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Baependi

Baependi is a Brazilian municipality located in the state of Minas Gerais. Its population as of 2006 is estimated to be 18,173 people living at an altitude of 893 meters. The area of the municipality is 751.748 km². The city belongs to the mesoregion of Sul e Sudoeste de Minas and to the microregion of São Lourenço.Toponym"Baependi" is derived from the tupi language and means "water of the flattened thing"; mba'e ("thing"), peb ("flattened") and 'y ("water or river"). Another theory says that the name comes from the tupi mbaé-pindi, meaning "open glade".HistoryAccording to some reports, mining occurred in the southern region from 1601. The conquest of Baependi happened, however, at the end of the seventeenth century, around 1692, when the Paulistas Antonio Delgado da Veiga, his son Joao da Veiga and uncle Miguel Garcia and Captain Manoel Garcia Velho, started from Taubaté in search of gold. Crossing the Serra da Mantiqueira, they reached a site called maependi (mbaé-pindi means "open clearing" in Tupi-guarani).The city is a remnant of the so-called cycle of Gold in Minas Gerais. Baependi developed along the Estrada Real - the first major means of regular communication in Brazil which linked the mines to the port of Paraty in Rio de Janeiro from where gold was shipped to Europe.The Madeiran Tomé Rodrigues Nogueira do Ó (1715), Captain-mor and Ombudsman of Quintos the "registration of the Mantiqueira" was one of the first residents of the site and is considered the founder of the city as the first builder. Mining was, gradually, replaced by agriculture and cattle breeding. It had a large tobacco plantation, which made Baependi the centre of production of the Province of Minas Gerais and represented a major source of wealth until the mid-nineteenth century.
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