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Cacique tupinikin 2007.jpg
Jaguarete, Tupiniquim cacique, Brasilia, 2007
Total population
2,630 (2010)[1]
Regions with significant populations
 Brazil ( Espírito Santo)[1]
Christianity (Catholic and Protestant)

Tupiniquim (also Tupinã-ki, Topinaquis, Tupinaquis, Tupinanquins, Tupiniquins) are an indigenous people of Brazil, who now live in three indigenous territories (Terras Indígenas in Portuguese). The indigenous territories (Caieiras Velhas, Pau-Brasil and Comboios) are located near the cities of Santa Cruz and Vila do Riacho in the municipality of Aracruz in northern Espírito Santo state, southeastern Brazil. Caieiras Velhas Indigenous Territory is located along the banks of the Piraquê-Açu River. The Pau-Brasil Indigenous Territory is near the Sahy creek. The Comboios Indigenous Territory is located on the banks of the Comboios River. A 2010 census determined the population of Tupiniquim in all three indigenous territories as 2,630.[1]


Coastal Tupi or Tupiniquim, which is a member of the Tupi–Guarani language family, is no longer spoken by the Tupiniquim.[2] It is now extinct. Currently, the Tupiniquim speak only Portuguese.


Historically, the Tupiniquim inhabited a large tract of land along Brazil's coastline from approximately 200 km south of Salvador down to the São Mateus river. This area is north of the present day Indigenous Territories and extended for about 600 km. The Tupiniquim have inhabited these Indigenous Territories since the founding of Santa Cruz and Nova Almeida (then Reis Magos). During the first two centuries after the arrival of Europeans, indigenous populations were the predominate majority in both Santa Cruz and Nova Almeida. Their tribe was one of the first to meet Portuguese in April 1500 at Porto Seguro.

Etymology and usage of word[edit]

The expression Tupin-i-ki means the tupi next door, side neighbor.[2][3] Tupinã-ki means a parallel situated tribe or branch of the Tupi.[4]

In Brazil, the term "Tupiniquim" has come to mean "Brazilian" or "national". The term is used as both a noun and an adjective: cinema tupiniquim (Brazilian cinema), cantor tupiniquim (Brazilian singer), and filosofia tupiniquim [5] (Brazilian philosophy).


  1. ^ a b c "Tupiniquim: Introduction." Povos Indígenas no Brasil. Retrieved 28 Jan 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Tupiniquim: Name and language." Povos Indígenas no Brasil. Retrieved 28 Jan 2012.
  3. ^ Nasecentes, A. Dicionário etimológico da língua portuguesa - Rio de Janeiro: Francisco Alves, 1932
  4. ^ Silveira Bueno, Grande Dicionário Etimológico-Prosódico da Língua Portuguesa, 1966
  5. ^ Gomes, R. Crítica da razão tupiniquim, 2001.