Licentious Liberty in a Brazilian Gold-Mining Region: Slavery, Gender, and Social Control in Eighteenth-Century Sabará, Minas Gerais / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $2.00
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 94%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (13) from $2.00   
  • New (2) from $59.82   
  • Used (11) from $2.00   
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any coupons and promotions
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:



New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.


Ships from: Chicago, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Seller since 2015

Feedback rating:


Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Sort by


To studies of Brazilian slavery, this book adds a new dimension by showing how it developed in a region where mining was the chief commercial activity and how important a role gender played in this frontier setting in creating opportunities for slaves to achieve some measure of autonomy, compared with slaves who worked in sugar-cane and coffee-growing areas.

The interactions among masters, slaves, and royal officials were profoundly shaped by the accessibility and widespread dispersal of gold deposits, the emergence of small urban centers in which commercial activities thrived, the sexual division of labor among slaves working in mining and commerce, and the changing sex ratio within the population of free white colonists settling in the region.

Focusing attention on the changing status, autonomy, and influence of non-White women, the author argues, is one of the most effective ways of understanding the economic, demographic, and cultural evolution of the slave society as a whole.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This well-documented book will be widely read not only by historians and students of colonial Brazil but also by a wide range of scholars of New World slave systems and race relations. It will aptly be adopted as a textbook not only for graduate seminars on comparative slavery but also for many undergraduate courses in Brazilian and Latin America history and the African Diaspora studies, in which students will enjoy and learn from the book together with the illuminating Brazilian movie: Xica da Silva. ‘Licentious Liberty’ indeed helps us understand in what circumstances this ambitious slave woman became a concubine for a Portuguese diamond from Lisbon in early eighteenth-century Minas Gerais.”
—Mieko Nishida, The Americas

“This is a challenging work that addresses significant questions, pushes our discussion about gender and slavery in colonial Brazil further, and expands our knowledge of the social history of Brazil’s mining communities. It fills in an important chapter in the history of colonial Brazil.”
—Donald Ramos, Luso-Brazilian Review

“Kathleen Higgins’ Licentious Liberty is thoroughly researched in Minas archives, and the author also assiduously takes up comparisons and theoretical debates, generally in the extensive footnotes. She makes a solid case for the inclusion of gender in the analysis of slave societies, both for masters and among the servile population. . . . Licentious Liberty would be a useful addition to the readings in a course on slavery or colonial Brazil or on gender in colonial Latin America.”
—David McCreery, Journal of Latin American Studies

“[A] ‘must-read’ for all those interested in the African Diaspora and Brazilian slavery.”
—Mary Karasch, Oakland University

“Focusing on Sabará, one of the principal mining towns, she draws a compelling portrait of the disorderly society generated by dispersed placer gold production.”
—Hendrik Kraay, Latin American Research Review

“The author examines diverse secular and ecclesiastical administrative sources . . . to portray the social world of the slaves and slave owners of a typical 18th-century mining town, with special focus on religion, patterns of work, and relations between masters and slaves and men and women. Higgins is very attentive to the structural possibilities and limits on people’s lives, emphasizing how these differed according to age, sex, race, ability and historical circumstances.”
British Bulletin of Publications On Latin America, Carribbean, Portugal and Spain

“This book is a careful examination of how slavery worked in one of the societies of the New World most influenced by that institution. Higgins not only is sensitive to the ironies of the institution, but above all she pays attention to the way in which slaves responded to their situation and struggled to shape their own lives. We now have a book on slavery in the mining areas to match the studies done on plantation zones. It is sure to become a base point for future discussions of slavery in Minas Gerais.”
—Stuart Schwartz, Yale University

“[A] ‘must-read’ for all those interested in the African Diaspora and Brazilian slavery.”

—Mary Karasch, Oakland University

Looks at conditions of slaves, freed slaves, and free colonists who lived and worked in the town of Nossa Senhora de Conceicao de Sabar<'a> and the surrounding region during the 18th century. Examines the origins of the gold economy and settlements, patterns of slaveholding and working conditions for slaves, and patterns of manumission decisions and crown colonist interactions. Explores slave autonomy as a gender-related phenomenon, and explains how the changing experiences of non-White women reflected the economic, demographic, and cultural evolution of slave society as a whole. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271019116
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1999
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathleen J. Higgins is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Iowa.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Figures, Tables, Illustrations, and Maps
Introduction 1
1 Rushing for Gold in Minas Gerais 17
2 Patterns of Living and Working Among Slaves, Ex-Slaves, and Free Persons in Colonial Sabara 43
3 Man, Woman, and Church in Colonial Sabara 89
4 Slave Baptisms and Godparentage in Colonial Sabara 121
5 Manumissions in Sabara 145
6 Slave Resistance and Autonomy in Sabara and Minas Gerais 175
Conclusion 209
App Origin/Race, Sex, and Age of the Manumitted, 1710-1809 219
Sources 223
Index 233
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)