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Polish Brazilian
Polaco Brasileiro  · Polacy Brazylii
Jaime Lerner May 2004.jpg Mauriciowaldman.jpg Xuxa2006.jpg
Notable Polish Brazilians:

Jaime LernerMauricio WaldmanXuxa

Total population
c. 3,500,000 Polish Brazilians
2% of Brazil's population[1]
Regions with significant populations

Mainly Southern and Southeastern Brazil


Predominantly Portuguese. Minorities speak Polish


Predominantly Catholic or Judaism

Related ethnic groups

White Brazilian, Polish people

A Polish Brazilian is a Brazilian-born person of Polish descent, or a Polish-born person with Brazilian citizenship. The number of Polish descendants in Brazil is estimated at 3,500,000.[2]

Polish immigrants began arriving in Brazil in the late 19th century, but their numbers really increased in the 1920s. Polish-Brazilians number an estimated 3.5 million people of the Brazilian population. The Brazilian State of Paraná is a dominantly Polish area in Brazil. The Polish immigrants brought native folk music and dance music to Brazil such as mazurka and polonaise. In addition to the musical elements of the Polish culture, immigrants also brought customs, manners, and styles of clothing. Polish culture has also had an impact on aspects of the cuisine and architecture of Brazil.

Poles live in Guarapuava, Curitiba, Campo Largo, Contenda, Araucária, Lapa Săo Mateus do Sul, and Irati. With the immigrants there was an increase in employment on planted lands with the use of new tools, like the plow, the grille, and the sickle. There was the introduction of new types of jobs and professions, like blacksmith, carpenter, joiner and tailor. The immigrants work helped a lot on the economic growth in Paraná and renovated Paraná's social structure.



Polish house in Paraná.

The first Polish immigrants arrived in the port of Itajaí, Santa Catarina, in August 1869. They were 78 Poles from the area of Southern Silesia. Commandant Redlisch, of the ship Victoria, brought people from Eastern Europe to settle in Brusque.

Brusque, in the State of Santa Catarina, received many Polish immigrants.

They were in total 16 families, among them: Francisco Pollak, Nicolau Wós, Boaventura Pollak, Thomasz Szymanski, Simon Purkot, Felipe Purkot, Miguel Prudlo, Simon Otto, Domin Stempke, Gaspar Gbur, Balcer Gbur, Walentin Weber, Antoni Kania, Franciszek Kania, André Pampuch and Stefan Kachel. The Poles were placed in the colonies Príncipe Dom Pedro and Itajaí, in the area of Brusque.[3]

Polish immigration to Brazil was not as large as the immigration of Portuguese or Italians, however a significant number of Poles have settled in Brazil. From 1872 to 1959, 110,243 "Russian" citizens entered Brazil. In fact, the vast majority of them were Poles, since Poland was under Russian rule and ethnic Poles immigrated with Russian passports.[4]

The State of Paraná received the majority of Polish immigrants, who settled mainly in the region of Curitiba, in the towns of Mallet, Cruz Machado, São Matheus do Sul, Irati, and União da Vitória.

Most Polish immigrants to Southern Brazil were Catholics who arrived between 1870–1920 and worked as small farmers in the State of Paraná. Others went to the neighboring states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. After the 1920s, many Polish Jews immigrated seeking refuge from Europe, settling mainly in the State of São Paulo. Today most Brazilian Jews are of Polish descent.


In a 1991 poll with Polish immigrants residents in Southeastern Brazil, 48.5% reported to be Jewish, 36.4% Catholic, 10.7% adherents of other religions and 4.5% non-religious.[4]

Polish culture in Brazil

The State of Paraná still remains a strong influence from the Polish culture. Many small towns have a majority of Polish-descendants and the Polish language is spoken by some of them, although nowadays most Polish Brazilians only speak Portuguese. The city of Curitiba has the second largest Polish diaspora in the world (after Chicago) and Polish music, dishes and culture are quite common in the region.

Polish communities

A Polish old-style house in Paraná.

After the proclamation of the Republic, the Brazilian government practically opened the doors of the country to the immigration. In the first years of the Republic, the most immigration to Brazil occurred. The Polish appeared in the statistics in significant numbers. This period was known in Poland as "Brazilian fever". Important Polish communities appeared in several Brazilian states:

  • Paraná: Eufrosina, Rio Claro, São Mateus, Santa Bárbara, Prudentópolis, Ivaí, Apucarana (now Cândido de Abreu), Castro, Piraí do Sul, Palmeira, Cruz Machado, and others.
  • Santa Catarina: Lucena (current Itaiópolis), Rio Vermelho, Massaranduba, Grã-Pará, Nova Galícia, and others.
  • Rio Grande do Sul: Alfredo Chaves (now Veranópolis), Antônio Prado, Bento Gonçalves, Dom Feliciano, Mariana Pimentel, Ijuí, Guarani das Missões, Áurea, Gaurama, Jaguari, Erechim, and others.
  • São Paulo: São Bernardo, Pariquera-açu, City of São Paulo, and others.

See also

Notable Polish Brazilians


  1. ^ Polish Society
  2. ^ Świat Polonii
  3. ^ Brazil
  4. ^ a b Uma história oculta: a imigração dos países da Europa do Centro-Leste para o Brasil [1]


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