The group arose from a regrouping of several indigenous peoples who inhabited the region. Documents indicate that, since the 1700s, indigenous people in this region face problems with the non-indigenous occupation of the region. The distribution of land in Brazil, from the hereditary captaincies, served as a mechanism of dispersion of native populations, as occurred, for example, in the interior lands of Pernambuco. The indigenous fulniôs resisted non-Indian occupation, maintaining, for example, the ritual of the Ouricuri. In between, other rituals. In fact of several wars.
Nowadays the majority of the Fulni-ô plant their roças (planting fields), usually 2 or 3 hectares, using only their family workforce. In general they sell part of their production. They produce fodder and cotton for sale, whereas beans, maize and cassava are planted both for commercial purposes and for family consumption. The one commercial activity in which women are involved is the manufacturing of crafts made of palm leaves. It is the men who are in charge of finding, cutting and transporting the palm leaves from the hills to the village. When the family lacks men, the women must perform this extenuating task.
Items most commonly produced are purses, mats, brushes, hats and fans. Other articles, such as sandals, must be ordered in advance. Some of those products are decorated with dyed fibers; the older Fulni-ô say that their ancestors used to use dyes they themselves prepared.
These objects are manufactured preferably between September and December, when the work in the roças is coming to an end. In that time of the year it is also easier both to get the palm leaves and to manufacture the items, because it is the dry season and the leaves dry quickly; in addition, in the rainy season the Fulni-ô must also tend their fields. The months with most production coincide with the Ouricuri ritual; it is also at that time that the demand for these products is highest, although it must be said that they are manufactured throughout the year.
Ouricuri is a region that integrates Fulni-ô lands in Águas Belas, and where Fulni Indians practice collective seclusion for three months. In this place, non-fulniots can only enter with the authorization of the shaman, and never during the practice of the ritual. The fulni-ô keep the set of elements that make up the religion in secret, because they believe that the secret protects their cultural specificities.
In the interior of the Ouricuri, there is a separation of environments for men and for women. It is also there that the sacred juazeiro inhabits, tree that symbolizes, for the natives, the greater image of the sacred nature. All Indians should participate in collective seclusion, as this is a mandatory rule to become fulltime. Whoever does not attend the Ouricuri is not considered a legitimate fulni-o.