Bahia in Brazil .... is a former Portuguese/African slave region. The Portuguese Pedro Álvares Cabral landed at what is now Porto Seguro, on the southern coast of Bahia in 1500, and claimed the territory for Portugal. Bahia was vital to the sugar economy and thus the importation of a vast number of African slaves proceeded in its early years. More than 37% of all slaves taken from Africa were sent to Brazil, mostly to be processed in Bahia before being sent to work in plantations elsewhere in Brazil. In 1549, Portugal established the city of Salvador..... ...As the center of the early Brazilian slave trade, Bahia is distinctive African character, in terms of culture and customs, in Brazil. These include the Yoruba-derived religious system of Candomblé, the martial art of capoeira (see top image), African-derived music such as samba, afoxé, and ахй, and foods with strong links to western Africa. Salvador is the capital of the Brazilian state of Bahia. Nearly the size of Texas, the state of Bahia holds the roots of the Brazilian nation. Bahia is the birthplace of such noted Brazilian musicians as Dorival Caymmi, Joro Gilberto, Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso and his sister Maria Bethânia, Daniela Mercury, Ivete Sangalo, and Carlinhos Brown, and home to internationally famous groups like Olodum, Ara Ketu, and Ilê Aiyê. There also are indigenous tribes, such as the Pataxy, who reside on the southern Atlantic coast and in the state's interior. ..... Today, Bahia is considered to possess the greatest and most distinctive African imprint in Brazil. Reference: Africana encyclopedia National Geographic Interactive, 1145 17th Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20036 U.S.A.