Abstract

Based in historical assumptions and commonplaces about the character of the Portuguese, the luso-tropicalism was a way to imagine the Portuguese community, which tended to highlight the natural disposition of the Portuguese for a settlement without prejudice of «color or race». Almost treated as a form of life, this particular way of reinterpret the history of Portuguese colonization won consistency in the last decades of authoritarian rule, when a series of rituals fostered the idea that Portugal was a multiracial country, geographically diverse and a politically homogeneous unit. My aim in this dissertation is to describe and analyse key cultural phenomena that spread luso-tropicalism in everyday life. I will argue that some artefacts of mass culture – namely football icons, such as Eusébio, celebrities of Portuguese popular music, such as João Maria Tudella, Eduardo Nascimento, among others, and beauty pageants held in the 1970’s – managed to reiterate the main themes of luso-tropicalism outside the ordinary campaigns of self-justification. Besides the historiographical objective, this work also intends to point out the contingency of luso-tropicalist representations, which somehow disappeared immediately after the Portuguese decolonization.