History and Geography of Goiás, Brazil

With an economy based on agriculture, Goiás follows a path of growing industrialization and seeks to disseminate its natural, artistic, cultural and human resources.

The history of Goiás

The occupation of the territory that today corresponds to the state of Goiás began with the expeditions of bandeirantes from São Paulo. Among the first waves of adventurers, the banner of Bartolomeu Bueno da Silva, the Anhanguera , stood out , in search of gold.

Reports without historical evidence show that he would have threatened to dry the rivers and springs if the Indians did not show him where the metals used to make their artifacts and ornaments were taken from. What is known, for sure, is that the first deposits were found at the end of the 17th century.

When news about the discovery of gold began to spread, many expeditions headed for Goiás. Thus, in 1726, the first settlement settlement in the region, called Arraial da Barra , was formed . Gold mining activity peaked in the second half of the 18th century. In 1744, Goiás became an autonomous captaincy – until then, it had remained linked to São Paulo.

Another fundamental economic activity for the occupation of Goiás was livestock. Once again, the adventurers left São Paulo, only that their goals were different from those of the prospectors: all they wanted was good land for their flocks.

According to watchtutorials.org, the Goianian vocation for the agricultural sector arose, which was strengthened in 1860, when mining started to decline. The need to dispose of production gave rise to roads and stimulated steam navigation, especially at the end of the 19th century.

The state capital, Goiânia, was built in the 20th century. In 1988, the territory of Goiás was dismembered to give rise to the state of Tocantins .

Physical aspects

Located in the Central plateau of Brazil, the state of Goiás covers a territory of 340086698 km 2 . It is limited to the north with the state of Tocantins, to the southeast with Minas Gerais, to the east, to Bahia and Minas Gerais, to the southwest, to Mato Grosso do Sul, and to the west, to the state of Mato Grosso.

Its relief is characterized by the presence of ancient sedimentary crystalline terrain and the areas of plateaus worked by erosion, which alternate with plateaus, such as the Veadeiros, which has altitudes above 1200 m, and the Serra dos Pireneus, which reaches 1395 m .

The main rivers that cross the state are Tocantins (which rises at 1000 m altitude, on the Goiás plateau), Paranaíba (one of the Paraná River’s formers) and Araguaia. With 2600 km in length, Araguaia is the main tributary of Tocantins and is home to the largest river island in the world, the Bananal island, with about 20 thousand km 2 in length.

The climate of Goiás is tropical, hot and rainy in the summer, hot and dry in the winter. The average annual temperature exceeds 20 ° C, and rainfall ranges from 1000 to 1500 mm / year.

The predominant vegetation is the cerrado , which has trees and shrubs with tortuous branches, thick barks and deep roots. The essential difference between this type of vegetation and the caatinga is the abundance of water in the subsoil.

However, the cerrado lands are not very fertile, as the high aluminum content causes acidity. Although small, the area of ​​tropical forest known as Mato Grosso de Goiás deserves mention.

The population of Goiás

In 2017, it was estimated that 6,778,772 people live in the state of Goiás, concentrated mainly in the metropolitan region of the capital (with a population of over 2 million and 25% of the state’s GDP) and in the surroundings of Brasília (about 3 million) .

Ethnically, this population is made up of browns (47.9%), whites (46.6%), blacks (5.3%) and indigenous people (0.2%). The latter are located in four more or less specific areas, which occupy about 39781 hectares. Three of them are already demarcated by the National Indian Foundation (Funai).

The economy of Goiás

The economic base of Goiás is agriculture . Second milk producer in the country, it is the third in number of herds, of which the most important are bovine and swine.

In agriculture , the main crops are rice, beans, corn, soy (mainly for export), coffee, sorghum, wheat, herbaceous cotton, sugar cane and tomatoes.

In the industrial sector, the mining, food, textile, furniture, metallurgical and timber sectors stand out. Government incentives have helped to attract investors from the pharmaceutical, footwear and technology areas. The municipality of Catalão is also a highlight, with its automobile hub.

The main products of the extractive activity are mineral water, asbestos, limestone, phosphate, nickel, gold, kyanite, manganese, niobium and vermiculite.

Tourism and culture

The state of Goiás is not among the main destinations for travelers to Brazil, but there are already efforts to promote the natural beauty, gastronomy and cultural activities of the region – which has stood out as a “granary” for hinterland artists.

Fruit of the miscegenation of Indians, Africans and Portuguese, passing through the influences of migratory flows from various Brazilian states, the culture of Goiás is rich and diverse. It includes folkloric events, such as the Festa do Divino Espírito Santo and Cavalhadas, and the cuisine, which is characterized by the use of strong spices and the wood stove.

In older cities, Baroque-inspired architecture stands out. Noteworthy is the former Vila Boa de Goyaz, now the City of Goiás, the birthplace of the poet Cora Coralina (1890-1985) and listed as a World Historical and Artistic Heritage by Unesco.

And for those who enjoy ecological and adventure tourism, the state offers waterfalls, hot springs, natural “sculptures” made of stones, caves and exuberant fauna and flora.

Goiás, Brazil