Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Tibiriçá João Ramalho and Anchieta Friends Who Founded São Paulo

Here is a scene from before the arrival of the Portuguese, in which the shaman celebrates a war ritual while Tibiriçá and Potira dine and drink Cauim, alongside residents of the Inhapuambuçu village. Life in the São Paulo community was as Tupi as any other. With the arrival of the Jesuits, there was an enormous clash of civilizations, traditions, and customs, especially regarding war rituals, cannibalism, and other so-called 'pagan' customs. The role of shamans as spiritual leaders in Tupi villages faced extensive discrediting campaigns by the Jesuit missions.

Life in the Inhapuambuçu Village Before (and during) the Arrival of the Jesuits

In the interactions between the Jesuit priests and the indigenous people of the old Aldeia de Piratininga, now São Paulo, it is common for various prejudices to arise. The image of enmity between the indigenous people and the Portuguese contrasts with the reality of a relationship based on mutual trust and cooperation.

When we explore the dynamics of these interactions, a rich and complex history unfolds, going beyond conventional historical narratives.

The area where São Paulo's historic center is located today, also known as the historical triangle, was formed by the Anhangabaú stream to the west, following its course until it met the Tamanduateí River, which passed alongside a large floodplain, called Várzea do Carmo by the Portuguese, until it met the Tietê River. The base of the triangle was where Praça da Liberdade is today, where the so-called Morro da Forca was located, known to the indigenous people as Inhapuambuçu.

Father Anchieta describes the geography and the early days of interaction with the indigenous people well in Celso Vieira's book, Anchieta:

"...Built by the Indians, the Jesuits' lodging was a tiny hut made of wattle and daub, covered with thatch, an imperceptible roof on the plateau between the Tamanduateí and Anhangabaú streams, forming a triangular citadel, whose bastions were cliffs. From the summit of this acropolis, a prominent twenty-five to thirty meters high, the entire horizon could be seen: the vast floodplain, the course of the Tietê River winding and stretching, and the passable paths opened no more than four gates to the citadel - two to the north, two to the south, the first guarded at the triangle's apex by the force of Tibiriçá (the principal Martin Affonso), the second defended at the base by Caiubi's people, an old and loyal chief.

Springs gushed from the slopes and schist and sandstone ravines between the contiguous hills, with the dominant peak lost in the thickness of the virgin forest, under mists;

Topographical View of São Paulo's Acropolis in 1560, formed by the union of the Anhangabaú and Tamanduateí rivers, with the Inhapuambuçu Hill, about 30 meters high, as the base of the triangle.

To the west, the shady hunting and fruit lands flourished with their pine forests, beehives, and flocks of rosy or snowy herons at the edge of the lagoons.

The shelter of the religious measured fourteen paces in length by ten or twelve in width: there they had, together, a church, school, dormitory, infirmary, dining room, kitchen, and pantry. But they did not envy the pomp of royal castles, remembering that a stable was enough for the infant deity of Jesus, a crucifix for the redemption of the world. Soon after, with the help of brothers and locals, Father Afonso Braz began and directed the construction of the college and temple, architecture carved in red limonite stone. On All Saints' Day, in 1556, the Jesuits inaugurated their new church with a procession.

And in the shadow of the temple, confident, the wattle and daub houses of the indigenous people were already gathering. At night, as if twenty or more men were sheltered in that narrowness and penury, the suspended hammocks clashed. Without shelter, the shivering brothers trembled under the harsh winter, already numb from sleep, or huddled together, warming each other, gaunt in their habits, around the meagerly fed brazier."

When we think of Jesuit priests in Brazil, the image that often comes to mind is of old men in cassocks trying to force the indigenous people to do things they didn't want to do. But this is an extremely distorted view of the facts; the history of the Jesuits in Brazil was much more interesting than historical narratives often tell us.

"These apostles were unarmed conquerors and also, like Nóbrega, statesmen without royal warrant. Served by the impulses of a poetic soul, and in contact with that barbaric humanity, Anchieta's mysticism made him a kind of Christian Orpheus, charming and taming wild beasts," says Celso Vieira in his work Anchieta.

To get an idea of the difficulties, imagine how many people today get lost in the Atlantic Forest of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, a small remaining fraction of the forest across Brazilian territory, but still vast, inconceivable for us urbanites.

Some who venture into these trails today get lost and spend days in the forest without finding even a location or a clandestine palm harvester. Many are never found and end up dying amidst the natural elements they cannot master.

Now imagine this same scenario when the entire continental area of Brazil had not yet been explored, with highly belligerent ethnic groups like the Tapuias, Carijós, and Tamoios, who knew their regions well, all as anthropophagic as the Caetés who devoured Bishop Sardinha or the Tupinambás who kept Hans Staden in fear of being eaten for several months.

Many may say that old texts mention the Carijós as affable people who were adept at raising birds and quite apt for conversion. Indeed, they were the least aggressive; however, they were also warriors and practiced cannibalism. The best example of this is the "martyrdom of brothers Pedro Correia and João de Souza," who, on a trip from São Paulo to Cananéia, fell victim to the Carijós.

Anchieta faced all these adversities with unwavering courage and faith. He shared an inspiring dream in which the Virgin Mary assured him that he would not die until his mission in Brazil was complete.

In a dramatic account by Simão de Vasconcelos, Father Nóbrega and his companions face persecution by God's servants who plot against their lives.

They try to escape in a canoe but are discovered. Attempting to reach the village, they are helped by an Indian who takes them to the house of Principal Pindobuçu. However, when the adversaries approach the house,

Anchieta, without hesitation, decides to carry Nóbrega on his back and run uphill for kilometers on a steep trail. This gesture of strength, fearlessness, and solidarity not only demonstrated his tireless determination but also his unwavering commitment to the evangelizing mission in colonial Brazil.

But due to the fragility of Joseph's back, they ended up falling into the water.

The image of Anchieta is always associated with an old man with white hair. Contrary to what is shown in history books, most of his deeds occurred between the ages of 20 and 30. Father Anchieta was a young man with blue eyes, great strength (as seen running with Nóbrega on his back, as recounted by Simão de Vasconcelos), born on March 19, 1534, son of a Portuguese father and a mother of Guanche descent from the Canary Islands, himself a product of the mix between colonizers and colonized.

Anchieta's strength lay in his spirit, not his body. As a novice, Anchieta assisted with 8 to 10 masses a day, sometimes more, and all this physical effort, along with an accident where a ladder fell on his spine, led biographers to conclude that Anchieta had a debilitated health, with severe scoliosis that caused him frequent pain.

Anchieta was the perfect example of how a man of great learning, combined with extensive field experience, can make a difference.

Tibiriçá (baptized Martin Afonso) and Anchieta Still Faced Cannibalism in São Paulo de Piratininga

"...In Celso Vieira's book "Anchieta," a terrible event in São Paulo de Piratininga is described:

It was not uncommon, when a Tamoio chief called for hostilities, for the catechumens to confront the approaching mob. In one of these skirmishes, intimidated by the enemy's strength, the Christians faltered, but the village captain's wife, crossing herself, urged them to fight and recommended the symbolic gesture. At the sign of the cross, the enemy fled, saving all the Christian warriors except two who had not made the sign. However, during the night, the defeated returned like hyenas, exhuming the bodies they believed were those of the victorious, left on the battlefield, and dragging them eagerly to their village.

Sniffing the earthy nakedness of the still bloody bodies, they drank and danced. But through the mist, as through a shroud, the day vaguely shone, and with the pallor of the funereal morning, the cannibals, with horror, recognized in the lifeless faces of the exhumed bodies their own friends or relatives...."

It is important to mention the context of the event.

In this passage, Celso Vieira describes a terrible event in São Paulo de Piratininga, where a woman, the wife of the village captain, encourages the Christians to face a hostile mob. During the confrontation, the Christians are initially intimidated, but upon making the sign of the cross, the enemy retreats. However, during the night, the defeated return and exhume the bodies of the Christians supposedly left behind on the battlefield, dragging them to their village.

The text in archaic Portuguese may pose some challenges to the reader; the term "embocar a inúhia" is an old expression meaning to assume a hostile or aggressive attitude, especially when challenging or confronting someone. In this context, the "chief é tamoiô" is inciting discord and confronting the mob approaching Piratininga.

On August 29, 1553, Anchieta offered Catholic baptism to 50 'catechumens,' local indigenous people, mostly children, who had already chosen to adopt the culture of the priests and abandon their local rituals, including anthropophagy as part of an intricate code of war between warring ethnic groups to become "indigenous converts" to Christianity.

Tibiriçá (baptized Martin Afonso), Nobrega, and Anchieta interrupt a ritual of anthropophagy in São Paulo de Piratininga - Anchieta unties the Guainá while Martin Afonso, the converted Tibiriçá, kicks the cauim jars and frightens the toothless necrophagous old women.

"At other times, unexpectedly, the collective soul in that devout place would revert to cannibal appetites and inhumane practices. Having captured a brave and plump Guainá in war, the converted Indians of Piratininga decided to kill and eat him. The sacrifice would soon take place, the sacrificer already adorned and plumed, when Father Nobrega and Brother Anchieta appeared in the yard, awakened by the catechumens' festive cries. But they cried out in vain against the mortal sin of anthropophagy committed at the temple's doorstep: Martin Afonso, once again Tibiriçá, leading the ceremony preparations, would hear nothing from them.

Toothless necrophagous old women piled wood for the fire around the Guainá, ready to die courageously, continuing their chants, libations, and rounds. Then, in a magnificent impulse of humanity, Anchieta and Nobrega, breaking through the yard, untied the captive Indian, scared away the witches, extinguished the crackling fire, shattered the clay pots and wine jars. Tibiriçá, the leader, beat his bow and feet in the midst of the horde. The religious, disturbing the tribe warriors' vindication, would be expelled from there. But in this encounter, the eloquence of Brother Anchieta once again tamed the fierce instincts of evangelizers and butchers: the next day, repentant, Tibiriçá, again Martin Afonso, and all his violent Indians fell once more at the missionaries' feet.

From time to time, tragedy flashed over Piratininga's Catholicism, giving the Jesuits the surprise of theatrical emotions. A certain Indian was invited by the brother to seek with him a great shaman, who in 1557 terrified the hinterlands, gathering naïve and fearful tribes. Under the sorcerer's gaze, flashing like a fakir's, the most impetuous in war trembled; a roll of smoke from his mouth transmitted the power of evil spirits.

This formidable shaman, enemy of the Christians, threatened Piratininga, and as the Indian tempted by the brother already glimpsed the true light, already listened to the priests, he did not accept the invitation.

At dusk, drunk with wine and hatred, the rejected savage stabbed the other three times. Thinking they had quarreled over the first one's wife, the mother-in-law attacked the daughter-in-law. The two bit each other like beasts. From the dark depths of the hut, a young man rushed to separate them, but the enraged old woman pierced his stomach with two arrows. Tragically, seeing him dead, she fled into the dark forest, brandishing a lit torch, screaming.

She returned shortly after, silently, asking humbly and sadly to be killed so as not to bring the dead man's family’s vengeance upon her children. The next morning, at the edge of the grave he himself had dug, her eldest son calmly strangled the old Indian woman, laid both corpses in the same grave, the criminal below, the victim above, and the forgetfulness fell over the remains, gloomy, with the final handful of earth. It was peace among the living and the dead, unbreakable. Only then, satisfied with the matricide, did the tribe's cruel and vengeful spirit rest."

Letter, June 1, 1560.
Quarterly letters, May to September 1554.
*The Guaianá indigenous people, also known as Guaianases (from the ancient Tupi gûaîanã), were a South American indigenous group that inhabited regions between São Paulo de Piratininga and Uruguay until the end of the 16th century.

**The "wine" mentioned by Vieira in the text was Cauim, a fermented alcoholic beverage made from manioc, which the indigenous people prepared for festive occasions and got drunk with it. In one of Anchieta's poems written in Tupi, he seems more permissive about alcohol consumption, but even so, its consumption is not reported after 1560.

In this poem in ancient Tupi, Anchieta conveys the relationship of Cauim with the indigenous people of Piratininga.

Xe rekó iporangeté,
Naipotári abá seytýka,
naipotári abá imombýka. Aipotakatú teñé opabi tába mondýka.

Mbaé eté kaú guasú kaûĩ mojebyjebýra.
Aipó sausukatupýra.
Aipó añé jamombeú,
Aipó imomorangimbýra!

Serapoã ko mosakára ikauinguasúbae.
kaûĩ mboapyareté,
aé maramofiangára,
marána potá memé.

The translation would be:

My way of life is very pleasant,
I do not want it to be constrained
I do not want it to be abolished, I intend to agitate all the villages

It is good to drink cauim until vomiting,
that is very much appreciated,
that is recommended,
that is admirable!

It is here that the true "moçacaras" drinkers show themselves
He who drinks Cauim until exhaustion,
He is the brave one,
The eager for battles.

To the student of ancient Tupi, some notes:

1- Xe rekó can be translated as 'my way of acting,' 'my way of being/existing' (erekó - v. tr. - to make be with oneself);

2-Vocabulary used in sequence:
Kaûĩ - cauim (drink)
Naipotari - I do not want
Mombuca- to burst, pierce
mondýka - to burn
Teñe - even if, it doesn't matter, indeed, very much
Opab- all (opabi tába) all the villages
Moiebyr (or moieby) (etym. - to make return) (v. tr.) - to vomit:
Aipó - that
Sausukatupýra - is very much appreciated
Sñé - that
Jamombeú - is recommended
Imomorangimbýra - is admirable
Ikauinguasúbae - drink until exhaustion
Mboapy (v. tr.) - to empty, exhaust: Oimboapy abá kuiaba ...mboapyareté - until exhaustion
Maramofiangára - is for war
Marána - war
potá - is eager for
Memé - struggle

3-Maçacaras or "mosakara" [are important men of the village, or noble white men]

The First Mixed-Race Family

It was in the Village of Inhapuambuçu (a high place visible from afar in ancient Tupi) that the first mixed-race family in Brazil was formed. The indigenous Tibiriçá and his Portuguese son-in-law, the mysterious João Ramalho, married to Potyra, came from a village closer to the Serra do Mar called Santo André da Borda do Campo.

The Tupi lived lives full of incredible traditions! They were masters of feather art and basket weaving, and their rituals with cashew, fishing, and manioc were truly impressive.

The history of these ancient times was passed down orally, as the people of the region did not have writing. But through the studies of the Jesuits, true scientists in robes, archaeologists, and even toponymy, we are discovering more and more about the language and culture of this period.

The arrival of João Ramalho greatly changed the social dynamics of the village, mixing two different cultures and starting a process of cultural exchange.

*Inhapuambuçu - "y" river lake

i(nh)apu'ãm-busú the great summit or y(nh)apu'ãm-busú

apuana (n.) - height, elevation (of voice, etc.); (adj.: apftan) - elevated, high (spoken of voice): Xe nhe'engapuan. - I am of loud voice, I raise my voice. (VLB, 1, 133)


This issue takes us to a fascinating chapter of our history. According to accounts from travelers like Léry and Staden, Tupi traditions were marked by the beauty of feather art, basketry, and incredible rituals involving cashew, fishing, and manioc cultivation, a peculiar belligerence in which distant ethnological cousins engaged in bloody clashes sometimes covered by a complex code of war, often ending in anthropophagy rituals and drunkenness with Cauim, a fermented manioc drink.

Tibiriçá and Potyra, before becoming converts, certainly lived a Tupi life just like all the other Tupi.

As the stories of the ancestors of our founders were transmitted only through oral tradition (the indigenous peoples of the region corresponding to Brazil did not practice writing or reading), all the events of Inhapuambuçu from ancient times were lost over time.

Chapter 1: How Did the Tupi Arrive in São Paulo?

The Village of Inhapuambuçu was chosen for its location based on favorable topography, hydrography, forests, and geomantic aspects, becoming not only the ideal place for the creation of a village 2,000-3,000 years ago, a Portuguese center of Jesuit catechesis, but also for the foundation of the Village of São Paulo de Piratininga, which would become the largest and most important metropolis in Latin America.

However, much of what happened in this ancient Tupi metropolis is lost. The difficulty in recovering these pre-colonization accounts, mainly because much of its content was passed down orally through generations, is irreparable. This lack of records raises questions about how the ancient peoples lived in this region. However, new archaeological studies, as well as deeper aspects of toponymy studied by Professor Eduardo Navarro and his students from USP, are bringing incredible new revelations, which we will discuss in the following text.

Tupinambá - Watercolor on parchment showing Brazilian Indians, the Tupinambá can be seen with a beautiful feather mantle, made with natural fibers, red feathers of ibises and blue macaws (araruanas)


The arrival of the Tupi at the Acropolis of São Paulo de Piratininga, marked by the confluence of the Anhangabaú and Tamanduateí rivers, was a cradle for the development of Tupi culture in the region. In the place where we now have the Páteo do Colégio, near the settlement of Tibiriçá, a sacred bald mountain gave its name to the village, the *Inhapuambuçu, which in ancient Tupi (hereinafter referred to as 'TA') i(nh)apu'ãm-busú the great summit or y(nh)apu'ãm-busú the great point of the river) - know more .

Life in the village was deeply influenced by the geographical surroundings, where the forests provided abundant resources for the Tupi, and the harmonious interaction with nature was reflected in their religiosity, intrinsically linked to natural elements. The Tupi saw rivers, forests, and animals as sacred entities, and their rituals revered the interconnectedness between humanity and the environment around them.

Most of Debret's watercolors were made to depict Rio de Janeiro; however, to my delight, there are some of São Paulo - one of which particularly stands out for depicting a bald rock in what was the Village of Inhapuambuçu.

An example of this is the Anhagá, one of the reasons why the Tupi lived near the Anhangabaú river. The river was in a valley fed by the Itororó stream, which descended from the wonderful forest of Ka'a Guatá (now known as Avenida Paulista). This river passed through what is now Avenida 23 de Maio, flowing into the Anhangabaú stream, which also received waters from the little-known spring of Santa Ifigênia or Iacuba, with extremely acidic and non-potable waters, originating from the stream that rose in the current Largo do Paissandu, called Iacum-Guaçu and Acu by the Tupi, all surrounded by beautiful vegetation with abundant game, protected by the important Tupi god called Anhangá, the cruel protector of game and nature.

The Anhangá is commonly depicted as a white deer, of enormous size, with red eyes like fire. He is the protector of nature and pursues all those who hunt indiscriminately, disrespect nature, and punishes those who hunt young or nursing females and pollute their waters.

The valley of the Anhangabaú river was sacred; the inhabitants of Piratininga held ceremonies and festivals to make the god happier and less vengeful.

João Ramalho's arrival in the village brought a significant change in social dynamics, whose repercussions would never be forgotten. The coexistence of two distinct cultures began to shape the social fabric of the community, triggering a complex process of cultural exchange.

Tupi spirituality played a fundamental role in the structure of society, uniting divine aspects with everyday life. The deep understanding of nature as divinity influenced not only religious rituals but also daily practices such as hunting, fishing, and agriculture.

The interactions of the Tupi from the village of Inhapuambuçu with all the other peoples of neighboring villages had a very extensive ancestral history, which blends with the great Tupi expansion.

More on the Great Tupi Expansion

We can begin to understand the Tupi occupation in São Paulo de Piratininga from the great migration that occurred between 2000 and 3000 years ago, known as the Great Tupi Expansion. This historical process between the 13th and 16th centuries was marked by the movement of groups speaking the proto-language forming the Tupi-Guarani branch across vast areas of Brazilian territory. This expansion gave rise to different cultures along the way. Anthropologist Roger Bastide called this phenomenon the "Great Tupi Expansion" - know more

Members of the Tupi-Guarani linguistic branch initially occupied the Atlantic coast, from Cape São Roque to the Tropic of Capricorn, covering extensive areas of the southern plateau and its surroundings. Linguistic data indicate the southwest of the Amazon, in the upper Madeira River basin, as the center of dispersion for the Tupi peoples.

Métraux, in his study, highlighted the animosity between different Tupinambá and Guarani groups, which often resulted in ritualistic conflicts. The economy of these groups was based on agriculture, with manioc as a prominent cultivated plant. Villages were located on hilltops, with some having defensive structures.

The "Cardiac Model" of Lathrap

The most accepted model of dispersion, originating from the upper Xingu, suggests that ancestral trails were used to spread across Brazil, as navigation was not used for this purpose.

Regarding the movement across the continental extensions of Brazil, various theoretical models have been proposed: The Hydrographic Model emphasizes river basins as expansion routes; Schmitz's Linguistic Model suggests an Amazonian origin for the Tupi; Lathrap's “Cardiac” Model compares the Tupi expansion to the circulatory system, centered in the Xingu; Brochado's Model associates Tupi groups with different geographic areas.

Archaeological Sites in the Amazon

Recently, archaeological discoveries in Bahia, such as a pre-colonial ceramic urn, have contributed to the understanding of the history and presence of the Tupi-Guarani, while theoretical models continue to offer different perspectives on their movement in South America.

Recent Finds

Remains of Tupi Indians were found inside a ceramic artifact with traditional designs in burial rituals of the ethnicity - Photo: Bruno Concha/Secom - reproduced by CNN

In early 2022, an archaeology team in Bahia made an extraordinary discovery: they found a pre-colonial ceramic urn that could be the burial site of a Tupi-Guarani individual.

According to archaeologists working on Avenida Sete de Setembro, drawings inside the ceramic vessel confirm its date and Tupi origin.

The artifact was unearthed during excavations on Avenida Sete de Setembro in Salvador, near the São Pedro clock. Inside the vessel, there was a buried body, suggesting it was possibly an indigenous man who lived between the 14th and 16th centuries in the region. This significant discovery, along with more than 12,000 other historical artifacts found at the site, will be studied at the Center for Anthropology and Archaeology of Paulo Afonso in Salvador, contributing to the understanding of the history and presence of indigenous people in this area.

The Acropolis Paulistana

The Tupi who arrived in São Paulo had to constantly overcome the elevation of the coastal massif, climbing and descending the Serra do Mar, creating a steep mountain range and diverting rivers inland, creating unique characteristics. The indigenous people overcame these conditions, creating 'peabirus' (TA "pe" – path; "abiru" - trampled grass), which were dirt trails that converged in the historical triangle region of Piratininga and led to distant places in South America, such as the ancient golden city of Cuzco and Amazonian villages.

Despite the coastal isolation, this area became a crucial point, connecting the interior to the Atlantic coast through numerous peabirus, covering routes to the Vale do Paraíba, the interior of São Paulo, and Santa Catarina. This geographic configuration gave the historical triangle of São Paulo immense value.

Regarding the relationship with geography, according to Ab’Saber, between 23,000 and 12,000 years ago, there was a "dry time hiatus" that favored the formation of 'stone lines,' a phenomenon responsible for the formation of plateaus and mountains, defining the relief, the formation of characteristic mountain ranges and forests, favorable for hunting small animals, abundant fishing, and a great variety of vegetation. Around 10 AD, the humid climate returned, with seasonal periods of rain, outlining small climatic changes over time.

Troppmair highlights that these climatic changes favored the emergence of pines, such as the araucaria, during long cooling periods, especially on the banks of the Pinheiros River and in high-altitude places, such as mountains and plateaus.

Various vegetation formations, such as floodplain fields, fluvial terrace banks, and islands of cerrado fields, mention toponymy that preserves traces of these ancient fields.

The vegetation formation favored movement and fishing, especially during river floods. The region, named Piratininga, meant in TA "dry fish," indicating the death of fish on the riverbanks after the constant flooding receded, characteristic of plateau and floodplain rivers.

Residents of Inhapumabuçu Walk Along the Tamanduateí River and Witness the Arrival of Anteaters During the River's Low Flow. During dry periods, fish would die on the banks (piratininga in TA), attracting ants, and consequently, anteaters appeared to devour them.

This rich vegetation not only facilitated movement but also favored fishing, especially during river floods. The account highlights the frequency of these floods in plateau rivers such as Tamanduateí, Pinheiros, and Tietê. The latter had its name changed from Anhembi to Tietê, meaning "very good river, honorable river" in archaic language. Such floods were considered fertility agents for the land.

Moreover, the abundance of game animals in the fields is evidenced by the Tupi toponymy, naming rivers such as Anhembi (referring to the river of anhumas), Tucuruvi (known as the river of the green locust), and Tamanduateí (indicating a river with dead, dried fish, attracting ants and finally anteaters). Itororó, the river of the spring, which arose on Avenida Paulista and flowed until it met the waters of Anhangabaú along Avenida 23 de Maio, is also noteworthy.

Peabirus as Roads and Rivers as Highways

As mentioned earlier, Tupi movements were made through the peabirus. There are accounts that João Ramalho and Tibiriçá walked 50 to 80 km per day. Another efficient means was by river. As André Prous reports, the Tupis were excellent navigators: “the impressive extent of the Tupi-Guarani culture (...) can partly be explained by their vocation as navigators, particularly riverine.”

Map of Some Important Peabirus in São Paulo

The Tupi Peabirus in São Paulo form a network of toponyms that, when analyzed, reveal routes and geographic meanings.

Heading south, we find places such as Pirapora (where the fish jumps), Sorocaba (place of erosion), Itapetininga (dry stone path), Itapeva (on the flagstone), and Itararé (at the sinkhole). These names indicate a path rich in natural features.

Heading towards the Minas backlands, we encounter Airuoca (home of the small macaw), Baependi (river of the sharp thing), Itumirim (small waterfall), Itutinga (white waterfall), Itaúna (black stone), and Sabará or Itaberaba (shining stone), revealing a variety of geographic elements.

On the route towards Goiás, we come across Mogi Mirim (river of the small snake), Mogi Guaçu (river of the big snake), Jaguari (river of the jaguar), Uberaba (shining river), Araguari (river of the valley of the sun), and Paranaíba (river of Pindaíba, a type of palm tree). These toponyms suggest a close connection between the nomenclature and the surrounding nature, possibly influenced by Tupi-speaking Paulistas.

This naming practice, inherited from the indigenous people, stands out as a way to mark the path and has recently been valued as part of the historical and cultural heritage of these regions. As Bofil Batalla stated, naming not only provides knowledge but is also a way to create and preserve the cultural identity of these peoples.

The Tupi faced geographic limitations due to interactions with other peoples, such as the Bilreiros. Despite delineating territories, these borders were permeable due to migratory mobility and the pressure of warlike groups. This dynamic reflected the instability of tribal territories, subject to frequent changes.

When Tupi groups settled in a certain region, they experienced soil limitations because clearing vegetation for agriculture affected soil fertility. After a few planting seasons, when the soil lost its productivity, the Tupi sought new areas to cultivate.

This practice indicated a constant adaptation to environmental conditions, showing an affective relationship with the land, but also the willingness to move when necessary.

Based on archaeological findings, Tupi villages, especially in more populous areas, followed a specific pattern. Generally, these communities chose elevated locations on hill slopes, offering a privileged view of a main navigable river. Near these villages, there was a smaller stream for drinking water supply, while the main river was at a considerable distance to avoid problems caused by frequent floods.

This pattern was consistent with the observations made by Soares de Sousa in the Tupinambá villages in Bahia, highlighting the search for high, well-ventilated locations near water sources for washing and supply. Staden, on the other hand, mentions that the villages were located on lands near rivers, usually consisting of up to seven houses arranged around a courtyard used for rituals.

In more conflict-prone areas, protective palisades called "ybira" (something that has happened or has died, in TA) were built.

Fernandes lists six crucial points for the establishment of a village, including easy access to drinking water, adequate ventilation, availability of firewood, proximity to fishing areas, fertile land, and the presence of forest for hunting. As for the population, chroniclers vary in their estimates, suggesting between 50 to 80 people per family house, totaling about 500 residents per village.

The Tupi made movements near villages every three to four years, sometimes not moving more than 500 meters, corresponding to the durability of the materials used in construction. They usually moved within the same region, indicated by burial sites, providing some stability. The average distance between villages, according to records, varied from five to ten kilometers. In Piratininga, the villages were often established along the rivers, forming a conglomerate that facilitated mutual aid in case of attacks, organizing themselves as a network connected by kinship and warrior alliances.

Piratininga, the first village that Martim Afonso colonized in 1532, was where he established a Portuguese nucleus, deriving its name from the Tamanduateí River, then called Piratininga. In 1550, Father Leonardo Nunes (the "Abarebebé," or "flying priest" in TA, a name given due to his rapid speed and dynamism on the forest trails) found several other villages on the plateau, one of them inhabited by a principal, probably Tibiriçá, indicating the existence of many other villages in the region.

The term 'Piratininga' certainly does not refer to an acropolis, as in Old Tupi it means 'place of the dried fish,' referring to flooded plains where fish died and dried in the sun during low water periods.

While some suggest it could be near the Tietê, others, like Afonso de Freitas who wrote the book Os Guayanás de Piratininga, propose a higher location, away from the floods, associated with the later construction of the Convento da Luz. Freitas was the most emphatic proponent of the distinction between the Piratininga region and the village of Tibiriçá, after Santo André da Borda do Campo, called Inhapuambuçu.

The Three Villages of Piratininga

During the attack on the mission in 1562, Anchieta mentions that Tibiriçá's relatives were distributed in three villages, with Ururay being the only identified one. There is no confirmation whether these villages were on the Tamanduateí or the Tietê.

Anchieta also mentions Tamandiba as an important leader of the village, but there are no clear references to other villages on the Tamanduateí.

The place currently known as Ipiranga, on the banks of the Vermelho River, could have been a Tupi village, as it fits the Tupi occupation patterns and served as a Portuguese stopover for those arriving from the coast.

Another source of information about the size and importance of the villages is given by John Manuel Monteiro: "Regarding the number and size of the Tupiniquim villages existing during the 16th century, contemporary accounts, unfortunately, tell us little. However, it appears that the main Tupiniquim settlement at the time of the Europeans' arrival was that of Chief Tibiriçá, certainly the most influential indigenous leader in the region.

A second important village during this period was Jerubatuba, under the leadership of Cauibi, supposedly Tibiriçá's brother. This village was located about twelve kilometers south of Inhapuambuçu, near the future neighborhood of Santo Amaro.

In 1553, the German adventurer Ulrich Schmidel, having spent a few days in the village, described it as "a very large place." Finally, the third village that figured prominently in 16th-century accounts, Ururaí, also had as chief a brother of Tibiriçá named Piquerobi. Located six kilometers east of Inhapuambuçu, this settlement later became the base of the Jesuit settlement of São Miguel."

The Dynamics of Relationships in the Village of Inhapuambuçu

In the early 16th century, the residents of Inhapuambuçu lived together through their routines and conflicts, making decisions that would drastically change the dynamics of relationships among the Brazilian people.

The relationship between José de Anchieta, Tibiriçá, and João Ramalho marked a period of openness to European culture in the Tupi village of Inhapuambuçu. This period was fraught with tensions, especially concerning the adoption of new religious and cultural practices at the expense of Tupi spiritual traditions.

Luis Felipe Baêta Neves reports three forms of Tupi behavior that were especially repugnant to the Jesuits:

"These are incest, cannibalism, and nudity. These three 'behaviors' were seen as indicative of the barbarism in which the gentiles lived, as signs of their boorishness and significant indicators of their animality. (...) Incest (and - a lesser sin - polygamy) represents ignorance of any prohibition on 'using' another body. Cannibalism represents ignorance of any prohibition on ingesting another body. Nudity represents ignorance of any prohibition on displaying the body."

The Jesuits' plan to acculturate the Tupi culture and its "perversions" was fundamentally based on imposing prohibitions on these behaviors through the concentration and settlement of the natives in 'aldeamentos,' communities created by the missionaries for the sole purpose of catechizing the indigenous people.

Before this, the missionaries were forced to visit the Indians in their villages and preach to them during times traditionally used for masses and the teachings of the Karaibas (wise white men) in the early morning.

Even so, resistance groups like those formed by Jaguaranho and Piquerobi never accepted the culture imposed by the Jesuits and defended their way of life until their deaths on July 9, 1562.

The last pajé (shaman) to walk the acropolis of Piratininga, known in some non-scientific literature as Piatã*, was saddened to realize that Tibiriçá would possibly be the last great representative of Tupi culture. That culture did not know writing, and much of what happened in the rituals of Piratininga was lost.

Claude d'Abbeville recounts a case that clearly shows the identification of pajés and karaiba with the possession of extraordinary abilities (as was the case with whites and their weapons, books, and other Western products), as well as the role of children in incorporating European values:

"The role of the pajé lost much importance after we arrived in the country, especially since in our company there was a young man who could make small balls with his hands and many sleight-of-hand tricks. Mr. de Rasilly entrusted him with transporting our luggage, along with other servants, during our visit to Maranhão Island. 

As soon as the Maranhão people saw this boy's small balls, they began to admire him and called him pajéaçu. Mr. de Rasilly showed them that everything was due to a certain skill and, comparing him with the pajés, demonstrated that they were nothing but jugglers and deceivers. As a result, many abandoned their beliefs; and finally, even the children mocked the pajés.

Among others, I will mention the boy João Caju, whom I have referred to several times. He would pick up small bones and similar objects, ask Mr. de Rasilly, 'Morubixaba de açã omanô?' 'Does your head hurt, sir?' Then he would blow and rub the place of the imaginary pain and show what he had in his hand, saying it was the cause of the illness. He would make the company laugh, provoke the admiration of the elders, and discredit the pajés, who were then considered liars and deceivers."

Gradually, Tibiriçá was ending his cultural life as a Tupi to become Brazilian, integrating aspects of European culture. This transition, although inevitable in the face of the cultural pressures of the time, represented a significant loss for the Tupi cultural legacy.

In this context, Tibiriçá stood out as a link between two cultures, reflecting the complexity of social transformations during the colonization period. His choice to become Brazilian symbolizes the fusion of cultural influences that contributed to the unique formation of Brazil's identity.

There are accounts of the so-called Tupi-Rerekoara, "the Tupi Protectors" (TA), known as "the last remnants of Îagoanharó," a belief that accompanied the early days of Christianity alongside the catechization carried out by the Jesuits in Brazil.

This is an authentic Brazilian ritualistic sect, secret and ancient, that remains hidden and whose foundation was attributed to the pajé Piatã, Jaguaranho, son of Piquerobi, brother of Tibiriçá.

Tradition says that, dissatisfied with the alliance between Tibiriçá and the Portuguese, Jagoanharo aligned himself with the Guarulhos, Guaianás, and Carijós to betray Tibiriçá and expel the Portuguese from the village of Inhapuambuçu, the current historical triangle of São Paulo, as well as destroy the Pátio do Colégio (see - the siege of Piratininga).

Subjugated by the superior strength of the Tupi-Portuguese alliance, the indigenous coalition was defeated.

This account differs from the texts of our historical canon, as it narrates that Tibiriçá, as a good recent Christian, decided to spare the lives of his brother and nephew, releasing them in the Serra da Pirucaia without the Portuguese knowing. - It is important to say that Tibiriçá was known for a characteristic painting, with eyes on his buttocks, making him immune to betrayal as he could see who attacked him from behind (from Old Tupi - tebira - buttocks and esá - eye).

It is also said that many important members of our society remain active in the shadows, whether in preserving Tupi names for Brazilian localities, maintaining traditional foods and beverages, or conducting secret rituals.

Fact or rumor, it is important to mention here that using the name Piatã* to refer to Tibiriçá's pajé and mentioning the Tupi-Rerekoara as a secret group preserving Tupi traditions is acceptable as it consolidates historical information. Even though the sources may be dubious and there are variations in the records, it is always useful to mention that accurately reconstructing the details of these ancient events can be a very challenging task.


Father José de Anchieta played a significant role in missions along the coast of São Paulo and other regions of Brazil. In Tibiriçá's village, he not only dedicated himself to the education and catechization of the indigenous people in the aldeamentos but also protected them from the abuses of the Portuguese colonizers. He actively participated in negotiations between the Portuguese and the indigenous people, offering himself as a hostage to ensure peace.

Additionally, Anchieta was involved in missions in Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo, fighting against the French in Guanabara Bay and assisting Estácio de Sá. He directed the Jesuit College in Rio de Janeiro, founded the settlement of Reritiba (now Anchieta) in Espírito Santo, and was appointed Provincial of the Society of Jesus in Brazil.

His last years were dedicated to directing the Jesuit College in Vitória, but he managed to retire to Reritiba (now Anchieta, in the state of Espírito Santo) before his death, being buried in Vitória. Anchieta's remains were later transferred to the Jesuit College in Bahia, in Salvador, and finally to Rome.

Archaeology in São Paulo

Urban archaeology faces various complications, with many research efforts hindered by the impossibility of excavating under large buildings.

The Multiple Reconstructions of the Pátio do Colégio

The history of São Paulo is a journey of remarkable transformation, starting from a humble hut, referred to as "Paupércula Domo" by the Jesuit priest Anchieta, undergoing various changes over different periods, and eventually becoming the iconic Pátio do Colégio. This construction marks the central point of the city's beliefs and values.

Pátio do Colégio in 1827

... the same Pátio do Colégio, 100 years later in 1926

... and finally, the Pátio do Colégio, nearing 200 years since its initial transformation in 1554, today, in 2024

The archaeological context of São Paulo is diverse, encompassing pre-colonial sites in the Jaraguá Complex to historical locations like the Pátio do Colégio, marked by colonial Jesuit influence. The city's rapid urban development presents challenges, with occasional discoveries made without technical supervision by archaeologists, such as in Praça da Sé and Liberdade.

Left: Excavation at the Jaraguá I Site; Right: Archaeological finds from Rua dos Aflitos to Galvão Bueno in the Liberdade neighborhood, within the Inhapuambuçu region; Below: Patio Victor Malzoni (Google headquartes in Brazil) on Avenida Faria Lima: central area showing the reflection of the Casa Bandeirista

Founded in 1554, the city features stratigraphy reflecting different periods, from colonization to the Coffee Era and the Republic. The development of academic institutions and Archaeology Societies has strengthened archaeological research in São Paulo, making it one of the most excavated cities in Brazil.

Despite advancements, the need to balance urban development with the preservation of historical heritage is evident. The discovery of more than 180 excavatable and cataloged sites highlights the potential for uncovering more remains, but special care is required to conserve this rich cultural legacy amidst the city's constant growth.

The Casa Bandeirista and the Google Building

To carry out the construction of the Pátio Victor Malzoni building, now home to Google's headquarters in São Paulo, the developer Tishman Speyer committed deeply to the historical aspects of the city. Located at the corner of Avenida Faria Lima and Rua Horácio Lafer, the chosen site was in front of the newly inaugurated Pátio Victor Malzoni building, belonging to the Victor Malzoni Group. This building was constructed with great care to preserve the Casa Bandeirista, one of the rare 18th-century buildings preserved in São Paulo, listed by heritage authorities and soon to be open for visitation.

The proximity of this historic site imposed on Tishman Speyer the responsibility to conduct extensive historical research on the area before beginning construction. This process, lasting months, included surveys led by A Lasca Arqueologia to check for the presence of objects and significant remains for the city's memory.

In the 10,000 square meters designated for the construction site, three areas of archaeological interest were identified. The excavation revealed the foundations of an old house, fragments of pottery, and a waste disposal area, highlighting the richness of past occupations in the region. However, the most notable discovery was a ruby ring, adding a touch of fascination and mystery to the archaeological narrative of this project.

These findings not only enriched the understanding of the area's history but also underscored the importance of balancing urban development with heritage preservation. Tishman Speyer's commitment to considering historical aspects during the construction process demonstrates a significant step in integrating the city's growth with respect for its cultural heritage.

Excavations in Inhapuambuçu

In the area stretching from Rua dos Aflitos to Rua Galvão Bueno, archaeological remains of a little-known history have surfaced. This 400 square meter plot once housed the first necropolis in São Paulo, the Cemetery of the Afflicted, in operation from 1775 and decommissioned in 1858 when the Consolação Cemetery was built.

Next to it stands the Chapel of Nossa Senhora dos Aflitos, still active today and the only reminder of the area's use as a cemetery. Since the publication of Law No. 3,924 in 1961, all archaeological objects are the property of the Union.

The Original Pátio do Colégio No Longer Exists.

Unfortunately, it is only recently that we have taken the initiative to accurately and diligently record historical events, investing in the work of archaeologists and historians to retell our history.

A little-known fact is that the Pátio do Colégio, the most significant historical site in São Paulo, founded by the Jesuits in 1554, was demolished in 1954 during the celebrations of São Paulo's Fourth Centenary. 

Above: Photo of the construction in the 1970s - View of the Pátio do Colégio in 1887. The fountain in the foreground was demolished in 1932 by Militão Augusto de Azevedo, with the only remaining original structures beside it.

The Jesuits, founders of the city of São Paulo, did not always have good relations with the Portuguese Crown. They faced two expulsions from São Paulo: the first in 1640, due to their defense of indigenous freedom, and the second in 1760, accused of conspiring against the King of Portugal. Following these events, the college was handed over to the Portuguese Crown, which housed the government of São Paulo there until 1912.

The Church of Bom Jesus, part of the Pátio do Colégio complex, remained unaffected by the renovations but was closed in 1891 due to poor structural conditions. It was authorized for demolition in 1896 after the roof collapsed during a storm.

In 1954, during the celebrations of São Paulo's Fourth Centenary, the entire building was demolished, and the land was returned to the Jesuits. They then began a reconstruction project for the college building, completed in 1976, and the Church of Bom Jesus.

The reconstruction of the Pátio do Colégio generated controversy, with supporters emphasizing its historical and religious significance. However, Condephaat opposed it, arguing that replicas would compromise the original historical value. In 1975, the agency requested the site be listed as an archaeological site due to the presence of original elements such as a taipa de pilão wall and the stone foundation of the old church, both listed by Conpresp in 2015.

In 1977, Condephaat issued a second opinion, emphasizing that no reconstruction or replica should overshadow the original structure, diminishing its historical value. Despite this, the reconstruction project was carried out, resulting in the current "false historical" presence at the Pátio do Colégio.

During the reconstruction, a taipa de pilão wall from 1585 was discovered and is now on display at the Pátio do Colégio complex, which houses the Anchieta Museum, the Manoel da Nóbrega Auditorium, the Blessed José de Anchieta Church, which holds the femur of the religious figure, a library, the Tibiriçá Crypt, the Café do Pátio, among others.

The Archaeology of Cauim in São Paulo

The rediscovery of the Cauim Tupi from Inhapuambuçu, a beverage made from fermented manioc, is treated as a little-explored mystery in archaeological research of ceramics and production records in Inhapuambuçu, both before and during the arrival of the Portuguese. Cauim of the Tupi in São Paulo involves a highly fragmented and forgotten narrative in its oral tradition, disappearing as quickly as its speakers.

Women preparing Cauim - Hans Staden, 1557

If Ancient Tupi is an extinct language, slowly being revived in villages through the excellent work of Professor Eduardo Navarro, the Cauim of Inhapuambuçu, also long gone, resurfaces in the research of Luiz Pagano.

Comparison between Tupiniquim, Portuguese, and Paulista ceramics. References: Tupiniquim ceramics (photos by Francisco Silva Noelli): nha’ẽpepó (courtesy of the Historical and Archaeological Museum of Peruíbe), cambuchí, nha’ẽ (courtesy of the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro); Medieval/Post-medieval Portuguese common ceramics: pot, jug, and plate (Gomes 2012); frying pan (Bugalhão & Coelho 2017); Paulista ceramics (photos by Francisco Silva Noelli): pot (Marianne Sallum collection); jar, tobacco heating pan (courtesy of Museu Casa do Barão, São Vicente); plate (reworked from Scheuer, 1976)

Cauim e Rituais Funerários

Cauim and Funerary Rituals
The Tupi found their strongest connection to the spiritual world through cauim. For many villages before the arrival of the colonizers, funerary practices were conducted in ceramic artifacts previously used for cauim.

Anthropologist Silvia Carvalho suggests that burying someone in ceramic vessels made to hold cauim symbolizes transforming a warrior who did not die in battle into anthropophagic food, the fate he would have met had he been defeated on the battlefield (learn more below about Tupi war codes).

Vicente César, in studying the Tupi groups, challenges the idea that urn burials are exclusive to these groups, identifying records of primary burial in urns for various groups, including Caiuá, Carijó, and Guarani, associated with the previous use of these urns for cauim.

Additionally, César mentions different morphological forms of urns, such as basins, united cones, pots, and semi-ovals, indicating a diversity of practices. In southern Brazil and nearby regions, urns, generally larger than those in the north, are associated with the Guarani and Tupinambá. Carvalho is referenced, suggesting an additional proposal on the act of burial in ceramic vessels, possibly providing more information about this practice.

"Similar to Carvalho, Mano argues that urn burial has ritual implications related to the magical-religious-warrior universe of the Tupi-Guarani. The chief or warrior who did not end his days sacrificed by enemies was interred in a large cauim or chicha vessel so that he himself would be devoured by the cannibal gods in the sky, thus becoming immortal.

The urns/pots would serve as a means of transition for consumption by the gods, allowing the deceased to become immortal. Thus, urn burial relates to conceptions of cannibal gods and the symbolic universe of anthropophagy (Mano, 2009)."

The lack of statistical data on the prevalence of secondary burials and the poor preservation of human remains complicates analysis. Furthermore, incomplete descriptions in sources may conceal other aspects of the funeral or activities associated with burial.

Ten classes of vessels were identified by Brochado, Monticelli, and Newman:

Vessels identified by Brochado, Monticelli, and Newman

In the 1960s, Herta Löell Scheuer, in defining "current popular ceramics of São Paulo," revealed indigenous influence in ceramic production, highlighting the continuity of traditional forms.

Generally, Guarani tradition ceramics are corrugated, while Tupi tradition ceramics are painted. Archaeological research at sites such as the Ruins of Abarebebê and museums in São Paulo, Paraná, Rio de Janeiro, and Mato Grosso do Sul, combined with Scheuer's reports, have built a solid data foundation on the subject.

Sallum et al. (2018) conducted research in Peruíbe, highlighting the production of Tupi ceramics since the late 17th century, emphasizing the persistence of practices for over 300 years on the coast south of São Vicente.

Carneiro da Cunha & Viveiros de Castro (1985) raised the possibility of pre-colonial relationships between the Tupi and non-Tupi peoples, discussing the idea of revenge as a "memory technique" that could influence the non-modification of pre-colonial ceramics.

While much research on fermented beverage consumption focuses on Amazonian regions, recent archaeological studies, particularly in the Brazilian context, highlight the central role of pots in understanding social transformations over time related to the consumption of these beverages.

Left: Guarani pots for preparing and consuming fermented drinks. Below: Paulista ceramics from Iguape, Cananeia, Sorocaba, and Porto Feliz: courtesy of Museu Casa do Barão, São Vicente: a) pitcher; c) pot; d) nhaninha; e) jar; f) tobacco heating frying pan; courtesy of Museu Ferroviário de Sorocaba: b) communal pot; courtesy of Museu Histórico e Pedagógico das Monções: h) couscous steamer

This research does not seek a single explanation for changes in Amazonian archaeology but highlights the transformative possibilities provided by fermented beverage consumption. It explores cognitive, health, and sociability aspects, differentiating from other mind-altering substances. The analysis covers various fermentation sources, including grains, tubers, fruits, and honey, highlighting the likely presence of these fermented beverages in humanity's "cognitive revolution" over the past thirty thousand years.

Funerary Gestures

Below, we describe other funeral gestures of Tupi and Guarani groups, with information compiled from various sources, including Métraux (1947, 1979, 2012 [1928]) and Noelli (1993).

Burial of a Tupinambá Family Father - Thevet 1878

Body Preparation Gestures:

The Tupi anoint the body of the deceased with honey and decorate it with colorful bird feathers. They use a feather cap on the head and other usual ornaments. They bind the limbs with cotton fibers, sometimes covering the entire body. They place the body in a squatting position in the grave, or wrap it in their hammocks.

Grave Excavation Gestures:

Among the Tupinambá, the grave is dug by the closest male relative, who also carries the body. The grave is described as round and deep, similar to a large wine barrel.

Primary Burial Gestures Outside the Urn:

Métraux (1947) describes "burial in a funerary chamber" among the Tupi, where they dig a grave in the deceased's house, avoiding contact of the body with the ground. They adorn the body in the hammock with a bow, arrows, sword, and maraca. A fire is lit near the hammock to warm the deceased. Food and water are placed near the body. The whole setup is covered with wood, avoiding contact with the body.

It is important to mention that there is a lack of clear information about secondary burial among the Tupi, indicating the complexity in interpreting these practices, which often varied from village to village.

Burial according to Staden 1557

Villages That Became Sesmarias, Which Became Neighborhoods

João Ramalho, One of the First Sesmeiros

After accompanying Martim Afonso de Souza to the plateau of Piratininga in 1534, João Ramalho received his sesmaria, founding the settlement of Santo André da Borda do Campo (now São Bernardo do Campo), where there was an indigenous Tupi village, pejoratively called Tupiniquim. The settlement was elevated to a village on April 8, 1553, by the general governor Tomé de Sousa, and João Ramalho was appointed mayor and field marshal. Later, on July 1, 1553, he was appointed captain.

João Ramalho was also a councilman in 1553 and 1558. He dedicated personal resources to fortify the village, building trenches and four bastions. However, despite his efforts, Santo André was in decline, with less than 30 white residents. Unfortunately, there are no archaeological records of the village, as the constructions were made of adobe and wattle and daub, fully incorporating into nature within a few years.

Ramalho was also appointed "Capitão da Gente" (lit. Captain of the People) in 1562, to fight the Carijó Indians in the Paraíba Valley, and saved the village of São Paulo from an indigenous attack on July 9, 1562, along with Tibiriçá.

João Ramalho died around 1580 in São Paulo, leaving many descendants, being considered the main ancestor of São Paulo families (including the author of this text) and has a street named after him in the Perdizes neighborhood, as well as being honored in 14 cities of Greater São Paulo.

When trying to locate Ramalho's village, Judge Dr. Piza, using the certificate issued by the ordinary judge of São Paulo on June 12, 1674, at the request of Father Luiz Craveiro, with the title of concession, demarcation act, and possession of the sesmaria "Tapuarorira" (now the Pinheiros and Bussocaba neighborhood), donated on October 10, 1532, to Pero de Gois by Martim Afonso de Sousa. From 1584, this sesmaria belonged to Fernão Dias, one of those responsible for the temporary expulsion of the Jesuits from the site, as a bandeirante he disagreed with the Jesuit stance against the enslavement of Indians.

Father Craveiro, based on the boundaries and characteristics described in the sesmaria deed, attempted to locate the mentioned area on the plateau. He deduced that Santo André, being near the field, probably Gipavé's, should be close to the road to Piratininga, in the section from the Rio Grande to Pequeno or Zanzalar.

Brás Cubas

In 1532, Martim Afonso de Souza granted Brás Cubas a sesmaria that went from the base of Monte Serrat, in Santos, up the mountain and bordered the Borda do Campo. Without more detailed geographical data, it is difficult to determine where the Rio Grande and Rio Pequeno are. But it seems that Cubas was not interested in these lands, as they were far from the village of São Vicente, to which, to reach, he would have to pay a passage fee to other settlers.

In 1536, he returned to Portugal to request possession of Ilha Pequena (now Ilha Barnabé). This island, called Jeribatiba by the natives, was a sesmaria granted to Henrique Montes, who died in 1533.

The following year, Brás Cubas's father, João Pires Cubas, came to São Vicente and settled on Ilha Pequena, while his son remained in Portugal. On the new lands, he planted sugarcane and rice. However, constant attacks by the natives and other setbacks prevented the Cubas' enterprise from prospering.

Jesuit Sesmarias

With the captaincy of São Vicente generating little revenue, the local sesmeiros seemed to do a poor job, and to make matters worse, the Jesuits also requested a sesmaria to generate resources for the college. Martim Afonso de Souza granted seven to eight leagues for the Piratininga College, a large property bounded by the Pinheiros road (now Consolação Street), Emboa (now Doutor Arnaldo Avenue), and the Água Branca stream. It was subdivided into three areas: Upper, Middle, and Lower Pacaembu.

The name "Pacaembu" comes from Tupi, meaning "stream of pacas," through the combination of paka (paca) and 'yemby (stream).

Other Sesmarias

For example, Paulo Prado suggested that the old Santo André da Borda do Campo village could be at the fork of roads leading towards Ipiranga and Tibiriçá's village, and another towards Ibirapuera (now Santo Amaro) and continuing southwest.

These villages, as mentioned by Pedro Taques and other historians, gave rise to the sesmarias of figures like Pedro da Silva, Bartolomeu Cardoso, and Amador de Medeiros.

A copy of the sesmaria letter granted to Amador de Medeiros, transcribed in the book Tombo do Mosteiro de São Bento, pages 38 and 39, reads: "...as everything indicates from a cross on the road from Santo André to São Paulo that broke a lightning stone, said to have been placed there by João Ramalho... "' He is therefore the founder of the first civilized nucleus.

On the plateau, he appears now, as a good Catholic, placing the symbol of Christ by the road linking Piratininga to the Ramalhete settlement.

The villages of Ipiranga, Ibirapuera, Jeribatiba, and Barueri served as reference points for the granting of other sesmarias in the region. These indigenous villages were strategically located at key points, such as road forks and paths connecting different areas.

Villages (Aldeias)

Meaning: "river of the yellow-throated caiman."
Home of Piquerobi, brother of Tibiriçá.
Abandoned after conflicts caused by the arrival of Jesuits in Piratininga.

Archaeological discoveries suggest a possible Tupi village with an igaçaba containing a complete skeleton.
Fragments of Tupi pottery found near the main church indicate pre-contact occupation.
Potentially a prehistoric defensive village on top of a hill, offering a good view of the Tietê River valley.

Meaning: "place where there are many cutting stones."
Transfer of the indigenous people from São Miguel de Ururay around 1620, possibly due to pressure from Father João Álvares.
Mentioned in a route by Antonil to reach the mines in 1710.

Map of Some Tupi Villages in São Paulo - Extrapolations of Their Territorial Limits 

In 1580, the indigenous people requested a sesmaria in this area, indicating possible occupation.
The request was made to captain-major Jeronymo Leitão, in the lands of the Jesuits in Pinheiros.

These villages along the Tietê represent a significant part of the Tupi presence in the region, marked by displacements, disputes, and adaptations over time.

Meaning: Place where there is a lot of jerivá (palm tree).
Location: Middle Jurubatuba-açu River (now Rio Grande), near the Billings Reservoir.
Strategic for descending to the coast; residents temporarily abandoned it to "go to the sea to make salt."
Home of Cay Obi, a leader who welcomed the Jesuits; his son, Cayobi, contributed to the founding of the São Paulo mission.

Possible location on the banks of the Guarapiranga River (red heron river), a tributary of the Pinheiros River.
Scarce references; indigenous people transferred to Ururay.

Ibirapuera I:
Meaning: "village surrounded by a palisade."
Location: Right bank of the Pinheiros River.
Possible fortified village; construction of palisades was common in regions vulnerable to enemy attacks.

Ibirapuera II:
Referenced in early 17th-century documentation.
Location: Left bank of the Jerubatiba River.
Possible connection with the construction of an iron mill dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption.
Displacement of the name, as Ibirapuera Park is commemorative and not authentic.

The presence of these villages along the Jurubatuba reveals an adaptive indigenous strategy, marked by geographical and defensive choices in relation to natural resources and potential conflicts.

Spiritual Aspects

Besides the already discussed Anhangá, the pre-colonization Tupi pantheon, as addressed by authors like Métraux, Vainfas, and Pompa, highlights civilizing heroes and entities that shape the mestizo culture. The myths, mainly collected by Thevet, reveal creators and heroes such as Monã, associated with the creation of the earth, animals, and humans.


The uniqueness of entities and whether Maíra is a single entity with various names is debated. According to Métraux, the Tupi creators' vision is more transformative than creative, with civilizing heroes responsible for completing the work. Monã, associated with creation, is described by Thevet with Christian influence, while Métraux highlights the possibility of misinterpretation.

The immortality attributed to Monã and civilizing heroes is not unfamiliar to the Tupi, as evidenced by the Kaapor in Maranhão. This religious vision helps to understand the cultural identity of mestizo peoples, perpetuated by the names given by conquerors.

The Various Manifestations of Maíra

The Tupi spiritual universe, as addressed by authors like Métraux, Vainfas, and Pompa, highlights civilizing heroes and entities that shape the mestizo culture. The myths, mainly collected by Thevet, reveal creators and heroes such as Monã, associated with the creation of the earth, animals, and humans. The difficulty in recovering these accounts raises questions about the uniqueness of entities and whether Maíra is a single entity with various names. According to Métraux, the Tupi creators' vision is more transformative than creative, with civilizing heroes responsible for completing the work. Monã, associated with creation, is described by Thevet with Christian influence, while Métraux highlights the possibility of misinterpretation. The immortality attributed to Monã and civilizing heroes is not unfamiliar to the Tupi, as evidenced by the Kaapor in Maranhão.

Portuguese Occupation

Martim Afonso needed to return to Portugal and thus decided to donate sesmarias to Pero de Góes and Rui Pinto as a support strategy for the village he had formed on the plateau.

Sesmarias were land grants made by the king of Portugal during the colonial period in Brazil, aimed at encouraging the occupation and cultivation of these lands. Beneficiaries received the lands on the condition of making them productive, promoting agricultural development and colonization. Sesmarias contributed to the division of Brazilian territory among private individuals but also generated conflicts and inequalities concerning indigenous peoples and local communities. This practice significantly influenced Brazil's land structure.

Many sesmarias were based on former Tupi occupations.

In the Portuguese 16th-century context, sesmarias were lands not being cultivated and could be granted to settlers for exploitation. The sesmaria practice implemented by Dom Fernando in Portugal aimed at a kind of agrarian reform, confiscating idle lands.

In Brazil, the sesmarias donated to Pero de Góes and Rui Pinto were extensive and stretched from the coast to inland areas, indicating the intention to occupy and exploit these lands.

In 1553, the Jesuits began to use the village of Maniçoba, in the Itu region, marking the location for the first settlement at the "mouth of the sertão," the initial point for expansion towards the interior.

If the beneficiary did not use the lands within two years, the donatário could redistribute them. Detailed descriptions of these sesmarias reveal the vastness and geographical diversity of these concessions.

Map of Some Sesmarias in São Paulo

Pero de Góes, however, did not dedicate himself to the occupation of his lands, as in 1535 he received the captaincy of São Tomé or Paraíba do Sul. Martim Afonso also sought to establish a population center on the plateau, near the village of Chief Tibiriçá. However, information about this primitive nucleus is scarce, and its exact location has been the subject of debate and controversy among historians.

Chapter 2 - The Inhapuambuçu of João Ramalho and Tibiriçá

João Ramalho played a significant role in the colonization and settlement of the São Paulo plateau during the colonial period. He was one of the inhabitants of the primitive nucleus established by Martim Afonso de Sousa near the village of Chief Tibiriçá. Martim Afonso's intention was to create a settlement in the region, and João Ramalho, who had become friends with the chief, was involved in this enterprise.

According to records, João Ramalho was mentioned as one of the residents of this initial nucleus. However, there are disagreements among historians about his residence on the plateau, as during the donation of the sesmaria to Pero de Góes in Piratininga, the scribe Pedro Capico indicated that João Ramalho and Antônio Rodrigues, interpreters of the region, had been living there for fifteen to twenty years. This suggests that, at the time of the sesmaria donation, João Ramalho and Antônio Rodrigues were established on the coast, not on the plateau.

As for the exact location of the nucleus founded by Martim Afonso and the possible residence of João Ramalho, there are debates and controversies. Some suggest that he may have settled in two locations, one near the village of Tibiriçá and another later, where the São Bernardo farm was located, near Borda do Campo (now Santo André).

João Ramalho married one of the daughters of Chief Tibiriçá, indicating a possible settlement near this village. He was an important figure in the interaction between Portuguese settlers and indigenous peoples, contributing to the formation of a mixed-race society in the region.

In the minutes of September 9, 1542, of the São Paulo Council, extracted from the book of Madre de Deus, when the Jesuit priest Leonardo Nunes passed through the Piratininga Plateau in 1550, he said that there were Christians mixed among the Indians. The missionary's concern was to prevent the Portuguese from continuing in the "pagan" life, far from the Christian sacraments, and therefore, a new location was chosen, at the edge of the field, near the road that led to the coast, closer to São Vicente.

Leonardo Nunes states that he found the "white men" in Piratininga, in the village of Tibiriçá, and insisted that "they return to the Christians," that is, that they return to São Vicente or join others willing to found a village. He reports: "And because they were scattered and the field was very large, for the good of all, they asked me to gather them and make a village and name it Santa Maria de Jesu. So I did, I gathered them and named it as they wanted and built them a small church."

João Ramalho and Tibiriçá conversing at the foot of the bald hill of Inhapuambuçu.

It is worth remembering that João Ramalho and the plateau residents were summoned to return to São Vicente upon the issuance of the 1542 decree. They were seen as an "autonomous force" and not as inhabitants of a village. Therefore, they had to return, "under penalty of a thousand réis the first time they are summoned from the day they are notified and one month (...) and as for the force of the field [of Piratininga], it will be from the day of notification to two months." Despite the more extended deadline, they never complied with this order, remaining in the field.

In light of this new appeal from Father Nunes, they agreed to build a chapel under the invocation of Saint Andrew. It was this small church that Tomé de Sousa found in early 1553 when he passed by.

The governor's arrival was an important milestone for the Portuguese of São Vicente, as on this occasion, he transformed Santo André da Borda do Campo into a village, ordering the construction of a bastion and establishing João Ramalho as captain-major, as he wrote to the king:

"I ordered another village at the beginning of the field of this village of São Vicente of residents who were scattered around it and made them enclose and gather to make use of all the settlements of this field and it is called the village of Santo André because where I established it, there was a hermitage of this apostle and I made João Ramalho, natural of the region of Coimbra, its captain, whom Martim Afonso found in this land when he came here."

The War Between Catholicism and Tupi Religion

One of the episodes of the greatest rupture with indigenous family traditions to embrace the Catholic faith imposed by the Jesuits was the so-called Siege of Piratininga. The union between the Portuguese and the Tupi had long been breeding distrust among the natives, especially the coastal Tupinambás, who allied with the French. The practice of slavery by the settlers intensified hostilities.

The painting "The Defense of Piratininga" by artist Lopes de Leão is the closest representation of what the Siege of Piratininga in 1562 was like — Photo: Lopes de Leão Collection.

In 1562, João Ramalho was appointed military chief of São Paulo by the Jesuits, who, upon being informed about the escalating tensions and the imminent attack led by his own nephew, Jaguaranho, son of Piquerobi.

Jaguaranho, leading rebel tribes, attacked on July 9, 1562, surrounding the village where the Jesuit college was located while João Ramalho led the resistance. Jaguaranho, having overcome the initial defenses, decided to break down the church doors to kidnap the Indian and mixed-race women praying there, as well as attack the priests, who were now vulnerable. He was shot in the stomach and died on the spot, a fact that turned the tide against the invaders who continued the battle until July 10, with the Portuguese and allies emerging victorious.

During the battle, Tibiriçá, at the height of his personal conflict, killed his own brother Piquerobi with a sword blow. Seeing the tragic scene, an indigenous man from his own village, fighting alongside the attackers of the siege, frightened by the chief's act, desperately begged for forgiveness, saying he accepted slavery. Tibiriçá, without hesitation, killed him and other traitors, ending the revolt with ferocity.

This tumultuous episode culminated in the death of father and son during the construction of the church. The insurgent leader Jaguaranho, allied with his father Piquerobi, confronted by Tibiriçá, died on the same day, July 9, 1562.

The Siege of Piratininga played a crucial role in revealing religious tensions and cultural complexities between the Tupi Indians and the influence of the Jesuits. Tibiriçá, initially catechized and renamed Martim Afonso, found himself in a dilemma during the siege, questioning the Catholic religion imposed by the missionaries. The striking speech of a karaíba during a storm, attributing divine intervention to the "Son of God," evidences the resistance and search for religious autonomy by indigenous leaders.

The conversion of Tibiriçá, considered the major chief, to Christianity, caused discontent among the shamans, who possibly intensified their harassments. This change reflects not only a religious dispute but also ambiguities within Tibiriçá, divided between karaíba and abaré beliefs. The war against the Papaná, where Tibiriçá interrupts the combat to sacrifice prisoners, reveals the complexities of this cultural and religious transition.

Meanwhile, in another scenario, the war between the Tupi and resistance to the Tupinambás, supported by the French, established an alliance between the Portuguese and the Tupi, led by João Ramalho. The mobilization to face the enemies revealed the difficulties in uniting forces, with the lack of expected support and the scarcity of non-indigenous settlers in the Inhapuambuçu region. The need to encourage the arrival of new settlers, including "degradados," highlighted the importance of collaboration and integration between different groups to face common challenges.

These historical events mark the first steps in the formation of Brazilian culture, representing the interaction and fusion of such diverse cultures.

A crucial episode in the war of gods and the complex dynamics between Tupi beliefs and the influence of the missionaries. In the war against the Papaná, led by Tibiriçá, the interference of the priests, representatives of Christian catechesis, prevented the sacrifice of prisoners, generating internal conflicts in the indigenous community. This clash reflects not only the dispute for religious control but also the conflict between Tupi traditions and the imposition of the Christian faith.

Tibiriçá's refusal to accept the priests' decision, even facing criticism from Christian relatives and leaders like Cayobi, highlights the resistance of the indigenous people to conversion. By renouncing the Christian faith, Tibiriçá reverted to his former name, Tibiriçá, signaling a victory for the karaíba and a return to indigenous traditions.

The confrontation between Tupi beliefs and Christian catechesis, evidenced by the episode, highlights the importance of war in Tupi culture, as emphasized by Gandavo. This resistance to conversion and the maintenance of traditional practices indicate the persistence of indigenous beliefs in the face of missionary efforts, as mentioned by Anchieta:

With all the energy, they removed the ropes that tied the opposite of who carried it and hid them in the house [of the mission]; the wooden sword [borduna], proper for this purpose, although they could not remove it, they prevented it from reaching the hands of the principal [Tibiriçá] to whom it was intended. He felt this greatly and directed great affronts to the Brothers, who were evil and liars and should leave, for they did not defend him from the opposites - Letter to Father Diego Laines, 05.31.1560 (CAP, 126-127).

Who were the Tupinambás, enemy cousins of the Tupis?

Thanks to the books by Lerry Thevet and Hans Staden, we know what Tupi society (Tupinambás, Tupiniquins, etc.) was like. These accounts begin with the adventure of Hans Staden in 1553, who, while hunting alone in Bertioga, was captured by indigenous people who treated him with great violence. Staden quickly realized that the intention of the indigenous people was to devour him at a sophisticated banquet, served with the finest Cauim.

After experiencing several terrifying moments, Staden survived the encounter with the cannibals and returned to Europe, where he wrote about these almost unbelievable misadventures in 1556, making Brazil and its people one of the most incredible and frightening places in the world at the time.

Here we see the 'Kaûĩ apó sará' (women who prepare Cauim); the process begins by boiling cassava in a pot called yapepó (on the right), then the young virgins chew it and spit it into an ugaçaba (in the center below), and finally the wort, now acted upon by salivary enzymes, is poured to ferment in a special pot called cambuchí (in the center front; notice that the pot resembles a cambucí fruit). On the left, we see the 'Kunhã Maku' (women who serve cauim).

The veracity of Staden's accounts is authenticated the following year in a book by the Frenchman André Thevet, a Catholic, and later by the Calvinist Jean de Léry. Thevet's experience came from being part of the group called France Antarctique in Brazil, which, after spending ten weeks in Guanabara Bay, returned to France due to illness. The following year, he published 'The Singularities of France Antarctique (1557),' a significant source as one of the first works to mention Brazil during its discovery, though written with a fantastical emphasis, reflecting a medieval imagination.

Jean de Léry, who came to Brazil in 1558 with a group of fourteen Calvinist pastors and five maidens to inhabit France Antarctique, provided a much more accurate account. During his stay, ideological conflicts between Catholics and Protestants made him critically assess Thevet's work. Nineteen years after his return, he published his diary titled 'Voyage to the Land of Brazil (1577),' a much more elaborate work that aimed to refute errors and lies in Thevet's book.

These three significant illustrated works, which resurfaced in the 1920s, inspired modernists of 1922 like Tarsila, Oswald, and Mario de Andrade. Works like Freud's 'Totem and Taboo,' Francis Picabia's 'Cannibale Manifesto' (1920), and Alfred Métraux's 'L’Anthropophagie rituelle des Tupinambás' helped us understand the culture, language, and habits of the Tupi people with scientific rigor and artistic excellence.

Banquets requiring refined etiquette, similar to European customs and war ethics, with rituals resembling those of Japanese Samurais.

Brazil at that time was occupied by sister and belligerent tribes. War was a constant activity. Potiguares were enemies of Tabajaras, who were enemies of Caetés, rivals of Tupinambás, who constantly fought against Tupiniquins. These wars were governed by codes closely observed and followed by all these 'cousins,' who spoke variations of the same language, Old Tupi.

War was sacred, with its culminating moment being the ritualistic and ultimate consecration of victory: Anthropophagy. The ARAPURUS (people eaters) had highly choreographed rituals, and the dynamics of their cannibalistic rituals were very elaborate. While there are accounts of other cannibalistic acts worldwide, it was on the Brazilian coast that this practice was most refined.

2.1 – War

While the Portuguese were concerned with exploiting the resources of the new colony, the indigenous peoples were entirely dedicated to intertribal war acts. In 1565, the Portuguese decided to take a stronger stance, and a battle ensued between the Portuguese allied with the Tupiniquins and the French allied with the Tupinambás. A few years later, most of the French were expelled from the Guanabara region, where Villegagnon, a Catholic knight of Malta, led the resistance with the Tupinambás. This defeat was only possible with the help of the Tamoios, under the leadership of Aimberê, thus giving rise to Rio de Janeiro.

Amidst all this war, warriors from enemy tribes were captured, and then the Abá-Porus celebrated.

2.2 - The Prisoner of War

The following sequence of facts may be disturbing for the reader, discretion is advised.

The moment an enemy was captured, the warrior responsible for the capture became his owner and had direct responsibility over his captive until the end of the process, which culminated in his cannibalization. The prisoners were tied by their feet and hands, making it impossible for them to walk; they had to hop, which ridiculed the captured person.

Hopping, the prisoners were taken to the winners' village. As they passed through the main entrance, they were met with hostility and further humiliation, with residents throwing food scraps and pebbles, accompanied by the following dialogue:

Artifacts of the Tupinambá: the muçurana, the rope the prisoner carried around the village tied around the waist—the number of knots represented the number of moons until the date of his sacrifice; the enduape, an ornament with giant feathers, probably from ostriches, worn on the back; and the ibirapema, a type of mace used to deliver the ritual blow to the captive's neck.

The captor ordered the prisoner: - "Enhe'eng tembi'u" (Speak, food); The prisoner then responded: "Aîur-ne pe rembi'urama" (I am coming, your food);

The tribe's people, throwing pebbles and food scraps at the prisoner, added: "Opererek îandé rembi'u oîkóbo" (Here comes our food).

In the following days, the prisoner received treatment equivalent to a distant cousin, staying in the captor's hut, being well-fed, and the mockery ceased 'in part.' The host offered food, a hammock, and even his daughter or wife for the prisoner to satisfy himself sexually. Initially, he also received a long knotted rope to be worn around his body and neck, called a MUÇURANA. The number of knots on the Muçurana represented the number of lunar cycles until his execution. The prisoner never tried to escape, as this would be the greatest shame for him and his tribe. In the bizarre event of the prisoner's escape, his own tribe would not accept him back and would shamefully lead him to the captors' village to face his fate, already determined by the oldest known oral tradition code of conduct.

Like the samurais, the Tupis valued a dignified death. The most honorable grave for a warrior was the stomach of his enemy—having his entrails devoured by worms and insects was repugnant and despicable.

2.3- The Banquet

On the day before the banquet, everyone drank Cauim, a fermented cassava beverage produced exclusively by women through a process of chewing and spitting (salivary amylase transformed starch into sugar, which was then fermented by exogenous yeasts, creating a beverage with an alcohol content not exceeding 8.5%), and a grand feast began.

A feather cloak from the guará and parrot tribe belonged to the Tupinambá Indians. After the Europeans' arrival in 1500, many of these treasures were looted. The renowned Tupinambá Cloak, once mistaken for the cloak of an Aztec emperor, was taken by the Dutch governor of Pernambuco in the 17th century. Today, it belongs to the National Museum of Art in Denmark.

The next morning, the prisoner bathed and was then adorned with feathers, eggshells, and other decorations, with red annatto and black genipap paintings applied. A pantomime always took place during these rituals—allowing the prisoner to flee to the village entrance before being recaptured in a ritualistic enactment. He was brought back tied with the Muçurana around his waist, led by two warriors, one on each side of the rope, and brought before the executioner while the entire tribe shouted and agitated, heightening the festival's excitement to its peak.

The executioner, who had also bathed and undergone a herbal and ointment pajelança, after the long night of cauim drinking, dressed ritualistically with feathers, paintings, and a magnificent red GUARÁ CLOAK made from the skin of a maned wolf, adorned with parrot and toucan feathers. One of the most heated moments of the feast was when the executioner stood before the prisoner. Absolute silence prevailed, followed by another dialogue:

The executor asked: -“Ere-îuká-pe oré anama, oré iru abé?” (Did you kill our companions and our relatives?)
The prisoner then reported his heroic deeds: - “Pá, Xe r-atã, a-iuká, opabe a-‘u. Xe anama xe r-eõ-nama resé xe r-epyk-y-ne. Xe anama e’i-katu pe îukabo” (Yes, I am strong, I killed and ate them all, my family, for my death you will avenge me, my family will kill you).

After the dialogue, the executor wielded a heavy weapon, resembling a huge mace, with a weight at the tip, decorated with feathers, which had previously been prepared with prayers and libations, called 'IBIRAPEMA', and wielded it with dexterity in choreographed martial movements, He went behind the prisoner and hit the base of the skull with great force.

Death was quick, the skull was shattered at its base.

The older women quickly placed a plunger in their anus to prevent the fluids from coming out, collected their brains and other fragments scattered on the floor and tried to collect as much blood as possible. The body remained standing, supported by the Muçuranas, preventing its blood from being scattered on the floor, there was a very noble purpose for all this blood.

The blood was placed in cooked clay vessels and was drunk while still hot by everyone, the women rubbed it on their breasts and gave the breast to the babies, their body was placed with great respect inside a cauldron with boiling water, to facilitate the removal of the blood. skin, then the body was dismembered, cut along the back and taken to be smoked (moqueágem). After a few minutes the body was turned over, the belly was opened and the giblets were mixed with flour and the porridge was given to the children, only great warriors could eat a porridge prepared with the skin around the skull, and the sexual organs They were devoured by women. The tongue and brains were eaten by pre-teens aged 12 to 16.

Soon after the execution, the executioner was scratched by the tribal leader with a jaguar's teeth, so that the already healed scarification served as honor – The more scarified, the better warrior he was. This entire ritual was accompanied by flute music made with the bones of previously slaughtered prisoners.

At the end of 4 hours, the ritual ended and the inhabitants of the tribe retired to their rooms to sleep, after all, they stayed up all night for the big event.

Chapter 3 - How did I compile this little-known information?

Describing a possible scenario about the life of the Tupi indigenous people before the arrival of Portuguese colonizers in São Paulo is not an easy task, much of what happened was lost in time, mainly due to oral tradition, the entire cultural heritage of the province was passed down through generations. for generations and it was never written down.

However, much of what we know today comes to us through the writings of those responsible for the disappearance of the Tupi in São Paulo, the Jesuit Order. It is correct to say that the Jesuits, in comparison to other orders of the Catholic Church, were considered 'scientists in cassocks'. The founder of the order, Ignatius of Loyola (1491 ~ 1556), graduated from the prestigious Collège Sainte Barbie, even without being known for scientific achievements, established an order that valued education and knowledge, during Brazilian colonization, the Jesuits played a role significant in documenting the lives of indigenous peoples and in the elaboration of Tupi grammar, showing a scientific interest in understanding and recording local culture.

Other valuable reports come to us through the Minutes of the Chamber of São Paulo, official documentation, such as wills, inventories and letters of the sesmarias dates, as well as many errors, such as that of Frei Gaspar da Madre de Deus, Memórias para a history of the captaincy of São Vicente, which called the Tupi/Tupiniquim Guaianas

I tried not to be influenced by jingoistic views, such as that of the bandeirante heroes of Alcântara Machado, as well as political orientations of F. Fernandes and Darcy Ribeiro, as well as reporting baotos and fanciful tales, as they are part of our material culture - the idea was to make a scientifically neutral text.

The research basically focused on the arrival of the first colonizers, around 1532, going until 1593, the year of the last major Tupi offensive against the São Paulo plateau and earlier dates.

Although most of these texts are marked by the missionary vision of the time and by theological disputes, especially those from Rio de Janeiro, they all left descriptions of great ethnographic value. Jean de Léry (1534-1611), who spent around three years in Rio de Janeiro, between 1557 and 1560, lived mainly with the Tupinambá of Rio de Janeiro, but also had a small contact with the Guaianá.

According to Lévi-Strauss, Léry became a paradigm, anticipating Malinowski by several centuries. He even asserts that not only did Léry "see the natives as they had never been seen before," but he also structured his book in a manner that would later become characteristic of classical monographs.

Regarding the Jesuit letters, there is a critical study by Pécora (1999) and Cristina Pompa (2003), which distinguish between the official letters (annual and quadrimestral) and the circulating letters, known as hijuelas. While Pompa considers the former to be a kind of "dissemination and 'propaganda' of the results of catechesis to the external world (encouraging vocations)," especially those written for the superiors general, like Ignatius of Loyola and Diego Laynes, I believe that the reality of the facts appears between the lines, even when elaborated within a classical model adopted by the Society of Jesus.

As observed by Puntoni, "the chroniclers and authors of the annual letters (and the Jesuits in general), for example, did not seek objective descriptions, but rather the translation of the immense alterity observed in familiar terms." Pompa affirms this when she says that the Jesuit letters are far from being a spontaneous effect of both the objective reality of the indigenous peoples of Brazil and the subjective reaction to the impact of this reality on a certain European Catholic mentality.

Although André Thevet's work (1504-1592) lacks the experiential dimension of the accounts of Staden and Léry, it brings important ethnographic information, being the chronicler who best recovered Tupinambá mythology. An important and little-known text in Brazil is the manuscript found in the Library of Paris, entitled "Histoire d'André Thevet Angoumoisin, cosmographe du Roy, de deux voyages par lui faits aux Indes australes et occidentales." This writing and the interesting information from La Cosmographie Universelle reveal that the author visited Brazil twice, for a period of almost three years (1553 and between 1555-1556), although his detractors claim he was there only for a few months. Through this text, which provides much information about the indigenous peoples of the Southeast, such as the Guaitaká, Guaianá, and Tupinambá, it is evident that he skillfully utilized his Norman interpreter to gather data that he included in his works, myths that are still used in anthropology today.


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