Day Sixteen – Cambury

Today we are in Cambury. We decided to leave Sao Paulo for some days during the weekend and the holiday. It is important to make breaks and find time and place for rest in an otherwise very intense process rich with critical observation and expression.

Cambury is a small village close to Boiçucanga. It has one of the many beaches in the municipality of São Sebastião. The nature is beautiful here. There are the sea and the mountains covered with thick green vegetation.


We stay in a simple house with several other people. The owner of the house borrowed us two old bikes, and we went to the beach.

Arriving at the beach was amazing. The horizon opened up, and the fresh blue color of the sea hit us together with the salty smell and the immersive sound of the waves. The sun was heating up the beach after a rainy night. It felt like the energy spot concentrating beauty, vitality and force.


And then we started walking down the beach. We discovered that the beach was divided into two parts by a river. It is actually two beaches; Camburi and Camburizinho. To get from one beach to the other, we had to cross the river walking. The river level reached me around the chest. While crossing the river, I came to think about the people who have been crossing the same river before me. I tried to picture this river before the colonization. I imagined that the river must have been a natural border between two villages or groups of people. I also imagined that the river was used for fishing.

We crossed the river couple of times today and after researching a bit about the area, I discovered that both my intuition about the separation between the tribe as well the fishing were right.


Before the Portuguese arrived to the region was inhabited by two tribes: the Tupinambás to the north and the Tupiniquins to the south. The tribes were separated by Serra de Boiçucanga, and they lived in peace even though they disliked each other. When the French colonialists came confronting with the Portuguese, who were already in the region, the separation and conflicts between the two tribes grew. Tupiniquins united with the Portuguese and the Tupinambás, with the French. The battle between the greedy colonialists became the battle between the descendants of this area.

When looked for the significance of the name of the river (Rio Cambury) I discovered that my intuition about the fishing was relevant. The name actually means the river of Robalo (sea bass), a fish that goes up the river from salt water to the sweet.  


Going back from the beach I saw the official seal of Município de São Sebastião. The illustrations on the seal only represent the conquistador-power and strength. I could not see one symbolic element representing the native people who lived in the area before the Portuguese came. Their existence is erased.


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