The Full Wiki

Piauí: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

State of Piauí
Flag of State of Piauí Coat of arms of State of Piauí
Location of State of Piauí in Brazil
(and largest city)
Demonym Piauiense
 -  Governor Jose Wellington Barroso de Araujo Dias
 -  Vice Governor Wilson Nunez Martins
 -  Total 251,529.186 km2 (97,115.962 sq mi) (11th)
 -  2006 estimate 3,036,290 (18th)
 -  2005 census 3,009,190 
 -  Density 12.1 /km2 (31 /sq mi) (18th)
GDP 2006 estimate
 -  Total R$ 12,790,000,000 (23rd)
 -  Per capita R$ 4,213 (27th)
HDI (2005) 0.703 (medium) (24th)
Abbreviation BR-PI
Time zone BRT (UTC-3)
 -  Summer (DST) BRST (UTC-2)

Piauí (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈi]) is one of the states of Brazil, located in the northeastern part of the country.

Piauí has the shortest coastline of any of the non-landlocked Brazilian states at 66 km (41 mi), and the capital, Teresina, is the only state capital in the north east to be located inland. The reason for this is, unlike the rest of the area, Piauí was first colonised inland and slowly expanded towards the ocean, rather than the other way around.

In the Southeast of the State is the National Park of Serra da Capivara is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park has more than 400 archaeological sites and the largest concentration of rupestrian (rock) paintings on the planet, in a landscape dominated by canyons and caatinga.



The state has many highly important archaeological sites, including Serra de Capivara National Park and Sete Cidades National Park, which are rich in remains of prehistoric Amerindian civilisations.

Teresina at night.

The first settlers in Piauí were bandits fleeing from São Paulo, notably Domingos Afonso Mafrense and Domingos Jorge Velho. Mafrense founded what is today Oeiras, whilst the first herds of cattle were taken there by Velho.

In the 1600s, many impoverished noblemen and Jesuit priests, as well as black and Amerindian slaves, settled there. The first large-scale cattle farming also arrived with these settlers. Large estate owners seeking new pastures for their livestock arrived from neighbouring states such as Bahia and Maranhão.

Palace in Teresina.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the principal industry of the state was stock-raising, which dates from the first settlement in 1674 by Domingos Affonso Mafrense, who established here a large number of cattle ranges. A secondary industry was the raising of goats, which were able to stand neglect and a scanty food supply. The agricultural products were cotton, sugar and tobacco. Forest products included rubber, carnauba wax and dyewoods. The exports included hides, skins, rubber, wax, tobacco and cotton.

Teresina was the first Brazilian city to be planned. In 1852, an architect designed it, after being inspired by a chessboard. Situated at the mouth of the Parnaíba and Poti Rivers, Teresina was (and still is) known as the Green City because of the countless mango trees that line the city's streets.


Piauí is bounded on the west by Maranhão, on the east by Ceará, Pernambuco and Bahia, and on the south by Tocantins. It has a few miles of Atlantic coastline on the north.

The Parnaíba River forms the boundary with Maranhão throughout its entire length, the state lies almost entirely within the basin of the Parnaíba and its tributaries. Part of the state on the Atlantic coast and along the lower Parnaíba is low, swampy, and historically malarial. South of this the country rises gradually to a high plateau with open campos. This plateau region is watered by numerous tributaries of the Parnaíba, chief of which are, from south to north: The Poti, which has its source in the state of Ceará; the Longa; the Canindé and its tributary the Piauí; the Gurguéia and its tributary the Parahim, which drains the large inland lake of Parnagua; and the Uruçui-Preto. The Parnaíba is navigable for boats of 1 meter draft up to Nova York, a few miles above the mouth of the Gurguéia. The river valleys are separated by flat-topped plateaus called chapadas, including the Serra Uruçui, which lies between the Uruçui-Preto and the Gurguéia, the Serra da Capivara National Park, which lies between the Gurguéia and the Piauí, and the Chapada das Mangabeiras, which forms the southwestern boundary of the state, separating the upper basin of the Parnaíba from that of the Tocantins.


Poti River.

The sandy soils along the Atlantic coast are home to the Northeastern Brazil restingas, low evergreen forests adapted to the nutrient-poor conditions. The lower basin of the Parnaíba is home to the Maranhão Babaçu forests, which extend westward into Maranhão. This ecoregion dominated by stands of the Babaçu palm.

Parnaíba River in Piauí.

The eastern portion of the state is dominated by the dry Caatingas shrublands, which extend across much of northeastern Brazil. The Cerrado savannas extend across the southwestern portion of the state, in the basins of the upper Parnaíba and Gurguéia rivers. Enclaves of Atlantic dry forests lie in basin of the Gurguéia, forming a transition between the Cerrado and Caatinga. Serra da Capivara National Park is located in the Caatinga of the south-central part of the state, and protects numerous caves with ancient cave paintings.


The climate is hot and humid in the lowlands and along the lower Parnaíba, but in the uplands it is dry with high day-time temperatures and cool nights.


Church of Názaria in Piauí.

According to the IBGE of 2007, there were 3,041,000 people residing in the state. The population density was 12.1 inh./km².

Urbanization: 60.7% (2006); Population growth: 1.1% (1991-2000); Houses: 791,000 (2006).[1]

The last PNAD (National Research for Sample of Domiciles) census revealed the following numbers: 2,101,000 Brown (Multiracial) people (69.1%), 760,000 White people (25.0%), 173,000 Black people (5.7%), 6,000 Asian or Amerindian people (0.2%).[2]

The capital of the state at night.

Interesting facts

Vehicles: 343,010 (March/2007);

Mobile phones: 923 thousand (April/2007); Telephones: 282 thousand (April/2007); Cities: 223 (2007).[3]


Piaui is one of the poorest states of Brazil[4]. The service sector is the largest component of GDP at 60.1%, followed by the industrial sector at 27.3%. Agriculture represents 12.6%, of GDP (2004). Piauí exports: essential oil 19.5%, soybean 17.1%, woven of cotton 15.1%, cashew 12.6%, crustaceans 12.4%, leather 8.3% (2002).

Share of the Brazilian economy: 0.5% (2004).[5]


Teresina is the most important educational centre of the state.

Portuguese is the official national language, and thus the primary language taught in schools. But English and Spanish are part of the official high school curriculum.

Educational institutions

  • Universidade Federal do Piauí (UFPI) (Federal University of Piauí);
  • Universidade Estadual do Piauí (Uespi) (State University of Piauí);
  • Centro Federal de Educação Tecnológica do Piauí (Cefet-PI);
  • Centro de Ensino Unificado de Teresina (Ceut);
  • Centro de Ensino Superior do Vale do Parnaíba (Cesvale);
  • and many others.


Festa Junina (Saint John Festival)

Fireworks in Saint John Festival.

Festa Junina was introduced to Northeastern Brazil by the Portuguese for whom St John's day (also celebrated as Midsummer Day in several European countries), on the 24th of June, is one of the oldest and most popular celebrations of the year. Differently, of course, from what happens on the European Midsummer Day, the festivities in Brazil do not take place during the summer solstice but during the tropical winter solstice. The festivities traditionally begin after the 12th of June, on the eve of St Anthony's day, and last until the 29th, which is Saint Peter's day. During these fifteen days, there are bonfires, fireworks, and folk dancing in the streets (step names are in French, which shows the mutual influences between court life and peasant culture in the 17th, 18th, and 19th-century Europe). Once exclusively a rural festivsl, today in Brazil it is largely a city festival during which people joyfully and theatrically mimic peasant stereotypes and clichés in a spirit of joked and good times. Typical refreshments and dishes are served. It should be noted that, like during Carnival, these festivities involve costume-wearing (in this case, peasant costumes), dancing, heavy drinking, and visual spectacles (fireworks display and folk dancing). Like what happens on Midsummer and St John's Day in Europe, bonfires are a central part of these festivities in Brazil.


The four-day period before Lent leading up to Ash Wednesday is carnival time in Brazil. Rich and poor alike forget their cares as they party in the streets.


Bridge in Teresina.

National Airport

Teresina/Senador Petrônio Portella Airport. Opened on September 30, 1967, Teresina Airport has been administered by Infraero since February 3, 1975. Teresina Airport is located four kilometers from downtown, roughly a ten-minute trip by car. It is 67 meters above sea level and the local temperature averages 30.9°C (87.62°F).


BR-020, BR-135, BR-222, BR-226, BR-230, BR-235, BR-316, BR-324, BR-330, BR-343, BR-402, BR-404, BR-407.


The flag of Piaui was created on 24 July 1922. The blue canton and a star represents the state itself and the green and yellow bars represent Piauí's union with Brazil.


Lindolfo Monteiro Stadium.

Cities in Piaui include:


  1. ^ Source: PNAD.
  2. ^ (in Portuguese) (PDF) Síntese de Indicadores Sociais 2007. Piauí, Brazil: IBGE. 2007. ISBN 85-240-3919-1. Retrieved 2007-07-18.  
  3. ^ Source: IBGE.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ (in Portuguese) (PDF) List of Brazilian states by GDP. Piauí, Brazil: IBGE. 2004. ISBN 85-240-3919-1. Retrieved 2007-07-18.  

This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

See also

Coordinates: 8°14′00″S 43°05′58″W / 8.233237°S 43.099365°W / -8.233237; -43.099365

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel


Piauí is a state in Northeast Brazil It was settled from the interior by cowboys and bandits, and has the shortest coastline of any northeastern state. Piauí is one of the poorest states in Brazil, and the economy is largely agricultural. The battle of Jenipapo in 1823 - where a Piauíese militia suicidally gave battle to Portuguese regular soldiers - is largely credited with leading to the independence of the northern part of Brazil.

Piauí is home to three of Brazil's National Parks, including the oldest known inhabited site in the Americas: Serra da Capivara National Park. The state has the world's fourth largest river delta, which is especially a haven for birds.

The state is remote. It has a population of three million people, and less than a dozen foreign permanent residents. The Brazilian Federal Government once forgot to include Piauí in a map of the country, and the state has given it's name to Brazil's best-known satirical magazine.

Piauí is for travellers rather than tourists. Culturally, perhaps the state is the most authentically northeastern. The extreme heat shapes the culture. The state claims to be the birthplace of Forró music. Frank Aguiar, Brazil’s undisputed “King of Forró”, is Piauíese and sings about the state. Piauíese Milindô music is one of the roots of samba. Maracatu is a specifically north-eastern form of samba.

Carnival in Piauí is modest but includes local traditions such as Bumba meu Boi, a dance involving people dressed as a bull. Teresina hosts the three-day Micarana festival in July, attracting top artists and visitors from all over Brazil - and no tourists.

South America's only opal mine is located at Pedro II. Local artisan products, including lacework, wood carving and leatherwork, are of a high standard.

Get in

Travel to Piauí in most cases will be by bus from other Brazilian states. Teresina has regular bus links to Fortaleza and São Luis and it is also possible to get a bus to Brasília or the big towns in the South-East (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte) but these destinations are over 48 hours away by bus and the roads entering South Piauí are in a terrible state.

Teresina and Parnaíba both have small airports receiving domestic flights. Both airports are accredited to receive international flights. An Italian charter airline has occasional flights to Parnaíba. Generally the fastest (not necessarily cheapest) way to reach Piauí from abroad is a direct flight to Fortaleza, Ceará, and a connecting flight to Teresina. Most international flights to Piauí are routed through first São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro and then Brasilia.

Get around

Teresina is the hub from which to get around the state by bus. The bus north to Parnaíba takes 5-6 hours.

  • Teresina, the state capital, is extremely hot all year round. For people who like dramatic weather, it is one of the world's most lightning prone cities. Visitors mainly use the city as a transport hub, and there is not much touristic interest. Karnak Palace, built in 1890 and seat of the Governor of Piauí since 1926 is named after the famous Egyptian palace. The garden was designed in 1970 by Roberto Burle Max, Brazil’s most famous landscape architect. The palace is open to visitors. Unfortunately an outgoing Governor stole many of the precious artefacts. Teresina has a smaller and less dramatic "Meeting of the Waters" than the Amazon, as the clear waters of the river Poti flow into the muddy river Parnaíba. The river is also the place to see the annual Procissão de São Pedro, or just to relax with the locals on one of the river beaches.
  • Parnaíba is the state's second largest city located near the thin strip of coastline. It is a long way from anywhere else but has excellent beaches nearby. Try Coqueiro or for the more adventurous the more distant Barra Grande. Parnaíba is also located on the delta of the river of the same name and daytrips to see the fauna, flora and sand dunes of the delta are well worth the detour.
  • Ilha do Cajú is actually in Maranhão, but can only be accessed from Parnaíba in the state of Piauí. The boat trip to the island is fabulous in itself, taking a couple of hours meandering through lush mangrove swamps, a fantastic opportunity for acquatic bird watching. The island itself is private property and there is only one guesthouse and one adjoined restaurant. On the island, which is practically deserted, there are numerous hiking and cayaking opportunities, all arranged by the guesthouse staff. Reservations are essential, and for what you get the guesthouse is comparitively overpriced, but its really the only way to see the island. [1] This is about as far away from it all as you can possibly get.
  • The Parque Nacional de Sete Cidades is located between Teresina and Parnaíba (nearest town Piracuruca). Well worth a visit for its weird and wonderful rock formations and prehistoric cave paintings. There is a guesthouse located within the national park, and another, larger one, just outside the main gate. The best way to see the park is by bicycle, which can be rented at the visitor's center. Other options include walking (a warning: it gets very hot) or by car. In every case you must hire an official guide, who are all very friendly and well trained, although its doubtful any will speak more than rudimentary English. They are always available at the visitor's center.
  • The town of Pedro II, in the hills not far from Sete Cidades National Park. This is one of only two Opel producing areas in the world (the other is in Australia). The town is pleasant, sometimes called the "Switzerland of Piauí", somewhat of an exageration, but nice enough anyway and cooler than the rest of the state also. Visit the Opel mines, all mined by hand, with a local guide. Ask for one in any of the many stores selling Opel products. Pedro II is also known for its weaving, with many stores and workshops spread around town.
  • The Serra da Capivara is located in the remote south of the state where the arid Sertão begins to merge with the more Amazonian landscape of the west. Incredibly hard to get to but full of indigenous wildlife and some of the earliest evidence for human settlement in the Americas.
  • Poços Jorrantes – naturally pressurised jets of water at Cristino Castro – is close to Serra da Capivara.
  • Serra das Confusões National Park
  • Cachoeira do Urubu. White water rapids. A popular picnic spot.


The Piauiense coastline is one of Brazil's main crab-producing areas so on the coast don't miss out on all the crab specialities. The state also grows a lot of cashew trees - you can eat the fruit, the toasted nuts and they even make alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks from the juice, not to mention caramelized sweets from the fruit itself.

Local specialities include:

  • Carne de sol - meat that has been preserved by the sun.
  • Baião de Dois – rice, beans, cheese and herbs
  • Maria Isabel – rice with sun dried meat
  • Panelada - Tripe
  • Linguiça do porco - a type of pork sausage
  • Cajuína - a soft drink made from cashew fruit - is produced in Piaui. Caetano Veloso, one of Brazil's best-known singers, wrote a song about Piauiese cajuína.
This article is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Proper noun


  1. State in north-eastern Brazil which has Teresina as its capital.

See also


Simple English

Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this name.

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address