O Cariri cearense

o quadro agrário e a vida urbana


  • Haidine da Silva Barros


Economia agrícola, Geografia econômica, Agricultura


                In this study an attempt is made to trace the agrarian pattern and town life in the Cariri region on the southern border of the state of Ceará. To begin with, this stretch of country is highlighted as a veritable "agricultural island" in the backlands of the Brazilian Northeast and a sharp contrast is drawn between the landscapes of this region and those surrounding it.

                The first chapter is concerned with the natural setting of the region and the way it conditions human settlement. In reality the existence of the Cariri is due to the fact that it is dominated to the south by the Chapada do Araripe, and the rainwater seeping through the sedimentary rocks of this mesa emerges half way down the border slopes in the form of springs giving rise to streams that drain the crystalline plain and water the brejos or oases of verdure which are so valuable for agricultural development.

                In the Cariri region various topographical units are to be distinguished: the top of the mesa, the foot of the hills corresponding to the lowest slopes of the Araripe, the brejos and the crystalline serras. Each of these units displays features of its awn in the natural setting which condition particular types of land use. Hence the organization of the farmland has evolved along different lines peculiar to each unit and the following chapter deals with an analysis of the various elements that enter in to the pattern.

                In the third chapter, the layout of the farmland is taken as a basis for the delimitation of the Agrarian Region of Carirí. At the same time attention is drawn to the way in which the agricultural development of the area has led to the appearance of ways of communication linking it to other regions, just as the growth of trade was responsible for the upsurge of an urban network centered on Crato, later to meet with competition from Juázeiro do Norte. The commercial expansion of these two county towns has been so vigorous that their scope now extends to areas lying far beyond the limits of the Agrarian Region of Cariri.

                Finally, it will be seen that, despite the development of the Cariri Cearense region, there still remains to be faced a maze of inter-dependent problems both of a technical nature and in the economic and social fields.