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Camamu History

Camamu History

The region was originally inhabited by native Macamamus Indians.The name Camamu was the name of the Indians’ village. In 1560 the Jesuits established a mission, that the next in year, upon completion of the chapel, was converted into a parish with the name “Aldeia de Nossa Senhora da Assunção de Macamamu”. On 22 May 1693 the village was elevated to town status with the name of Camamu. And finally, on June 27, 1891, it officially became a city. . Camamu was built on two levels, following the Portuguese tradition, like in Lisboa and Salvador. In the tortuous and narrow streets of the “upper city” are the church and the beautiful colonial houses. The “lower city” is where the port and the market are located
The town grew rich as the area became the largest producer of cassava in Brazil, and it became the target of pirates and invaders such as the Dutch. From 1624 to 1627 the town suffered several attacks by the Dutch. To protect itself from further incursions, the inhabitants blocked the passage to the harbor with huge rocks, that forced boats to zigzag in the channel in order to reach the port. The rocks remain in place today.
In 1782, by order of the Portuguese Crown, the pioneer João Gonçalves da Costa opened the first road connecting Camamu with inland settlements. Because of its importance to the economic life of the province, it became known as the “Estrada das Nações” (“Road of Nations”).
In 1961, Camamu municipality was subdivided with a portion remaining in Camamu and a portion becoming the municipality of Ibirapitanga.
In 2008 the Comptroller General in his audit cited municipal officials for widespread corruption.

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