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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a nation (natsiia, nation in the historical sense); the basic population of Brazil. They number about 91 million (more than 95 percent of the population, according to a 1970 estimate). They speak Portuguese (distinguished by several characteristics). Their religion is Catholicism.

The Brazilians were formed as a result of the mixture of the immigrant populations of the 16th to 20th centuries (mainly Portuguese) with the aboriginal Indians (groups of the Tupi-Guaraní and Gê tribes, among others) and with the African slaves introduced in the 16th to 19th centuries (including Yoruba, Bantu, Ewe, Ashanti, and Hausa). Beginning in the mid-19th century, Brazil was also settled by groups of Italians, Spaniards, and Poles, among others, and in the 20th century, by groups of Japanese, who are gradually being assimilated. In contemporary Brazilian culture many elements of Indian culture are preserved in the north; the African culture is preserved in the northeast, and the south is dominated by European elements. In anthropological terms the Brazilians belong to varied, largely mixed racial types. Negroid elements predominate in the north; Europoid elements, in the south.


Narody Ameriki, vol. 2. Moscow, 1959. (Bibliography, pp. 629–30.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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