Paraíba

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State of Paraíba
State
Flag of State of Paraíba
Flag
Coat of arms of State of Paraíba
Coat of arms
Location of State of Paraíba in Brazil
Location of State of Paraíba in Brazil
Coordinates: 7°10′S 36°50′W / 7.167°S 36.833°W / -7.167; -36.833Coordinates: 7°10′S 36°50′W / 7.167°S 36.833°W / -7.167; -36.833
Country  Brazil
Capital and Largest City João Pessoa
Government
 • Governor Ricardo Coutinho
 • Vice Governor Rômulo Gouveia
Area
 • Total 56,584.6 km2 (21,847.4 sq mi)
Area rank 21st
Population (2012)[1]
 • Total 3,815,171
 • Rank 13th
 • Density 67/km2 (170/sq mi)
 • Density rank 8th
Demonym Paraibano
GDP
 • Year 2006 estimate
 • Total R$ 19,953,000,000 (19th)
 • Per capita R$ 5,507 (24th)
HDI
 • Year 2005
 • Category 0.718 – medium (24th)
Time zone BRT (UTC-3)
Postal Code 58000-000 to 58990-000
ISO 3166 code BR-PB
Website pb.gov.br

Paraíba (Tupi: pa'ra a'íba: "bad for navigation"; Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation: [paɾaˈiba]) is a state of Brazil. It is located in the Brazilian Northeast, and it is bordered by Rio Grande do Norte to the north, Ceará to the west, Pernambuco to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Paraíba is the third most densely populated state of the Northeast; João Pessoa, the sea-bordered state capital, and Campina Grande, in the interior, rank among the fifteen-largest municipalities in the Northeast of Brazil.

Paraíba is most populated along the Atlantic coast, which extends as far as Ponta do Seixas, the easternmost point of the Americas. The state is a tourist and industrial hotspot; it is known for its cultural heritage, amenable climate and geographical features, ranging from the seaside beaches to the Borborema Plateau. It is named after the Paraíba river.

Some of the most notable Brazilian writers and poets are from Paraíba like Augusto dos Anjos, José Américo de Almeida, José Lins do Rego and Pedro Américo, the last being also known for his historical paintings.

History[edit]

In the mid-16th century, Portuguese settlers from Pernambuco founded Filipéia de Nossa Senhora das Neves (today João Pessoa) at the mouth of the Paraíba do Norte River.

The area soon proved perfect for sugar production, with the French, the Dutch and the Portuguese all constantly fighting to control the Paraíba region to grow the lucrative sugarcane in. The fortress of Santa Catarina, near João Pessoa, was built to protect the city from the Dutch, who soon became a threat to Portuguese supremacy in Brazil.

Geology[edit]

In late 1989 a team led by gemstone prospector Heitor Dimas Barbosa uncovered in a small mountain range what some consider to be the finest tourmaline crystals ever found. A trace of copper gives the tourmalines a vivid turquoise color that had never been seen before in the gems, and is sometimes referred to as "neon".

The "neon" paraiba tourmaline, a vivid blue and blue green, has also been found in other deposits close to the Batalha mine of Barbosa, and also in the neighboring state of Rio Grande do Norte. The bright colors of this tourmaline are due to the presence of copper. Around 2000, a similar copper-containing tourmaline was found in Nigeria, although the colors are not as intense. Around 2005, beautiful crystals of copper-containing tourmaline were found in Mozambique.

Initially, the nomenclature for this tourmaline was "Paraíba tourmaline". Note the capitalization and the accent on the "i". In 2006, the LMHC (Laboratory Manual Harmonization Committee) agreed that "paraiba" should refer to a variety of tourmaline, and not indicate a geographic origin. Note "paraiba" is not capitalized, and does not have an accent on the "i". For more information on paraiba tourmaline, see article on tourmaline. The term "paraiba tourmaline" may now refer to gems found in Brazil, Nigeria, and Mozambique that contain copper and have the characteristic blue-green color.

View of Terreno José Leonel
Tambaba beach.
View of Pedra do Cordeiro

Demographics[edit]

Ethnic groups in Paraíba-2010.png

According to the IBGE census as of 2010, there were 3,766,528 people residing in the state, with a population density of 66.7 inh./km². Other numbers include: Urbanization rate: 75.4% (2010), Population growth: 0.8% (1991–2000) and Houses: 987,000 (2006).[2][3]

The 2010 census also revealed the following figures relating ethnicity: 1,986,619 Brown (Multiracial) people (52.7%), 1,499,253 White (39.8%), 212,968 Black (5.7%) and 67,636 (1.8%) people of Amerindian and Asian ancestry.[3]

Among people of mixed ancestry the White, Amerindian and African altogether combination is the most prevalent one, followed by caboclo, mulato and zambo.[4]

Statistics[edit]

Economy[edit]

Food industry in Belém da Paraíba

The service sector is the largest component of GDP at 56.5%, followed by the industrial sector at 33.1%. Agriculture represents 10.4%, of GDP (2004). Paraíba exports: woven of cotton 36.3%, footweares 20.1%, sugar and alcohol 10.8%, fish and crustacean 9.7%, sisal 7%, cotton 6.6% (2002).

Share of the Brazilian economy: 0.8% (2004).[6]

The Paraíba economy is largely based upon the making of shoes and other leather products, the raising of cattle for beef, and sugarcane, corn. Though historically sugarcane has dominated the Paraíba agricultural sector, pineapple, corn, and beans cultivation are also widespread. The other important economical sector in the state is tourism, especially the state urban and unspoilt beaches, ecoturism and festivals such as "carnaval" and "São João."

Education[edit]

Portuguese is the official and only language spoken in the state and thus the primary language taught in schools. Minor dialectal differences regarding other Brazilian varieties are mainly phonological (Northeastern accent).

English and Spanish are part of the official high school curriculum.

Educational institutions[edit]

Culture[edit]

Festa Junina (Saint John Festival)[edit]

Fireworks in Saint John Festival

Festa Junina was introduced to Northeastern Brazil by the Portuguese for whom St John's day (also celebrated as Midsummer Day in several European countries), on the 24th of June, is one of the oldest and most popular celebrations of the year. Differently, of course, from what happens on the European Midsummer Day, the festivities in Brazil do not take place during the summer solstice but during the tropical winter solstice. The festivities traditionally begin after the 12th of June, on the eve of St Anthony's day, and last until the 29th, which is Saint Peter's day. During these fifteen days, there are bonfires, fireworks, and folk dancing in the streets (step names are in French, which shows the mutual influences between court life and peasant culture in the 17th, 18th, and 19th-century Europe). Once exclusively a rural festival, today in Brazil, it is largely a city festival during which people joyfully and theatrically mimic peasant stereotypes and clichés in a spirit of jokes and good times. Typical refreshments and dishes are served. It should be noted that, like during Carnival, these festivities involve costume-wearing (in this case, peasant costumes), dancing, heavy drinking, and visual spectacles (fireworks display and folk dancing), such as what happens on Midsummer and St John's Day in Europe,and bonfires are a central part of these festivities in Brazil.

Carnival[edit]

The four-day period before Lent leading up to Ash Wednesday is carnival time in Brazil. Rich and poor alike forget their cares as they party in the streets.

Infrastructure[edit]

International Airport[edit]

Located in the municipality of Bayeux, eight kilometers from downtown João Pessoa, Presidente Castro Pinto International Airport is currently undergoing expansion and remodeling work, which will raise the terminal’s annual capacity to 860 thousand passengers. The airport is well located in relation to obstacles because it covers an area roughly 65 meters above sea level and is sufficiently distant from urban areas or large real estate developments.

The surrounding area is sparsely populated, with large open spaces. The existing developments are industrial with some small weekend country houses. There is no rough terrain or tall buildings nearby creating obstacles for takeoffs and landings. The airport also is blessed with excellent climatic conditions for air operations. Moreover, within its approach radius there are no obstacles that can hinder or create risk for local air traffic. Named for a past president (former name for governors) of Paraíba, Castro Pinto, the airport operates round the clock.

The current passenger terminal, built in an area of 8,947.72 square meters, has two levels, gardens and ample vehicle parking. It has all the expected amenities: arrival and departure lounges, a main concourse, check-in counters, baggage storage lockers, airline counters, snack bar/restaurant, tourist information booth, car rental agencies, taxi service and private parking.

National Airport[edit]

Taxi in Campina Grande

Located in the interior of the state of Paraíba, in the city of Campina Grande, João Suassuna Airport was remodeled in 2003, receiving a new terminal with capacity of 250 thousand passengers a year.

The old building was demolished and on the site a new facility was built holding nine shops, the main concourse, arrival and departure lounges, VIP lounge, bathrooms, mezzanine and a diaper-changing area.

The terminal area was increased to 2,500 square meters. The boarding area has 350 square meters and the parking lot has spaces for 180 cars.

This expansion benefited the city both economically and from the standpoint of tourism. With the possibility for new flights, the air cargo movement will be able to grow, along with the number of tourists coming to attend the city’s famous São João Festival. A panel measuring 17 by 3.5 meters in the front of the building carries a poem by the Paraíban writer Ariano Suassuna, in homage to his father, for whom the airport is named. Three more artworks are on permanent display in the passenger terminal.

Highways[edit]

The BR-101 also the BR-230 are found in paraiba. Several other roads also cross the state composing the complex net which is present all across the country.

Flag[edit]

The word nego is Portuguese for "I deny", referring to the protests that erupted in the 1920s in Paraíba, supported by state governor João Pessoa Cavalcânti de Albuquerque, to the appointment of Júlio Prestes as the President of Brazil. João Pessoa joined the alliance for the overthrow of the federal government, which successfully conducted Getúlio Vargas to Presidency. The rebellion events eventually led to the murder of João Pessoa, although there is debate regarding the reasons of the murder, if personal, political or both.

According to the official government site of the state of Paraíba, the red stands for the blood due to the assassination of João Pessoa; the black represents the mourning following the assassination.

Main towns[edit]

Bodocongó Church, in Campina Grande

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Important Figures and Celebrities[edit]

Paraíba is home to some of the most noted Brazilian poets and writers such as Augusto dos Anjos (1884–1908), José Américo de Almeida (1887–1980), José Lins do Rego (1901–1957) and Pedro Américo (1843–1905) (mostly known for his historical paintings).

External links[edit]