. It is
true that the alluded-to bridge could be erected by means of a
subsidy granted to a construction firm. augmented by giving them
the right to collect a toll for a long period. They could also
prohibit, for the same time, the passage across the river of
goods or passengers by boat. As for Chinchinim's municipal road
on the opposite bank, recently almost completed, everybody knows
that it was almost destroyed by the rains of the last monsoon.
Another road should be built, one of some five kilometers in
length, that would leave Assolna to the south, coming to an end
on the right bank of the Betul River. The simplicity of
building this road would not be less than doing the one from
Assolna to Cuncolim.
To eliminate the swamps around here would be another improvement
that should be carried out as soon as possible. It is an
inexpensive project of unquestionable benefit as I have already
indicated. And, the cemetery should be removed to a spot far
removed from the center of town. The present cemetery, which
dates from more than fifty years ago, was, by some impardonable
error, constructed exactly on the site where we had a beautiful
spring with a reservoir of drinking water! In other words, what
they did officially was the unheard of foolishness of first,
draining the only spring that existed in a community that
contains so few wells, almost all of which contain foul water.
Secondly, filling in the ground that held the spring to
construct the cemetery, they succeeded only in soaking that
ground more or less permanently. It is swampy to the point
that, especially during the rainy season, graves cannot be dug
and cadavers rest in a veritable mud bath like the living bodies
of health cure seekers at some hot spring. The result is that,
especially in times of pestilence like those at present, the
lovely mass composed of water, earth, and human flesh in a state
of putrefaction, provides Assolna with the most fertile and
efficient source or culture (as the bacteriologists say) for the
growth and spread of germs of all kinds of diseases!
What is more, the present cemetery is situated a few steps from
the church and my administration building. It thus stands on
the site most frequented by the people of the environs, not only
by those who come to the church or to visit the administration
building, but also by those who seek passage from north to south
or vice-versa across the river from Assolna to Chinchinim. The
removal of the cemetery to a place in the lee of the populated
areas, relative to the prevailing winds, is necessary. All the
more so because the available materials in the building of the
present cemetery are much more than sufficient for the
construction of a simple walled precinct, rectangular and
uncovered, with a gate, and if anyone wishes, a chapel within.
(At present the cemetery has a shed with a double-sided roof
resting on two rows of pillars, a faÃ§ade, the shell of a chapel,
and surrounding walls.)
More wholesome, more attractive, and even more religious, my
God, would be a holy yard under the skies, planted with flowers,
bathed in sun by day and by night under the round, blue arch of
the heavens adorned with golden, shining stars! It seems
self-evident that a cemetery ought to be a place that consoles
the living, so that they could know that their dead lie there
under the flowers, watered by the tears of the dew, as if they
implored -- the flowers of the earth to the stars, their sisters
in Heaven -- a glance of sympathy for the poor deceased ones.
Perhaps this arrangement would suggest to the living a more
truthful and above all, a more religious conception of Life and
Death in their perpetual interplay and metamorphosis. Certainly
it would be better than the present repellent view of a dismal
shed, a dark, dreadful caravansarai of the dead, inhabited only
by bats, screech-owls, and spiders, with a black, muddy floor,
where in a kind of sterile, stony Arabia not a single flower
blooms, nor a weed grows.pp.5-7
Being a writer more enthusiastic than organized, on the way through
his complaints about public works and health, Major Leal launches a
long, ironic aside on the nature of the local Hindus. True to
colonial form, he does not think much of them, attributing their
behavior to innate deficiencies of character rather than facing the
fact that they did not like the Portuguese and saw no reason to
cooperate with their plans.
Orel bairro, the closest one to the church, is, by singular,
ironical contrast, the only pagan [*he means Hindu] one in
Assolna. It is inhabited principally by Hindu Brahmin families.
The public sector [*meaning mainly the author's administration],
owner of the farms that they live on, very often has strong
motives to despise such farmers because of their incorrigible
bad faith, deceitful character, and intolerable trickiness. I
will justify this assertion with the following story, which is
In 1886, following the death of one Anglo, resident of the Orel
bairro, when the inventory of his properties was drawn up, his
widow and some other heirs intentionally put the deceased's
house and fields on the list. But both these things belonged to
the public sector. Our administration, which seems not to have
taken any notice of the inventory other than officially
announcing it as required by law, later protested against the
usurpation of government property before the district court.
The authorities proposed to take the proper steps, but,
according to what they tell me, not a single living soul
appeared to give testimony in favor of the government!
Testimony from the opposing side abounded. The Hindus of
Assolna, all farmers residing in Orel, had themselves a field
day, testifying with edifying unanimity that the house in
question was the legitimate property of their deceased
co-religionist Anglo. Taking advantage of the opportunity, each
one of them declared further that Anglo was the legal and
rightful owner of the houses that they all lived in, in Orel, as
well as the land on which they stood. If one interprets these
events in the light of Brissot's aphorism, one which was revised
by Proudhon, that 'Property is Theft', then we can only be
thankful that these modest, honest citizens considerably limited
their claims to the sites of their 'lares and penates' or shall
we say, their 'Ganeshes', and did not lay claim to the rest of
the national property on which they condescend to live.
What is certain is that the government -- thanks perhaps to the
inextricably tangled and ambiguous formulations of our extensive
legislation, which is so favorable to chicanery -- found itself
obliged to "clamp down", as they say. Otherwise, it seems to me
-- ignorant of jurisprudence as I am -- that the summons for the
heirs to appear before the judge should have been limited to the
presentation of the documents of purchase or donation or at
least some legal document proving the Anglos owned the disputed
property. Happily, when the above-mentioned heirs tried to
rebuild the house in question later on, the village
administration prevented the work and they were forced to
recognize the state ownership of the property in a petition in
which they humbly asked permission to reconstruct it.
Permission was granted to them following the inspection of the
property and the drawing up of reasonable boundaries, which was
done at the same time, communicated to my predecessor in this
post in Note #342 of March 22, 1892. The boundaries have been
maintained during my leadership. pp.4-5
Next comes a section on the historical origins of his
administration. Major Leal composes his report with a few barbs
thrown in several directions. He refers to Filippe Nery Xavier, a
19th century Goan writer much quoted by everyone who writes on the
period, but finds his work somewhat confusing and not
well-organized. [* and he is not far off the mark in my humble
opinion]. He complains about the state of the records and about
how inefficient the government is. He notes that he himself, in
Assolna, had no documents or archives worthy of the name. When he
requests various volumes from Panjim to sort out some property
disputes in his area, he receives a reply only after three months.
In the first report presented to the government by this office,
which was founded on the 30th of December, 1840, the writer
judged it unnecessary to include any information about its
historical origins. I recognize the extreme difficulties of
being so diligent; given firstly the urgency of filing the
report, and second and mainly, the scarcity of information.
There are almost no publications on the history of Assolna.
There is, however, some rare, hard-to-find information about,
collected in the Bosquejo historico das communidades by the late
researcher into Goan history, the most excellent Filippe Nery
Xavier and in the Oriente conquistado by Father Francisco de
From these meagre sources and with other information collected
in a rapid search of the administrationâ??s archives, I put
together everything that was possible to learn about the remote
origins of this office. (I must say, though, that it was not
easy to glean much from the first of the works cited above since
the otherwise esteemed and untiring Indo-Portuguese
historiographer [*FN Xavier] spread his information around in
such a confusing manner.)
As for the "archives" I just mentioned, they are not worth
calling by that name, so few books or other documents do they
have. Thanks to the centralizing system that we maintain in all
the branches of public service, almost all the books and
documents concerning this post, both old and new, have been
collected in the central government office in Nova Goa [*Panjim]
causing at times, considerable harm to the interests of the
national government. I will cite only a single example, the
most recent one, of the inconveniences caused thereby. My
office sent in Note # 14 on the 4th of July of this year
requesting that the secretariat send me the book which described
the collapse of the state-owned buildings at Talvorda. I wanted
it to verify and challenge certain usurpations of government
land. I received no answer for three months. No doubt that was
owing to the immense expenditure of effort which totally absorbs
the personnel of the said secretariat. It was necessary to
repeat my request, last September 3, after which they finally
sent the material. It should be clear that we would have saved
all the time and paper wasted over this simple matter, if that
book, or an authentic copy had been where it ought to be -- in
the archives of this office. pp.7-8
After this, we go back to Albuquerque and an emotional mini-essay
on his stature, which Leal reckons superior to Alexander the Great,
Caesar or Napoleon. He tells the story of the rebellion (uprising)
of 1575-83 in southern Salcete, which led to the confiscation of
the gaunkari (communally held lands which were inseparable from the
people and deities) of Assolna, Velim, and Cuncolim, and the
relegation of these lands two years later to the Jesuits. There is
also an interesting footnote on the former temples found in Assolna
and its neighbours. Their images were taken in flight over the
forested hills to Fatorpa and other nearby territories ruled by
Idal Khan in the late 16th century, out of Portuguese reach. He
mentions the annual processions in which Christians still
participated in his day.
Sixty-five years after the conquest, in 1575, during the
governor-generalship of Antonio Moniz Barreto, the people of
Assolna, incited by their neighbors in Cuncolim, turned rebellious.
This is how the Jesuit Francisco de Souza refers to these events:
"In that year the second Provincial Council met and Father
Provincial Rui Vicente preached to them. Three Jesuit
theologians attended too. The Primate Archbishop entrusted us
to choose the points which had to be covered -- The Hindus of
Salcete, helped by some Portuguese leaders, wished to revoke the
decrees ... against the use of Hindu ceremonies within the
territory of the Estado. The major plan of the Fathers, together
with the Apostolic Inquistor, Bartholomeu da Fonseca, was to
maintain the above-mentioned decrees. The Council discussion
led to the same conclusion, to the great credit of the Faith and
for the good of Christianity. God was served. When the Council
proclaimed its decision, the Hindus of Cuncolim despaired. They
aspired to carry through their plans by petitions to the
Government and by secret collusion with their co-religionists
who were in secure circumstances. Even brave men turned away
from the discussion; they began to rebel, and did not bring
petitions anymore to the fortress of Rachol delayed their
payments of Royal taxes. Governor Antonio Moniz Barreto wished
to cool their audacity and so named Estevao Rodrigues as bailiff
of the Salcete lands. He was well-known and feared for his use
of force. He carried out his duties with great cleverness.
But, as the brave also die, and that too at the hands of weaker
people, when he went once to Cuncolim to collect taxes, he and
some companions were treacherously killed by the Hindus in
Assolna. Now the people of Cuncolim turned clearly disloyal to
the crown. They persuaded the gaunkars of neighboring villages
to rebel against the Estado. They took the field in a body,
assaulted and killed many people. The Governor-General came to
know about these events within his jurisdiction as Auditor
General and decided that there was nothing else to do except
burn down the village where they had killed the bailiff Estevao
Rodrigues. As the rising spread, he sent down the commander of
the city of Goa with many foot soldiers and cavalry, but these
proved to be too few as well. The rebels hid, but when our
people turned back to Goa city, the former returned more active
than before, remaining masters of the field, even coming within
sight of the Rachol fort, as if to challenge the Portuguese to
battle. Christians could not live anywhere in safety, not even
in the shadow of the churches. Even after the Fathers sent
guards to protect them, the alarms continued. And even if the
rebels behaved more like brigands than like soldiers, and if
they really hadn't gone from mutiny to declared war, still the
Governor-General was obliged to send a Captain with an army from
Goa city to occupy Salsete and calm the area. The army
demolished several temples that the Hindus had already
re-erected in certain villages. After killing some people, the
soldiers continued to put down the rebels. They sacked and
burned a village that resisted them, they killed one of the
principal rebels. With this punishment the area quietened down,
as far as the continual deaths and robberies went. But the
locals still kept on performing their ceremonies and rituals.
They returned to their villages with guarantees of security from
us, and on their part, they promised to be faithful vassals and
pay royal taxes. Then, they rebuilt their temples, conducting
public ceremonies in them. All the Hindus of Salsete flocked
there to the great discomfort of the new Christian religion.
The Hindus handed over all the temple rents to the ministers of
their impious superstitions, the money that had previously been
contributed to the churches. That's how they responded when
they were asked to remember that they also had churches and
Padres to whom they ought to pay rent. The state of rebellion
lasted eight years in these villages thanks to the weakness of
our repressive measures.
A contemporary said, both of this rebellion and of all the
Salsete rebels of that time, "they were only bold when our
soldiers failed to appear. A few dozen Portuguese were enough
to put them down; and if after they were quelled, they rose
again, we were to blame, because we were satisfied with
pacifying the territory. We never tried to punish the
That punishment finally played itself out in these villages --
and it was extremely severe -- during the government of Dom
Francisco Mascarenhas in 1583. What finally decided the latter
to order the punishment was that "a messenger from Cochin passed
through Cuncolim on his way to the Viceroy and was beaten up,
his letters taken away."
By order of Mascarenhas, his nephew, D. Gilianez Mascarenhas,
commander of the Malabar coast, sailed up the Sal River by night
with his ships, and disembarking around dawn, burned and razed
as they had before. Assolna village and all the temples in it
were destroyed. (5)
At the same time, the captain of Rachol Fortress, Gomezianes de
Figueiredo, with his Portuguese and Indian troops, marched by land
to cooperate with the maritime expedition. This detachment
attacked Cuncolim, bringing with them Father Pero Berno, a Jesuit,
who set fire to the main temple and other lesser temples in that
village. The Hindus of Assolna and Cuncolim fled and the resulting
damages ended in the destruction of farms and houses. Dom Gilianez
attacked the rebels once more from the directin of Assolna,
fighting all the way to Cuncolim.
Reprisals were not long in coming. On July 15th of the same year
of 1583, five persons from the Company of Jesus were killed in
Cuncolim, martyred in a most barbarous and cowardly fashion with
others from their entourage. All had gone there gently and
peacefully on their apostolic mission.
A little later, in Assolna, the above-mentioned captain of Rachol,
who had captured 16 of the main leaders of the bloody rebellion
through trickery, pardoned one of them as he seemed innocent. He
ordered his soldiers to kill the other 15, but one escaped by
jumping over the wall. (This event occurred within the precincts
of the fort which would be erected here, on the ruins of the old
one -- still visible in our time -- by the Jesuits fifty years
later, in 1634, the place where the church and offices of this
administration stand today.) Many other guilty parties died in
exile in the lands of Idal Khan.
And that was how it came to be that the villages of Assolna, Velim,
Ambelim, Cuncolim and Veroda were confiscated by the Estado da
India -- "because of the repeated rebellions".
(Footnote 5) According to the Foral Velho of 1567, the
community of Assolna contained four temples, dedicated to
the idols of Betal, Santeri, Purso [*Purush ?] and Devki.
There were more, but the others were tended by individual
devotees. In Ambelim, the community also maintained four
temples, those of Mahadev, Durgadev, Beirao (maybe
Bala-Rama) and Purso. In Velim, there were three -â??
Santeri, Betal, and Baradi. Betal is the old patron god
of Assolna Hindus and had temples in another nine
villages in Salcete -- Betalbatim, Chinchinim, Carmona,
etc. Betal, or more correctly, Vetal [*author writes in
Devanagari] is the king of the pishach. That is both a
Sanskrit and Marathi word, meaning evil spirits,
vampires, or demons. A massive, metal statue of Vetal,
perhaps the same one that devotees worshipped in the
Assolna temple destroyed by the Portuguese in 1583---a
statue that those devotees had been able to save by
fleeing from the iconoclastic fury of the soldiers and
sailors under D. Gilianez---has been housed till today in
Assolna. It rests in Orel bairro, in the house of the
numerous Cano family, to whom I've already made reference
in this report. Every year, this statue of Vetal is
brought out in a palanquin by night by a mob of believers
and unbelievers, passing in a procession to the
accompaniment of the wailing dancing girls and the
deafening sounds of music (to us), but certainly pleasing
to the ears of all the pishach and their celebrated king.
They say truthfully that even some Christians make and
carry out vows to this king, with the praiseworthy aim of
not making light of the devil. This practice is
especially strong when it is a question of uncovering
threatening secrets or stolen or lost objects. That is,
it seems, the specialty of the oracle of the famous
After the expulsion of the Jesuits from Portugal in 1759, Leal goes
on to say, the state took over the village lands. They were run by
a system of rendeiros for 80 years -- that is, they were given to
'tax farmers' each of whom squeezed what he could out of the
agriculturists and gave a share to the government. Major Leal
hints here that certain government officials may have been in
cahoots with the tax farmer to defraud the treasury.
There is no time, no space, and really, no use in following all
the successive phases of the rental arrangements of these
villages up to the year 1840. The last tenant, whose contract
terminated in that year, was Shaba Pai Canno of Assolna. It is
not 'known', [Major Leal puts this in italics, indicating his
doubts] however, for how much he rented the lands. In addition,
in 1846, when the Governor General wanted to know how much it
had been, he asked the then-administrator of these villages,
Francisco Antonio Monteiro, about it. This latter gentleman
responded with note # 19 of Sept. 7, 1846, directed to the
General Secretary, saying that he would not be able to furnish
him with the information. The reason given was that Shaba had
died and "his heirs could not provide any of the papers which
might clarify things". It seems to me a most curious affair.
Could it be possible that not one of these heirs knew how much
Shaba Canno paid each year to the Estado ?! Who knows but if
that very image of Vetal, which they, the Canno family, guarded
and still guard in their home sanctuary, would have opposed the
divulging of this secret? But the government's question is no
less curious. Why, I wonder, were they unable to find out what
they wanted to know from the Board of Works or from the central
>From 1840, a new system began by which a government administrator
was put in charge of the villages. His job was to auction off
parcels of land to the highest bidders, then collect the promised
monies at harvest time each year. The author goes through all the
administrations of the previous 57 years, listing how much revenue
was produced by each, singling out as 'a golden age' the 28 year
rule of one Sebastiao Augusto da Costa Leal. He offers some
statistics to prove his point, using them to show how government
revenue greatly increased during the period between 1855 and 1883.
After S.A. da Costa Leal died, revenue dropped for reasons out of
the control of the next two administrators. The writer took over
In the second part of his report (the parts not being clearly
differentiated), Major Leal addresses the question of the
administration of state property: the government lands of Assolna,
Velim, and other hamlets. He opposes the sale of such property,
which apparently was being discussed. He calls such an idea "a
folly", and says that arguments for such a sale are "trivial". He
discusses the triennial auctions of lands, the rural services
available (maintenance of dikes and ditches, inspection, guards),
and other problems....
One of the major jobs, and the stickiest one, of this
administration is the endless, tenacious fight that it has to
keep up against "usurpers", or to say it in clearer Portuguese,
with incorrigible, cynical thieves of fields, who are numerous
here, as in the whole country, where a considerable part of the
territory of the agricultural communes can be found in the
illegitimate possession of this just-mentioned legion of knaves.
Some people in government, he notes, argued that needed roads in
the Novas Conquistas could be built if the Assolna lands were sold
off. He dismisses these arguments with considerable sarcasm,
noting that 'thank goodness the government did not listen to them'.
Major Leal pours more sarcasm on supporters of such ideas. The
reader definitely senses the in-fighting going on.
In the next pages of his report, Major Leal praises the humble
farmers of the district, comparing them to the Dutch, and decrying
the use of pejorative names. They should be honored, he emotes, as
His aim, however, is to show how collective effort has always been
needed to keep the salt water under control and irrigate the crops
with fresh water. [*This has been an age-old problem in Goa
because many rivers and streams in the coastal areas are tidal.
The present, early 21st century decline in maintenance of bunds,
dikes, etc. has caused great difficulties.] Constant repair of
dikes and other work was necessary and thus, he warns, it would be
an exceptionally bad idea to sell the government properties in
Assolna and Velim to individual buyers.
"Nobody but a complete lunatic would buy parcels of this
property, because they would have nobody to protect them against
the invasion of either salty or fresh water. Also, no way
exists to distribute to them the water they need for
Also, he adds, there was nobody in Goa with enough money to buy the
whole thing. No, [he concludes], it was not a good idea and
furthermore, what was the use of him writing reports on national
property if the government planned to sell it off anyway?
The last pages of the report deal with the problems he has faced
during the yearly land auctions -- complaints, plots, machinations,
anonymous threatening letters, even armed conspiracies. Most
difficulties are blamed on outside agitators -- from Cuncolim, the
ever-unruly, neighboring village. He also complains that his
employees are paid extremely poorly.
In 1895, Goa faced a soldiers' mutiny as well as an uprising in
Satari district. This report gives one of the few eyewitness
accounts, not from an ex-post-facto government source. Major Leal
was ordered to come to Panjim, but refused to leave his post,
continuing in his work with a 'force' of four soldiers. He relates
his trials and triumphs during that period and admits that although
he had grave doubts about one soldier, a Maratha Hindu, that
soldier turned out to be the best and the bravest. This brave
Maratha was later mistreated and denied part of his pension by the
government. Major Leal notes in this report to the self-same
government that he had written many letters on the soldierâ??s
behalf, but that the officials neither responded nor did anything
about the matter.
A year later in 1896, Major Leal was "assaulted and robbed by a
numerous gang of armed bandits at the neighboring village of
Cuncolim. Knowing that by then there was no lack of soldiers in
Goa as there had been in Sept. 1895... I asked for reinforcements
for Assolna." p.28
They refused him. A second request was not answered and he sent a
complaint to the Governor. In the very next and penultimate
paragraph of the report, Major Leal protests that he has never
received a medal, unlike vast numbers of other toilers for the good
of the Estado da India. After reading the whole report, loaded
with ironies, sarcasm, complaints, and criticism of the government,
noting that he refused to comply with a government order in time of
military distress (though he thereby showed bravery) and that he
consistently stuck his head out for justice, one cannot help but
marvel at the notion that Major Leal actually thought they would
give him a medal!
In the last paragraph, in an emotional ending, Major Leal reveals
that the much-praised S.A. da Costa Leal, administrator of Assolna
for 28 years, was his father.
Connections to my work in Assolna
As an anthropologist working in Goa, the paucity of
material available in 1978-79 really struck me. Besides
conducting my own research, I had to look into newspapers
and magazines as well as any Portuguese sources that I
could find which dealt with the modern period: loosely
defined -- the 19th and 20th centuries.
As I read these sources, I detected two major themes that ran
through them. First, that Goa was Portugal, not India. As Indian
demands for liberation increased after 1947, so did the Portuguese
insistence that Goa was not India, Goa was different. The second
theme was that Goan society was composed of many castes and
religions. Nobody speculated on the possible "Goan-ness" of Goa.
To do that, I ultimately lived in Goa for a year, including four
months in the village of Assolna, conducting research on many
different aspects of Goan culture. Thus it was that I took an
intense interest in Major Fernando Leal's report.
Assolna had changed dramatically. No longer a pesthole,
I found a lovely village, very clean and healthy, full of
trees, flowers, and flourishing agriculture. Though
Major Leal's dream of a beautiful cemetery never bore
fruit, a bridge across the Sal River had long since
connected Assolna with the northern part of Goa. The
Portuguese government had indeed built the road to
Cuncolim along the very place the Major recommended.
Reading Major Lealâ??s work, more than any other source, enabled me
to see how much progress had been made in the village over the
preceeding century. The question of the community lands has never
been settled. However, it is more or less of a moot point, since
the majority of households earn their livelihood through various
professions or from one or more men who work as 'shippies' -- crew
members on ocean-going vessels who return after voyages of 18
months or two years.
Because I studied the closely-intertwined relationship between
modern Goan Catholics and Hindus and their deities, especially in
the area of Assolna, Cuncolim and Velim -- the only region of Goa
where the communal lands were confiscated by the Portuguese -- the
version of history here was crucial to my work.
I found this section of Major Leal's report most useful. It was
not that I believed his interpretation of events implicitly.
Far from that. But I found it interesting as the view of a 19th
century Portuguese official. Furthermore, I interviewed members of
the Catholic church who denied that their co-religionists had
anything to do with Hindu festivals, processions, or beliefs. I
witnessed the contrary. It was very reassuring to hear the
same from someone who wrote 90 years before me. He did not question the
idea that Goa, after all, was Indian in nature even if the
Portuguese ruled (and rightly so, according to his view).
I wondered who Major Leal was. From his report, I learned only
that his father had governed the Assolna area for 28 years. There
was no mention of Portugal or family there, but I assumed that lack
to be a normal feature of reports in those more diffident times.
Some time after reading the report, I suddenly recalled a
Portuguese-language book I had come by very fortuitously in Assolna
itself. It was a ragged volume published in 1958 by a native of
Assolna, Jose Juliao do Sacramento Almeida.
[ Though not fitting into the time bracket chosen for this volume,
it may be useful to note that such village history volumes may be
found in Goa, but are no longer common. How many are available in
Portugal or elsewhere, I have no idea.]
Searching through A Aldeia de Assolna, I found that Almeida had
referred often to Leal's report and to Leal himself. I learned
that that gentleman, born in 1846, had died in Panjim in 1910 and
that he had been a 'great poet'. Another interesting fact was only
hinted at, however. Almeida provided a list of all administrators
of the Assolna district. Beside each name, he wrote 'Indian' or
'European'. Beside Leal's name, he wrote 'natural de Margao'. For
me, this raised the question as to whether Leal were Eurasian.
Why, if Leal were European, didn't Almeida call him such I wondered
if he were a descendente or a person of so-called 'mixed blood'.
Later, searching the Internet for any information, I found an
article which referred to Leal as a 'Luso-Indian' poet who spoke of
reviving Konkani. These discoveries only heightened my interest in
Lealâ??s report and my sympathies with him as a man.
On the same Internet search, I found the name of a South
African academic, who sought information on Major Leal.
From him, I learned that the Portuguese officer, as a
young man of 24, had participated in an expedition in
Transvaal and Mozambique, writing a report on that as
well. He also participated in a diplomatic mission to
draw up a border treaty with the Boers. In addition, he
spent some time in Portuguese Army service in Portugal
itself. There is no mention of his ancestry, or if his
mother were Indian. If she were, a whole perspective
might open. I did receive from South Africa a list of
his publications on many subjects.
Without any doubt, Leal, the offical in the service of Portugal,
was informed by 19th century European education and sensibilities.
He saw himself as a modern man, made references to Alexander the
Great, Caesar, Napoleon, Proudhon, stony Arabia, spas, golden ages,
comma-bacillae, the sword of Damocles and many other subjects that
convince any reader that this man was not some backwoods official,
but a well-read individual, with a well-developed, if not carefully
guarded, sense of sarcasm and irony. Leal never displays any scorn
of Indians in general, praising both the industry of the peasants
and the bravery of his Maratha soldier. This was not uncommon
among British officials in India either.
When it comes to historical perspectives, though -- the actual
Portuguese conquest -- there is no doubt on which side Leal aligns
himself. He refers to "barbarous and cowardly martyrings" (of
Catholics) and to nossos heroicos avos ('our heroic ancestors').
He speaks of Indians (Hindu Goans) as if they were bad children who
had to be corrected, by force if necessary. On the other hand, he
did take the trouble to include some words in Devanagari script in
Leal did not live in an age when "subaltern studies" or similar
academic musings flourished. The rightness of Portuguese rule (if
not its efficiency) informed his every sentence. He could not view
the machinations and tricks of the local Hindus as subtle acts of
resistance to an occupier. He attributed all this behavior to
As the administrator of Assolna, Velim, Ambelim and other small
pieces of land, Major Leal came as an outsider with a purpose. He
had to maintain order, represent the central government in his
region, and try to bring some 'progress' to the villages. It is
natural that anyone who blocked his aims -- for instance those
Hindus who wanted to see the end of Portuguese rule -- would appear
to him as tricky, malevolent, and incorrigible.
Major Leal occupied an ambiguous position. He had to fit into the
village in order to effect the work he was assigned to do, yet as
representative of the rulers, he had to remain aloof. His was a
colonial kind of "fitting in". He remained at the top, neither
Indian nor exactly Portuguese, but one whose family had lived there
for years, whose father had been administrator before him. If he
were Eurasian, we could add another dimension.
It was interesting and useful for me to try to understand his
perspective, because although I needed to get along with Assolna's
people too, my fitting in-process as a foreign anthropologist
I came to Assolna to do anthropological research some 90
years after the Relatorio was written. From reading the
Relatorio I could identify the immense changes that had
taken place in the village (and Goa) in the intervening
decades. On top of that, India had expelled the
Portuguese. The Hindus had stood up.
I did not have to make anyone do anything in Assolna. I was, if
anything, like a guest, not a boss. I rented a house and began
making acquaintances, attending festivals, asking questions,
keeping my eyes open. Yet I occupied a marginal position too.
First, I was a foreigner, one of the few that had ever lived in the
village outside the Church or Portuguese administration. Second,
my perceptions were colored by own background as a Jew in this
Catholic village with a Hindu minority. I did not come to Assolna
with a standard Western view. I came with more than three years
living in north India, speaking Hindi, married to a Hindu, and with
the aim of portraying how Goa fit into India. I admit that I was
convinced beforehand that Goa was not a separate entity, but only a
region of India with a unique history.
As a lifelong member of a religious minority, I could identify with
the Assolna Hindus. I found them very cooperative, very
intelligent, and not at all tricky. Venkatesh Pai Cane, the
descendant of the very 'Canno' family Major Leal mentions having
the most trouble with, perhaps the most chicaneira, [*'tricky'] was
one of my best informants -- a kind, patient, thoughtful man.
I had to put Major Leal's views into perspective -- he had been the
representative of a disliked colonial regime with powers over the
local Hindus, who had had no say in his appointment. Because I
spoke Hindi, had a Hindu wife and was studying the Shantadurga
temple at Fatorpa, I came close to the Hindus. For the Catholics,
by being an English- and (more or less) Portuguese-speaking
foreigner who attended church with them every Sunday, I fit in as
For both groups, polite, friendly, and unassuming behavior on my
part led to being accepted. Unlike Major Leal, I could not demand
a single thing. I did not want to. In case I caused difficulties,
I could be driven out with the help of the police.
Thus it was that I came to interpret Assolna in an entirely
different way from the colonial official. The events described in
Leal's Relatorio -- how villagers bore false witness and tried to
steal as much government property as possible -- I understood as a
kind of resistance to Portuguese rule. I did not accept his
assessment of Hindus, nor did I accept as correct his view of the
16th century events which led to the confiscation of Assolna's
lands and the flight of its deities. I saw these events as typical
of the age of imperialism, an age that had passed.
As a Jew, I had not the least sympathy with the Inquisition, with
forced conversions, with the destruction of temples, with "gentle,
peaceful apostolic missions" accompanied by soldiers, or even with
the simple desire to convert others. I did not see Albuquerque or
Vasco da Gama as great heroes, though certainly they were
important. As a scholar grown up largely in the post-colonial
period, my political perspectives differed from those of a colonial
offical. Indeed, I may say they were the antithesis of Major
Leal's in some sense. I had read Edward Said's Orientalism and
agreed with it. I thought about such things as "subaltern
classes", "discourse", and "deconstruction".
My research centered around first, those temple images of
Hindu deities forced to find refuge in neighboring,
non-Portuguese territories and second, the role of
syncretic worship and religious practice in a modern Goan
village. My point of view stemmed from my times, my
experience, my background just as Leal's did.
We both came to Assolna as outsiders, though he must have lived
there as a child as well. He was a Portuguese official (and
perhaps Eurasian), charged with specific orders that everyone
understood, but with which many people did not concur. I was a
foreign anthropologist, whose job nobody could understand, a Jew
and married to a Hindu, living in Goa at a time when people often
saw foreign tourists and many Goans had lived abroad.
I found Lealâ??s report, though dealing with several subjects that
were not so relevant to my work, extremely thought-provoking. His
work enabled me to consider perspectives. Major Leal was a man who
had lived in the same village as I did, with the ancestors of the
my erstwhile neighbors, saw the poor conditions and hoped to
improve them. I tried to imagine what he thought about life there,
I tried to read between the lines and glean his point of view. It
was not easy. I formed my view of Goa in an easier time when
Assolna and Velim were open and accessible; busy at a time of
intense political activity; and prosperous in a period of
socio-economic transformation. My political perspective differed
according to my different time. The Relatorio served as a bridge
between me and the long-deceased Major Fernando da Costa Leal and
his world. For that reason I found it most valuable.
FOOTNOTE ON OTHER RESOURCES
1. There are a number of books, chapters of books, and articles in
English on Goa and its modern history. Some sociological studies
exist, we can find a number of relevant histories, but only very
few in anthropology. A non-comprehensive list of sources with
relevance to the history and culture of 19th and 20th century Goa
would include: Axelrod, Paul and Fuerch, Michelle A., "Flight of
the Deities: Hindu Resistance in Portuguese Goa", Modern Asian
Studies, Vol.30, No.2, 1996, pp.387-421.
Axelrod, P. and Fuerch, M.A., "Portuguese Orientalism and the
Making of the Village Communities of Goa", Ethnohistory, Vol.45,
Axelrod, P. and Fuerch, M.A., "Imagined Communities: Portuguese
Colonialism and Goa's Villages", Portuguese Studies Review, Vol. 9,
Nos. 1 and 2, 2001, pp.466-493.
de Mascarenhas, Telo, When the Mango-Trees Blossomed, Orient
Longmans, Bombay, 1976.
D'Souza, Bento Graciano, Goan Society in Transition, Popular
Prakashan, Bombay, 1975.
D'Souza, Joseph "Conditions that Keep the Gavdas Backward", M.A.
Thesis, University of Baroda, 1975.
de Souza, Teotonio R., ed., Essays in Goan History, Concept, New
de Souza, Teotonio R., Goa To Me, Concept Publishing Co., New
Dias, Mariano Jose "The Hindu-Christian Society of Goa" Indica,
Vol.17, No.2, Sept. 1980, pp.109-116
Doshi, Saryu, ed. Goa:Cultural Patterns, Marg Publications, Bombay,
Gomes, Olivinho J.F., Village Goa, S. Chand & Co., New Delhi, 1987.
Gomes-Pereira, Rui Goa: Vol.II, Gaunkari, the Old Village
Associations, privately published, Panaji, 1981.
Gomes-Pereira, Rui, Hindu Temples and Deities, Printwell Press,
Henn, Alexander, "Gods and Ganv in Goa: Cultural Diversity and
Local Religion", in Malik, Feldhaus, and Brueckner, eds. In the
Company of Gods, Manohar, Delhi, 2002.
Henn, Alexander, "The Lord of Mapusa: Genesis of an Urban God in
Goa", in G. Tarabout & G. Colas, eds., Hindu Rituals: Transfers and
Ifeka, Caroline, "The Image of Goa", in de Souza, T.R. ed.
Indo-Portuguese History: Old Issues, New Questions, Concept, New
Delhi, 1985, pp.148-180.
Kale, Pramod "Existentialist and Epochalist Elements in Goan
Popular Culture" Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 21, No. 47, 22
Nov. 1986, pp.2054-2063.
Kamat, Pratima "Political life of 19th century Goa as reflected in
its folksongs", Goa: Cultural Trends, ed. P.P. Shirodkar, Panjim,
1988, pp. 229-241
Kamat, Pratima, Farar Far: Local resistance to colonial hegemony in
Goa, 1510-1912, Panaji, Institute Menezes Braganza, 1999.
Kamat, Pratima, "Peasantry and the colonial state in Goa
(1946-1961)" in Goa and Portugal: History and Development, edited
by Charles J. Borges, Oscar G. Pereira and Hannes Stubbe. Delhi,
Concept, 2000, pp. n.a.
Kamat, Pratima, Goa Indo-Portuguesa: The 'Engineering' of Goan
Society through Colonial Policies of Coercion and Collaboration,
1510-1777, Portuguese Studies Review, Vol. 9, Nos. 1 and 2, 2001,
Nazareth, Peter ed. "Goan Literature: A Modern Reader", Journal of
South Asian Literature, Vol. 18, No. 1, Winter-Spring,1983, entire.
Newman, Robert S., Of Umbrellas, Goddesses, and Dreams: Essays on
Goan Culture and Society, Other India Press, Mapusa, Goa, 2000.
Newman, Robert S. "Zatra, Carnaval, Urs: The Assimilative Nature of
Indian Civilization" paper presented at the Encontro -- Goa Hindu,
Arrabida, Portugal, August 2002, auspices of Fundacao Oriente.
Perez, Rosa Maria et.al. eds. Stories of Goa, National Museum of
Ethnology, Lisboa, 1997.
Phal, S.R., Society in Goa, B.R. Publishing Co., Delhi, 1982.
Priolkar, A.K. The Goa Inquisition, self-published, Bombay, 1961.
Robinson, Rowena, Conversion, Continuity, and Change: Lived
Christianity in Southern Goa, Alta Mira Press, Walnut Creek, Calif.
Robinson, Rowena, "The Cross: Contestation and Transformation of a
Religious Symbol in Southern Goa", Economic and Political Weekly,
Vol.29, No.3, Jan. 15, 1994, pp.94-98.
Saksena, R.N. Goa: Into the Mainstream, Abhinav, New Delhi, 1974.
Shirodkar and Mandal, eds. People of India, Goa, Anthropological
Survey of India, Bombay, 1993.
Trichur, Raghuraman S. "Politics of Goan Historiography",
Portuguese Studies Review, Vol. 9, Nos. 1 and 2, 2001, pp. 494-510.
2. This government report, the Relatorio acerca da administracao
geral dos campos nacionaes, etc., is not at all an academic
document. Though it does delve into history, culture, and
economics, it is first and foremost a official report. Thus, we do
not find mention of many other records or primary sources. Except
for Felippe Nery Xavier and Fr. Francisco de Souza S.J., Major Leal
names almost no other writers on Goa. This report, copies of which
may or may not exist in one or two libraries in Portugal or Goa, is
extremely rare and my copy in very bad condition. Readers of this
chapter may be interested to know the names of some of the
Portuguese books that I read, books that helped me enter the world
of Portuguese India and to divine the condition of anthropological
studies in Goa, a condition that was none too solid up to the
Almeida, Jose Juliao do Sacramento, A Aldeia de Assolna, no
publisher given, 1958.
Bossa, Jose, Estado da India, Agencia-Geral do Ultramar, Lisboa,
Braganca-Pereira, A. "Etnografia da India Portuguesa" in A India
Portuguesa, Vol. 1, Imprensa Nacional, Panjim, 1923, pp.255-524.
de Almeida, Manuel, "Herois do Christianismo: Brevissima noticia do
seu santo martirio em Cuncolim", in Boletim Eclesiastico da
Arquidiocese de Goa, Series III, Dec. 1948, No.6, Nova Goa, Pt. 6,
de Freitas, Jose, "A Sociedade Goesa", in de Seabra, Manuel, ed.
Goa, Damao e Dio, (Antologia da Terra Portuguesa) Livraria
Bertrand, Lisboa, no date.
de Noronha, Antonio "Os Indus de Goa e a Republica Portuguesa" in
A India Portuguesa, Vol. II, Nova Goa, 1923.
Feio, M., As Castas Hindus de Goa, Estudos de Antropologia
Cultural No.11, Centro de Estudos de Antropologia Cultural, Junta
de Investigacoes Cientificas do Ultramar, Lisboa, 1979
GonÃ§alves Pereira, A., India Portuguesa, Agencia Geral do
Ultramar, Lisboa, 1953.
Lopes Mendes, A., A India Portugueza, Vol.II, Imprensa Nacional,
Marques Pereira, Alberto Feliciano, India Portuguesa: Penhores do
Seu Resgate, Edicao do Autor, Lisboa, 1962
Martini, Emile, Goa, tal como a vi, Uniao GrÃ¡fica, Lisboa, 1956
Soeiro de Brito, R., Goa e as Pracas do Norte, Junta de
Investigacoes do Ultramar, Lisboa, 1966.
Souza, Fr. Francisco, Oriente Conquistado a Jesu Cristo pelos
Padres de Companhia de Jesus. Part II, Lisboa, 1710.
Xavier, Filipe Nery, Bosquejo Historico das Comunidades das Aldeias
dos Concelhos das Ilhas, Salcete e Bardez, Imprensa Nacional, Nova
Xavier, Filipe Nery, op.cit. 2nd edition, Tipografia Rangel,
With many thanks to Prof. O. J. O. Ferreira of Jeffreyâ??s Bay, South
ABOUT THE WRITER: Robert S 'Bob' Newman is an anthropologist who
lives in Marblehead, MA, who has studied Goa since the late
'seventies. His perceptive insight into understanding Goa is
accompanied by an easy-to-read style. His first book on Goa was
published, by design, in Goa itself -- 'Of Umbrellas, Goddesses,
and Dreams: Essays on Goan Culture and Society', Other India Press,
Mapusa, Goa, 2000.
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