Uruguay Ethnology

By | December 20, 2021

The smallest of the South American states (186,926 sq km, almost 3/5 of the surface of Italy), bordering the two largest of them, Brazil and Argentina. The border with Argentina is marked by the lower course of the Uruguay river (for 530 km.) And by the Río de la Plata (v.); the one with Brazil, 770 km long, crosses the Lagôa Mirim, therefore it is marked by the Jaguarão river and, after passing over the Cuchilla de Santa Ana, by the Quarahy. The border with Argentina on the estuary has not yet been defined; Uruguay expects it to run on the median line of the estuary itself, but this solution would give Uruguay possession of the navigable canal in the section near Montevideo and upstream of Colonia, a canal built, equipped and maintained by Argentina at great expense (L’ estuary is shallow and cluttered with large sandbanks, and for this a canal had to be dug for navigation). A SE. Uruguay is washed by the Atlantic Ocean. The coasts, including those lapped by the Río de la Plata, are approximately 500 km long. The extreme coordinates of Uruguay are: 30 ° 5 ‘and 35 ° of lat. S., and 53 ° 5 ‘and 58 ° 25’ long. O. Cape Town and Sydney are on the same latitude as Montevideo.

Exploration. – Juan Díaz de Solís was the first to touch the coast of Uruguay and in 1515, while looking for the passage to the South Sea in the vast estuary, discovered two years earlier by the Balboa, was slaughtered by the natives on a small island along the Uruguayan shore. In January 1520 the ships of Magellan entered the Río de la Plata, from which the name of Montevideo was given to the locality in which the capital was later to rise, and in 1526 Sebastiano Caboto went up the great river, without however exploring the northern banks estuary. In the following years the colonization of the region on the right of the river began and the first Spanish settlement rose in the area of ​​Buenos Aires, but only in 1559 Juan Romero founded the San Juan Bautista station and in 1564 it was created, at the mouth of the Río Negro, the colony of Santo Domingo de Soriano, the oldest inhabited center in Uruguay. Scientific exploration of the territory is recent. In fact, leaving aside the description of Felice de Azara (1781-1802) and the journey of D’Orbigny (1828-29), only in the century. XX there are scientific works. We remember in particular those of C. Guillemain, who in 1910 published the first comprehensive geological map, of Rolf Marstrander, who did numerous researches and wrote a geological bibliography (1917), of Karl Walther, E. Feruglio, J. Frenguelli, and of the Military Geographical Institute for the publication of a topographical map (v. bibl.). leaving aside the description of Felice de Azara (1781-1802) and the journey of D’Orbigny (1828-29), only in the century. XX there are scientific works. We remember in particular those of C. Guillemain, who in 1910 published the first comprehensive geological map, of Rolf Marstrander, who did numerous researches and wrote a geological bibliography (1917), of Karl Walther, E. Feruglio, J. Frenguelli, and of the Military Geographical Institute for the publication of a topographical map (v. bibl.). leaving aside the description of Felice de Azara (1781-1802) and the journey of D’Orbigny (1828-29), only in the century. XX there are scientific works. We remember in particular those of C. Guillemain, who in 1910 published the first comprehensive geological map, of Rolf Marstrander, who did numerous researches and wrote a geological bibliography (1917), of Karl Walther, E. Feruglio, J. Frenguelli, and of the Military Geographical Institute for the publication of a topographical map (v. bibl.).

Ethnology. – The indigenous population of the republic of Uruguay is completely extinct, but its disappearance dates back to the first half of the 19th century. Among the indigenous were the tribes of the Yaro, Bohán, Chaná and Guenóa, and mainly that of the Charrúa, which was the most numerous and extensive and the least unknown, because a southern fraction of it inhabited until historical times, in number about 2000 individuals, the coastal lands of the estuary located between the mouth of the Uruguay river and today’s city of Rocha, for a depth of about 60 km. Somatic characters of the Charrúa are: average height of m. 1.68, rather large head, long face, prominent cheekbones, flat nose and sunken at the root, small feet and hands, very pigmented skin, almost black in tone, features, on the whole, Own of a rough race and free of any trace of Mongoloidism. The culture of the Charrúa was also of the most primitive. Its type is similar to that of the collecting peoples of South America: the house, a shelter of leather thrown on some branches planted in an arch in the ground; the dress is absent, or reduced to a small cloak of jaguar skin and a female sex cover; weapons were arrows, darts, clubs andcasting bolas ; food, meat obtained from hunting and roasted, and a drink of fermented honey. The women were real work beasts; men led the hunter’s life. The Charrúa remained an indomitable and savage predator until the end, and the contact with the White did nothing but exacerbate it. The multiplication of equine and cow cattle introduced in the Plata lands by the Spaniards caused a change in their status. economic and cultural, making them equestrian hunters, in the Patagonian way. In 1812 they maintained an independent and hostile organization, under the orders of a cacique. The archeology of the country is extremely poor. For Uruguay religion and languages, please check ezinereligion.com.

The tenacious resistance opposed by the Charrúa was one of the causes that delayed the population and colonization of the Banda Oriental. The current population of Uruguay includes first of all the mestizo fund, which originated over the centuries, and later the mass of European immigrants who joined the primitive nucleus.

As for the original half-breed background, its physical characteristics emerge in the agricultural population and in the humble classes, especially in the small and sharp eyes, in the thick black hair; in the dark color of the skin and in the angular cheekbones, but above all it reveals itself in the rude and frank, reserved and superstitious character, capable of impetuous outbursts, which had their game in the revolutionary alternatives of the century. XIX. Political movements take action and thrive mainly in the countryside. The warm hospitality with which the stranger and passer-by is welcomed in the countryside is unmatched in other modern countries.

Uruguay Ethnology