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    Brazil: Indigenous Groups or Religious or Ethnic Minorities

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    Address the following in this section of your paper:

    1. Describe the indigenous groups or religious or ethnic minorities within Brazil. Be sure to approximate each group's percentage within the general population.

    2. In the past, how have the dominant population treated minority populations in Brazil?

    3. What is the role of women in Brazil deciding reproductive strategies?

    4. What is the per capita income of Brazil? How unevenly is income distributed? References please.

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    History, Latin American History
    Year 3
    Interesting topic! Let’s look at each question individually, and you can then use the information and the links provided for further research for your final copy.
    Describe the indigenous groups or religious or ethnic minorities within Brazil. No cut and paste please Address the following in this section of your paper:

    1. Describe the indigenous groups or religious or ethnic minorities within Brazil.

    • For example, indigenous peoples in Brazil comprise a large number of distinct ethnic groups who inhabited the country's present territory prior to its discovery by Europeans around 1500.
    • the first Portuguese explorers called them índios ("Indians"), a name that is still used today in Brazil.
    • At the time of European discovery, the indigenous peoples were traditionally mostly semi-nomadic tribes who subsisted on hunting, fishing, gathering, and migrant agriculture.
    • many of the estimated 2000 nations and tribes which existed in 1500 died out as a consequence of the European settlement, and many were assimilated into the Brazilian population. The indigenous population has declined from a pre-Columbian high of an estimated 4–6 million to just 100,000 in 1950—probably one of the largest genocides in human history. Only a few tribes still survive in their original culture in remote areas of the Amazon Rainforest such as the Korubo, a tribe that is still isolated from the modern world.
    • changes in government policies over the past 50 years have managed to afford some protection to the remaining indigenous peoples, and the population has risen again to some 300,000 (1997), grouped into some 200 tribes. A somewhat dated linguistic survey (Rodrigues 1985) found 188 living indigenous languages with 155,000 total speakers. Brazilian Indians made substantial and pervasive contributions to the country's material and cultural development—such as the domestication of cassava, which is still a major staple food in rural areas of the country.
    • In the last IBGE census (2000), 700.000 Brazilians classified themselves as Indigenous. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indigenous_peoples_in_Brazil).
    NOTE: IBGE, for more information on Brazil, see the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatistica) - the agency responsible for statistical, geographic, cartographic, geodetic and environmental information in Brazil.
    For more information click on the following:
    Indigenous peoples
    Colonial Brazil

    Empire of Brazil






    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indigenous_peoples_in_Brazil
    1b. Be sure to approximate each group's percentage within the general population.
    Ethnicity and race
    According to the 2000 IBGE census for Brazil:
    • white 53.7%
    • mixed race 38.5%
    • black 6.2%
    • asian 0.5%
    • amerindian 0.4%
    • unspecified 0.7%
    Brazil has a White majority and a very large number of mixed race people. Blacks are a significant minority, while Asians and Amerindians are a sizeable minority. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indigenous_peoples_in_Brazil

    Religion: Description of Indigenous Religion
    The indigineous religions are such thing as Spiritism, which constitutes 1.3% of the population (about 2,3 million) and is the country with the most adepts of this religion. African traditional religions such as Candomblé, Macumba, and Umbanda are the next largest groups. There are around 120,000 members of the Jewish community (located mostly in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro but also in Brasilia, Curitiba, Porto Alegre and other major towns) while Buddhism, Shinto, and other Asian religions are also sizeable. There are around 28,000 muslims, or 0.01% of the population. Some practice a mixture of different religions, such as Catholicism, Candomble and indigenous American religion combined.
    • Spiritism is a religious and philosophic doctrine established in France in the mid 19th Century by Allan Kardec. The term was coined by him as the specific name of the doctrine he was about to publish but, given the fact that the word was created from roots taken from the common language, it was soon incorporated into the normal use and has been used to name other doctrines as well, though the original Spiritists protest against this usage. During the late 19th century, many well educated people from Europe and the United States embraced Spiritism as a logical explanation of themes related to the Christian Revelation. However, most of the initial enthusiasm receded. But in some places the work of a few dedicated preachers managed to achieve a solid foundation — more notably, in Brazil, and to a certain extent in the Philippines. In Brazil, more than 4 million people declare themselves Kardecist spiritists, according to the last IBGE census data, which makes Brazil the largest Spiritist country in the world. Spiritism has influenced syncretisms like Brazilian Umbanda and Vietnamese Caodaism. Spiritism is not to be confused with spiritualism. Its use with that meaning is regarded as pejorative by both Spiritualists and Spiritists. Uncapitalised, the word, in English, is an obsolete term for animism and other religious practices involving the invocation of spiritual beings, including shamanism. http://www.worldbank.org/html/extdr/hnp/hddflash/workp/wp_00045.html).
    • Candomblé is an Afro-American religion practiced chiefly in Brazil but also in adjacent countries. The religion came from Africa to Brazil, carried by African priests and adherents who were brought as slaves between 1549 and 1888. The name Batuque is also used, especially before the 19th century when Candomblé became more common. Both words are believed to derive from a Bantu-family language. Although originally confined to the slave population, banned by the Catholic church, and even criminalized by some governments, Candomblé thrived for over four centuries, and expanded considerably after the end of slavery in late 1800s. It is now a major, established religion, with followers from all social classes and tens of thousands of temples. In recent surveys, about 2 million Brazilians (1.5% of the total population) have declared candomblé as their religion. However, in Brazilian culture, religions are not seen as mutually exclusive, and thus many people of other faiths participate in candomblé rituals regularly or occasionally. Candomblé deities, rituals, and holidays are now an integral part of Brazilian folklore. Candomblé may be called Macumba in some regions, notably Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, although Macumba has a distinct set of practices more akin to European witchcraft. Candomblé can also be distinguished from Umbanda, a religion founded in the early 20th century by combining African elements with Kardecism; and from similar African-derived religions in other New World countries, such as Haitian Voodoo, Cuban Santería, and Obeah, which developed independently of Candomblé and are virtually unknown in Brazil (http://www.worldbank.org/html/extdr/hnp/hddflash/workp/wp_00045.html).
    Description of Catholicism & other offshoots of Christianity
    • According to the worldbank.org, about 74% of the population in Brazil are Roman Catholic. Followers of Protestantism are rising in number, currently at 15.4%. Brazil is the country with the largest Catholic population in the world, as well the country with the most members of Asian religions in the Western world. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazil However, Brazil might appear to be a devout country, but things are a little bit more complex. In the latest IBGE poll, results showed that about 10% of Brazilians declared themselves to be non-religious (with just 1% declaring themselves atheists) and some 70% of Catholics stated that they were non-practicing. (http://www.worldbank.org/html/extdr/hnp/hddflash/workp/wp_00045.html).
    • Interestingly, Brazil's main religion since the 16th century has been Christianity, predominantly Roman Catholicism. This religion was introduced by the missionaries who accompanied the Portuguese explorers and settlers of Brazil. Brazil has the largest number of baptized Roman Catholics on Earth — about 80% of Brazilians claiming to be Catholics. However, about 20% of the population of Brazil actually attends Mass on a regular basis. Popular traditions of Roman Catholicism in Brazil include pilgrimages to the Appeared Lady, Senhora Aparecida, the patron saint of Brazil. Other prominent festivals include Círio in Belém and the Festa do Divino in central Brazil. Brazil also has many other offshoots of Christianity. These include neo-Pentecostalists, old Pentecostalists and Evangelicals, predominantly from Minas Gerais to the South. In the same region, mainly Minas Gerais and São Paulo, large sections of the middle class, about 1-2% of the total population, is Kardecist, sometimes pure, sometimes in syncretism with Roman Catholicism. Protestantism is generally the only religion in Brazil relatively free of syncretism. Centers of neo-Pentecostalism are Londrina in Paraná state, as well as the state capitals of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte, capital of Minas Gerais. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Brazil).

    2. In the past, how have the dominant population treated minority populations in Brazil?

    • For example, indigenous, ethnic, racial and linguistic minorities worldwide are in an inferior economic and social position vis-à-vis the "mainstream" “dominant” population, which is manifested in such ways as wage discrimination, job discrimination, lower educational advantages, and less economical and social privileges overall. http://www.worldbank.org/html/extdr/hnp/hddflash/workp/wp_00045.html
    • The ethnic concentration of poverty and inequality is increasingly being recognized in the development literature. For example, in the paper presented below for convenience (and in case the article is removed from the website), studies from six Latin American countries that estimate the costs to an individual of being an economic minority are reviewed. The studies decompose the overall earnings gap into two components: one is the portion attributable to differences in the endowments of income-generating characteristics ("explained" differences); the other portion is attributable to differences in the returns that majority and minority workers receive for the same endowment of income-generating characteristics ("unexplained"). http://www.worldbank.org/html/extdr/hnp/hddflash/workp/wp_00045.html
    • This latter component is often taken as reflecting the "upper bound" of wage discrimination. In economic terms, discrimination refers to differences in economic outcomes between groups that cannot be accounted for by the skills and productive characteristics of these groups. The "upper bound" of discrimination gives an indication of the "cost" of being a minority. (See on-line paper at http://www.worldbank.org/html/extdr/hnp/hddflash/workp/wp_00045.html).
    However, an industrial power with the largest population in Latin America and the Caribbean, Brazil has made big strides in reducing social and economic inequality, which are both cause and consequence of the poverty that continues to afflict millions of people. See more detail at
    Country brief

    Religion as a catalyst for change:
    The Roman Catholic church also aids in social programs and promotes social programs to help address social issues of povery, violence, etc.
    See http://www.fmpsd.ab.ca/schools/df/Brazil/mreligion.htm
    Also see http://www.answers.com/topic/religion-in-brazil

    3. What is the role of women in Brazil deciding reproductive strategies?

    • Women in Latin American - including women in Brazil - While women in Latin America and the Caribbean have seen enormous progress in the protection of their human rights over the past few years, their reproductive rights are yet to be fully realized. Unsafe abortion is a serious public health problem in Latin America and the Caribbean, and continues to be one of the leading causes of maternal mortality in the region. However, abortion remains illegal on nearly all grounds in all but a few countries. Latin American women’s right to access emergency contraception is also under attack, facing increasing legal challenges from conservative groups that are seeking bans on this vital method of contraception. For more information on abortion and reproductive health care in Latin America, see Persecuted: Political Process and Abortion Legislation in El Salvador: A Human Rights Analysis and Silence and Complicity: Violence Against Women in Peruvian Public Health Facilities
    • While women’s rights protected by international and regional treaties enjoy constitutional legal status in many Latin American countries, a gap remains between the law and the way it is implemented by the judiciary. For example, one 2001 report, Bodies on Trial: Reproductive Rights in Latin American Courts (Cuerpo y Derecho: Legislación y jurisprudencia en América Latina),is a ground-breaking study of legislation and high court decisions concerning the rights of women in five Latin American countries: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. For more information, see Reproductive Rights in the Inter-American System for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (PDF). However, Brazil is not on this list, yet.
    • The Center for Reproductive Rights' reports Women of the World: Laws and Policies Affecting Their Reproductive Lives—Latin America and the Caribbean and Women of the World: Laws and Policies Affecting Their Reproductive Lives—Latin America and the Caribbean 2000 Progress Report, examine the status of women’s reproductive rights in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico and Peru.

    Other links to consider for this section of your paper:
    Violence against women in Latin America (including Brazil) decreases the amount of control women have over deciding reproductive strategies. See more detail at http://www.path.org/files/EOL20_1.pdf.
    Also see http://www.prb.org/pdf05/So_What_Report_A_Look_at_Whether_Integrating_a_Gender_Focus.pdf.

    4. What is the per capita income of Brazil?
    Brazil (2003) = $7510.00 GNI per capita
    Year 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2003
    GNI- Gross National Income per capita (PPP$)
    (Current PPP$) 2 030 3 550 4 350 5 140 6 280 7 150 7 510

    How unevenly is income distributed?
    Another indicator of how the income is unevenly distributed is referred to the “Share of poorest 20% in national income or consumption” (in other word’s how much of the above 7510.00 NPI goes to 20% of the poorest population in Brazil): The share of income or consumption accruing to the poorest 20% of the population. Data on personal or household income or consumption come from nationally representative household surveys. These figures suggest that 20% of the poorest population represent only 2.4 % of the GNI. In other words, using the above figure $7510.00 GNI: only $180.24 GNI goes to 20% of poorest.
    Year 2001
    Share of poorest 20% in national income or consumption
    (Percent) ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution describes the indigenous groups or religious or ethnic minorities within Brazil on several dimensions e.g. group's percentage of general population, past treatment, role of women and income. References are provided.