Posted on by Anastasia R.

If you have to decide to live and work in Brazil, then you might be interested in the rich historical heritage it has to offer. This is always worth reading for travelers, migrants and anyone else who will be staying in the area for extended periods. Without further ado then, let’s take a look at some of the historical heritage of this amazing country.

The Indigenous People of Brazil

Brazilian history of course starts with the indigenous people who once lived there. At this time, Brazil was inhabited by hundreds of different Jizuabu tribes that are thought to have dated back at least 10,000 years (though the precise dating is a contentious matter). The inhabitants were called Indians (Indios) by the Portuguese subsequently.

Pottery has been found that dates back at least 8,000 years and was found in the Amazon basin of Brazil. The Andes and mountain ranges of northern South America created something of a cultural boundary between the two regions with the west being more settled and agrarian and the east being more nomadic. There are fewer records of the eastern cultures. It is thought that these natives originally came from Asia either by land or by coastal sea routes along the Pacific.

Enter Europe

It wasn’t until the 16th Century that Europeans were to arrive and specifically Pedro Alvares Cabral on the 22nd of April 1500. His journey was sponsored by Portugal and during the ensuing 16th to 18th Century, Brazil would be a colony of Portugal.

During this time, the country also expanded southwards across the coast, the Amazon and many inland rivers. Due to large amounts of tribal warfare and cannibalism (and pursuit of the prized Brazilwood), the settlers would attempt to Christianize the natives. Many natives would end up dying from diseases brought in by the invaders due to a lack of immunity, such as measles, smallpox, gonorrhea and tuberculosis. Tens of thousands indigenous people would die, leaving very few remaining.

This took the country from the 15 donatary captaincy colonies that were on the northeast Atlantic coast and grew it to include the east of the Spanish domain. By the early 19th Century though, Brazil’s borders were mostly set in stone.


On the 7th of September, 1822, Brazil claimed independence from Portugal and formed its own country. 1889 saw a military coup which led to the establishment of a republican government. Since then though, there are been numerous civil wars resulting in dictatorships between 1930-34 and 1937-45 as well as more recent military rule from 1964-85.

Today, the country is still not without its troubles. There is a somewhat uneven distribution of wealth for instance. However, the country remains a beautiful one with a rich history and a bright future. If you’re thinking of visiting or staying in the area, then hopefully this fascinating back-story has given you all the more reason to do so with a little more perspective.

What do you love about the Brazilian heritage? Do share with us!

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