Communication between the State of Maranhão and the State of Brazil was limited for most of the seventeenth century by the inexistence of a road by land. In the last two decades of this century, the governors of Maranhão tried to improve this communication by exploring the interior regions and by opening a path based on the knowledge of the indigenous peoples that lived there. For such purpose, expeditions were organized and different strategies for territorial control were activated, such as the descent of indigenous peoples and war. Based on colonial documentation, this article studies these projects, addressing questions about the influence of Indians on the transformation of colonial boundaries and the motivations that authorities had for this endeavor, up to the beginning of the eighteenth century.
State of Maranhão - State of Brazil - frontiers - Indians - Seventeenth century