Tejipió (neighbourhood, Recife)
Article available in: PT-BR
Last update: 19/03/2020
Since the 17th century, the large stretch of land on the left bank of the Tejipió River has been called Tejipió. This river sprang at a place called Manucaia, at the edge of the Várzea parish, in both the municipality of Recife and São Lourenço da Mata, crossed the lands of the São Francisco and São João plantations, bathed the Jangadinha plantation, collected the waters of the Pacheco stream (that came from the Sucupira Torta plantation), and crossed the lands of the Peres, Uchoa and Ibúra plantation.
It went towards Cabo, made a curve towards the Motocolombó Bridge, where it emptied into the sea east of Nogueira Island at a place called Mercatudo. According to the 1746 Description of Pernambuco, there were four leather tanneries there with 42 slaves.
According to linguists, the name Tejipió comes from an alteration of the Tupi word tejupió, a corruption of teyu’piog, which means teju root – a plant that was abundant in those lands.
The locality existed well before the Dutch invasion. A sugar mill owned by Sebastião Bezerra was part of it. All the manufactured sugar arrived in Recife in wooden boxes on small boats. Over time, these boxes were replaced with cotton bags.
After 1630, the mill was abandoned by its owners and confiscated by the Dutch, and sold as a large farm to Joao Fernandes Vieira in 1645. He, in turn, built a beautiful house in which to reside.
During the fighting against the Dutch, the troops from Bahia camped at Tejipió under the command of Field Marshals André Vidal de Negreiros and Martin Afonso Moreno. This troop joined the independent Pernambuco army in the village of Cabo de Santo Agostinho. It was even from Tejipió that many valiant soldiers left for the journey that resulted in the battle of Tabocas.
In the mid-18th century, from the ruins of the João Fernandes Vieira’s villa, a chapel was erected under the invocation of Our Lady of the Rosary. According to a plaque fixed to the threshold of the main door, the chapel was 21.45m above sea level. This temple, in its private cemetery, had the tombs of members of the church and the children (up to the age of seven) of João Fernandes Vieira, as well as children from poor families.
In 1819, the governor of Pernambuco, Luís do Rego Barreto, built a path to Tejipió through a reclamation. This facilitated the communication of the town with the city of Recife. However, the first road, which went from Afogados to Areias, was only built in 1836.
It is worth noting, for the sake of illustration, that Castro Alves lived in Barro – on the Tejipió path – with Eugênia Câmara, the greatest love of his life. Portuguese by birth and ten years older than the poet, she was considered the best actress of the Empire. She was honoured by him in verse in the Santa Isabel Theatre.
Recife, 24 July 2003.
Translated by Peter Leamy, December 2016.
COSTA, F. A. Pereira da. Arredores do Recife. Recife: Fundação de Cultura Cidade do Recife, 1981.
FRANCA, Rubem. Monumentos do Recife: estátuas e bustos, igrejas e prédios, lápides, placas e inscrições históricas do Recife. Recife: Secretaria de Educação e Cultura, 1977.
GUERRA, Flávio. Velhas igrejas e subúrbios históricos. Recife: Fundação Guararapes, 1970.
how to quote this text
Source: VAINSENCHER, Semira Adler. Tejipió (bairro, Recife). Pesquisa Escolar Onlline, Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, Recife. Disponível em: https://pesquisaescolar.fundaj.gov.br/pt-br/>. Acesso em: dia mês ano. Ex: 6 ago. 2009.