Q: Is it true the actual word Melungeon is Turkish? Is there no Portuguese word similar to Melungeon?
A: The old Ottoman language had a word like "Melun can" which is pronounced like Melungeon according to Turks and means cursed soul. The word is Portuguese and modern spelling is "Melungo." The archaic pronunciation of the "G" is like "J" as in jet. It means white or boss and that was what the black people called the Portuguese when they first visited East Africa on the way to India. Also there is one Province in Angola called "Melanje." The province's capital is also called "Melange." There are other words similar in Portuguese originating in India.

Q: Could you please tell me any other races brought to America by Portuguese?
A: The first blacks in Virginia came from Luanda, Angola in 1619 not as slaves but as servants, who worked and paid for their trip. In the early 1500's the Portuguese brought many people from Asia to the Americas, probably some of them on the return trip from East Africa, Brazil and India by shipwreck due to the south Atlantic currents and hurricanes.

Q: After 400 years would the people still show any physical appearances similar to Portuguese or Turkish people?
A: Yes, they do still show a Mediterranean appearance, mostly because they did not mix and lived in clans.

Q: It seems to me that there would have to be other ethnic races that have mixed with the Melungeon people much later than the 16th century for them to still appear ethnic.
A: Yes, there are other ethnic races who mixed but the scholarly answer of the Tri-Racial is far too simple for a complex problem. Tri-Racial meaning white European/Black and American Indian. There are plenty of ethnic groups who intermarried. However, in the same manner that you find a Black person with no apparent white mixture and whose ancestors lived in this Continent for many generations, you'll find an East Indian looking person that would be much at home in Azores.

Q: I have found the Melungeons to be a fighting race of people that is for certain.
A: Yes, you're right on that one too, they had to survive against 18th century newcomers in very harsh environments.
This is an awesome page! It is great to hear about all this Portuguese people that lived here in the United States. I live in Virginia since a year ago and I never met any Portuguese people here. Bom Trabalho.
Luis Ramos


Ola/Shalom   I have often visited your impressive site and know I will be back often in the future as well. Hopefully, you will be interested in linking to the only Portuguese-Jewish site on the www in English. Please visit my site and see if you would like to have this small part of our shared history as part of your excellent *Global village* already displayed.
Adeus e shalom
Rufina. [Rufina's site is Celebrating our Portuguese-Jewish heritage.]


   I'm writing to you because I was recently at Knotts Berry Farm an old West theme park here in the Orange County an area outside of Los Angeles.
   I met and talk with a Mr. David Hunt, Pappy as everyone calls him, is an educational tour guide at the theme park who reflects the heritage of many ethnic families that help build the old west and what it is today. Mr Hunt, descendant of the Portuguese/Melungeon Indians, talks about his ancestors from Newman Ridge Tennessee, and how he has continued to followed the sunset as his mother and father had advised him. Today he tells the story of the mountainous native American people to our children whom we bring to the park for an educational adventure. Pappy Portuguese-black native American fur trapper like his ancestors, leaves a vivid picture of stories that show our children to see the magic and love in all life before they leave the Park. A job well done by a super person and I believe he certainly should be added to that list of distinguished individuals you have listed in various categories who are of Portuguese/Native-American descent.
   Thought I would share a little of that information with you.
Linda Baggott


   I am a descendent of a group of people known as the Melungeon Indians. My ancestors were Portuguese who shipwrecked down in Cape Hatteras, North Carolina during the early 1700's, approximately 1734.
David Hunt


   Ola amigos! I recently ventured onto your website and can say I was pleasantly surprised and intrigued by its content. I'm a Luso-American college student, majoring in History, and your website provided some great information on early Portuguese-Americans as well as some more "famous" Americans of Portuguese descent. I'd like to find out more about PAHRF Inc.
   I've always been fascinated by Portuguese culture and history, and I'd like to know how I can get a hand on some of the books listed on your website, or speak to your president about opportunities for Luso-Americans interested in studying or writing about historical issues pertaining to our community. Actually, last semester I studied at the Universidade de Lisboa em Lisboa, which was an incredible and extremely rewarding experience. I would definitely love to follow up on some of the research I did there that I don't have an opportunity to study here at Cornell. Any information on how I can find out more about the particulars of your organization, such as research projects, or contributors to your material, such as editors, writers, or other sources would also be greatly appreciated. Thanks, and again great work on the website! Take care.
Paulo Cunha







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  • Updated:
    November 18, 2011