Skip to main content



Indianismo, a term used in studies of Brazilian literature to refer to the use of Indian characters and themes. In this type of literature, writers have combined aesthetic and ideological goals. In chronological order, the most significant examples are found in the mid-1800s with José de Alencar's romantic representation of an idealized inhabitant of the New World (e.g., Iracema, 1865); in the 1920s with the modernist Mário de Andrade's humorous fictional view of Brazilian national identity (e.g., Macunaíma, 1928; Eng. trans. 1976); and in the late twentieth century with Darcy Ribeiro, whose novels incorporate an anthropological approach (e.g, Maíra, 1976). Subsequent critiques have emphasized the theme of indianismo within Brazilian music during the Romantic period as an important element in the process of national identity formation.

See alsoLiterature: Brazil .


An all-encompassing study is David Brookshaw, Paradise Betrayed: Brazilian Literature of the Indian (1988).

Additional Bibliography

Cuccagna, Claudio. "Utupismo modernista o índio no ser-não-ser da brasilidade (1920–1930)." Ph.D. diss. São Paulo, 2005.

Volpe, Maria Alice. "Indianismo and Landscape in the Brazilian Age of Progress Art Music from Carlos Gomes to Villa-Lobos, 1870s–1930s." Ph.D. diss. University of Texas at Austin, 2001.

                                             Pedro Maligo

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Indianismo." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . 14 Sep. 2019 <>.

"Indianismo." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . (September 14, 2019).

"Indianismo." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . Retrieved September 14, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.