Archaeological dig at historic slave site opens window to race relations in Rio

Video posted April 26, 2012 in News, Brazil by Cassandra Hom


The city of Rio de Janeiro is known for having a diverse culture and vibrant mixture of backgrounds and lifestyles.  Or so it seems.  An archaeological dig at the Cais do Valongo, or Valongo Wharf, is uncovering artifacts that provide a view into Brazil's race history.

Tania Andrade Lima, head archaeologist from the Rio National Museum, says African slaves first came to the Cais do Valongo in the early 17th century. More Africans were shipped to Brazil than to the United States to to work in slavery and Brazil was the last country in the Americas to abolish slavery.

Stories told by workers at the Cais do Valongo dig show what life is like now for some descendants of those African slaves.