|Iracema, the honey lips: a legend of Brasil|
|Author||José de Alencar|
|Translator||Lady Isabel Burton|
|Series||Alencar's indigenist novels|
|Publisher||B. L. Garnier|
Published in English
|ISBN||ISBN 978-0-85051-500-8 English: ISBN 978-0-85051-524-4|
|Preceded by||O Guarany|
Iracema is one of the three indigenous novels by José de Alencar. It was first published in 1865.
Through the novel Alencar tries to remake the history of the Brazilian colonial state of Ceará's origins, with Moacir, the son of Iracema and Martim, as the first true Brazilian in Ceará. This pure Brazilian is born from the love of the natural, innocence (Iracema) and culture and knowledge (Martim), and also represents the mixture (miscegenation) of the native race with the European race to produce a new (Brazilian) race.
Explanation of the novel's title
Its name is Guarani language for honey-lips, from ira - honey, and tembe - lips. Tembe changed to ceme, as in the word ceme iba, according to the author.
Characters in Iracema
- Andira: Araquém's brother. Old warrior and hero of his people.
- Araquém: Iracema's father. Spiritual leader of the Tabajara's nation.
- Batuireté: Poti's grandfather
- Caubi: Iracema's brother
- Iracema: Araquém's daughter. She is the beautiful Tabajara woman with honey-lips and dark hair.
- Irapuã: The warrior leader of the Tabajara nation.
- Jacaúna: Poti's brother.
- Jatobá: Poti's father. He is an important veteran warrior of the Pitiguara's nation.
- Martim: Portuguese colonist. Named in honor of Mars, who was the Roman god of war.
- Moacir: The child of Martim and Iracema.
- Poti: Martim's friend and the Pitiguara warrior who is brother of Pitiguara leader.
Iracema and the Indianist Novels
Iracema, alongside with the other novels O Guarani and Ubirajara portrays one of the stages of the formation of the Brazilian ethnical and cultural heritage. Iracema symbolizes the initial meeting between the white man (Europeans) and the natives. Iracema is an anagram which means "America", this is believed to be the author's reference to how Martim (the European) conquered Iracema (or America). "Moacir" means "Son of Pain", what is related to his birth, alone with his mother, who was abandoned by Martim for some time as he had to go and help the Potiguaras in a tribal war against the Tabajaras.
Awards and nominations
- There is a Brazilian stamp in honor of Iracema's centennial (1865/1965) and its author.
- There is a Brazilian painting by Antônio Parreiras.
- Iracema is cited in Manifesto Antropófago (Cannibal Manifesto), which is published in 1928 by Oswald de Andrade
- Alencar, José de. Iracema (1865) Rio de Janeiro: B. L. Garnier. (in Portuguese) ISBN 0-85051-500-9
- Alencar, José de. Iracema, the honey lips: a legend of Brasil (1886) translated by Lady Isabel Burton. London: Bickers & Son. ISBN 0-85051-524-6
- Alencar, José de. Iracema (2000) translated by Clifford Landers. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-511547-3
- Burns, E. Bradford. A Working Bibliography for the Study of Brazilian History The Americas, Vol. 22, No. 1 (Jul., 1965), pp. 54–88
|Portuguese Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Iracema.|
- (Portuguese) Academia Brasileira de Letras
- (Portuguese) Brazilian literature
- (English) Iracema, The Honey-lips - A legend of Brazil. (translated by Richard F. and Isabel Burton.)