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The Truká Indians

They grow mainly rice and onions. During droughts, plantations are irrigated.

The Truká Indians

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Last update: 11/10/2013

By: Lúcia Gaspar - Librarian of the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco

The remaining members of the Truká people, approximately 826 Indians, live 18 kilometers away from the town of Cabrobó, occupying an area of 1,650 hectares, at the São Francisco River area - rio São Francisco, in the State of Pernambuco.
Agriculture is their main livelihood. They grow mainly rice and onions. During droughts, plantations are irrigated.  Besides cultivating the land, their only other source of income is limited to occasional odd jobs in the town of Ibimirim.
Fishing in the waters of the São Francisco River was formerly an important source of food, hindered after the building of the Sobradinho dam, although it is still an important subsistence activity for the community.
The Truká, in order not to lose completely their ethnic and cultural identity, miscigenated with black populations and had to give up or hide their tribe’s rituals.
As a tradition to honor their ancestors, they still continue dancing the toré in a courtyard marked with a cross, where only the Chief dons a more elaborate costume, made out of caroá fiber. The other participants wear over their customary clothing a skirt made of the same fiber and on their heads, an ornament made out of bird feathers. To accompany the songs they use – much in the same way as the  Pankararu and the Kambiwá, – maracas (rattles) made from squash or gourd.
As with other indigenous communities of Pernambuco, the presence of the Catholic Church and its missionaries has been decisive in the lives of the Truká.
The native language of this ethnic group no longer exists.

Recife, 19 August 2003.
( Updated 28 August 2009) 

sources consulted

AS COMUNIDADES indígenas de Pernambuco. Recife: Instituto de Desenvolvimento de Pernambuco-Condepe, 1981.

SÁ, Marilena Araújo de. "Yaathe" é a resistência dos Fulni-ô. Revista do Conselho Estadual de Cultura, Recife, Ed. especial, p.48-54, 2002.

how to quote this text

Source: GASPAR, Lúcia. Índios Truká. Pesquisa Escolar Online, Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, Recife. Available at: <>. Accessed: day  month year. Exemple: 6 August 2009.