vii According to Rios, the emphasis on hierarchy based on slavery obscured the importance of the manual flaw as a negative value of social distinction, which remained stigmatised through colonisation, defining social identities and delimiting access to the condition of noble, RIOS, Wilson. A lei e o estilo. A inser? dos of?os mec?cos na sociedade colonial brasileira. Salvador e Vila Rica 1690-1790. Doctoral thesis presented to the Post-Graduation Programme in History of UFF. Niter?2000, pp. 1-3, 46-62, 100 and following.