[Picture: An 1835 illustration of liberated slaves arriving in Sierra Leone.]
Saros or Creoles in Nigeria during the nineteenth century and early twentieth century were freed slaves who migrated to Nigeria in the beginning of the 1830s.
They were known locally as Saros (elided form of Sierra Leone) or Amaros: migrants from Brazil and Cuba. Saros and Amaros also settled in other West African countries such as the Gold Coast (Ghana). They were mostly freed and repatriated slaves from various West African and Latin American countries such as Sierra Leone, Brazil and Cuba Liberated “returnee” Africans from Brazil were more commonly known as “Agudas”. Most of the Latin American returnees or Amaros started migrating to Africa after slavery was abolished on the continent while others from West Africa, or the Saros were recaptured and freed slaves already resident in Sierra Leone.
Many of the returnees chose to return to Nigeria for cultural, missionary and economic reasons. Many (if not the greater majority) of them were originally descended from the Yoruba people, and so because of this, they were mostly regarded as a part of the ethnic group that the Yoruba constituted in the Nigeria of the era.
The newly arrived immigrants resided in the Niger Delta, Lagos Colony and in some Eastern Nigerian cities such as Aba, Owerri, and Onitsha. Though, many were originally dedicated Anglophiles in Nigeria, they later adopted an indigenous and patriotic attitude on Nigerian affairs due to a rise in discrimination in the 1880s, and were later known as cultural nationalists.