CHARRUA TRIBE OF URUGUAY
The Charrua Tribe occupied all of Uruguay along with part of Northeastern Argentina and Southern Brazil before the arrival of European Settlers. The Charruas kept mostly to themselves and shunned outsiders. They didn't welcome European explorers who began arriving in the Americas in the 15th and 16th centuries. The Charruas are considered likely to have killed Spanish explorer Juan Díaz de Solís and most of his crew during his 1515 voyage up the Río de la Plata.. The Charruas were doing well by the 17th century, which made them somewhat of an oddity. Throughout much of the Americas, Europeans were overrunning many native groups. Having successfully defended their land from the explorers, the Charruas began trading with the Spanish.
After the European conquest and the colonization, their population declined at the hands of local authorities, and they were practically exterminated by 1830. This gradual decimation occurred over three centuries, culminating on 11 April 1831 in a mass killing at Salsipuedes, which was led by General Fructuoso Rivera, Uruguay's first president. After that date the few remaining Charrúas were dispersed and a viable Charrúa culture was a thing of the past, although Charrúa blood still runs in the veins of many Uruguayans today as a result of extensive Charrúa-Spanish intermixing during colonial times.
The near anihilation of the tribe left Uruguay with no indiginous people. Consequetnly, nearly 98 percent of its population trace their roots to Europe.
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