This article is written like a personal reflection or opinion essay rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. Please help improve it by rewriting it in an encyclopedic style. (April 2012)
The story of the Valladares family from Bombay is one case-study in the history of the Indian disaspora. Their story could be that of many diasporic Indian families from the region. The reason for choosing this particular family to focus on is because, the name Valladares is not a common one in India, so it is relatively easy to trace the occurrence of this surname in available records.
1 Family origin,
4 Portuguese arrival in India,
5 Early reference to Valladares,
6 Portuguese rule,
7 Other Portuguese names,
The family traces its origins and ancestry to Mumbai, India, but since Indian Independence in 1947, has spread to the UK, US, Canada, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. Despite this the extended family retains a close association and continues to share a family identity through blogs, networking sites such as Facebook and traditional means of communication. Recognition of this family identity and shared heritage, is fostered by middle-aged members who grew up in India and are anxious to ensure that their children retain a shared identity and sense of belonging. The strategy employed is sharing of photos, recipes, video clips, personal news and anecdotes which are intended to consolidate memories of what really is an imagined "home" and to provide emotional support - basically to enjoy the benefits of the extended Indian family across vast geographical distances, while bypassing the negative aspects of this structure. This sense of shared identity appears to persist even among younger members of the family who have different nationalities (different strands in their ancestral heritage) and were not born in India.
The name Valladares itself, is not an Indian surname in that it does not have its roots in Hindu India, though members of the family would definitely drawn their genetic and cultural inheritance from that gene pool - among others. 'Valladares' as a name, has its origins in part of Galicia, currently between Spain and Portugal, near Pontevedra. It comes from the word "valladar", meaning "fence". The name was accepted by members of the local population on the west coast of India, when they converted from their local faith to Christianity. The practice, at that time, was to adopt the converting padre's (priest), family name or the name of the new convert's sponsor.
One Valladares family has some of its roots in Duarte's Oart in Girguam, Mumbai, (NB: Oart is a Portuguese word which referred to groves or plantations of coconut trees) but there still are branches of the family in Kalina, Matarpacady and Bandra.
It is difficult to ascertain the ancestral origins of the family. So a general history of the region in which they originated, is all that can provide a context in which to situate the family socially and occupationally. Hearsay within the family, has it that their ancestral roots can be traced to the Koli or aboriginal peoples who lived in a village or gautan in the outer-suburb of Mumbai, now known as Kalina.
Kalina, purported to be the original home of the Valladares family, is located in what is now known as SantaCruz East in Mumbai. It lies to the east of Vile Parle, a village at the foot of a hillock called 'The Rye'. The village was originally known as Kole-Kalyan but eventually came to be known as Kalliana, which has morphed into its present day name of Kalina. Folklore has it that jackals, foxes and wolves roamed these areas in large numbers fin the past and the people of these villages spent their days gathering fire wood, berries and fruit from Rye Hill. Until the 1800s the view from the Rye was described as breath-taking and panoramic.
However, going back to the 6th to the 8th centuries, the region to which Kaliana belonged, was ruled by the Chalukyan kings of the Deccan who established their capital to the east of Bombay on the island of Mangalpuri or Ghariapuri (Elephanta Island). Their chief business centre was established in a township on the island of Shashti (60 villages) or Shashti (which came to be known as Salsette in Portuguese times).) The Chalukas were overthrown by the Rashtrakutas (the Silhara dynasty) which ruled from the 9th to the 13th centuries. It is believed that large numbers of Pathare or Patane (from Patan) Prabjus and Yajurvedi Brahmans from the River Godavari Valley, settled in Ambernath, near Kalyan in Bombay during this time. The islands then came into the hands of Raja Bhimdev. His exact origins are a subject of controversy. One school of thought suggests that he was a Solanki ruler who came from Anahilwada-Patan in Gujarat during the 12th century, another suggests that he was a Yadav ruler of 13th century Deogiri. It was during his reign that the development of Greater Bombay started.
Bimbakyan (Chronicles of Bimb or Bhim), presumed to have been written in 1139, and referred to by J Gerson da Cunha in his work, The Origin of Bombay, records that Raja Bhimdev established his capital at Mahikawati (Mahim). The fisherman's colonies were already part of his kingdom, which he divided into fifteen mahals or districts, each subdivided into twelve sections called pakhadis. With the king, came a sizable group of Pathare Prabhus, Palshis, Pachkalshis and toddy tapper Bhandaris, who comprised the first wave of immigrants to Bombay. Members of agricultural communities like the Vadvals, Malis, Bhois and Agris, Brahmans and traders from nearby regions were also thought to have settled in Bombay during this time.
Portuguese arrival in India:
The first Portuguese person to arrive in India was Vasco Da Gama who arrived in 1498. In 1508 Francis Almeida sailed into Bombay. The city's natural harbour came to be called Bom Bahia (the Good Bay) by the Portuguese. Bahadur Shah of Gujarat was forced to cede the main islands to the Portuguese in 1534, before he was murdered by the proselytizing invaders. The Portuguese built a fort in Bassein which they called Baicaim . They built fortifications and a few chapels for the new converts and started schools. St. Andrew's church in Bandra dates from this period.
However, this is just sub-text in the lives of the people who came to be the Bombay Valladareses.
Early reference to Valladares:
Earliest known verifiable references to a family named Valladares can be found in an extract from Catholic Bombay by J. Humbert S.J. (Pt I - 1321 to 1799) it refers to the conversion of nine families in the Parish of 'Nossa Senhora de Egypto (Calina) i.e. the Church of Our Lady of Egypt (now Kalina), Mumbai. The record refers a group of nine families in the Village of Kalina who were confirmed in 1761 (and presumably baptised either at the same time or earlier). It is likely that at the time of baptism, that the family adopted the name of a Portuguese official - Filippe de Valladares Souto Maior (b. 1691 - d. 1775), who was a member of the Portuguese Governing Commission in Goa, in 1756 and later became a governor from 4 Feb 1774 to 24 Sep 1774. Adopting the name of the parish priest or local official (who also acted as the godfather at baptism), was a widespread practise in Bombay during these early conversions. The person had no ancestral connections with the families they sponsored.
Today, there is a move to preserve the East Indian Gauthans as heritage properties, but so far that hasn't eventuated. The old East Indian village includes: Bhatt Pakady, Matharpakady, Corderio Wadi, Desachi Pakadi and Ranwar Pakadi, and the other village of Kolavree across the south east. The Parish Church of Our Lady of Egypt (originally known as Nossa Senhora de Egypto) sits besides the large fresh water lake. It celebrated its 400th centenary in 2008. It was built in 1606 and by 1761, had the following villages under its jurisdiction: - Kole-kalyan, Aldeia, Sur, Sar, Naugar, Vancolem and Cuddy (Humbert I : 223 -238). According to Fr. Paulo da Trindade, the Church and the Parish was founded around (1606-1609).
The Church of Our Lady of Egypt escaped destruction at the hands of the Marathas when they repulsed the Portuguese in 1739. After that Secular Priests took over the pastoral care at the Church of Kallina.
During Portuguese rule in the region, the converts came to be known as Salsette Christians and because Christianity does not recognise caste boundaries, a Portuguese education and conversion to Catholicism began to set them apart from the neighboring non-Christian populations, members of the family began to identify themselves with other converts in the region. As a consequence, they intermarried with converts from other castes - Koli, Vadval, Panchkalshi Brahmins, etc. As a consequence, cultural practices in terms of food, dress and daily rituals - traditional indicators of caste, became blurred.
In 1661, the Islands of Bombay came into the possession of the British as part of the dowry of Catherine of Braganza when she married Charles II of England.
During the Raj, the British set up a military base with training, medical and R&R facilities for their soldiers and officers on 'The Rye'in Kalina. They apparently bombarded Sion Fort whenever they had a disagreement with the Catholic clergy! Their military base, provided employment to many of the local people. Chances are the Valladareses who are the subject of this article, seized this opportunity. Around this time one section of the family settled in Matarpacady, some in Bandra and one group moved to Girgaum.
Bombay's real transformation took place after 1668 when it was transferred to the East India Company for an annual rental fee of ten pounds, as Charles II found it too expensive to govern. Under the East India Company these islands off of the west coast of India were joined together and expanded by dams and reclamations over the following centuries to form the Island of Bombay. The growth of the Presidencies of Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras in India were a result of the East India Company's well-defined strategy of developing land bases to facilitate trade. They needed clerks and scribes for the fledgling businesses which opened up within the Fort (Fort St George in the area which is now South Bombay) and Eurasians and people from different parts of the hinterland, including Portuguese India, stepped in to fill the breach. By the 1850s, the Valladares family, who by then had come to invest the wealth they acquired from fishing and trade in the education of their sons (and in those times, to a lesser-extent their daughters), encouraged their sons to exploit their familiarity with the Roman Script and Christian names and seek work in the growing city of Bombay.
Other Portuguese names: