Brazilian culture is rich and varied due to its long history of absorbing elements from many other cultures, including African, Portuguese and indigenous traditions. During the colonial era, many Portuguese settlers married native women. This mixing of cultural and racial traits gave birth to a new race known as mestizos.
When slavery was outlawed in 1888 in Brazil, further racial mixing occurred. As a result, the Brazilian people are generally racially and culturally diverse. For example, while the official language of the country is Portuguese, several native languages, such as Arawak, Carib, Tupi and Ge, still survive among smaller indigenous populations as well.
Also as a result, Brazilian cuisine is characterized by a blend of cultural influences. For example, the cuisine of Northern Brazil is based on the indigenous diet, utilizing the various root vegetables and tropical fruits found in the Amazon region, while the cuisine of the Northeastern Bahia region borrows many traits from African cooking.
The music of Brazil, like other aspects of the country's culture, is an eclectic mixture of musical influences. The Portuguese contributed many of the instruments used in Brazilian music today, such as the violin, guitar and accordion, while African percussion and rhythm have remained an important factor in the unique sound of Brazilian music.