Subchapter 12 – Igatu


“Igatu” is a term of Tupi origin, meaning “good river”, through the junction of the terms’ y (water, river) and katu (good).


The “Vila de Igatu”, formerly known as “Xique-Xique de Igatu” in the first phase of the diamond mining during the 19th century, was a prosperous village high in the hills near the city of Andaraí. With the decline of diamond production, the village was practically abandoned, leaving behind closed houses, ruins and few residents.

In the urban area of Igatu district, there were 360 inhabitants in 2010. Very little compared to the ancient inhabitants: once, there were about 9,000.

Most garimpeiros/prospectors built their houses using the abundant stones in the place, in a kind of construction without mortar. Once abandoned, the houses have become ruins reminiscent of the construction of remote civilizations.

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