The bay itself was named by the explorer Amerigo Vespucci during his second voyage , when he found it on All Saints' Day 1 November , Over time, the bay became distinguished as the Bay of All Saints, the state as Bahia "Bay" , and its capital first as Bahia and then finally as Salvador. Under the Brazilian Empire , it was bound on the north by the Rio Real and by the Jequitinhonha on the south,  but Bahia now comprises an irregular shape bound by other states of Brazil , some of which were formed from it. In the northwest, it is bordered by Tocantins. Formerly plied by paddlewheel steamers , the river is only navigable to small modern craft but is still vital to the arid west since it continuously supplies water during seasons when many other smaller rivers dry out. The Sobradinho Dam created one of the largest reservoirs in the world; other major hydroelectric projects along its length include the Paulo Afonso Hydroelectric Complex and the Itaparica or Luiz Gonzaga Dam.
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Immigration to Brazil and European immigration to Brazil It was only in that the Portuguese rulers abandoned the principle of restricting settling in Brazil to Portuguese nationals. In that year over two thousand Swiss migrants from the Canton of Fribourg arrived to settle in an inhospitable area near Rio de Janeiro that would later be renamed Nova Friburgo. The production of coffee, the main product of Brazil at the time, began to suffer a shortage of workers. From , Italian immigrants began to enter Brazil in huge numbers. From to , 1. It is notable that most of these immigrants settled in Southern and Southeastern Brazil. A typical Dutch mill in Holambra.
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In Portuguese, Brasil; its citizens are Brasileiros or Brasileiras depending on gender. A year later, Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci sailed to Brazil on a voyage commissioned by the Portuguese crown and returned home with a cargo of hard, reddish wood. The wood was similar to an East Indian variety called pau brasil, which was then popular in Europe for making cabinets and violin bows.