Amazon People

Let us have a look at the Amazon people from the nine countries, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela, which form the Amazon Rainforest region:

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Brazil:

Brazil immediately brings to our mind the love and passion the Amazon people show for football and carnivals. They live it up with gusto in both these areas.



Football is the most passionate sport of Brazil. They have won the World Cup several times attracting several talented players to take part in tournaments.

The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is the other Brazilian event well known all over the world. It attracts all the Amazon people for taking part in the various events.

Various samba schools compete during the carnival in the specially built Sambadrome which attracts huge audiences and is a great tourist attraction with both the local population and foreign tourists attending it. They are known for the elaborate parades, which are nationally televised.

The country’s population consists of people of different cultures and ethnicities such as whites - 58%, blacks, mixed white and blacks – about 40%, Japanese, Arabs and other races.

About 74% of the population are Roman Catholics, Protestants are around 15%, balance being Spiritualists and others.

Portuguese is the official language but other languages like Spanish, English and French are also used in the country.

More than 80% of the population is literate.

There is a concern in the country for the prevalence of HIV/AIDS cases, which is estimated to be around 0.7% of the population, around 660,000 people are estimated to be affected by HIV/AIDS and deaths are around 15,000 as per 2003 estimate.

Bolivia:

The people of Bolivia consist of Amerindian population of 55% and the remaining 30% is Mestizo (mixed Amerindian and European) and around 15% are whites called criollos consisting of families of Spanish colonists, as also other white groups of people like German, Italian, American, Basque, Croatian, Russian and Polish descendants of early settlers.

African descendants of the early slave families form the Afro-Bolivian community, who had moved from Brazil into Bolivia. There are also some Japanese and Middle Easterners. They have assimilated themselves as Amazon people also.

Quechua and the Aymara form the basis of the cultures of the country along with other Latin American cultures.

Among the various festivals of the country "Carnaval de Oruro", is well known.

Football is the national sport of the country. People also take part in table football.

Ethnic groups of the country’s population consist of : Quechua 30%, mestizo (mixed white and Amerindian ancestry) 30%, Aymara 25%, white 15%

The main religions are : Roman Catholic 95%, Protestant (Evangelical Methodist) 5%

The languages: Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara (official)

Literacy: 86.7% of the total population (2001 census)



Colombia:

Consists of more than 50 different indigenous types of Amazon people, speaking languages belonging to the Chibchan and Cariban linguistic families. Some of the largest indigenous groups are the Arhuacos, the Muisca and the Kuna people, the Witoto, the Páez, the Tucano, the Wayuu and the Guahibo.

It has large immigrant populations consisting of Arab Lebanese, Jewish, Italian, German, American, Chinese, French, Portuguese and Gypsy descendants. There are also important communities of German and Chinese descendants in the Caribbean Coast. Most of these immigrants have settled in the Caribbean Coast, Barranquilla.

Colombia has multiple celebrations and festivals through out the year, most of these being celebrations related to religious traditions, human expressions such as musical and theater, freedom celebration; as the case of the Ibero-American Theater Festival, Barranquilla's Carnival, Carnival of Blacks and Whites, the Independence day every July 20th, the holy week and Christmas. Football is a big favorite sport of Colombia

Ethnic groups: mestizo 58%, white 20%, mulatto 14%, black 4%, mixed black-Amerindian 3%, Amerindian 1%

Religions: Roman Catholic 90%, other 10%

Languages: Spanish

Literacy: 92.8% of the total population (2004 est.)

Ecuador:

Ecuador's mix of Amazon people population consists of Mestizos, the mixed descendants of Spanish colonists and indigenous Indians, Amerindians, Whites, mainly criollos and a few Afro-Ecuadorian minority communities including Mulattos and zambos.

Many Ecuadoreans have emigrated to Europe, the United States, Canada and Japan following the 1999 economic crisis.

The Panama Hat is a specialty of Ecuador. Football is the most popular sport. Tennis also has some following.

Ethnic groups: mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 65%, Amerindian 25%, Spanish and others 7%, black 3%

Religions: Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%

Languages: Spanish (official), Amerindian languages (especially Quechua)

Literacy: 91% of the total population (2001 census)

French Guiana:

Population consists of Guianese Creoles, who are of African lineage with French ancestry, Asians from Laos, China and some groups from a few Caribbean islands, Amerindians and Maroons.

The main Amerindian groups (forming about 3%-4% of the population) are the Arawak, Carib, Emerillon, Galibi (now called the Kaliña), Palikour, Wayampi and Wayana.

The predominant religion in this region is Roman Catholicism, though the Maroons and some Amerindian peoples still practice their own religions. The Hmong people are also mainly Catholic owing to the influence of Catholic missionaries who helped bring them to French Guiana.

Guyana:

The population consists of the native Amerindians with the descendants of immigrants of people who came to the land as slaves or indentured laborers, with their background being from Europe, Africa, India, China, middle east etc. The largest group being east Indians.

Being non Hispanic the people have more in common with those of the Caribbean nations. The most popular sport is cricket as that of the Caribbean nations and its team is a part of the West Indies cricket team.

Ethnic groups: East Indian 50%, black 36%, Amerindian 7%, white, Chinese, and mixed 7%

Religions: Christian 50%, Hindu 35%, Muslim 10%, other 5%

Languages: English, Amerindian dialects, Creole, Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Urdu

Literacy: 98.8% of the total population (2003 est.)

Suriname:

East Indians, West Africans, Javanese, Amerindians, Chinese and Jews are the various groups of people of Suriname. Most of the people live on the coast. Many expatriate Surinamese people live in Netherlands.

Ethnic groups: Hindustani (also known locally as "East Indians"; their ancestors emigrated from northern India in the latter part of the 19th century) 37%, Creole (mixed white and black) 31%, Javanese 15%, "Maroons" (their African ancestors were brought to the country in the 17th and 18th centuries as slaves and escaped to the interior) 10%, Amerindian 2%, Chinese 2%, white 1%, other 2%

Religions:Hindu 27.4%, Protestant 25.2% (predominantly Moravian), Roman Catholic 22.8%, Muslim 19.6%, indigenous beliefs 5%

Languages:Dutch (official), English (widely spoken), Sranang Tongo (Surinamese, sometimes called Taki-Taki, is native language of Creoles and much of the younger population and is lingua franca among others), Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Javanese

Literacy: 89.6% of the total population (2004 census)

Peru:

Amerindians were the original people of the country before the Spanish conquest of the 16th century. Beyond that period in addition to the Spanish people, several Africans also came over to the country. They were followed by people of some other European nations such as England, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain as also Chinese, Arabs and Japanese.

Ethnic Amazon people groups:Amerindian 45%, mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 37%, white 15%, black, Japanese, Chinese, and other 3%

Religions:Roman Catholic 81%, Seventh Day Adventist 1.4%, other Christian 0.7%, other 0.6%, unspecified or none 16.3% (2003 est.)

Languages:Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara, and a large number of minor Amazonian languages

Literacy: 87.7% of the total population (2004 est.)

Venezuela:

Ethnic Amazon people groups:Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Arab, German, African, indigenous people

Religions:nominally Roman Catholic 96%, Protestant 2%, other 2%

Languages:Spanish (official), numerous indigenous dialects

Literacy: 93% of the total population (2001 census)

Most popular sport is Baseball as also football.

In general football, Spanish, carnival etc immediately bring us up to vibrant life style of the Amazon people.


Sources :

1] C.I.A - The World Factbook

2] Wikipedia




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