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For the poem by Santa Rita Durão, see Caramuru (epic poem).
Born Diogo Álvares Correia
c. 1475
Viana do Castelo, Kingdom of Portugal
Died 5 October 1557
Bahia, Portuguese colony of Brazil
Nationality Portuguese
Occupation Explorer, settler

Diogo Álvares Correia (c. 1475 - 1557), called Caramuru by the Tupinambá, was a Portuguese settler born in Viana do Castelo. He departed for the Portuguese colony of Brazil in 1509, and his ship wrecked in the coast of Bahia, Diogo Álvares found himself among the Tupinambá Indians. The Tupinamba called him "Caramuru" ("Creator of Fire") because of the fire of his weapon.

Later, Diogo Álvares founded a settlement called Vila Velha and married Paraguaçu (or Paraguassu), the daughter of Tupinamba's chief (Morubixaba) Taparica. During the following twenty years, Diogo Álvares kept contact with European ships and used his influence on local Indians to help the Portuguese Crown and missionaries during the early years of Brazilian colonization.

In 1526, he traveled to France with his wife. Paraguaçu was baptized by Mary Catherine des Granches, wife of Jacques Cartier, under the name Catarina.

A couple of years later, he returned to Bahia and aided Tomé de Sousa in founding Salvador and creating the first General-Government of the Brazilian colony, by the request of King João III of Portugal .

He died in October 1557, was buried in the Church of Jesus, and left half of his wealth to the Jesuits. His wife, Catarina Paraguaçu died in 1582.

His sons, Gaspar, Gabriel and Jorge were declared knights by Governor Tomé de Sousa, for their services to the Portuguese Crown.

In culture[edit]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Crow, John A.; The Epic of Latin America (Fourth Edition); University of California Press, 1992; Pages 139-140.