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The woman in Portuguese fado-singing

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This article argues that the way in which women are portrayed in Portuguese fado-singing can be shown to bear a significant relation to some important aspects of twentieth-century Portuguese cultural and political history. These include the reports that the Virgin Mary appeared before three children near the village of Fátima in Portugal and the ensuing development of a great Catholic pilgrimage centre at that location. Also to be considered is the establishment of the Estado Novo, the ‘New State’, the regime that, mainly under the leadership of Salazar, would govern Portugal for over forty years, during which time there were good Church-State relations. Fado became a regime-encouraged entertainment and was elevated to Portugal’s national song. This article seeks to explain a particular image of woman that occurs in fado lyrics, in the context of the devotion to Our Lady of Fátima and theEstado Novo’s general policy.
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Keywords: Catholic Church; Estado Novo; Fado; Fátima; Portugal; Women

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Georgetown University, USA and Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil

Publication date: 2003-03-01

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  • The International Journal of Iberian Studies (IJIS) is the academic journal for scholars from around the world whose research focuses on contemporary Spain and Portugal from a range of disciplinary perspectives. IJIS is interested in history (20th century onwards), government and politics; foreign policy and international relations.
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