Babalú-Ayé, is an Orisha associated with infectious disease and healing in the Yoruba religion, including the body and physical possessions. In West Africa, he was associated with epidemics of smallpox, influenza, HIV/AIDS. Although associated with illness and disease, Babalú-Ayé is the spirit that cures these ailments. Both feared and loved, Babalú-Ayé is sometimes referred to as the “Wrath of the supreme god” because he punishes people for their transgressions. People hold Babalú-Ayé in great respect and avoid calling his actual name, because they do not wish to invoke epidemics, his worship is associated with the Earth itself, his shrines are separated from travelled areas. His ritual tools include a ritual broom for purification, a covered terra-cotta vessel, abundant cowry shells. Considered hobbled by disease, he universally takes grains as offerings. Venerated by the Yoruba, O̩balúayé is called Shopona and said to have dominion over the Earth and smallpox, he demands respect and gratitude when he claims a victim, so people sometimes honor him with the praise name Alápa-dúpé, meaning “One who kills and is thanked for it”.
In one recounted story, Shopona was old and lame. He attended a celebration at the palace of the father of the orishas; when Shopona tried to dance, he fell. All the other orishas laughed at him, he in turn tried to infect them with smallpox. Obatala stopped him and drove him into the bush, where he has lived as an outcast since. Venerated by the Fon, the spirit is most called Sakpata, he has strong associations with smallpox and other infections. His worship is diverse in Fon communities, where many distinct manifestations of the spirit are venerated; because the dead are buried in the Earth, the manifestation called Avimadye is considered the chief of the ancestors. Venerated by the Ewe, there is a similar figure with the praise name Anyigbato, associated with sickness and displaced peoples, he is believed to wander the land at night. In Santería, Babalú-Ayé is among the most popular orishas. Syncretized with Saint Lazarus, regarded as miraculous, Babalú-Ayé is publicly honored with a pilgrimage on December 17, when tens of thousands of devotees gather at the Church and Leprosorium of Saint Lazarus in El Rincón, in the outskirts of Santiago de las Vegas, Havana.
Arará communities in Cuba and its diaspora honor the spirit as Asojano. Both traditions use sack cloth in rituals to evoke his humility; the spirit appears in Palo as Pata en Llaga. In Candomblé, Obaluaiê's face is thought to be so scarred by disease and so terrifying that he appears covered with a raffia masquerade that covers his whole body, he manifests in Umbanda and Macumba. Through divination, he speaks to his devotees through the Ifá signs Ojuani Meyi and Irete Meyi, though as a sickness, he can manifest in any divination sign. In cowrie-shell divination, he is strongly associated with the sign called Metanlá. There are several, sometimes contradictory, accounts of Babalú-Ayé's genealogical relationships to other orisha. Babalú-Ayé is considered the son of Yemoja and the brother of Shango. However, some religious lineages maintain that he is the son of Nana Buluku, while others assert that he is her husband; some lineages of Candomblé relate myths that justify Babalú-Ayé being the child of both Yemoja and Nana Burukú.
In these myths, Nana Burukú is Babalú-Ayé's true mother who abandons him to die of exposure on the beach where he is badly scarred by crabs. Yemoja discovers him there, takes him under her protection, nurses him back to health, educates him in many secrets; because of his knowledge of the forest and the healing power of plants, Babalú-Ayé is associated with Osain, the orisha of herbs. Oba Ecun describes the two orisha as two aspects of a single being, while William Bascom noted that some connect the two through their mutual close relationship with the spirits of the forest called ijimere; the narratives and rituals that carry important cultural information about Babalú-Ayé include various recurring and interrelated themes. Earth: Babalú-Ayé’s worship is linked to the Earth itself, his name identifies him with the Earth itself. Illness and Suffering: Long referred to as the “god of smallpox,” Babalú-Ayé links back to disease in the body and the changes it brings; because Babalú-Ayé both punishes people with illness and rewards them with health, his stories and ceremonies deal with the body as a central locus of experience for both human limitations and divine power.
His mythical lameness evokes the idea of living in a constant state of limitation and physical pain, while people appeal to him to protect them from disease. The Permeable Nature of Things: In the Americas, Babalú-Ayé vessels always have various holes in their lids, allowing offerings to enter but symbolizing the difficulty in containing illness completely; these holes are explicitly compared to sores that pock the orisha’s skin. This permeability appears in the sack cloth and raffia fringe called mariwó used to dress the orisha. Secrecy and Revelation: The contrast between silence and speech and light, secrecy and revelation permeate the worship of Babalú-Ayé. According to the tradition, certain things must remain secret to sustain their ritual power or their healthy function. In turn inappropriate revelation leads to illness and other n
The New World is one of the names used for the majority of Earth's Western Hemisphere the Americas, Oceania. The term originated in the early 16th century after Europeans made landfall in what would be called the Americas in the age of discovery, expanding the geographical horizon of classical geographers, who had thought of the world as consisting of Africa and Asia, collectively now referred to as the Old World; the phrase gained prominence after the publication of a pamphlet titled Mundus Novus attributed to Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci. The Americas were referred to as the "fourth part of the world"; the terms "Old World" vs. "New World" are meaningful in historical context and for the purpose of distinguishing the world's major ecozones, to classify plant and animal species that originated therein. One can speak of the "New World" in a historical context, e.g. when discussing the voyages of Christopher Columbus, the Spanish conquest of Yucatán and other events of the colonial period.
For lack of alternatives, the term is still useful to those discussing issues that concern the Americas and the nearby oceanic islands, such as Bermuda and Clipperton Island, collectively. The term "New World" is used in a biological context, when one speaks of Old World and New World species. Biological taxonomists attach the "New World" label to groups of species that are found in the Americas, to distinguish them from their counterparts in the "Old World", e.g. New World monkeys, New World vultures, New World warblers; the label is often used in agriculture. Asia and Europe share a common agricultural history stemming from the Neolithic Revolution, the same domesticated plants and animals spread through these three continents thousands of years ago, making them indistinct and useful to classify together as "Old World". Common Old World crops, domesticated animals did not exist in the Americas until they were introduced by post-Columbian contact in the 1490s. Conversely, many common crops were domesticated in the Americas before they spread worldwide after Columbian contact, are still referred to as "New World crops".
Other famous New World crops include the cashew, rubber, sunflower and vanilla, fruits like the guava and pineapple. There are rare instances of overlap, e.g. the calabash and yam, the dog, are believed to have been domesticated separately in both the Old and New World, their early forms brought along by Paleo-Indians from Asia during the last glacial period. In wine terminology, "New World" has a different definition. "New World wines" include not only North American and South American wines, but those from South Africa, New Zealand, all other locations outside the traditional wine-growing regions of Europe, North Africa and the Near East. The term "New World" was first coined by the Florentine explorer Amerigo Vespucci, in a letter written to his friend and former patron Lorenzo di Pier Francesco de' Medici in the Spring of 1503, published in 1503–04 under the title Mundus Novus. Vespucci's letter contains arguably the first explicit articulation in print of the hypothesis that the lands discovered by European navigators to the west were not the edges of Asia, as asserted by Christopher Columbus, but rather an different continent, a "New World".
Vespucci first approached this realization in June 1502, during a famous chance meeting between two different expeditions at the watering stop of "Bezeguiche" – his own outgoing expedition, on its way to chart the coast of newly discovered Brazil, the vanguard ships of the Second Portuguese India armada of Pedro Álvares Cabral, returning home from India. Having visited the Americas in prior years, Vespucci found it difficult to reconcile what he had seen in the West Indies, with what the returning sailors told him of the East Indies. Vespucci wrote a preliminary letter to Lorenzo, while anchored at Bezeguiche, which he sent back with the Portuguese fleet – at this point only expressing a certain puzzlement about his conversations. Vespucci was convinced when he proceeded on his mapping expedition through 1501–02, covering the huge stretch of coast of eastern Brazil. After returning from Brazil, in the Spring of 1503, Amerigo Vespucci composed the Mundus Novus letter in Lisbon to Lorenzo in Florence, with its famous opening paragraph: In passed days I wrote fully to you of my return from new countries, which have been found and explored with the ships, at the cost and by the command of this Most Serene King of Portugal.
For the opinion of the ancients was, that the greater part of the world beyond the equinoctial line to the south was not land, but only sea, which they have called the Atlantic.
The 19th century was a century that began on January 1, 1801, ended on December 31, 1900. It is used interchangeably with the 1800s, though the start and end dates differ by a year; the 19th century saw large amounts of social change. European imperialism brought much of Asia and all of Africa under colonial rule, it was marked by the collapse of the Spanish, Zulu Kingdom, Holy Roman and Mughal empires. This paved the way for the growing influence of the British Empire, the Russian Empire, the United States, the German Empire, the French colonial empire and Meiji Japan, with the British boasting unchallenged dominance after 1815. After the defeat of the French Empire and its allies in the Napoleonic Wars, the British and Russian empires expanded becoming the world's leading powers; the Russian Empire expanded in central and far eastern Asia. The British Empire grew in the first half of the century with the expansion of vast territories in Canada, South Africa and populated India, in the last two decades of the century in Africa.
By the end of the century, the British Empire controlled a fifth of the world's land and one quarter of the world's population. During the post-Napoleonic era, it enforced what became known as the Pax Britannica, which had ushered in unprecedented globalization and economic integration on a massive scale; the first electronics appeared in the 19th century, with the introduction of the electric relay in 1835, the telegraph and its Morse code protocol in 1837, the first telephone call in 1876, the first functional light bulb in 1878. The 19th century was an era of accelerating scientific discovery and invention, with significant developments in the fields of mathematics, chemistry, biology and metallurgy that laid the groundwork for the technological advances of the 20th century; the Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain and spread to continental Europe, North America and Japan. The Victorian era was notorious for the employment of young children in factories and mines, as well as strict social norms regarding modesty and gender roles.
Japan embarked on a program of rapid modernization following the Meiji Restoration, before defeating China, under the Qing Dynasty, in the First Sino-Japanese War. Advances in medicine and the understanding of human anatomy and disease prevention took place in the 19th century, were responsible for accelerating population growth in the western world. Europe's population doubled during the 19th century, from 200 million to more than 400 million; the introduction of railroads provided the first major advancement in land transportation for centuries, changing the way people lived and obtained goods, fuelling major urbanization movements in countries across the globe. Numerous cities worldwide surpassed populations of a million or more during this century. London became capital of the British Empire, its population increased from 1 million in 1800 to 6.7 million a century later. The last remaining undiscovered landmasses of Earth, including vast expanses of interior Africa and Asia, were explored during this century, with the exception of the extreme zones of the Arctic and Antarctic and detailed maps of the globe were available by the 1890s.
Liberalism became the pre-eminent reform movement in Europe. Slavery was reduced around the world. Following a successful slave revolt in Haiti and France stepped up the battle against the Barbary pirates and succeeded in stopping their enslavement of Europeans; the UK's Slavery Abolition Act charged the British Royal Navy with ending the global slave trade. The first colonial empire in the century to abolish slavery was the British, who did so in 1834. America's 13th Amendment following their Civil War abolished slavery there in 1865, in Brazil slavery was abolished in 1888. Serfdom was abolished in Russia; the 19th century was remarkable in the widespread formation of new settlement foundations which were prevalent across North America and Australia, with a significant proportion of the two continents' largest cities being founded at some point in the century. Chicago in the United States and Melbourne in Australia were non-existent in the earliest decades but grew to become the 2nd largest cities in the United States and British Empire by the end of the century.
In the 19th century 70 million people left Europe, with most migrating to the United States. The 19th century saw the rapid creation and codification of many sports in Britain and the United States. Association football, rugby union and many other sports were developed during the 19th century, while the British Empire facilitated the rapid spread of sports such as cricket to many different parts of the world. Ladywear was a sensitive topic during this time, where women showing their ankles was viewed to be scandalous, it marks the fall of the Ottoman rule of the Balkans which led to the creation of Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania as a result of the second Russo-Turkish War, which in itself followed the great Crimean War. Industrial revolution European Imperialism British Regency, Victorian era Bourbon Restoration, July Monarchy, French Second Republic, Second French Empire, French Third Republic Belle Époque Edo period, Meiji period Qing dynasty Joseon dynasty Zulu Kingdom Tanzimat, First C
Eshu is an Orisha in the Yoruba religion of the Yoruba people. As the religion has spread around the world, the name of this Orisha has varied in different locations, but the beliefs remain similar. Eshu serves as an alternate name for Eleggua, the messenger for all Orishas, that there are 256 paths to Eleggua—each one of, an Eshu, it is believed that Eshu is an Orisha similar to Elugga, but there are only 101 paths to Eshu according to ocha, rather than the 256 paths to Eleggua according to Ifá. Eshu is known as the "Father who gave birth to Ogboni", is thought to be agile and always willing to rise to a challenge. Both ocha and Ifá share some paths, however. Eshu Ayé is said to work with Orisha Olokun and is thought to walk on the shore of the beach. Eshu Bi is a stern and forceful avatar, appearing as both an old man and young boy, who walked with Shangó and Oyá, Eshu Bi protects both of these, as well as all other small children. Eshu Laroye is an avatar believed to be the companion of Oshún and believed to be one of the most important Eshus, the avatar of Eshu Laroye is thought to be talkative and small.
The name of Eshu vary around the world: in Yorùbáland, Eshu is Èṣù-Elegba. Exu is known by various names in Afro-Brazilian religions, they include Akessan. The most common forms or praise-names of Exu are Exu-Agbo, the protector and guardian of houses and terreiros. A shrine dedicated to Exu is located outside of the main terreiro of a Candomblé temple near the entrance gate, it is, in general, made of a simple mound of red clay. They are similar to those found in Nigeria. Ritual foods offered to Exu include palm oil. Four-legged male birds and other animals are offered as sacrifice to Exu. In each offering made to an orixá, a part of the food is dedicated to Exu. On the Syncretic religion of Umbanda, Exu may have a different meaning. In Umbanda Exu is not considered a single Deity, but many different spirits may be Exu's; some of the most popular venerated types of Exu are Exu Tranca-Rua and Exu Mirim. In Umbanda, a Pombagira may be considered a kind of Exu venerated in the practice of Brazilian Love magic.
Eshu is described as a "black devil-god" in the character list of Aimé Césaire's Une Tempête, is mentioned by the Master of Ceremonies in the Introduction. He appears as a bawdy trickster to foil the colonialist Prospero in Act 3, Scene 3. In Jamaican-Canadian Nalo Hopkinson's 2000 science fiction novel Midnight Robber, eshu is a name for the individual AI that runs each household in the far-future Cockpit County on the Carib-colonized planet of Toussaint. Elegua
Argentina the Argentine Republic, is a country located in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Drake Passage to the south. With a mainland area of 2,780,400 km2, Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, the fourth largest in the Americas, the largest Spanish-speaking nation; the sovereign state is subdivided into twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires, the federal capital of the nation as decided by Congress. The provinces and the capital exist under a federal system. Argentina claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; the earliest recorded human presence in modern-day Argentina dates back to the Paleolithic period. The Inca Empire expanded to the northwest of the country in Pre-Columbian times; the country has its roots in Spanish colonization of the region during the 16th century.
Argentina rose as the successor state of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, a Spanish overseas viceroyalty founded in 1776. The declaration and fight for independence was followed by an extended civil war that lasted until 1861, culminating in the country's reorganization as a federation of provinces with Buenos Aires as its capital city; the country thereafter enjoyed relative peace and stability, with several waves of European immigration radically reshaping its cultural and demographic outlook. The almost-unparalleled increase in prosperity led to Argentina becoming the seventh wealthiest nation in the world by the early 20th century. Following the Great Depression in the 1930s, Argentina descended into political instability and economic decline that pushed it back into underdevelopment, though it remained among the fifteen richest countries for several decades. Following the death of President Juan Perón in 1974, his widow, Isabel Martínez de Perón, ascended to the presidency, she was overthrown in 1976 by a U.
S.-backed coup which installed a right-wing military dictatorship. The military government persecuted and murdered numerous political critics and leftists in the Dirty War, a period of state terrorism that lasted until the election of Raúl Alfonsín as President in 1983. Several of the junta's leaders were convicted of their crimes and sentenced to imprisonment. Argentina is a prominent regional power in the Southern Cone and Latin America, retains its historic status as a middle power in international affairs. Argentina has the second largest economy in South America, the third-largest in Latin America, membership in the G-15 and G-20 major economies, it is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, World Trade Organization, Union of South American Nations, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the Organization of Ibero-American States. Despite its history of economic instability, it ranks second highest in the Human Development Index in Latin America; the description of the country by the word Argentina has been found on a Venetian map in 1536.
In English the name "Argentina" comes from the Spanish language, however the naming itself is not Spanish, but Italian. Argentina means in Italian " of silver, silver coloured" borrowed from the Old French adjective argentine " of silver" > "silver coloured" mentioned in the 12th century. The French word argentine is the feminine form of argentin and derives from argent "silver" with the suffix -in; the Italian naming "Argentina" for the country implies Terra Argentina "land of silver" or Costa Argentina "coast of silver". In Italian, the adjective or the proper noun is used in an autonomous way as a substantive and replaces it and it is said l'Argentina; the name Argentina was first given by the Venetian and Genoese navigators, such as Giovanni Caboto. In Spanish and Portuguese, the words for "silver" are plata and prata and " of silver" is said plateado and prateado. Argentina was first associated with the silver mountains legend, widespread among the first European explorers of the La Plata Basin.
The first written use of the name in Spanish can be traced to La Argentina, a 1602 poem by Martín del Barco Centenera describing the region. Although "Argentina" was in common usage by the 18th century, the country was formally named "Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata" by the Spanish Empire, "United Provinces of the Río de la Plata" after independence; the 1826 constitution included the first use of the name "Argentine Republic" in legal documents. The name "Argentine Confederation" was commonly used and was formalized in the Argentine Constitution of 1853. In 1860 a presidential decree settled the country's name as "Argentine Republic", that year's constitutional amendment ruled all the names since 1810 as valid. In the English language the country was traditionally called "the Argentine", mimicking the typical Spanish usage la Argentina and resulting from a mistaken shortening of the fuller name'Argentine Republic'.'The Argentine' fell out of fashion during the mid-to-late 20th century, now the country is referred to as "Argentina".
In the Spanish language "Argentina" is feminine, taking the feminine article "La" as the i
Ifá is a Yoruba religion and system of divination. Its literary corpus is the Odu Ifá. Orunmila is identified as the Grand Priest, as he is who revealed divinity and prophecy to the world. Babalawos or Iyanifas use either the divining chain known as Opele, or the sacred palm or kola nuts called Ikin, on the wooden divination tray called Opon Ifá. Ifá is practiced throughout the Americas, West Africa, the Canary Islands, in the form of a complex religious system, plays a critical role in the traditions of Santería, Candomblé, Umbanda and other Afro-American faiths, as well as in some traditional African religions; the 16 principle system seems to have its earliest history in West Africa. Each Niger–Congo-speaking ethnic group that practices it has its own myths of origin. Other myths suggest that it was brought to Ilé-Ifẹ̀ by Setiu, a Nupe man who settled in Ilé-Ifẹ̀. According to the book The History of the Yorubas from the Earliest of Times to the British Protectorate by Nigerian historian Samuel Johnson and Obadiah Johnson, it was Arugba, the mother of Onibogi, the 8th Alaafin of Oyo who introduced Oyo to Ifá in the late 1400s.
She conferred on him the rites to initiate others. The Alado, in turn, initiated the priests of Oyo and, how Ifá came to be in the Oyo empire. Odinani suggests that Dahomey Kings noted that the system of Afá was brought by a diviner known as Gogo from eastern Nigeria. Orunmila came to establish an oral literary corpus incorporating stories and experiences of priests and their clients along with the results; this odu corpus emerges as the leading documentation on the Ifá tradition to become a historical legacy. In Yorubaland, divination gives priests unreserved access to the teachings of Orunmila. Eshu is the one said to lend ashe to the oracle during provision of direction and or clarification of counsel. Eshu is the one that holds the keys to ones ire, thus acts as Oluwinni, he can grant ire or remove it. Ifá divination rites provide an avenue of communication to the spiritual realm and the intent of ones destiny. In Igboland, Ifá is known as Afá, is performed by specialists called Dibia; the Dibia specializes in the use of herbs for healing and transformation.
Among the Ewe people of southern Togo and southeast Ghana, Ifá is known as Afá, where the Vodun spirits come through and speak. In many of their Egbes, it is Alaundje, honored as the first Bokono to have been taught how to divine the destiny of humans using the holy system of Afá; the Amengansi are the living oracles. A priest, not a bokono is known as Hounan, similar to Houngan, a male priest in Haitian Vodou, a derivative religion of Vodun, the religion of the Ewe. There are sixteen major books in Odu Ifá literary corpus; when combined there are total of 256 Odu believed to reference all situations, circumstances and consequences in life based on the uncountable ese relative to the 256 Odu coding. These form the basis of traditional Yoruba spiritual knowledge and are the foundation of all Yoruba divination systems. Ifá proverbs and poetry are not written down but passed down orally from one babalawo to another; the Ifá Divination system was added in 2005 by UNESCO to its list of the "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity".
21 Savage, British-American rapper Osunlade, record producer, DJ Wande Abimbola, Nigerian linguist Babalawo Iyalawo Orunmila Chief FAMA Fundamentals of the Yoruba Religion ISBN 0-9714949-0-8 Chief FAMA Practitioners' Handbook for the Ifa Professional ISBN 0-9714949-3-2 Chief FAMA Fundamentos de la Religion Yoruba ISBN 0-9714949-6-7 Fama, Chief. Sixteen mythological stories of Ifá =. San Bernardino, CA: Ilé Ọ̀rúnmìlà Communications. ISBN 9780964424722. Chief FAMA FAMA'S EDE AWO ISBN 0-9644247-8-9 Chief FAMA The Rituals ISBN 0-9644247-7-0 Awo Fasina Falade Ifa: The Key to Its Understanding ISBN 0-9663132-3-2 Chief Adedoja Aluko The Sixteen Major Odu Ifa from Ile-Ife ISBN 978-37376-6-X Chief Hounon-Amengansie, Mama Zogbé Mami Wata: Africa's Ancient God/dess Unveiled Vol. I ISBN 978-0-615-17936-0 Chief S. Solagbade Popoola library, INC Ifa Dida: Vol 1, ISBN 978-0-9810013-1-9 Chief S. Solagbade Popoola library, INC Ifa Dida: Vol 2, ISBN 978-1-926538-12-9 Chief S. Solagbade Popoola & Fakunle Oyesanya Ikunle Abiyamo - The ASE of Motherhood ISBN 978-09810013-0-2 C.
Osamaro Ibie Ifism the Complete Works of Orunmila ISBN 1-890157-05-8 William R. Bascom: Ifa Divination: Communication Between Gods and Men in West Africa ISBN 0-253-20638-3 William R. Bascom: Sixteen Cowries: Yoruba Divination from Africa to the New World ISBN 0-253-20847-5 Rosenthal, J. ‘Possession Ecstasy & Law in Ewe Voodoo" ISBN 0-8139-1805-7 Maupoil, Bernard. "La Geomancie L'ancienne Côte des Esclaves Alapini, Julien. Les noix sacrées. Etude complète de Fa-Ahidégoun génie de la sagesse et de la divination au Dahomey Dr. Ron Eglash American Anthropologist Recursion in ethnomathematics, Chaos Theory in West African divination. Bàbálàwó Ifatunwase Tratados Enciclopédicos de Ifá, ISBN 978-0-9810387-04
Uruguay the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, is a country in the southeastern region of South America. It borders Argentina to its west and Brazil to its north and east, with the Río de la Plata to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast. Uruguay is home to an estimated 3.44 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the metropolitan area of its capital and largest city, Montevideo. With an area of 176,000 square kilometres, Uruguay is geographically the second-smallest nation in South America, after Suriname. Uruguay was inhabited by the Charrúa people for 4,000 years before the Portuguese established Colonia del Sacramento in 1680. Montevideo was founded as a military stronghold by the Spanish in the early 18th century, signifying the competing claims over the region. Uruguay won its independence between 1811 and 1828, following a four-way struggle between Spain and Argentina and Brazil, it remained subject to foreign influence and intervention throughout the 19th century, with the military playing a recurring role in domestic politics.
A series of economic crises put an end to a democratic period that had begun in the early 20th century, culminating in a 1973 coup, which established a civic-military dictatorship. The military government persecuted leftists and political opponents, resulting in several deaths and numerous instances of torture by the military. Uruguay is today a democratic constitutional republic, with a president who serves as both head of state and head of government. Uruguay is ranked first in Latin America in democracy, low perception of corruption, e-government, is first in South America when it comes to press freedom, size of the middle class and prosperity. On a per-capita basis, Uruguay contributes more troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions than any other country, it tops the rank of absence of a unique position within South America. It ranks second in the region on economic freedom, income equality, per-capita income and inflows of FDI. Uruguay is the third-best country on the continent in terms of HDI, GDP growth and infrastructure.
It is regarded as a high-income country by the UN. Uruguay was ranked the third-best in the world in e-Participation in 2014. Uruguay is an important global exporter of combed wool, soybeans, frozen beef and milk. Nearly 95% of Uruguay's electricity comes from renewable energy hydroelectric facilities and wind parks. Uruguay is a founding member of the United Nations, OAS, Mercosur, UNASUR and NAM. Uruguay is regarded as one of the most advanced countries in Latin America, it ranks high on global measures of personal rights and inclusion issues. The Economist named Uruguay "country of the year" in 2013, acknowledging the policy of legalizing the production and consumption of cannabis; the name of the namesake river comes from the Spanish pronunciation of the regional Guarani word for it. There are several interpretations, including "bird-river"; the name could refer to a river snail called uruguá, plentiful in the water. In Spanish colonial times, for some time thereafter and some neighbouring territories were called the Cisplatina and Banda Oriental for a few years the "Eastern Province".
Since its independence, the country has been known as la República Oriental del Uruguay, which means "the eastern republic of the Uruguay ". However, it is translated either as the "Oriental Republic of Uruguay" or the "Eastern Republic of Uruguay"; the documented inhabitants of Uruguay before European colonization of the area were the Charrúa, a small tribe driven south by the Guarani of Paraguay. It is estimated that there were about 9,000 Charrúa and 6,000 Chaná and Guaraní at the time of contact with Europeans in the 1500s. Fructuoso Rivera - Uruguay's first president – organized the Charruas' genocide; the Portuguese were the first Europeans to enter the region of present-day Uruguay in 1512. The Spanish arrived in present-day Uruguay in 1516; the indigenous peoples' fierce resistance to conquest, combined with the absence of gold and silver, limited their settlement in the region during the 16th and 17th centuries. Uruguay became a zone of contention between the Spanish and Portuguese empires.
In 1603, the Spanish began to introduce cattle. The first permanent Spanish settlement was founded in 1624 at Soriano on the Río Negro. In 1669–71, the Portuguese built a fort at Colonia del Sacramento. Montevideo was founded by the Spanish in the early 18th century as a military stronghold in the country, its natural harbor soon developed into a commercial area competing with Río de la Plata's capital, Buenos Aires. Uruguay's early 19th century history was shaped by ongoing fights for dominance in the Platine region, between British, Spanish and other colonial forces. In 1806 and 1807, the British army attempted to seize Buenos Aires and Montevideo as part of the Napoleonic Wars. Montevideo was occupied by a British force from February to September 1807. In 1811, José Gervasio Artigas, who became Uruguay's national hero, launched a successful revolt against the Spanish authorities, defeating them on 18 May at the Battle of Las Piedras. In 1813, the new government in Buenos Aires convened a constituent assembly where Artigas emerged as a champ