CARIRIS: Where does the name come from? You may wonder where did we find that name.
The answer is quite simple. Caririsis the name of a certain portion of land located in the state of Ceará, Northeast of Brazil, where our factory is located. The Brazilian Northeast happens to be the only semi-arid region in the world that is located in the proximity of the equator.
In Portuguese, spoken language in Brazil, that whole area is called “sertão“. Some say that the word is a clipped form of “desertão“, meaning big desert. It includes portions of the states of Bahia, Sergipe, Alagoas, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraiba, Pernambuco, Ceará, Piauí and Maranhão. The main image of Northeast Brazil transmitted by the media is a mix of beautiful beaches, stunning shores surrounded by a landscape of cacti and rachitic shrubs with occasional trees. Quite a contrast.
The Cariris however is a unique region in the middle of a semi-arid region. In Ceará is like a “oases“. Many authors praise the almost biblical setting of the Cariris at the foothills of the humid north side of the Araripe plateau that is poetically described as “green island”, paradise, “gift of nature”, or even God-sent, in contrast to the desolate semi-arid region that surrounds the area.
It is believed that the name “Cariris” came from an ancient nation of brave and fearless Indians that once lived there. In the neighboring state of Paraíba, there is another region with the same name. In pre-colonial times, the Cariris Indians migrated from Paraíba to more fertile regions such as the Cariris in Ceará since the poor soils and the dry climate did not offer any base for survival. In order to differentiate these two Cariris the former is commonly known as Cariris Velhos (“Old Cariris”) and the latter as Cariris Novos (“New Cariris”). Cariris was also the name of their original language, spoken until the middle of the 20th century, now extinct, but still present in same common phrases and names of medicinal plants.
The region is also considered to be one of the world‘s unique paleontological sites due to the high diversity of fossilized organisms from the period called “Lower Cretaceous” such as plants (leaves, trunks, seeds), invertebrates (mollusks, crabs, gastropods), and vertebrates (fishes, reptiles, pterosaurs and dinosaurs) in an exceptional state of preservation.
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