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Antonio Pessoa Gomes, the "Caboquinho", chief of Potiguara Indians.
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Portuguese, Potiguara

The Potiguara (also Potyguara or Pitiguara) are an indigenous people of Brazil. The Potiguara live in the state of Paraíba, in the municipalities of Marcação, Baía da Traição and Rio Tinto. Their population is 12,000 individuals and they occupy 26 villages in 3 reservations (Terras Indígenas): Potiguara, Jacaré de São Domingos e Potiguara de Monte-Mor. Their name, Potiguara, means "shrimp-eaters", from poty, "shrimp", and uara, "eater", according to Brazilian writer José de Alencar.[1]


17th century portrait of António Filipe Camarão

According to José de Alencar, the Potiguara were allies of the Portuguese during Brazil's colonial period, especially during the Dutch invasion of Brazil.[2]António Filipe Camarão, a chief of the Potiguara in the seventeenth century was rewarded with a noble title and membership in the prestigious Order of Christ for his loyal service to the crown against the Dutch invaders in Brazil. Indigenous peoples were recruited as allies on both sides of the conflict in which ultimately the Dutch were defeated and expelled.[3]


  1. ^ Alencar, J. (1865) Iracema
  2. ^ Alencar, J. (1865) Iracema
  3. ^ Francis A. Dutra, "Dutch in Colonial Brazil" in Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture, vol. 2, p. 415. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons 1996.

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