From Povos Indígenas no Brasil
Photo: José Cordeiro, 1985


Self-denomination Where they are How many Linguistic family
6.651 (Siasi/Sesai, 2014)

The Tapeba are the product of an historical process of ethnic emergence of portions of various indigenous societies who were settled in the Village of Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres de Caucaia - which gave rise to the municipality of the same name, in the metropolitan region of Fortaleza, state of Ceará. By virtue of the specific manner in which they comprise a distinct group within the regional society, discussion of their indigenous identity has marked their recent history, particularly the process of official recognition of their territory by the State.

General information

Until the 1980s, the state of Ceará, along with the states of Piauí and Rio Grande do Norte, were, according to the FUNAI records and surveys produced by anthropologists and missionaries, the only states in the country, besides the Federal District of Brasília, where there were no Indians. In Ceará, however, the indigenous presence finally came to be recognized when the then Advisory Staff for Rural Communities - now called the Support Staff for the Indigenous Question - of the Archdiocese of Fortaleza established its presence in the municipality of Caucaia, together with the groups of Tapeba."Tapeba", "tapebano" or "perna-de-pau"[wooden leg] are ethnic designations by which a given set of groups is identified and recognized in the local social landscape of the municipality of Caucaia as comprising a distinct group. This recognition now extends to the regional level, given the repercussion in the media of the movement that the Tapeba launched, with the support of the Archdiocese of Fortaleza. In this movement, they have sought the protection of several areas that they occupy today (among which is the mangrove on the banks of the Ceará River) and the recovery of the territory of the historic Village of Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres de Caucaia, demanding from the FUNAI the demarcation of an indigenous area.Tapeba is also a toponym. It is the name of a lake and temporary stream - tributary of the lake of Barra Nova (or of Poço) - in the rural area of the district of the center of the municipality of Caucaia, near which several Tapeba families live, in an area in which they are a clear majority. As early as 1721, the toponym Tapeba appears in the records referring to this lake. The use of the term Tapeba as a toponym, however, occurs more frequently to designate a more inclusive and general area, the limits of which are vaguely defined, covering the homonymous lake and stream, extending southwards to the lake of the Pigs, to Pedreira and the settlement of Capuan to the north, to Cutia to the west and to the Ceará River to the east. At times, however, even the places which form the limits are encompassed by the toponym Tapeba, leaving the observer with the impression that - as they say - "it's all one place, it's all only one land".

Tapebano, thus, is a manner of referring to someone who is "from Tapeba", "from the lake of Tapeba". Perna-de-Pau [or, Wooden Leg], in turn, refers to the nickname of an ancestor to whom they usually trace their genealogy - referring to at least one segment of the Tapeba, the family of Zabel.The etymology of the word Tapeba is tupi, according to several authors (such as Alfredo Moreira Pinto and Thomaz Pompeu Sobrinho), and consists of a phonetic variation of the word itapeva (from itá/tá, that is, "rock"; and peva, "flat", "level"): "flat rock", "level rock", "polished rock", etc. The name of the municipality where they are located is also of Tupi origin, a variation on the word ka'a-okai (from ka'a, "herb", "forest", "woods", "jungle"; and okai, "to burn"): "burnt forest", "the forest is well-burnt", "burning"[as in slash-and-burn agriculture], "forest that one burns". The local toponyms are almost all of Tupi origin: Capuan, Iparana, Icaraí, Jandaiguaba, Paumirim, Pabussu, Tabapuá etc.The population estimate of 1,150 people was established on the basis of the genealogical census undertaken in several places, which was then compared and crosschecked with the data of the "Population Survey of the Tapeba Indians", undertaken by the Archdiocese of Fortaleza between March and September, 1986 - and which indicated 914 people in 185 families. This information, however, is difficult to establish definitively given the dynamics of the ethnic boundary. They live in intense and permanent contact with the "whites": be it in the development of productive activities, or because of interethnic marriages, or through the maintenance of relations of social proximity through fictive kinship, or through cordiality - in some cases - of neighbour relations with the "whites".

Caucaia, the Tapeba local groups and their economy

Of all the municipalities of the metropolitcan region of Fortaleza, Caucaia is the closest to the capitol, being 16 kilometers away. With its center at an altitiude of 29.91 meters above sea level, the municipality of Caucaia has a more uneven than a level terrain. The great elevations that comprise the central mountain range of the state of Ceará begin here. It is one of the municipalities of Ceará that is richest in permanent lakes. The rivers of Caucaia, however, are generally temporary, as is the case of the Tapeba stream. Its principal waterway is the Ceará River, which cuts the municipality at its widest part, going from southwest to northeast, over a course of approximately 50 kilometers. On the banks of the Ceará River, near the coast, there is an exuberant vegetation characteristic of marshes. The vegetation in the area of the municipality is characterized predominantly by caatingas [stunted sparse forest], capoeiras [low brush] and carrascos [dwarfed vegetation]. The climate of the municipality is mild, with two seasons: rainy, or "winter" between January and June; and the dry season, or "summer", from July to December.

The areas where the Tapeba live consist of local groups in size, settlement pattern, and distinct locations within the multi-faceted geography of the municipality. Occupying different niches, the Tapeba modernize different forms of appropriation of natural resources, basically in extractivist and seasonal labor. Thus local groups demonstrate contrasts in terms of the types of activities in which they specialize. There are areas that are inhabited mostly by Tapebas, such as the rural area of Tapeba (lake of Tapeba, Cutia, lake of the Pigs and Pedreira Sta Terezinha), where they work with straw, on agriculture (as day laborers or tenants) and in the "fruit business"; and there are areas where their presence is limited, such as the case of the districts of the outskirts of the municipal capitol (Capoeira/bairro Pe. Júlio Maria, Açude, Cigana, Itambé, Grilo, Vila São José, Vila Nova/bairro Sta. Rita), where salaried labor, part-time services, and peddling predominate. Several of these districts are already growing in size such that they are beginning to occupy rural properties that border them. There are also areas with a peculiar settlement pattern, as the case of Trilho, in the small villages of Paumirim and Capuan, and of Ponte(s), in the small village of Soledade: in the first case, the houses are found distributed along a stretch of 2.5 kilometers on the margins of the Fortaleza-Sobral Railroad, on the R.F.F.S.A. land, between the barriers of the "cut" and the fences of the neighboring rural properties; and in the second case, the houses are situated on the banks of the Ceará River, in the only areas of solid embankments of the swamp, which were built during the paving of Highway BR-222 - its bridge over the same river gives the name to the place [Pontes = bridges]. At Trilho, we may find Tapeba selling fruits, producing carbon, gathering seedlings of ornamental plants and capturing forest animals in the hills for sale. At Pontes, non-colonized, non-mechanized fishing of crustaceans in the swamp, and the excavation of sand from the Ceará River bed comprise the principal productive activities.

Elements of local indigenous history

The history of the local groups and places where the Tapeba live is related to the recent changes in the forms of landholding appropriation previously existing in Tapeba and in Paumirim - considered as traditional places of their habitation. The Tapeba had more than one mode of landholding appropriation and use of available natural resources. Based on the historiographical data available, which describes a situation of instability in the last century, as far as the fate of the lands of the extinct indigenous settlements, one could characterize the situation of the Tapeba as the product of two distinct historical results, generally found in areas of early colonization: (1) the dismemberment of territorial domains which belonged to the Church, where forms of common use may have been prevalent, where the "saint" (Na Sa dos Prazeres) appeared as land-owner; and (2) the loss of possession of occasional titled domains, which had been formally given to indigenous groups in the form of a donation or in payment for services rendered to the State.This was the case in Caucaia. The available sources mention that the municipality of Caucaia had its origins in the Village of Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres de Caucaia, regularly administered by the Jesuits between 1741 and 1759, but whose origins go back to an uncertain date in the 17th Century, between 1603 and 1666. The nature of the sources does not allow us to determine with any great certainty the origin and composition of the indigenous population brought together there: whether they were the Potiguara who were found there trading with the French at the time of Pero Coelho's expedition em 1603 (Potiguara who, in returning from their defeats at the hands of the Portuguese, were responsible for the Cariris' and Tremembes' moving to the interior - "original lords of the Ceará backlands" -, according to Carlos Pereira Studart); or the 200 or 800 Potiguara who made up the same army recruited by Pero Coelho; or they were the Potiguara and Tabajara that Father Luís Figueira duped into making them accompany him on his return to his first mission in the Ibiapaba mountains; or whether they were all of these alternatives.Carlos Studart Fo informs us that the Potiguara obtained from the Portuguese government various land grants possibly in retribution for their collaboration in suppressing the "tapuio" uprisings. The missions, in turn, were benefitted by the combination of expansion and consolidation of the religious administration of the settlements. Baron Studart records that, on November 23rd, 1700, a Charter in the form of law conceded to each mission one square league of land for the sustenance of the Indians and missionaries. There are records of concessions of pieces of land and allotments to colonists and Indians, in Caucaia, for the first half of the 18th Century. On March 31st, 1723, João Brigido recorded a concession made by the Captain-Major of the Captaincy "to the chief of the village of Caucaia João Paiva and more officials and Indians, for them and their inheritors, of three leagues of land with one in width, half a league on each side, around the waterhole called Taboca".

With the implementation of the Directorate system of the Marquês do Pombal, the Jesuits were expelled from the country and the Village of Caucaia was rebuilt into the New Village of Soure, in 1759. It may be that groups of Cariri, Tremembé, and Jucá, coming from the forced relocations of settlements of the interior to the settlements of the coast, joined the Potiguara who were already settled there (for the purpose of facilitating their administration) or from requests by the Indians themselves - as can be deduced from correspondence between the Directors of the Indians and the Captain-Major of the Captaincy.With the extinction of the Pombal Directorate system in 1798, there are reports from Presidents of the Province of Ceará that reveal a peculiar situation in which, in the middle of the 19th Century, there still were Indians demanding the restitution of the Directorate system and of the expropriated goods, not to mention the proposal for re-establishing the villages of Soure e Vila Viçosa presented by the Provincial Assembly. Vila Nova de Soure is mentioned as a "town of Indians", from its foundation until the second third of the past century. In 1863, on the occasion of the installation of the Provincial Legislative Assembly, the President of the Province of Ceará declares the indigenous population of the province to be extinct and the territorial estates of the Villages "were ordered incorporated to the Treasury by imperial order", but with the contradictory exception of : "respecting the territorial possessions of some Indians". At the same time, Alfredo Moreira Pinto reproduces the content of an official record of a donation of lands made by Francisco Barros de Souza Cordeiro and his wife to "Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres desta Real Villa de Soure", in which mention is made of "Indian owners of this same town".

The references, thus, make it clear that the history of the area in which the municipality of Caucaia is situated today and where the Tapeba live, is related to the traffic of the aboriginal populations who lived there before and after the arrival of the first colonizers, and to the conquest and settlement by the Europeans (French, Dutch and Portuguese) of what today is the Ceará coast. This means that it is possible to defend the argument that the Tapeba are the result of a slow process of ethnic emergence deriving from several of the original indigenous groups (Potiguara, Tremembé, Cariri and Jucá) who were brought together under the authority of the colonial administration.


Whatever may have been their domains, the Tapeba were not successful in maintaining them, over the generations, fully until the present day. Expropriated from their lands by various means of unequal exchange, they were led to occupy various domains of the Union and to live in districts on the outskirts of the city.The Tapeba and other members of the regional population frequently refer to the "land of the saint" (Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres). This notion of a territory that belongs to the saint, explicit in references to the past that they make today, is coherent with the historical records of territorial concessions made to the mission and to the leader of the Indians, as well as to what happened to this territorial estate, as a result of the successive changes in the organization of administration of the Indians and in the landholding legislation.Besides being considered "residents" on properties belonging to others, for which they have had to retribute with "presents" from the annual harvest, but with relative consent to their use of the natural resources, as well as the condition of free and individual control of the land and basic resources by one or another domestic group (a stituation that was obtained in the recent past in the areas of Tapeba and Capuan), the Tapeba have also applied and modernized systems of "common use". Several descent groups - that is, groups which consist of all the descendants, men and women, of a common ancestor - identified mainly in Paumirim, have exercised control over the basic natural resources of certain areas over a long period of time, according to specific rules mutually respected in the development of social relations established among the domestic groups that make up these social units.One thus observes a multiplicity of historical solutions produced and known by the Tapeba in their relations to the land and valued natural resources (firewood, game, fish, sources of water, natural weirs, lakes, rivers), as well as the changes that have been made on them (fruit trees, abandoned dwellings, etc.). The progressive rise in value of rural property in the metropolitan zone of the capitol is at the basis of the disorganization of previously functioning social relations, the formation of the present local groups of Tapeba and the change in the character of the residential relation that one verifies today.In the second half of this century, we may find references to the Tapeba in articles of newspapers which circulated widely, which emphasized the terrible living conditions of the Tapeba. The Jornal do Brasil of April 7th, 1968, published an article titled "The Indian in Ceará is not even a citizen", in which the author describes "the primitive form of life [sic] that they lead" and - what is interesting - the fact of their not existing legally, given the official ignorance of their existence by the state government and the FUNAI. On July 6th, 1969, O Estado de S. Paulo published an article entitled "The sad end of the Ceará Indians. Complete decadence of their customs", in which the subhuman living conditions of the Tapeba are described ("human rags", "animals" etc.) and the fact that they had "no-one in the government who cares about them". Again, the Estado, on May 2nd, 1982, published an article by a local reporter, Rodolfo Espíndola, titled "The last Tapeba, in misery", describing their living conditions and relating how they lived in huts covered with straw on the banks of the Ceará River.

Territory, kinship and stigma

The toponymical and territorial reference cited above is strictly connected to "family" reference, that is, to the way in which people trace or see their descendance traced by kinship relations with ancestors who were believed to have lived in those areas. In Tapeba, the figure of Manoel Raimundo stands out as the "head" of the "old trunks" of the lake of Tapeba. In Paumirim, it is the emblemmatic figure of José Alves dos Reis, or Zé Zabel "Perna-de-Pau"[Wooden Leg], considered the last strong leader, the "last Tuxaua"[chief], after whose death, it is said, the Tapeba of Paumirim, who lived under his authority, dispersed in a kind of diaspora. The singular case of sororal polygyny he maintained and the numerous children he had with the two women generated a clearly delimited descent group, several members of which (notably, in the second descending generation) married amongst themselves.

The way in which kinship relations are thought of and appropriated, how the unity of the group is imagined and how the subjective sentiment of constituting a whole is expressed, is attested and instituted by the use of the term "family", which is repeatedly associated with the term Tapeba: "Tapeba family". In the same way, it is said that the "Zabel" (mentioned above), the "Coco", the "Jacinto", the Alves dos Reis, the Alves de Matos, the Teixeira de Matos, the Alves Teixeira and other descent groups are (or are not) unrestrictedly Tapeba, of the "Tapeba family" (depending on the defined context of interaction).There is, however, a series of depreciative attributes associated with these basic facts (common origin and unrestricted descent). Tapeba has functioned - and in certain circles and contexts still functions - as an insult and a curse-word, given the pejorative social information that the term carries. It is associated with such behaviors as eating rotten meat (carrion), consumption of alcohol, promiscuity, dishonesty, disrespect for the property of others, laziness and unwillingness to work, as well as the filth in which they live and the miserable conditions with which, in general, they are associated. This "public image" of the Tapeba still carries great weight in the local context, as the regional population is socialized with this conception of Tapeba behavior and expects that they customarily behave this way. It is also common that some Tapeba agree on several elements of this negative image formed about them, as defining attributes of the peculiar characteristics that set them apart.

Contemporary aspects

It was with this stigmatized group that the Advisory Staff for rural Communities of the Archdiocese of Fortaleza began to work in Caucaia in 1984, providing assistance indiscriminately to the Tapeba and the "whites", and trying to equate the problems of both "Indians" and small settlers. Their original project consisted of giving support both to the "Indians" and "Whites" in a common struggle for land - which led to the creation, in 1985, of the Association of Communities of the Ceará River, with equal representation of the Tapeba and the "whites", half-and-half (from the presidency to the council, and including the treasurer and secretary). In part due to their very way of relating to the communities - markedly assistentialist in the beginning - and in part due to a change in circumstances - the failure of the National Plan for Agrarian Reform - the Staff did not take care of this proposal.From a solution in which the principal interlocutor in the government was the now-defunct MIRAD/Ministtry for Agrarian Reform, the Archdiocese Staff concentrated its efforts on equating the demand for land by proposing the creation of an Indigenous Area in the municipality of Caucaia, benefitting the Tapeba. The Tapeba then began establishing new relations (with the action of the Church and various governmental agencies) and new alternatives for the future began to open up for them. However, what was most important for their self-image and the image (s) that others had of them was the transition from the epithet of "filthy Tapebas" to Indians with rights and the rekindling of their ties with close and distant kin.Constant victims of the arbitrary actions of the police and threats from the supposed owners of the land, principally in the area of the mangrove of the Ceará River, the Tapeba saw that they were in the situation - which was unheard of for them - of being able to revert the set of forces which had been until then completely unfavorable to them: the struggle for the right to fish for crustaceans in the mangrove area, on the left bank of the Ceará River, against the pressures of the joint owners of the Soledade Ranch; the struggle for possession of Navy land on the right bank of the Ceará River, again in a mangrove area, against the transferral of the groundrent to T.B.A. (Brazilian Food Technology) Industries and CERAPELES; denunciations against the location of the garbage ramp of the municipal cleaning company in this same place; the struggle for the right of the Tapeba of Capoeira to continue removing sand from the riverbed of the Ceará River, against the violent attempts of the city councilmen who had rented the Malícias Ranch in 1988, through which the Ceará River flows; among other matters.The discussion over the indigenous identity of the Tapeba is the element which has been guiding the process of juridical-administrative recognition of the Tapeba Indigenous Land, from the beginning of the process in 1985 (when it was included in the identification schedule of the Goals Plan of the FUNAI), until the present day. The Tapeba Indigenous Land was identified in October, 1986, with an area of 4,675 hectares and 75 kilometers perimeter, by a Work Group comprised of a sociologist and an agronomist engineer of the FUNAI, and a representative of the Archdiocese Staff.

The landholding survey of the rural properties present in the Tapeba Indigenous Area, undertaken in August, 1987, was the most difficult stage of the process, since it was marked by the active and passive resistance of the supposed land-owners of rural properties at their own inspection. It was during this time that public declarations were made by various local authorities questioning the historical existence of the Tapeba Indians. At the time, the survey showed 118 non-Indian occupants, 55 of whom were supposed property-owners with notary-authorized land titles, 61 small plot squatters, and two tenants.From then until now, the process has gone through numerous setbacks. It was filed away in July, 1988, at the decision of the "grupão" - the Interministerial Work Group created by Decree 88.118/83 as the government body with the formal power to evaluate the proposals for creation of indigenous areas. The "grupão", whose composition was modified by Decree 94.945/87, decided in its Resolution no 01 of July 20, 1988 that the area proposed by the FUNAI should not be considered as indigenous land, "in view of the doubts regarding the ethnic identity of the remaining population", but "that new data regarding the ethnic group should be awaited, at which time the FUNAI would once again analyze the case".At the time, there was a generalized reaction against the decision of the "grupão", not only from the Tapeba, the Archdiocese and support organizations such as the Indigenist Missionary Council (CIMI) and the Pró-Tapeba Committee, but also from the state government itself, from the Legislative Assembly and the State Attorney General.With the process re-opened in May, 1989, at the level of the Advisory Committee of the Superintendency for Landholding Affairs of the FUNAI, - as it was considered "unquestionable [that ] the land is of traditional and permanent indigenous occupation", it was necessary to wait eight more years for the Minister of Justice, Íris Rezende, acting under the aegis of Decree 1.775/96, to sign Decree no 967, of September 24th, 1997, which declared the Tapeba Indigenous Area as traditional indigenous territory.

This time it was the Municipal Prefecture of Caucaia which reacted, through the present mayor, José Gerardo Arruda, petitioning a court injunction in the High Court of Judicature, questioning the declaratory Decree, based on the allegation of defect in the judicial proceedings. The injunction was unanimously accepted, and the decree annuled, thus losing entirely its validity.As if this were not enough, the situation of the fate of their land became more complicated in this period. Despite the FUNAI's having installed an indigenous post in the area, the latest news in the local press and from the Archdiocese Committee for Support to the Indigenous Question confirm a deteriorating situation of non-indigenous presence in the area, supported by supposed land-owners, enemies of the Tapeba, who have promoted irregular land allotments. The worsening of the tensions led to the murder of two Tapeba leaders in 1996 and 1997, casting darkness over the future of the group.  

Note on the sources

The most relevant, comprehensive and inclusive monographs on the Tapeba are those written by the author of this entry (Master's dissertation Tapebas, Tapebanos e Pernas-de-Pau[Tapebas, Tapebanos and Wooden Legs], defended at the National Museum, UFRJ, in 1993) and the North American anthropologist Karen Hjerpe (Ph.D. thesis in Social Anthropology, presented to the University of Florida in 1998).

There are also articles by both authors on the question of ethnic identity and boundaries, the relation of these to conceptions of the body and culinary habits, the organization of productive activities and other aspects of the society and culture of the Tapeba.Besides these works, there is a diversified collection of information and reports by government agency technicians (Rita Heloisa de Almeida, Jussara Vieira Gomes, Élia Menezes Rola) produced in the context of the process of official recognition of the Tapeba and their territory, some of these representing the first attempts to present an integrated picture of the society and history of the Tapeba - synthesizing previously dispersed information and sources.There are, finally, several works produced by several generations of intellectuals from Ceará which share in common an historiographical focus, although with quite different perspectives - several even provide ethnological interpretations, such as the works of Carlos Studart, father and son.We have found from small, specific entries, to works of greater scope. For their present-day relevance and their effort at synthesis - both analytical, and encyclopedic - the works of José Cordeiro and Maria Sylvia Porto Alegre stand out. These are works that, while not specifically about the Tapeba, contain data and information on the indigenous history of Ceará and its colonization, relevant to understading the present situation.

Sources of information

  • AIRES, Jouberth Max Maranhão Piorsky. A escola entre os índios Tapeba : o currículo num contexto de etnogênese. Fortaleza : UFCE, 2000. 165 p. (Dissertação de Mestrado)


  • ALMEIDA, Geraldo Gustavo de. Perna de Pau. In: HERÓIS indígenas do Brasil : memórias sinceras de uma raça. Rio de Janeiro : Cátedra, 1988. p. 103.


  • ALMEIDA, Rita Heloisa de. Relatório de viagem ao município de Caucaia, Ceará. Brasília : CTI/SG/MIRAD, 1986. 51 p.


  • BARRETTO FILHO, Henyo Trindade. Economia Tapeba : atividades econômicas e suas formas de organização. Rio de Janeiro : Peti, 1987. (paper)

. Os índios Tapebas. In: CORDEIRO, José. Os índios no Siará : massacre e resistência. Fortaleza : Hoje/Assessoria em Educação, 1989. p. 191-3
. A invenção multilocalizada da tradição : os tapebas de Caucaia. Anuário Antropológico, Rio de Janeiro : Tempo Brasileiro, v. 96, p. 103-11, 1997.
. Tapebas, tapebanos e pernas-de-pau : etnogênese como processo social e luta simbólica. Rio de Janeiro : UFRJ, 1993. 692 p. (Dissertação de Mestrado)
. Tapebas, tapebanos e pernas-de-pau de Caucaia, Ceará : da etnogênese como processo social e luta simbólica. Brasília : UnB, 1994. 32 p. (Série Antropologia, 165)
  • CORDEIRO, José. Os índios no Siará : massacre e resistência. Fortaleza : Hoje/Assessoria em Educação, 1989. 272 p.


  • GOMES, Jussara Vieira. Breve informação sobre os índios do município de Caucaia, Estado do Ceará. Rio de Janeiro : Museu do Índio, 1985.

. Relatório sobre os índios do município de Caucaia, Ceará. Rio de Janeiro: Museu do Índio, 1985.
  • HJERPE, Karen. Food, nutrition and identity in Northeastern Brazil : a case study among the Tapeba of Ceara. Gainsville : Univer. of Florida, 1998. (Ph.D. Thesis)


  • OLIVEIRA, Kelly G.  Cultura e memória : oralidade na transmissão das lendas e rituais indígenas tapeba. Fortaleza : UFCE, 2004. 78 p. (Monografia em Comunicação Social).


  • PINHEIRO, Joceny (Org.). Ceará, terra da luz, terra dos índios : história, presença, perspectivas. Fortaleza : MPF ; Funai, 2002. 166 p.


  • PINTO, Alfredo Moreira. Tapeba. In: APONTAMENTOS para o diccionário geographico Brasileiro. v. 3. Rio de Janeiro : Imprensa Nacional, 1899. p. 559.


  • POMPEU SOBRINHO, Thomaz. Ethymologia de algumas palavras indígenas. Rev. Trimensal do Instituto do Ceará, Fortaleza : Typ. Studart, n. 33, p. 208-27, 1919.


  • PORTO ALEGRE, Maria Sylvia. Aldeias indígenas e povoamento no Nordeste no final do século XVIII : aspectos demográficos da "cultura do contato". (Trabalho apresentado no GT "História Indígena e do Indigenismo", no XVI Encontro Anual da ANPOCS, Caxambú-MG, 1992).


  • ROLA, Élia Menezes. Caracterização da situação atual dos Tapeba. Brasília : CTI/Mirad, 1986. 34 p. (Informação Técnica, 71)

. Sobre a situação atual dos Tapeba, Caucaia-CE. Brasília : CTI/Mirad, 1986. (Informação Técnica, 37)
  • STUDART, Carlos Pereira. 1926. Contribuição para a ethnologia brasileira : as tribus Indígenas do Ceará. Rev. Trimestral do Instituto do Ceará, Fortaleza : s.ed., v. 40, p. 39-53, 1926.


  • STUDART, Guilherme. Datas e factos para a história do Ceará. Fortaleza: Typ. Studart, 1896.


  • STUDART FILHO, Carlos. Notas históricas sobre os indígenas Cearenses. Rev. Trimensal do Instituto do Ceará, Fortaleza : s.ed., v. 45, p. 54-103, 1931.

. Os Aborígenes do Ceará - I. Rev. do Instituto do Ceará, Fortaleza : s.ed., v. 76, p. 6-73, 1962.
. Os Aborígenes do Ceará - II. Rev. do Instituto do Ceará, Fortaleza : s.ed., v. 77, p. 153-217, 1963.