The young and promising state of Tocantins was created in the Federal Constitution of 1988, however, despite its few years of political establishment, its history extends through more than 300 years of occupation by European settlers who came and met the several indigenous ethnicities already inhabiting the region. Gold was the first riches found in the region, in the late 17th century, which left its mark on the history and culture of the State. After mining receded, cattle raising and agricultural production started to gain economic importance. In the last few years, Brazil and the world have discovered other riches Tocantins has to offer: overwhelming natural wonders with great potential for tourism.
In the heart of the central plateau and encompassed by the rivers Araguaia and Tocantins, the state is home to natural environments that are of great socio-economic importance, such as Ilha do Bananal, the largest river island in the world; Jalapão, known as the “desert of waters” for its great hydric resources in a typical savannah environment; and Cantão, the largest ecotone in the planet. Palmas, the youngest capital in the country, has a modern architecture and is considered a city of opportunities with good quality of life. Although Cerrado is the predominant biome in the region, it is possible to find areas of Amazon rainforest and wetlands.
During the gold rush, the State attracted different peoples and ethnicities, which lead to a great variety of cultural manifestations and traditions, influenced mostly by religious faith. These traditions survived the ages and gained new meanings, shaping the identity of the people of Tocantins. When the state was officially created, a new wave of migration with people from the Northeast, Southeast, South, Midwest, and North further enriched the culture of the region.
The economy of Tocantins has played an important role in the national scenario. Agriculture and livestock, the main economic activities in the State, are responsible for 60% of the Gross Domestic Product and still have a lot of potential for development. Currently, the Matopiba Agricultural and Livestock Development Plan is underway for the states of Maranhão, Tocantins, Piauí and Bahia, and once implemented, the region will be one of the main areas in the world for the expansion of grain production. Today, Tocantins is the greatest grain producer in the Northern Region.
Another great potential of the State with sustainable socio-economic impact is tourism. There is a vast array of natural resources that offer distinct touristic attractions: rivers, waterfalls, lakes, beaches, mountain ranges, canyons, caves, and a great diversity of fauna and flora. In addition, there is the rich culture of the first peoples still preserved; a culinary tradition that values local produce and the tradition of the peoples who settled in the region; old and modern architecture; craftsmanship of ancestral cultures and festivities influenced by the faith of its people.