The story

The names of Brazil


Before receiving the name of Brazil our country had eight names:

  • Pindorama (name given by the indigenous people);
  • Vera Cruz Island in 1500;
  • Newfoundland in 1501;
  • Parrotland in 1501;
  • Land of Vera Cruz in 1503;
  • Holy Land, in 1503;
  • Holy Land of Brazil in 1505;
  • Land of Brazil in 1505;
  • Brazil, since 1527.

Our country received this name because in the early years of its colonization the wood of Caesalpinia echinata, popularly called redwood, was removed from the forests on the Brazilian coast. From this wood was extracted a red-colored resin, Brazil, which was used to dye fabrics.


Photo of Brazil wood cut in Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden.
The red color is proper to the species, so the name of Brazil, because it refers to the color of ember.