During the 16th Century, this tribe inhabited the Brazilian coast from the mouth of river São Francisco to the island of Itamaracá, by the River Paraíba, in an area limited, in the north, by the land of the potiguaras and, in the south, by tupinambás. With the arrival of the Portuguese, which allied with their enemies, the Tupinambá, the Caetés migrated inland, and some settlements survived in the state of Pará, in Northern Brazil.
Caetés, like many other indigenous people in the coast of Brazil, practiced a ritual form of cannibalism, and were accused of eating the first bishop of Brazil, Pedro Fernandes Sardinha, after his ship sank near the mouth of the river Coruripe (Alagoas) during his return journey to Portugal. A hundred other passengers were said to be captured and eaten by the Caetés.
After being accused of eating the bishop, the Caetés were considered "enemies of the civilized world", and were chased and killed by the Portuguese, with the help of fully armed Tupinambá tribes. Although there are remains of Caeté pottery in many parts of inland Brazil, and evidence of their survival in Northern Brazil, they are now extinct.
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