Bibliographic data

Willems, Emilio: Brasil. Editorial Fournier; Instituto Panamericano de Geografía e Historia(ed.) Programa de historia de América. Mexico City: 10th ed.; repr. [10. Aufl.; Nachdr.], 1953, 108–109.

"Indigenous cultural elements adopted by the settlers of European origin"

[p. 108]


List of the cultural indigenous elements that were adopted by the settlers of European origin:

Slash-and-burn agriculture .

The collection of wild plants as food (Amazon).

Edible plants such as manioc, sweet potato, yam, tannia, mangarito, pine, papaya, jabuticaba, cashew, plantain, pepper, nuts, almonds [...]

Wild plants used for the production of objects such as mats, ropes, fishing line, nets, rooves, walls, baskets a , hats etc. Examples: Tucum, typha, justicia pectoralis, […].

Dugout canoes .

Tipití , or manioc presses.

Manioc flour , fermented or normal.

Beijú , or manioc flour cake.

Use of manioc juice for the preservation and preparation of certain dishes.

Fishing poisons , especially timbó.

The mutirão , a form of neighbourly support for certain kinds of labour.

Indigenous shamanism (Amazon) with the healing practices of massage, suction, and of the inhalation of smoke.

The notion of the panema , a magical power that invades the body and brings misfortune.

Mythical creatures like the Saci (an evil dwarf) […]

[p. 109]


There is no doubt that these elements joined neo-Brazilian culture in the colonial period. The large scale racial mixing of Portuguese and Indian people probably contributed to the cultural hybridisation.

Depending on the density of the Indian population, its cultural development, and the nature of the contacts that it established with the Portuguese, the distribution of the indigenous legacy within neo-Brazilian culture varies. It is omnipresent in the Amazon region, but scarce in the metropolitan areas of the south. There are, however, in all rural areas of Brazil, certain cultural aspects that are distinctly indigenous, most notably of course the cultivation and use of manioc.


[a] Translator’s note: Balaio and cesto both denote baskets.


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