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Pará, state, Brazil
Pará (pəräˈ), state (1996 pop. 5,552,783), 474,896 sq mi (1,229,981 sq km), N Brazil, in the lower Amazon River basin bordering on the Guianas and the Atlantic Ocean. Belém is the capital. Mostly covered with rain forest, the hot, humid region is drained by the Amazon and its numerous tributaries. The state includes the island of Marajó as well as several other islands of the Amazon delta. The nearly constant rainfall has eroded soils to the point where conventional agriculture is almost impossible, but cattle are raised. Nuts, fruits, herbs, organic insecticides, and fibers are the principal agricultural products. Food products, pharmaceuticals, textiles, rubber goods, and aluminum are manufactured. Iron, bauxite, and gold are mined. Economic development and population growth was stimulated by the completion of three large highways and the Belém-Bragança railroad in the 1970s.
The Portuguese settled in the area in the first decades of the 17th cent. in order to keep out the English, French, and Dutch. In the 18th cent. there was moderate sugar, rum, and coffee production; most of the labor force was made up of enslaved Native Americans. The region suffered during the 19th-century struggle for independence. The rubber industry grew rapidly in the mid-19th cent. but declined in the early 1900s. The pepper, jute, and legume plantations along the coast were established during the early 20th cent. by Japanese immigrants. The rain forest was significantly reduced in the late 20th cent. by logging and ranching, but by 2006 more than 50% of Pará was protected in government parks or indigenous reservations. A proposal to divide the large state into three failed to win voter support in 2011. The abundance of rivers has made Pará a great haven for smugglers. The state government consists of an elected governor and bicameral legislature.
Pará, river, Brazil
a state in northern Brazil, in the basin of the lower Amazon River. Area, 1.2 million sq km. Population, 2.2 million (1970). Its capital is the city of Belém.
Pará is economically underdeveloped. Brazil nuts and rubber are harvested. In 1970 the state produced 26,900 tons of Brazil nuts, or one-quarter of the country’s harvest. Other crops include jute, rice, manioc, sugarcane, corn, beans, black pepper, and tobacco. There is stock raising on the island of Marajó. Commercial timber is prepared and raw timber and agricultural products are processed. Rock crystal is mined in the Tocantins River valley.
a right branch of the Amazon River, at the Amazon’s mouth. About 200 km long and as much as 40 m deep, the Pará flows along the southern and eastern coasts of the island of Marajó. It has semidiurnal tides, which are as high as 3.5 m. There are occasional pororocas. The Pará, joined to the Amazon by the Furo do Tajapuru, provides a convenient entrance to the Amazon from the Atlantic Ocean. The Tocantins River flows into the Pará from the south. The city of Belém (Pará), a major port, is on the Pará River.
a river in Riazan’ Oblast, RSFSR, with the upper course on the border of Tambov Oblast. A right tributary of the Oka, it is 192 km long and drains an area of 3,590 sq km. It flows north across the Oka-Don Plain. Fed mainly by snow, the Para freezes in November, and the ice breaks up in April. The river is used for floating timber.
(1) A Turkish silver coin that began circulating in 1623 and initially contained 1.1 g of silver. In the late 17th century it became a primary monetary unit, equal to one-fourth of a piaster. By the mid-19th century the silver content had decreased to 0.09 g. Since 1930 the Para has been used only as an accounting unit, equal to 1/40 of a kurus.
(2) A 17th-century silver coin of the Crimean Khanate.
(3) A copper coin issued by Russia for Moldavia and Walachia in the years 1771–74. One Para equaled three dengi, and two paras equaled three kopeks.
(4) In Yugoslavia one Para is equal to 1/100 of a dinar, and there are 50-Pará coins in circulation.