Iracema is one of the three indigenous novels by José de Alencar. It was first published in 1865.
1 Plot introduction
1.1 Explanation of the novel's title,
2 Characters in Iracema,
3 Iracema and the Indianist Novels,
4 Awards and nominations,
6 External links,
The story revolves around the relationship between the Tabajara indigenous woman, Iracema; and the Portuguese colonist, Martim, who was allied with the Tabajara nation's enemies, the Pitiguaras.
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.
Iracema is also an anagram to America, appointed by critics as fitting to the allegorization of colonization of America by Europeans, the novel's main theme.
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
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license