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Professor, ethnographer, and linguist, Estanco Louro was born into a large and humble agricultural family in the foothills of the Algarve, at São Brás de Alportel, at the time a rural parish in the Faro area. In 1904 he concluded his primary studies with distinction. On account of his lively intelligence, and on the advice of his teacher, the family decided that he, alone of all their children, should continue his education at Faro Seminary (1905–10). However, in view of his manifest lack of any ecclesiastical vocation, he moved to the Liceu Nacional de Faro, where he completed his secondary education in the school year 1910–11.