On a Redwood HistoryMar 2nd 2013

On a Redwood History

Indian colonizationPortuguese colonizer Pedro Alvares Cabral landed his first sight on a Brazilian mountain, which he named "Monte Pascoal" or "Paschal Mountain", Easter day on April 22, 1500. Brazil’s name comes from a redwood tree used by the Indians for color and then adopted by the Europeans to dye textiles. With the Portuguese colonization, the indigenous people were up for a bloody battle leading to the extinction and culture of thousands of tribes subjected to slavery and disease.

In all the battles fought one Brazilian “Pocahontas” story inspired all of us. After finding the Portuguese sailor Diogo Álvares Correia, of the coasts of Salvador, Bahia nearing his death; the Tupinamba Indian Catarina Álvares Paraguaçu, also known as Catarina do Brasil, cared for him and married the soldier. Diego lived among the Tupinambas learned the language and culture and was a key figure in dialoguing peace between the Portuguese and the Indians. He was known as Caramuru meaning fire. (he carried his fire weapon).

Why is Brazil so Big?

Slave tradeThe "Treaty of Tordesillas signed in 1494 help settle Portuguese and Spanish land disputes and territories that were not yet explored. At the time Portuguese and Spain were united. The Spanish conquistadores focused their expansion on the costal lines of the Caribbean, Central and South America. This also helped in leaving the Portuguese, the Bandeirantes, pilgrims, slaves and slave hunters, explorers pushed the frontiers to Brazil’s west (inland). With the exception of Acre territory, that was purchased from Bolivia in 1920. And only in 1962 that Acre was recognized as a state.

African slavery was the leading force of Brazil’s economy from the 16th to the 19th century. Brazil’s economy relied on the strength of these strong African men and women working in sugar cane production, coffee plantations, and any agricultural activity. The Portuguese also lead their expedition to the exploitation of precious stones, gold, diamond mining, wood, and other rich natural resources on Brazil’s soil.

Brazil was a colony of the Kingdom of Portugal before 1815. Then Brazil was part of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves 1815-1822. Brazil remained a monarchy from 1822-1889 the monarchy was abolished in a military coup d'état that proclaimed Brazil a Republic on November 15, 1889.
Flag of Brazilian Empire

Article by: Virna Souza [BrazilChicago]


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