Caramurú (?–1557)

views updated

Caramurú (?–1557)

Caramurú (Diogo Álvares Correia; d. 5 April 1557). Born in Viana do Castelo, northern Portugal, Caramurú arrived in Bahia de Todos os Santos, Brazil, sometime between 1509 and 1511 under uncertain circumstances: he may have been a degredado (criminal), a shipwrecked sailor, or a deserter. Because of his skills with firearms, he was befriended by the local Tupinambá Indians, one of whom he married.

With his knowledge of Tupi and of the lands and waters around All Saints Bay, Caramurú, the "Man of Fire," as the indigenous people dubbed him, proved extremely useful to a succession of Europeans who came to Bahia, among them ship captains; a lord proprietor, Francisco Pereira Coutinho; Brazil's first two governors-general, Tomé De Sousa and Duarte da Costa; and the first members of the Society of Jesus. He became an adviser to the proprietor, though it remains unknown whether he ignited or defused an indigenous uprising against him. He also aided Tomé de Sousa in the selection of a site for the city of Salvador, Brazil's first capital. He left part of his estate to the Jesuits and became the first civilian to be interred in their church in Salvador, where he died.

See alsoSousa, Tomé de; Tupinambá.


Joel Serrão, ed., Dicionário de história de Portugal (1971), vol. 1, pp. 479-480, which includes an extensive bibliography.

Additional Bibliography

Doria, Francisco Antonio. Caramuru e Catarina. São Paulo: Editora Senac, 1999.

Gruzinski, Serge, et al. A passagem do século. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1999.

                                             Dauril Alden

About this article

Caramurú (?–1557)

Updated About content Print Article