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Seventy individuals from two African and four black Brazilian populations were studied for the first hypervariable segment of mtDNA. To delineate a more complete phylogeographic scenario of the African mtDNA haplogroups in Brazil and to provide additional information on the nature of the Atlantic slave trade, we analyzed our data together with previously published data. The results indicate different sources of African slaves for the four major Brazilian regions. In addition, the data revealed patterns that differ from those expected on the basis of historical registers, thus suggesting the role of ethnic sex differences in the slave trade.