The tropics are the region of the Earth surrounding the Equator. They are delimited in latitude by The Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere at 23°26′12.4″ N and the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere at 23°26′12.4″ S. The tropics are referred to as the tropical zone and the torrid zone; the tropics include all the areas on the Earth where the Sun contacts a point directly overhead at least once during the solar year - thus the latitude of the tropics is equal to the angle of the Earth's axial tilt. The tropics are distinguished from the other climatic and biomatic regions of Earth, which are the middle latitudes and the polar regions on either side of the equatorial zone; the tropics contain 36 % of the Earth's landmass. As of 2014, the region is home to 40% of the world population, this figure is projected to reach 50% by the late 2030s. "Tropical" is sometimes used in a general sense for a tropical climate to mean warm to hot and moist year-round with the sense of lush vegetation.
Many tropical areas have a wet season. The wet season, rainy season or green season is the time of year, ranging from one or more months, when most of the average annual rainfall in a region falls. Areas with wet seasons are disseminated across portions of the subtropics. Under the Köppen climate classification, for tropical climates, a wet-season month is defined as a month where average precipitation is 60 millimetres or more. Tropical rainforests technically do not have dry or wet seasons, since their rainfall is distributed through the year; some areas with pronounced rainy seasons see a break in rainfall during mid-season when the intertropical convergence zone or monsoon trough moves poleward of their location during the middle of the warm season. When the wet season occurs during the warm season, or summer, precipitation falls during the late afternoon and early evening hours; the wet season is a time when air quality improves, freshwater quality improves and vegetation grows leading to crop yields late in the season.
Floods cause rivers to overflow their banks, some animals to retreat to higher ground. Soil nutrients erosion increases; the incidence of malaria increases in areas. Animals have survival strategies for the wetter regime; the previous dry season leads to food shortages into the wet season, as the crops have yet to mature. However, regions within the tropics may well not have a tropical climate. Under the Köppen climate classification, much of the area within the geographical tropics is classed not as "tropical" but as "dry", including the Sahara Desert, the Atacama Desert and Australian Outback. There are alpine tundra and snow-capped peaks, including Mauna Kea, Mount Kilimanjaro, the Andes as far south as the northernmost parts of Chile and Argentina. Tropical plants and animals are those species native to the tropics. Tropical ecosystems may consist of tropical rainforests, seasonal tropical forests, dry forests, spiny forests and other habitat types. There are significant areas of biodiversity, species endemism present in rainforests and seasonal forests.
Some examples of important biodiversity and high endemism ecosystems are El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico, Costa Rican and Nicaraguan rainforests, Amazon Rainforest territories of several South American countries, Madagascar dry deciduous forests, the Waterberg Biosphere of South Africa, eastern Madagascar rainforests. The soils of tropical forests are low in nutrient content, making them quite vulnerable to slash-and-burn deforestation techniques, which are sometimes an element of shifting cultivation agricultural systems. In biogeography, the tropics are divided into Neotropics. Together, they are sometimes referred to as the Pantropic; the Neotropical region should not be confused with the ecozone of the same name. "Tropicality" refers to the geographic imagery that many people outside the tropics have of that region. The idea of tropicality gained renewed interest in modern geographical discourse when French geographer Pierre Gourou published Les Pays Tropicaux, in the late 1940s.
Tropicality encompasses at least two contradictory imageries. One is that the tropics represent a Garden of a heaven on Earth; the latter view was discussed in Western literature—more so than the first. Evidence suggests that over time the more primitive view of the tropics in popular literature has been supplanted by more nuanced interpretations that reflect historical changes in values associated with tropical culture and ecology, although some primitive associations are persistent. Western scholars theorized about the reasons that tropical areas were deemed "inferior" to regions in the Northern Hemisphere. A popular explanation focused on the differences in climate—tropical regions have much warmer weather than northern regions; this theme led some scholars, including Gourou, to argue that warmer climates correlate to primitive indigenous populations lacking control over nature, compared to northern popul
The Province of Chaco is a province in north-eastern Argentina. It is bordered by Salta and Santiago del Estero to the west, Formosa to the north, Corrientes to the east, Santa Fe to the south, it has an international border with the Paraguayan Department of Ñeembucú. The capital, largest city, is Resistencia. With an area of 99,633 km2, a population of 1,055,259 as of 2010, it is the twelfth most extensive, the ninth most populated, of the twenty-three Argentine provinces. Chaco Province has been among Argentina's poorest regions, presently ranks last by per capita GDP and on the Human Development Index. Chaco derives from chacú, the Quechua word used to name a hunting territory or the hunting technique used by the people of the Inca Empire. Annually, large groups of up to thirty thousand hunters would enter the territory, forming columns and circling their prey. Jesuit missioner Pedro Lozano wrote in his book Chorographic Description of the Great Chaco Gualamba, published in Cordoba, Spain in 1733: "Its etymology indicates the multitude of nations that inhabit that region.
When they go hunting, the Indians gather from many parts the guanacos. However, the earliest known mention of the term in a document was in a letter written to Fernando Torres de Portugal y Mesía, Viceroy of Peru, dated in 1589, by the Governor of Tucumán, Juan Ramírez de Velasco, who referred to the region as Chaco Gualamba; the province of Chaco lies within the southern part of the Gran Chaco region, a vast lowland plain that covers territories in Argentina and Bolivia. Chaco Province ranks as the twelfth largest Argentinian province; the highest ground in the province is the most western, near the municipality of Taco Pozo, at an elevation of 272 m above sea level. The Paraná and Paraguay rivers separate Chaco province from Corrientes Province and the Republic of Paraguay. To the north, the river Bermejo forms another natural border, dividing Chaco Province from Formosa Province. In the south, the border follows the 28th parallel south, separating the region from Santa Fe Province, while in the west it borders Salta and Santiago del Estero.
Other important rivers include: the Negro, Tapenagá, Salado, all tributaries or anabranches of the river Paraná. The province has a subtropical climate, it is divided in two different climate zones: a more humid one in the east and a drier subtropical climate in the center and west. The eastern parts of the province have a humid subtropical climate with no dry season. In the west where precipitation is lower, it has a subtropical climate with a dry winter and is classified as a semi-arid climate due to potential evapotranspiration exceeding precipitation. In the most humid parts of the province, precipitation falls throughout the year with no dry season; these areas receive around 1,400 millimetres of precipitation per year. Precipitation decreases become more concentrated in the summer months. Mean annual temperatures range between 21 to 23 °C north to south. Summers are hot with temperatures that can reach up to 38 to 41 °C in the eastern parts of the province; the western parts experience more variation in temperatures due continental influences.
During winters, incursions of cold, polar air from the south can lead to frosts and temperatures that fall below freezing. Being under an area of high solar radiation during summer, a consequence is that a low pressure system forms over the province during summer. Humidity in the province is high due to its climate in the north, the wettest portion of the province. Most of the winds that transport humid air come from the east. Winters are the most humid seasons due to this season being characterized by frequent fogs; the area was inhabited by various hunter-gatherers speaking languages from the Mataco-Guaicru family. Native tribes including the Toba, Wichí survive in the region and have important communities in this province as well as in Formosa Province. In 1576, the governor of a province in Northern Argentina commissioned the military to search for a huge mass of iron, which he had heard that natives used for their weapons; the natives called the area Heavenly Fields, translated into Spanish as Campo del Cielo.
This area is now a protected region situated on the border between the provinces of Chaco and Santiago del Estero where a group of iron meteorites fell in a Holocene impact event some four to five thousand years ago. In 2015, Police arrested four alleged smugglers trying to steal over a ton of protected meteoric iron; the first European settlement was founded by Spanish conquistador Alonso de Vera y Aragón, in 1585, was called Concepción de Nuestra Señora. It was abandoned in 1632. During its existence, it was one of the most important cities in the region, but attacks from local Indians forced the residents to leave. In the 17th century, the San Fernando del Río Negro Jesuit mission was founded in the area of the modern-day city of Resistencia, but it was abandoned fifteen years later; the Gran Chaco region remained unexplored, uninhabited, by either Europeans or Argentines until the late 19th century, after numerous confrontations between Argentina a
Salta is a province of Argentina, located in the northwest of the country. Neighboring provinces are from the east clockwise Formosa, Santiago del Estero, Tucumán and Catamarca, it surrounds Jujuy. To the north it borders Bolivia and Paraguay and to the west lies Chile. Before the Spanish conquest, numerous native peoples lived in the valleys of what is now Salta Province; the Atacamas lived in the Puna, the Wichís, in the Chaco region. The first conquistador to venture into the area was Diego de Almagro in 1535. Hernando de Lerma founded San Felipe de Lerma in 1582, following orders of the viceroy Francisco de Toledo, Count of Oropesa. By 1650, the city had around five hundred inhabitants. An intendency of "Salta del Tucumán" was created within the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata. In 1774, San Ramón de La Nueva Orán was founded between Tarija. In 1783, in recognition of the growing importance of the city, the capital of the intendency of Salta del Tucumán was moved from San Miguel de Tucumán to Salta.
The battle of Salta in 1813 freed the territory from Spain, but occasional attacks were mounted from the Viceroyalty of Peru as late as 1826. Gervasio de Posadas created the Province of Salta in 1814, containing the current provinces of Salta and parts of southern Bolivia and northern Chile. Exploiting internal Argentine conflicts that arose after the Argentine Declaration of Independence, Bolivia annexed Tarija in 1826. In 1834, Jujuy became a separate province; the borders of Salta were further reduced with the loss of Yacuiba to Bolivia. The National Government of Los Andes, constituted from the province in 1902 with a capital at San Antonio de los Cobres, was returned to Salta Province in 1943 as the Department of Los Andes. Antonio Alice's painting, La muerte de Güemes, which received a Gold Medal at the Centenary Exposition, is on display at the offices of the Salta Provincial Government; the total land area of the province is 155,488 km2, making it the sixth largest province by area in Argentina.
The main rivers of the province are the Pilcomayo and the Juramento, which becomes the Salado River. Salta Province is located at a geologically active region, suffers from occasional earthquakes. There have been four earthquakes of note in the province: In 1692, registering 7.0 on the Richter magnitude scale, at IX on the Mercalli intensity scale, In 1844, registering 6.5 on the Richter magnitude scale, VII Mercalli intensity, In 1948, registering 7.0 on the Moment magnitude scale, IX Mercalli intensity, In 2010, registering 6.1 or 6.3, VI Mercalli intensity. The 1692 earthquake was the inspiration for Salta's annual citywide festival, held on 16 September, in honor of El Señor y la Virgen del Milagro; the province is located in the tropical zone and has a warm climate in general, though it has marked variation in climate types owing to the variation in altitudes. The orientation of the Andes influences the distribution of precipitation within the province; the easternmost parts of the province have a semi-arid climate with a dry winter season.
The mean annual temperature and precipitation are 500 millimetres. Temperatures can reach up to 47 °C during summers; the first slopes of the Andes force the moist, easterly winds to rise, provoking high condensation leading to the formation of clouds that generate copious amounts of rain. The eastern slopes of the mountains receive between 1,000 to 1,500 mm of precipitation a year, although some places receive up to 2,500 mm of precipitation annually owing to orographic precipitation. Most of the precipitation is concentrated with winters being dry; the high rainfall on these first slopes creates a thick jungle that extends in a narrow strip along these ranges, creating an area of great species diversity. At higher altitudes on these slopes, the climate is cooler and more humid, with the vegetation consisting of deciduous and pine trees. Between the high altitudes to the west and the low plains to the east lie the valleys; the climate of these valleys is temperate, allowing for human settlement and agricultural activities.
Mean annual precipitation is around most of it during summer. Mean temperatures exceed 20 °C during the summer, while during winter, they are below 14 °C. Further west, the Altiplano is a plateau at 3,000 m to 4,000 m above sea level; the climate is arid and cold: high temperatures vary little, ranging from 14 °C to 21 °C. All rain falls in the summer, with values between 200 mm and 400 mm in total. Several salt flats exist in this area. At the highest altitudes found in the western parts of the province, the climate is arid and cold, with large diurnal ranges. Salta's economy is underdeveloped, yet diverse, its economy in 2006 was estimated at US$5.141 billion or, US$4,764 per capita, 45% below the national average. In 2012, its economy was estimated at $23,971 pesos per capita. Manufacturing plays a si
The Toba people known as the Qom people, are one of the largest indigenous groups in Argentina who inhabited the region known today as the Pampas, in the Central Chaco. During the 16th century, the Qom inhabited a large part of what is today northern Argentina, in the current provinces of Salta, Santiago del Estero and the province of Gran Chaco in the southeast of the Department of Tarija in Bolivia. Many Toba, due to persecution in their rural ancestral regions, live in the suburbs of San Ramón de la Nueva Orán, Tartagal, Charata, Formosa and Santa Fe and in Greater Buenos Aires. Nearly 130,000 people identify themselves as Toba or Qom. With more than 120,000 Qom living in Argentina, the Qom community is one of the largest indigenous communities in the country. Like most indigenous groups in South America, the Qom have a long history of conflict and struggle following the arrival of the Spanish. While the Qom incorporated some aspects of European society into their culture, such as horseback riding, violent conflicts were common.
The Toba people, in particular, opposed the ideas of Christianity and the systems of forced labor that were imposed upon the Qom during the lives at Jesuit reductions. In some cases, attempts to assimilate the Toba people to Spanish society were accomplished with force and, when met with resistance from the indigenous group, resulted in massacres such as the Massacre of Napalpí. In more recent history, the Qom have struggled with problems such as poverty, malnutrition and Tuberculosis due to a lack of support from the community and the inequalities they have endured. In 2010, a historic protest for land rights developed in the province of Formosa when the government announced it would build a university on lands traditionally claimed by the Qom. After the Tobas' roadblock of National Route 86 was met with violence on behalf of the Argentine police, resulting in the death of one Toba man and one police officer, the protest sparked national controversy and attention. Led by chief Félix Díaz, the Qom community, joined by other indigenous groups, began the Qopiwini organization and built an encampment in the middle of the city of Buenos Aires in order to continue protests and gain further recognition.
While the protests have gained support from famous artists such as Gustavo Cordera, as well as international organizations such as Amnesty International and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Qom's struggle for land rights and the Formosa case is still developing. At the time of the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, the Qom inhabited the regions known today as Salta and Tarija and from there, Qom communities extended in territory until the Bermejo River and the Pilcomayo River, overlapping with other indigenous communities; the large demographic growth of the Wichi put pressure on the Qom and forced them to displace themselves farther east, to the territories that they inhabit today. Traditionally, the Qom and the Mocoví peoples regarded each other as allies while the Abipon peoples were treated as enemies to the Qom. Like other Guaycuru peoples, the Qom organize themselves into bands composed by up to 60 families that would establish relationships with other bands.
The principal groups among the Toba were the sheu’l’ec who inhabited the northern or sheu region, the dapigueml’ec who inhabited the western or dapiguem region, the l’añagashec who inhabited the southeastern or l’añaga region, the tacshic who inhabited the eastern or tagueñi region and the qollaxal’ec who inhabited the southern most region known as qollaxa. The first written record of Spanish interaction with the Qom appears at the beginning of the 1700s but no formal study of the Qom people was done until Father José Cardú, a Spanish Franciscan missionary, estimated that there were at least 4,000 Tobas living in the western or dapiguem region; the first missionaries to make contact with the Qom did not try to introduce them to an agricultural lifestyle, an approach, adopted in every other part of Latin America in order to "civilize" the indigenous group. Instead, the limited resources and the difficulties presented by the landscape of the Chaco forced missionaries to accept the Qom's hunter-gatherer lifestyle as the only sustainable option.
The presence of the Spanish resulted in a great revolution for the Qom, in part because the Qom encountered a new and powerful enemy and in part because the Spanish involuntarily provided the Qom with a great contribution to their culture: in the 17th century the Qom began to utilize horses and soon developed a powerful equestrian complex in the center and southern part of the Grand Chaco region, known as the Chaco Gualamba. The Qom became competent horsemen despite the fact that their territory was in large part covered in woodlands forests; when riding their horses through the trees the Qom used to fasten pieces of leather to their heads in order to prevent injuries from the spines of the trees and attacks from jaguars and pumas that would jump from the tree branches to attack them. As enemies of the Paraguayan state, on nights of the full moon, the Qom and other neighboring guaicurue groups would cross the Paraguay River on horse in order to carry out raids. With the adoption of horseback riding, the Qom could extend the reach of their raids, transforming themselves into the dominant indigenous group of the Central Chaco.
Furthermore, their command of the horses permitted the Qom to advance further west and conduct raids in the northeast zones that correspond to what is today known as the Pampas. From their horses, armed with bows and arrows, the Qom hunted not only indigenous animals but cattle, import
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the Pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants. Although some indigenous peoples of the Americas were traditionally hunter-gatherers—and many in the Amazon basin, still are—many groups practiced aquaculture and agriculture; the impact of their agricultural endowment to the world is a testament to their time and work in reshaping and cultivating the flora indigenous to the Americas. Although some societies depended on agriculture, others practiced a mix of farming and gathering. In some regions the indigenous peoples created monumental architecture, large-scale organized cities, city-states, states and empires. Among these are the Aztec and Maya states that until the 16th century were among the most politically and advanced nations in the world, they had a vast knowledge of engineering, mathematics, writing, medicine and irrigation, mining and goldsmithing. Many parts of the Americas are still populated by indigenous peoples.
At least a thousand different indigenous languages are spoken in the Americas. Some, such as the Quechuan languages, Guaraní, Mayan languages and Nahuatl, count their speakers in millions. Many maintain aspects of indigenous cultural practices to varying degrees, including religion, social organization and subsistence practices. Like most cultures, over time, cultures specific to many indigenous peoples have evolved to incorporate traditional aspects but cater to modern needs; some indigenous peoples still live in relative isolation from Western culture and a few are still counted as uncontacted peoples. Indigenous peoples of the United States are known as Native Americans or American Indians and Alaska Natives. Application of the term "Indian" originated with Christopher Columbus, who, in his search for India, thought that he had arrived in the East Indies; those islands came to be known as the "West Indies", a name still used. This led to the blanket term "Indies" and "Indians" for the indigenous inhabitants, which implied some kind of racial or cultural unity among the indigenous peoples of the Americas.
This unifying concept, codified in law and politics, was not accepted by the myriad groups of indigenous peoples themselves, but has since been embraced or tolerated, by many over the last two centuries. Though the term "Indian" does not include the culturally and linguistically distinct indigenous peoples of the Arctic regions of the Americas—such as the Aleuts, Inuit or Yupik peoples, who entered the continent as a second more recent wave of migration several thousand years before and have much more recent genetic and cultural commonalities with the aboriginal peoples of the Asiatic Arctic Russian Far East—these groups are nonetheless considered "indigenous peoples of the Americas". Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, which includes not only First Nations and Arctic Inuit, but the minority population of First Nations-European mixed race Métis people who identify culturally and ethnically with indigenous peoplehood; this is contrasted, for instance, to the American Indian-European mixed race mestizos of Hispanic America who, with their larger population, identify as a new ethnic group distinct from both Europeans and Indigenous Americans, but still considering themselves a subset of the European-derived Hispanic or Brazilian peoplehood in culture and ethnicity.
The term Amerindian and its cognates find preferred use in scientific contexts and in Quebec, the Guianas and the English-speaking Caribbean. Indígenas or pueblos indígenas is a common term in Spanish-speaking countries and pueblos nativos or nativos may be heard, while aborigen is used in Argentina and pueblos originarios is common in Chile. In Brazil, indígenas or povos indígenas are common if formal-sounding designations, while índio is still the more often-heard term and aborígene and nativo being used in Amerindian-specific contexts; the Spanish and Portuguese equivalents to Indian could be used to mean any hunter-gatherer or full-blooded Indigenous person to continents other than Europe or Africa—for example, indios filipinos. The specifics of Paleo-Indian migration to and throughout the Americas, including the exact dates and routes traveled, are the subject of ongoing research and discussion. According to archaeological and genetic evidence and South America were the last continents in the world to gain human habitation.
During the Wisconsin glaciation, 50–17,000 years ago, falling sea levels allowed people to move across the land bridge of Beringia that joined Siberia to northwest North America. Alaska was a glacial refugium; the Laurentide Ice Sheet covered most of North America, blocking nomadic inhabitants and confining them to Alaska for thousands of years. Indigenous genetic studies suggest that the first inhabitants of the Americas share a single ancestral population, one that developed in isolation, conjectured to be Beringia; the isolat
Cattle—colloquially cows—are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, are most classified collectively as Bos taurus. Cattle are raised as livestock for meat, for milk, for hides, which are used to make leather, they are used as riding animals and draft animals. Another product of cattle is dung, which can be used to create fuel. In some regions, such as parts of India, cattle have significant religious meaning. Cattle small breeds such as the Miniature Zebu, are kept as pets. Around 10,500 years ago, cattle were domesticated from as few as 80 progenitors in central Anatolia, the Levant and Western Iran. According to an estimate from 2011, there are 1.4 billion cattle in the world. In 2009, cattle became one of the first livestock animals to have a mapped genome; some consider cattle the oldest form of wealth, cattle raiding one of the earliest forms of theft. Cattle were identified as three separate species: Bos taurus, the European or "taurine" cattle.
The aurochs is ancestral to both taurine cattle. These have been reclassified as one species, Bos taurus, with three subspecies: Bos taurus primigenius, Bos taurus indicus, Bos taurus taurus. Complicating the matter is the ability of cattle to interbreed with other related species. Hybrid individuals and breeds exist, not only between taurine cattle and zebu, but between one or both of these and some other members of the genus Bos – yaks and gaur. Hybrids such as the beefalo breed can occur between taurine cattle and either species of bison, leading some authors to consider them part of the genus Bos, as well; the hybrid origin of some types may not be obvious – for example, genetic testing of the Dwarf Lulu breed, the only taurine-type cattle in Nepal, found them to be a mix of taurine cattle and yak. However, cattle cannot be hybridized with more distantly related bovines such as water buffalo or African buffalo; the aurochs ranged throughout Europe, North Africa, much of Asia. In historical times, its range became restricted to Europe, the last known individual died in Mazovia, Poland, in about 1627.
Breeders have attempted to recreate cattle of similar appearance to aurochs by crossing traditional types of domesticated cattle, creating the Heck cattle breed. The noun cattle encompasses both sexes; the singular, technically means the female, the male being bull. The plural form cows is sometimes used colloquially to refer to both sexes collectively, as e.g. in a herd, but that usage can be misleading as the speaker's intent may indeed be just the females. The bovine species per se is dimorphic. Cattle did not originate as the term for bovine animals, it was borrowed from Anglo-Norman catel, itself from medieval Latin capitale'principal sum of money, capital', itself derived in turn from Latin caput'head'. Cattle meant movable personal property livestock of any kind, as opposed to real property; the word is a variant of chattel and related to capital in the economic sense. The term replaced earlier Old English feoh ` property', which survives today as fee; the word "cow" came via Anglo-Saxon cū, from Common Indo-European gʷōus = "a bovine animal", compare Persian: gâv, Sanskrit: go-, Welsh: buwch.
The plural cȳ became ki or kie in Middle English, an additional plural ending was added, giving kine, but kies and others. This is the origin of the now archaic English plural, "kine"; the Scots language singular is coo or cou, the plural is "kye". In older English sources such as the King James Version of the Bible, "cattle" refers to livestock, as opposed to "deer" which refers to wildlife. "Wild cattle" may refer to undomesticated species of the genus Bos. Today, when used without any other qualifier, the modern meaning of "cattle" is restricted to domesticated bovines. In general, the same words are used in different parts of the world, but with minor differences in the definitions; the terminology described here contrasts the differences in definition between the United Kingdom and other British-influenced parts of the world such as Canada, New Zealand and the United States. An "intact" adult male is called a bull. A wild, unmarked bull is known as a micky in Australia. An unbranded bovine of either sex is called a maverick in the Canada.
An adult female that has had a calf is a cow. A young female before she has had a calf of her own and is under three years of age is called a heifer. A young female that has had only one calf is called a first-calf heifer. Young cattle of both sexes are called calves until they are weaned weaners until they are a year old in some areas. After that, they are referred to as stirks if between one and two years of age. A castrated male is called a steer in the United States.
Sierra de la Plata
The Sierra de la Plata was a mythical source of silver in the interior of South America. The legend began in the early 16th century when castaways from the Juan Díaz de Solís expedition heard indigenous stories of a mountain of silver in an inland region ruled by the so-called White King; the first European to lead an expedition in search of it was the castaway Aleixo Garcia, who crossed nearly the entire continent to reach the Andean altiplano. On his way back to the coast, Garcia died in an ambush by indigenous tribespeople in Paraguay, but survivors brought precious metals back to corroborate their story; the legend inspired other expeditions. The Río de la Plata and the modern country of Argentina both take their names from the myth; the legend of the Sierra de la Plata may have been based on the Cerro Rico de Potosí in Bolivia, discovered by a Spanish expedition traveling from Peru in 1545. The legend of the White King and the Sierra de la Plata began with the expeditions of Juan Díaz de Solís along the coast of South America.
On his first voyage in 1512, Solís followed the coast of Brazil until he came across an enormous estuary, the Río de la Plata, which Amerigo Vespucci had named the River Jordan on his 1501-02 expedition and the local inhabitants called Paranaguazu. Solís decided to call it the Mar Dulce due to its great size. After exploring the area and guessing it could be a strait connecting the Atlantic to the Pacific, Solís returned to Spain to stake his claim as conqueror and governor of the region. In 1516, he returned with the title of Captain General, but when Solís and his party landed on the eastern bank of the Río de la Plata, they were attacked and killed by Guaranís. Seeing this, the crew remaining on the ships decided to weigh return to Spain. On their way back to Europe, one of the Solís expedition's vessels shipwrecked off the coast of Santa Catarina Island in what is now Brazil, leaving eighteen men stranded. One of them, the Portuguese explorer Aleixo Garcia, became friendly with the local Tupí-Guaranís, through them learned of a great mountain of shining metals far into the mainland.
Garcia left Santa Catarina along with other castaways and a large indigenous party to search for the Sierra de la Plata, crossing most of South America before reaching the Andean altiplano. This was the home of the White King, whose throne was decorated with silver. After taking a few valuable pieces, the explorers headed back to the Brazilian coast, but along the way, Aleixo Garcia and the other Europeans were killed in a Payaguá ambush; the few Tupí-Guaranís who managed to escape told their story, showing off the silver pieces they had gotten from the realms of the White King. In 1526, the Venetian explorer Sebastian Cabot left Spain with the goal of reaching the Molucca Islands in Indonesia by way of the Straits of Magellan. During a stopover in Pernambuco in northern Brazil, he first heard the story about a land rich in precious metals far inland, which could be reached via an enormous estuary further south; the estuary ended up being called the Río de la Plata for its role as the supposed natural gateway to the treasure.
The legend captivated Cabot, so he abandoned his mission and decided to find the Sierra de la Plata, assuming that the royal authorities would be indulgent if he found enough silver. On Santa Catarina, the castaways Melchor Rodríguez and Enrique Morales confirmed the stories, telling Cabot about Aleixo Garcia's expedition and showing him the metals, brought back. Cabot headed toward Río de la Plata, where he disembarked to repair two ships, damaged in a storm. There, the expedition met former cabin boy Francisco del Puerto, the sole survivor of Solís's landing party. Del Puerto, living with the Guaranís verified the legend and offered his services as guide and interpreter. After entering the Río de la Plata, the expedition divided in two: Cabot would continue up the Paraná River and Antón de Grajeda would travel up the Uruguay River. In 1527, at the confluence of the Paraná and Carcarañá Rivers, Cabot established the fort of Sancti Spiritu, the first European settlement in the Río de la Plata basin, a future base for expeditions to the land of the White King.
The party was suffering from hunger and sickness, since they could not travel by land, they continued north upriver until they landed at an island they named Año Nuevo. There, they traded colored glass with the Timbús for food, but Cabot, thinking he had been shortchanged, ordered his men to kill them, burn their homes, take their food. In February 1529, they reached an indigenous town they called Santa Ana, where they were treated hospitably, fed well, told rumors of other "white men" who were coming up the river behind them. Cabot, stuck to his plan and continued up the Paraguay River until strong currents prevented him from going further. There, he had a brigantine sent ahead under the command of Miguel de Rifos. Near the confluence of the Pilcomayo River, Rifos decided to disembark with a few men after being welcomed by some indigenous people on the shore; the Europeans headed through the forest to the village. It was a trap arranged by the local chief and Del Puerto, who wanted a larger share of the plunder.
Those who had stayed in the brigantine managed to escape, when they returned to Cabot, he decided to head back to Sancti Spiritu. On the way, he came across the "other white man" he had been told about. García, like Cabot, had been commissioned to travel to the Moluccas, but had deserted when he heard the tales of the White King. Aft