The Brazilian state of Tocantins is a relatively new one, with the capital city of Palmas, having only been formed as recently as 1988. It has an area of 277 621 square kilometres, which equals 107 190 square miles and is landlocked. The population is at approximately 1.4 million people. It is bordered by Bahia, Mato Grosso, Pará, Maranhão and Goiás.
The development of Tocantins as an independent, self-sufficient state is relatively slow due to its being only a few decades old, but it is still considered to be one of the fastest moving states in terms of its economic and infrastructural progress. Tocantins was originally a part of the state of Goiás and, therefore, shares its history.
The Flag Of Tocantins
The Europeans that arrived during the 1600’s wanted to convert the locals of the region to Christianity. Although the area was once part of the state of Goiás, it had been relatively uninhabited since the 1600’s because of limited accessibility. So, even though the European influence was present, the area remained quite isolated. This meant that the actual separation from Goiás was quite natural, although it was only legally formalised in 1988.
The Araguaia River and the Tocantins River are some of the state’s most valuable natural resources. These form the largest hydro basin in Brazil. The Bananal Island has been created by two branches of the Araguaia River and is considered to be the world’s largest river island. The rivers of Tocantins, as a state, create beautiful watery sanctuaries in the midst of an otherwise dry landscape. The climate is hot, and not as humid as many of the other Brazilian states. There are two distinct seasons; a wet one and a dry one. Tocantins forms the boundary between the dense Amazon Jungle and the sparser savannah typical of a coastal area (although this state is landlocked). This means that the vegetation is significantly more varied than places that occupy areas of less geographic diversity. The open fields of grasslands are juxtaposed with dense forests and littered with wooded zones.
In terms of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contribution, Tocantins’ most significant sector is the service one, followed by industry and then agriculture. In fact, cattle farming is a very important part of Tocantins’ survival. Soybeans are a major export items for this state.
Local and international visitors to the state of Tocantins are urged to visit some (or all) of the following attractions:
• The Araguaia National Park on Bananal Island
• The Cantão State Park
• Nascentes do Rio Parnaiba National Park
Here is the Tocantins government web site: http://to.gov.br/