A caboclo (Portuguese pronunciation: [kɐˈboklu]; from Brazilian Portuguese, perhaps ultimately from Tupi kaa'boc, "person having copper-coloured skin") or caboco is a person of mixed Indigenous Brazilian and European (mixed Indigenous Brazilian and black ancestry is "cafuzo") or a culturally assimilated person of full Amerindian descent. In Brazil, a caboclo (for the first use, much more common) is a specific type of mestiço.
The term caboclo (which in Amazon and in Candomblé is usually pronounced without the l, as caboco) is said to come from the Tupi word kari'boka, meaning "deriving from the white". Thus its primary meaning is mestizo, "a person of part Amerindian and part European descent." But it may also be used to refer to any Indigenous Brazilian." The term Indian should not be confused with people originating from South Asia.
Caboclos were the first Brazilian mestizos. The king of Portugal, D. Joseph I, encouraged marriages between whites and Indians in the 18th century. There was a wave of caboclos created during the time of rubber soldiers, when young, primarily white and mestiço Brazilian men were taken from Northeastern Brazil and brought into the Amazonian interior to harvest rubber. The men were never granted permission to leave, and thus married locally.
The traditional caboclo populations in the Amazon region of Brazil are noted as voracious eaters of the açaí palm fruit. In one study, açaí palm was described as the most important plant species because the fruit makes up such a major component of diet (up to 42% of the total food intake by weight) and is economically valuable in the region (Murrieta et al., 1999).
The "Day of the Caboclo" (Dia do Caboclo), on June 24, is an official date of the State of Amazonas.
In anthropology, the term "caboclo" has been criticized[by whom?] as too vague and prejudgmental for scientific use.
- "Caboclo". WordReference. WordReference.com. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- Wafer, James William. The taste of blood: spirit possession in Brazilian Candomblé. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991, p.55.
- Adams, C., Murrieta, R., & Neves, W. A. (2006). Sociedades caboclas amazônicas: modernidade e invisibilidade (1a ed.). Sâo Paulo: Annablume. ISBN 85-7419-644-4 and ISBN 978-85-7419-644-2
- Murrieta, R. S. S., Dufour, D. L., & Siqueira, A. D. (1999). Food consumption and subsistence in three Caboclo populations on Marajo Island, Amazonia, Brazil. Human Ecology, 27(3), 455-475.
- Nugent, S. (1993). Amazonian caboclo society: an essay on invisibility and peasant economy. Providence, RI: Berg. ISBN 0-85496-756-7
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