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Goiana, Pernambuco (Brazil)

Last modified: 2012-03-23 by ian macdonald
Keywords: pernambuco | goiana |
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Goiana, PE (Brazil) image by Dirk Schönberger, 5 May 2011

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A vertical bicolor, blue and white, with the municipal arms centerd.

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Dirk Schönberger, 5 May 2011

The municipality of Goiana (75,987 inhabitants in 2011; 151 sq. km) is located in northeastern Pernambuco, on the border with Paraíba, 60 km of Recife and 50 km of João Pessoa. The municipality is made of the town of Goiana proper and of the districts of Pontas de Pedras and Tejucopapo.

Goiana was mentioned for the first time, as Gueena, in a record of the Society of Jesus dated 1592. A similar record, dated 1606, mentions "Goyana", subsequently changed to "Goyanna" and, eventually, to Goiana. The most probable origin of the name of the town is a Tupi-Guarani word meaning "The Land rich in water". The early settlement was made a commune when Diogo Fias a rich colonist, purchased from Jerônima de Albuquerque Sousa a piece of land and established a fortified mill in the valley of River Tracunhaém. In 1574, the Potiguara Indians destroyed the mill, which caused the suppression of the Itamaracá Capitanate, replaced by the Paraíba Capitanate. In the colonial period, Goiana was the main producer of sugarcane in Pernambuco. Sugar was exported from the port set up on river Goiana. In January 1640, a naval battle opposed between Goiana and the Itamaracá island the fleets of Fernando de Mascarenhas, Count of Torre, and of William Corneliszoon; four engravings by Frans Post recall the battle. On 24 April 1646, the women from the village of Tejucopapo, equipped with stones, tools and hot water, repelled the Dutch who threatened the village. The "Epics of the Tejucupapo Heroines" is celebrated every last Sunday of April. The inhabitants of Goiana proudly contributed to several revolutionary events, such as  the Pernambuco Revolution (1817), the Ecuadorian Confederation (1824) and the Goiana Revolution (1825). Goiana was made a "vila" on 15 January 1685, a "cidade" on 5 May 1840, and the seat of a municipality on 3 August 1892. Goiana was incorporated to the Recife Metropolitan Area on 23 March 2007.

The coat of arms of Goaina depicts the Japumim mill, which may be the first place settled in the municipality, and the Sugar Mill. The two scenes are separated by a yellow bend sinister inscribed "FUNDADA no ANNO DE 1570" (Founded in year 1570). The shield is surmounted by an eagle argent holding a yellow scroll inscribed "1646", "1821", "GOYANNA", "1848" and "1888". Below the shield is placed a scroll horizontally divided blue-white and inscribed "ESTADO de PERNAMBUCO".

Ivan Sache, 5 March 2012