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O carapuceiro (‘the bonnet’ – newspaper)

O Carapuceiro’ (The Bonnet) founded by Father Miguel do Sacramento Lopes Gama, went into circulation for the first time on 7 April 1832, with four 21 x 15cm pages.

O carapuceiro (‘the bonnet’ – newspaper)

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Last update: 05/02/2013

By: Lúcia Gaspar - Librarian of the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco

[...] my old task was to sew bonnets, and not only these, but caps, head scarfs, hats, berets, skullcaps and even mitres and crowns..
Padre Carapuceiro, Diario de Pernambuco, 1 Mar. 1847.

With the subtitle ‘PeriódicoSempre Moral e só per Acidens Politico’ (Forever Moral Periodical and only by Accident Political),the Recife newspaper ‘O Carapuceiro’ (The Bonnet) founded by Father Miguel do Sacramento Lopes Gama, went into circulation for the first time on 7 April 1832, with four 21 x 15cm pages. Printed at the Fidedigna Press, owned by José Nepomuceno de Melo (18 Flores St) its headpiece had an illustration of a hat store and a hatter trying on a bonnet on the head of a hunchback. On the store’s counter were a crown, a mitre, a beret and a top hat awaiting the clients.

It was the second Recife newspaper to publish an illustration in the headpiece. The first, O Carcundão: Alfarrábiovelhopor 40 réis (The Carcundão: Old newspaper for 40 réis), circulate a year earlier in April 1831 and only published three editions, with the final on 16 May of that year.

Becoming known as Padre Carapuceiro, Lopes Gama was not only the founder but also the newspaper’s only reporter. His objective was always to distribute ‘bonnets’ (from the Portuguese idiomatic expression equivalent to ‘if the cap fits, wear it’): Imagine that, in the same way there are hat stores, my periodical is a bonnet factory. The heads on which they fit well, they can stay there, if they wish; or they can reject them, and they will walk with bald heads for flies to land on.

The newspaper was published in various phases with an irregular circulation, from April 1832 to December 1842, and sporadically between 1843 and 1847. Padre Carapuceirohimself enlightened the readers on the subject, when he published this question and answer:On what days exactly will this periodical come out?The poor thing will come out when Gold helps it, and conform to the generosity with which he wants the Godparents to have, who are Mr and Mrs Reader.

With the objective of distributing ‘carapuças’(caps)to abolitionists, businessmen, politicians, liberal professionals or the clergy, the periodical criticised vices and social customs and portrayed the Brazilian society of the time. Its chronicles and articles recorded all the news and customs of the society of the age, in the widest variety of themes like education, behaviour, even the clergy, religion, political intrigue, popular culture, folklore, fashion, literature and cuisine. It also published fables and anecdotes.

One of the most famous articles on the traditional Brazilian ‘feijoada’ registered was by Padre Carapuceiro, published in theDiario de Pernambuco, on 3 March 1840.

In the families where true gastronomy is unknown, where feasts are held, the usual practice in eating to convert the fragments of the previous evening’s dinner into a ‘feijoada’, which is called ‘burying the bones’[...] Thrown into a large pot or cauldron are the left-overs of turkeys, roasted piglets, chunks of bacon and ham, as well as great vassals of common dried meat, all mixed together with the indispensable black bean: everything is reduced to a grease!

The newspaper criticised the influence brought to Brazil by foreigners, claiming that they had been allowed to establish themselves in the Country with too much freedom, being granted economic privileges that were not available to Brazilians, as well as promoting an increase in licentiousness among Brazilians with their presence, due the latter’s vocation of “aping”(copying) the habits of others.

From 1835 to 1836, materials from O Carapuceiro were published by the Diario de Pernambuco, and again for a short time in 1844.

After more than two years out of circulation as an independent newspaper, it reappeared on 19 April 1837, with a new illustration in the headpiece: a hat store with two customers standing, the store’s owner seated, and to his side various hangers on which a crown, a mitre, berets, top hats and other types of hats appeared to hang. Published twice a week, it finished the year with 73 editions on 23 December.

In 1838, it also went out bi-weekly from 17 January to 29 December, with a chronicle in the Variety section, entitled A mania dos sorvetes (Ice-cream Mania):

[...] Nothing is talked about but ice creams, nothing but ice-cream parlours, taverns, shacks and even dives are seen.[...] a subject I know, so skilful the ice-cream chemistry, that is capable of reducing to ice-cream to a sauce made from plants and even a pair of old sandals.[...] Two pennies for a small glass of ice-cream is not that cheap; and in Poço da Panelathe cost is twelve ‘vintens’ [...] it’s absurd!

In 1839, 53 editions were published and in 1840, from number 17 on 29 May, its circulation was again suspended. This time it was because its reporter travelled to Rio de Janeiro, where he began to publish the newspaper O Carapuceirona Corte (The Bonnet in the Court).

O Carapuceiroreturned to circulation two years later on 2 April 1842, with a few changes: it no longer had the image in the headpiece and the subtitle became Periódico Moral, e só Per AcidensPolítico (Moral Periodical and only by Accident Political), with the disappearance of the word ‘sempre’ (forever).It continued to be published, twice a week, until number 16 on 22 March 1843, when its publication was suspended, only returning on 1March 1847, in the same format, the same periodicity, although being published with some spaces, and printed at the LuizInácioRibeiro Roma’sTipografiaImparcial (Impartial Press – 55 Praia St).

The newspaper finished with number 25, dated 28 September 1847, when it once more showed the image of the bonnet store in its headpiece.


Recife, 25 april 2008.
(Updated on 25 august 2009)
Translated by Peter Leamy, February 2012.

sources consulted

GAMA, Miguel do Sacramento Lopes. O Carapuceiro, 1932-1842. Prefácio de Leonardo Dantas Silva; estudo introdutório de Luiz do Nascimento. Recife: Prefeitura, Fundação de Cultura Cidade do Recife, 1883. Edição fac-similar.

MELLO, José Antônio Gonsalves de. O padre Lopes Gama e o Diario de Pernambuco 1840-1845. In: SILVA, Leonardo Dantas (Org.) O Carapuceiro. Recife: Fundaj, Ed. Massangana, 1996. p. 7-93.  187 p.  (Obras de consulta, 17).

NASCIMENTO, Luiz. O Carapuceiro. In:GAMA, Miguel do Sacramento Lopes. O Carapuceiro.Recife: Fundação de Cultura Cidade do Recife, 1883. v.1 Estudo introdutório.

PERIOTTO, Marcília Rosa. O jornal “O Carapuceiro” (1832-1845): uma leitura na perspectiva da história da educação. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 11 abr. 2008.


how to quote this text

Source: GASPAR, Lúcia. O Carapuceiro. Pesquisa Escolar Online, Joaquim Nabuco Foudation, Recife. Available at:  <>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009