Alagoas (Portuguese pronunciation: [alɐˈɡoɐs], [ɐlɐˈɡow.wɐs]) is one of the 27 states of Brazil and is situated in the eastern part of the Northeast Region. It borders: Pernambuco (N and NW); Sergipe (S); Bahia (SW); and the Atlantic Ocean (E). It occupies an area of 27,767 km², being slightly larger than Haiti. Its capital is the city of Maceió.
It is made up of 102 municipalities and its most populous cities are Maceió, Arapiraca, Palmeira dos Índios, Rio Largo, Penedo, União dos Palmares, São Miguel dos Campos, Santana do Ipanema, Delmiro Gouveia, Coruripe, Marechal Deodoro, and Campo Alegre.
It is the second smallest Brazilian state in area (larger only than Sergipe), and with Sergipe it is sometimes called the Rhode Island of Brazil. It is 16th in population. It is also one of the largest producers of sugarcane and coconuts in the country, and has an economy based on cattle raising.
Initially, the Alagoano territory constituted the southern part of the Captaincy of Pernambuco and only gained its autonomy in 1817. Its occupation pushed the expansion of the captaincy's sugarcane farming, which required new areas of cultivation, southward. Thus arose Porto Calvo, Alagoas (now Marechal Deodoro) and Penedo, nuclei which guided the colonization, economic, and social life of the region for a long time.
The Dutch invasion in Pernambuco was extended to Alagoas in 1631. The invaders were expelled in 1645, after intense fighting in Porto Calvo, leaving the economy in ruins.
The escape of African slaves during the Dutch invasion created a serious labour shortage problem on the sugarcane plantations. Grouped in villages called quilombos, the Africans were only completely dominated at the end of the 17th century with the destruction of the most important quilombo, Palmares.
During the empire, the separatist and republican Confederation of the Equator (1824) received the support of noteworthy Alagoano figures. Throughout the 1840s, political life was marked by the conflict between the lisos (lit. "straights", not the sexual orientation connotation), conservatives, and the cabeludos (lit. "hairies"), liberals.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Alagoano hinterland lived through the pioneering experience of Delmiro Gouveia, a Pernambucano entrepreneur who installed the Estrela thread factory, which came to produce 200 spools daily. Delmiro Gouveia was killed in October 1917 in circumstances still unclarified, after being pressured, according to rumor, to sell his factory to competing foreign firms. After his death, his machines would be destroyed and thrown into Paulo Afonso Falls.
Nicknamed the Land of the Marshals (Terra dos Marechais), for being the birthplace of Deodoro da Fonseca and Floriano Peixoto, Alagoas gave the country numerous illustrious Brazilians among whom are the anthropologist Arthur Ramos, the maestro Hekel Tavares, the philologist Aurélio Buarque de Holanda, the musicians Djavan and Hermeto Pascoal the poet Jorge de Lima, the jurists Pontes de Miranda and Marcos Bernardes de Mello, besides the writers Lêdo Ivo and Graciliano Ramos.
Ad bonum et prosperitatem
"For which is good and for prosperity"
|Capital and Largest City||Maceió|
|• Governor||Renan Filho (MDB)|
|• Vice Governor||Luciano Barbosa (MDB)|
|• Senators||Fernando Collor (PROS)|
Renan Calheiros (MDB)
Rodrigo Cunha (PSDB)
|• Total||27,767.7 km2 (10,721.2 sq mi)|
|• Density||110/km2 (300/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||4th|
|• Year||2006 estimate|
|• Total||R$ 15,753,000,000 (20th)|
|• Per capita||R$ 5,164 (25th)|
|• Category||0.631 – medium (27th)|
|Time zone||UTC-3 (BRT)|
57000-000 to 57990-000
|ISO 3166 code||BR-AL|
The Latin lacus, "reservoir, lake" is the origin, in the primitive vocabulary heritage, of the Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian lago, French lac, one of its derivatives, the Latin lacuna, "pitfall, hole", "lack, want, neglect", explains the Spanish and Italian laguna. But the Portuguese lagoa, coincidentally with the Spanish lagona and Mirandese llagona, suggests a change in suffix, already documented in a 938 document from Valencia, under the spelling lacona, and in another from 1094, in Sahagún, under the spelling lagona. The Portuguese lagoa under the spelling lagona (perhaps lagõna), is documented in the 14th century, and alternated
with the other for a long time; the prosthesis is then explained by the introduction of the article, chiefly in locution (na lagoa, vindo da lagoa) (in the lake, coming from the lake), and for morphologic regularization with the derivatives of the verb alagar (to inundate) (alagadiço, alagado, alagador, alagamento, etc.) (swampish, waterlogged, flooding, overflow, etc.).
The name appears as a competitor with the names of the lagoons of Manguaba, a lagoa do sul ("the southern lagoon"), and Mundaú, a lagoa do norte ("the northern lagoon"), already in the 16th century, when settlements were founded near the Alagoa do Norte and the Alagoa do Sul, the Alagoas, with the inclusion of the rest of the lagoons in the area.
The state's name originates with the lakes along its coast near the city of Maceió. The coast is bordered by fringing reefs and many fine beaches. Behind the beaches, sometimes only hundreds of meters and defined by steep scarps, lies a stretch of green coastal hills having enough rainfall for considerable agriculture and scarce remnants of the Mata Atlântica (Atlantic Rain Forest) that now is largely limited to steep hill tops or steep valley sides and bottoms. This is the area long dominated by sugar cane.
Still farther inland lies the Sertão of the Northeast region of the nation. The Sertão is a high dry region dominated by scrub that is often thorn-filled and sometimes toxic, the caatinga. This area and its people are famed in legend and song. It is the land of the cowboy who is clad from head to toe (if he is lucky) with very thick leather to avoid the sharp vegetation.
During the first three centuries of its history, Alagoas was part of the captaincy of Pernambuco, only changing into an independent captaincy in 1817. As a reprisal against the Pernambucan Revolution, the King John VI of Portugal ordered a vast portion of the Pernambucan territory to be taken from it, most including its southern portion, one part given to the captaincy of Bahia, the other portion made independent and creating Alagoas as a new Brazilian captaincy.
Initially, in the first years of the 16th century, Alagoas settlement went on slowly, however helped by Africans turned into slaves whose work urged the local economy. In the period of the 16th and 17th centuries, French pirates invaded its territory attracted by the commerce of Brazil wood.
Some time later, Duarte Coelho, owner of the captaincy of Pernambuco, gave the control of the region back to the Portuguese, running the territory as part of his captaincy. He increased the number of sugar cane plantations and built some sugar mills, as well as founding the cities of Penedo and Alagoas – this last one originally baptized by Portuguese as Santa Maria Madalena da Alagoa do Sul (Saint Mary Magdalene of the Southern Lake), currently the historic heritage town of Marechal Deodoro.
In 1570, a second expedition ordered by Duarte Coelho and led by Cristóvão Lins, explored the north of Alagoas and founded the settlement of Porto Calvo and five sugar mills, which two of them still endure, Buenos Aires and Escurial.
In 1630, the territory was taken by the Dutch, whose interest was to manage the commerce of sugarcane in most parts of the northeastern region of Brazil. As part of one of the wealthiest Brazilian captaincies, Alagoas prospered along with the sugar trade. They built Fort Maurits in Penedo, on the river São Francisco. However, the Dutch colonizers abandoned the territory after being defeated in 1646.
Decades before Alagoas was formed in 1817, its sugar industry had 200 mills, and agriculture also involved cotton, tobacco and corn plantations. With Brazilian independence from Portugal in 1822, Alagoas becomes a province. In 1839, the capital of the province was changed definitively from the town of Alagoas to Maceio, mainly due to the increasing growth of the city because of its port.
According to the IBGE of 2008, there were 3,173,000 people residing in the state. The population density was 109.9 inh./km².
The last PNAD (National Research for Sample of Domiciles) census revealed the following numbers: 2,100,000 Brown (Multiracial) people (66.18%), 964,000 White people (30.39%), 96,000 Black people (3.02%), 11,000 Asian people (0.35%).
According to a genetic study from 2013, Brazilians in Alagoas have 53.7% European, 26.6% African and 18.7% Amerindian ancestries, respectively.
Alagoas is one of the poorest states of Brazil and its HDI is the country's worst. The service sector is the largest component of GDP at 55.8%, followed by the industrial sector at 36.9%. Agriculture represents 7.3%, of GDP (2004). Alagoas exports: sugar 58.8%, alcohol 29.4%, chemicals 9%, tobacco 2.1% (2002).
Share of the Brazilian economy: 0.7% (2004).
The economy has been agricultural, dependent largely on large sugarcane plantations with some tobacco farming that is concentrated around the city of Arapiraca. Sugar cane formed the basis for an alcohol industry that is in decline. Small to medium-sized tanker ships took alcohol on board in Maceio's port with considerable frequency during the peak period. Such loads still take place with less frequency. Another local industry is based on chemical products from brine pumped from deep wells on the outskirts of Maceió.
In the last twenty years the tourist industry has found the beaches and Maceió itself has changed from a rather sleepy little port with coconut palm plantations along its beaches to high-rise hotels. The northern coast, particularly around the towns Maragogi and Japaratinga is beginning to see some of this development in the form of resorts attracting people from the south and from Europe. There is considerable European investment (as of 2007) in beach property north of Maceió with walled compounds of beach homes.
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 24 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 festivity, today, in Brazil, it is largely a city festival during which people joyfully and theatrically mimic peasant stereotypes and cliches in a spirit of joke and good time. Typical dishes and drinks are served. It should be noted that, like during Carnival, these festivities involve costumes-wearing (in this case, peasant costumes), dancing and visual spectacles (fireworks display and folk dancing). Like what happens on Midsummer and St John's Day in Europe, bonfires are a central part of these festivities in Brazil.
This is a typical Alagoas revelry that resulted from the union of Reisado (an Epiphany celebration), Auto dos Caboclinhos (Caboclinhos’ Play), Chegança (public folk play depicting a naval battle) and Pastoril (outdoor folk play). Its captivating choreography and costumes with colored ribbons and beads reproduce the cathedral’s façades on the monumental hats covered with mirrors.
Boi do Carnaval is a popular culture display derived from Bumba-Meu-Boi. It is always presented together with La Ursa (The Bear), Vaqueiro (Cowboy) and a percussion band whose rhythms captivate all who hear them.
Alagoas gained a new airport complex, Zumbi dos Palmares International Airport, in Maceió Metropolitan Area, designed by homegrown architect Mário Aloísio, which combines glass, metal and granite. It includes space for art exhibitions, a panoramic deck, chapel, seven escalators, nine elevators and four boarding bridges. The whole terminal was designed to permit access by the physically disabled, with ramps and special bathroom fixtures.
In the new terminal, Infraero also brings to Maceió “Aeroshopping” – a concept that is transforming the country's airports into centers for leisure and high-quality products and services. The entire building has a computerized air conditioning, with commercial spaces that will be occupied gradually. The parking area was more than tripled. Demand will be able to grow to 1.2 million passengers a year since the new passenger terminal has 24,000 square meters, the triple of its former size. The check-in counters were doubled and can reach higher numbers without any structural remodeling. The building is “intelligent”, meaning controlled by a computerized system that regulates factors ranging from the lighting level to air temperature and even the speed of the escalators. This system also controls access to restricted areas and the fire protection system, among others.
The Port of Jaraguá is located in Maceió. The commercial and economic development of the Port of Jaraguá, on the margins of the Mundaú lagoon, was responsible for the emergence of an important settlement that received the name of Maceió and later became the present capital of Alagoas. The Port of Jaraguá is situated in a natural port area that facilitates the ships docking. During the Brazilian colonial period, the most important products exported through the port were sugar, tobacco, coconut and spices.
Alagoas provides visitors and residents with various sport activities. There are several football clubs based in the state, such as ASA de Arapiraca, CRB, CSA, Murici, Coruripe, CSE, Santa Rita, Penedense and Ipanema.
The coat of arms symbolizes the first Alagoan settlement of Porto Calvo. Some plantations, sugarcane, and cotton that provided wealth in the past are incorporated in the design. The colors red, white, and blue refer to the French Tricolore, symbolizing the ideals of the French Revolution (liberté, égalité, fraternité), while the five-pointed star refers to the coat of arms of Brazil.
Anadia is a municipality located in the Brazilian state of Alagoas. Its population is 18,796 (2005) and its area is 189 km².Arapiraca
Arapiraca is a municipality located in the center of the Brazilian state of Alagoas, some 135 km (84 mi) from the state capital, Maceió. It was founded in 1924. As of 2010, it has a population of 214.006, but IBGE estimated 227,640 inhabitants for 2013.
Arapiraca is the second largest city in Alagoas, and is known mostly for its production of tobacco, hence its nickname of "The Brazilian Tobacco Capital".Atalaia, Alagoas
Atalaia is a municipality in the Brazilian state of Alagoas. Its population is 41,798 (2005) and its area is 532 km2 (205 sq mi).Batalha, Alagoas
Batalha is a municipality located in the western half of the Brazilian state of Alagoas. Its population is 15,905 (2005) and its area is 321 km².Centro Sportivo Alagoano
Centro Sportivo Alagoano, (known in Brazil as CSA and occasionally referred to as "Alagoano" by non-Brazilians) is a Brazilian football team from Maceió in Alagoas, founded on September 7, 1913. It is the biggest club in the state of Alagoas, and the largest fan base.The home stadium is the Gustavo Paiva stadium, which has a capacity of 9,000. CSA's greatest rival is CRB.
In 1976, Fernando Collor de Mello, who later was elected president of Brazil, was the club's chairman. Brazilian singer Djavan played for Alagoano as a midfielder before he decided to become a singer.Clube de Regatas Brasil
Clube de Regatas Brasil, or CRB as it is usually called, is a Brazilian football team from Maceió in Alagoas.
Founded on September 20, 1912, its greatest rival is Centro Sportivo Alagoano, and it plays in white and red shirts, shorts and socks.Conceição das Alagoas
Conceição das Alagoas is a Brazilian municipality located in the west of the state of Minas Gerais. Its population as of 2007 was estimated to be 20,426 people living in a total area of 1,348 km² (520 sq mi). The city belongs to the mesoregion of Triângulo Mineiro and Alto Paranaíba and to the micro-region of Uberaba. It became a municipality in 1938.Conceição das Alagoas is located at an elevation of 509 metres (1,670 feet), 56 km (35 mi). southwest of Uberaba. The distance to the state capital, Belo Horizonte, is 530 km (330 mi). Neighboring municipalities are: Veríssimo (N), Uberaba (NE), Água Comprida (E), Miguelópolis, Guaíra, Colômbia (S), Planura, Pirajuba (W) and Campo Florido (NW).The name of the town is in homage to the Virgin of the Conception and the many lakes in the area.
The main economic activities are services, industry (especially brick making), and agriculture. There is an alcohol distilling plant for biodiesel. The GDP in 2005 was approximately R$606 million, with 121 million Reais from services, 300 million Reais from industry, and 102 million Reais from agriculture. There were 298 rural producers on 37,000 hectares (91,000 acres) of land. The land is very fertile and agricultural production is high. 127 farms had tractors (2006). Approximately 1,100 persons were dependent on agriculture. The main crops were sugarcane (27,000 hectares (67,000 acres) planted in 2006)) and soybeans (30,600 hectares (76,000 acres) planted in 2006), but rubber, coffee, cotton, rice, beans and corn were also grown. There were 39,000 head of cattle (2006). There were 3 banks (2007) and 3,083 automobiles (1,150 motorcycles), giving a ratio of 7 inhabitants per automobile.There were 9 health clinics and 1 hospital with 39 beds. Patients with more serious health conditions are transported to Uberaba, which is connected by good roads. Educational needs were met by 10 primary schools, 1 middle school, and 8 pre-primary schools.
Municipal Human Development Index: 0.767 (2000)
State ranking: 183 out of 853 municipalities as of 2000
National ranking: 1,402 out of 5,138 municipalities as of 2000
Literacy rate: 86%
Life expectancy: 71 (average of males and females)In 2000 the per capita monthly income of R$283.00 was close to the state and national average of R$276.00 and R$297.00 respectively.
The highest ranking municipality in Minas Gerais in 2000 was Poços de Caldas with 0.841, while the lowest was Setubinha with 0.568. Nationally the highest was São Caetano do Sul in São Paulo with 0.919, while the lowest was Setubinha. In more recent statistics (considering 5,507 municipalities) Manari in the state of Pernambuco has the lowest rating in the country—0,467—putting it in last place.Federal University of Alagoas
Located in the city of Maceió, the Federal University of Alagoas (Portuguese: Universidade Federal de Alagoas, UFAL or Ufal) is the major university in coastal state Alagoas and one of the main research centers in Brazilian north eastern region (one of the five regions of Brazil). It is located very near the city's airport.Federação Alagoana de Futebol
The Federação Alagoana de Futebol (English: Football Association of Alagoas state) was founded on March 14, 1927, and it manages all the official football tournaments within the state of Alagoas, which are the Campeonato Alagoano and the Campeonato Alagoano lower levels, and represents the clubs at the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF).Lagoa da Canoa
Lagoa da Canoa is a municipality located in the Brazilian state of Alagoas. Its population is 22,549 (2005) and its area is 103 km².Maceió
Maceió (Portuguese pronunciation: [masejˈjɔ]) is the capital and the largest city of the coastal state of Alagoas, Brazil. The name "Maceió" is an Indigenous term for a spring. Most maceiós flow to the sea, but some get trapped and form lakes ("lagoas", in Portuguese).
There are numerous maceiós and lakes in this part of Brazil; because of this, the city was named Maceió, and the state, Alagoas. The new Zumbi dos Palmares International Airport connects Maceió with many Brazilian cities and also operates some international flights. The city is home to the Federal University of Alagoas.Olivença, Alagoas
Olivença is a municipality located in the western of the Brazilian state of Alagoas. Its population is 10,519 (2005) and its area is 173 km2 (67 sq mi).Penedo
Penedo is a municipality in the state of Alagoas in Brazil. The population is 64,074 (2015 est.) in an area of 689.88 square kilometres (266.36 sq mi). Penedo lies 173 kilometres (107 mi) south-west of the state capital of Maceió.Pilar, Alagoas
Pilar is a municipality located in the Brazilian state of Alagoas. Its population was 32,421 (2005) and its area is 249 km². On March 28, 1876, Pilar carried out the last official execution of Brazil when it hanged the slave Francisco.Pão de Açúcar, Alagoas
Pão de Açúcar is a municipality in the Brazilian state of Alagoas. Its population is 26,133 (2005) and its area is 659 km².São Brás, Alagoas
São Brás is a municipality located in the Brazilian state of Alagoas. Its population was 6,700 (2005) and its area is 140 km².São Miguel dos Milagres
São Miguel dos Milagres is a municipality located in the northern coast of the Brazilian state of Alagoas. Its population was 6,463 (2005) and its area is 65 km².São Sebastião, Alagoas
São Sebastião is a municipality located in the Brazilian state of Alagoas. Its population was 31,898 (2005) and its area is 306 km².Viçosa, Alagoas
Viçosa is a Brazilian municipality in Alagoas state. Located inland on the zone of a former portion of the Atlantic Rain Forest, it is 86 km away from the state capital Maceio. Its population was 27,950 (2005) and its area is 354.76 km².