Coordinates: Batatais is a municipality in the state of São Paulo in Brazil. The population in 2009 is 58,806 and the area is 853.13 km². The elevation is 862 m. The village was named as a city on March 14, 1839, considered the city's day. Washington Luís, president of Brazil around 1929, was the city mayor on 1899.
The population is mostly formed by Italian-Brazilians. There is commemorated the "San Gennaro Party" that is an example of culture predominance.
Theories on the origin of the name
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (October 2008)|
There are at least four theories for the meaning of the name "Batatais":
- The most accepted one is based on historical reports, linked to the native Americans that lived there and their agricultural activity. The Bandeirantes may have found a large culture of purple sweet potatoes (Batatais sounds like Batatas, "potatoes").
- Another version came from the native American language spoken there, and the name came from the word "BAITATA", which means according some experts "river running through the rocks", meaning the waterfalls that exists there.
- A third version also from the native American language spoken there says that the name came from the word "MBOITATA", snake of fire, which on the native belief was the god that protects the field from fires. This version can be also verified due to some small gas fields that exists around the city, which may generate fireballs due to the heat occasionally.
- Some recent studies also brings another possible version: Batatais or Batatal was an expression used by the old miners to describe the place where gold can be found at the surface. As this region was part of the old way to the Goias mines, it is possible that the city was a rest place for the travelers.
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