Colonization and Epidemic Diseases in the Upper Rio Negro Region, Brazilian Amazon (Eighteenth-Nineteenth Centuries)

  • Dominique Buchillet
Palabras clave: History of Brazil, colonization, epidemic diseases, interethnic contact, indigenous peoples, Brazilian Amazon.


This paper examines demographic and health impacts of the colonization of the upperRio Negro region during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Smallpox, measles, and epidemic fevers plagued native populations, contributing to the depopulation of the region and depleting the Indian workforce crucial to the economic survival of the Portuguese colony and the Brazilian empire. It examines how colonists and scientists explained the biological vulnerability to smallpox and measles, two major killers of Indians during these periods, and also discusses the nature of the diseases that plagued Indian populations.


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