The destruction of Canudos (or Belo Monte, as it was known by its inhabitants) in 1897 was a profoundly traumatic episode in Brazilian history. It took the Bahian state and Brazilian national governments four military expeditions to destroy what they perceived as the threat of this community of rural backlanders led by Antônio Conselheiro, a lay Catholic religious leader. The lengthy account of the campaigns against Canudos written by Euclides da Cunha, a young army officer who witnessed the community’s destruction, Os sertões (1902, translated as Rebellion in the Backlands), profoundly shaped Brazilians’ understandings of the movement and subsequent historiography and writing about the movement.
Copyright © 2012-2013 Estudios Interdisciplinarios de América Latina y el Caribe.
Editores: Ori Preuss; Nahuel Ribke
Instituto Sverdlin de Historia y Cultura de América Latina, Escuela de Historia
Universidad de Tel Aviv, Ramat Aviv,
P.O.B. 39040 (69978), Israel.
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