Friday 28 February 2020

A Brief Introduction to Bolivia’s Traditional Music and Dance

© Pixabay
One of the most captivating things about Bolivia is the sheer prevalence of the country’s colorful and joyous music and dance. Known locally as folklorico, Bolivia’s musical traditions are kept alive through boisterous street parades that are held regularly throughout the country. Keep reading to learn the history behind the most prolific genres of this country’s remarkable music and dance.

Morena © bjaglin/Flickr

Quintessentially Bolivian, Morenada is probably the most popular and infectious folklorico genre. It tells the story of African slaves who were brought in to work the silver mines of Potosiunder the command of the Spanish. This is represented in their immaculate outfits, where the men wear black-colored masks and scruffy long beards, while bells around their ankles signify the clinking of slave chains. The women, on the other hand, wear provocative miniskirts and colorful blouses with plunging necklines – a common theme among most genres of Bolivian dance. The music, outfits and dance moves are surprisingly upbeat for something that symbolizes oppression.

Caporales © Zorka Ostojic Espinoza/Flickr

This easily recognizable dance is one of the most spirited and always a crowd favorite. It’s a relatively new dance, originating just 50 years ago from the Afro-Boliviano community of Los Yungas in dedication to the Virgin of Socavón. Their inspiration came from El Caporal, a mixed race foreman that supervised the slaves of Potosi. The men don sparkling, multi-colored body suits complete with a foreman’s hat and a whip, while the women are scantily dressed. The dance is considered to be one of the hardest to master, requiring a considerable amount of practice before each event. Participants have to follow a number of complex steps before leaping forward and kicking the air, an athletic feat that proves difficult in the thin air of Bolivia’s high altituderegions.

Tobas © Juan_Alvaro/Flickr

This dance dates back to pre-colonial times when the Inca ruled over vast areas of the continent. Legend has it they ventured into the semi-arid Chaco region of eastern Bolivia and stumbled across a tribe of natives known as Tobas. The Inca were supposedly so impressed with Tobas music and dance that they spared the tribe, taking only the best musicians and dancers with them back to the kingdom to use as royal entertainment. The outfit is characterized by the men’s strange, somewhat frightening masks while the women don a colorful array of feathers.

Diablada © kristin miranda/Flickr

The centerpiece of Oruro’s incredible carnaval, Diablada (The Dance of the Devils) combines Spanish theatrics with indigenous religious ceremony. Men dressed as devils wear elaborate pointy horns and do a ritualized battle-dance against miniskirt-wearing female angels until they are finally defeated by the sword-wielding Archangel, San Miguel. The dance is particularly remarkable for being a textbook example of indigenous and Catholic syncretism, something that was acknowledged by UNESCO who awarded it a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Tinku Dance © Marc Davis/Flickr

Meaning “physical encounter” in the language of Aymara, the Tinku dance originated from just that. During colonial times, the indigenous inhabitants of the Potosi region were forced into slavery by the Spanish and would play-fight among themselves as a respite from their difficult existence. Colorfully-dressed Tinku dancers crouch and circle one another, swinging their arms in pretend punches to a warlike drum beat.

By Harry Stewart

•culled from

Religious Beliefs In Kentucky

An old Christian Church House in Kentucky.
Protestant Christianity is the most popular religion in Kentucky.

According to the 2006 census, Kentucky had a total population of approximately 4,206,074, which is an increase from the previous poll conducted in this state. About 52.2 percent of the total population of Kentucky is religious. Faith is described as a belief and worship of any supernatural being or supernatural power such as God or gods. It is approximated that 4,200 religions are being practiced in the entire world. Below is a brief description of some of the religious beliefs in Kentucky.

Religious Beliefs in Kentucky

According to the Religion Data Archives of 2000, it was observed that 33.68% of the entire people of Kentucky are evangelical Protestants. The origin of Evangelical Christianity can be traced back to 1738. It is said that the United States has the highest number of evangelical Protestants in the entire world, making this religion to be the most practiced in Kentucky.

Despite this religion being highly practiced in the United States, it is a worldwide movement, and it is one of the fastest growing religions in the world. Out of the 33.68 percent of the people practicing this religion, 24.25% are members of the South Baptist Convention, 2.64% are from the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ while 1.45% is composed of Church of Christ members.

Roman Catholics make 10.05% of the total population of Kentucky. Even though the Roman Catholic church is the largest and one of the oldest religious institutions in the entire world with an approximate population of about 1.299 billion members, it is not the most practiced religion in Kentucky. A pope, who is also referred to as the Bishop of Rome, heads the Roman Catholic church. The members of this religious belief follow doctrines as stated in the Nicene Creed.

The other religious beliefs in Kentucky are the mainline Protestants and the Orthodox churches. They make up about 9% of the total population.

Other Significant Religious Beliefs in Kentucky

Apart from Christianity, other significant religions in Kentucky include Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Neopaganism, and Taoism.

By Vic Lang'at Junior

•culled from

What Is The Ethnic Composition Of Kentucky?

People are the Kentucky Derby. 
The population of Kentucky was estimated to be 4,454,189 in 2017.

Officially known as the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the US state of Kentucky is situated in the south-central region of the nation. As of 2006, the state had an estimated population of 4,206,074, which represented an increase of about 0.8% compared to the population in 2005. The most recent data shows that the population density of the state is about 101.7 people in a square mile. Despite the population of Kentucky increasing since record-keeping started, there are some parts, especially rural counties, which had a net loss of more than 1 million people.

Ethnic Composition Of Kentucky

As of 2005, data shows that the largest ethnic group in Kentucky (91.27%) was made up of white Americans. Of this percentage of white Americans, about 1.8% identify as Hispanic.

Around 7.98% of the population of Kentucky is made up of African Americans. The relatively small African American population can be attributed to the Great Migration when many black Americans migrated to states further north. Prior to this migration, during the Civil War, the black community made up a quarter of the total population of Kentucky. In that migration, more than six million African-Americans left the rural southern states, for northern states. Today, about 44.2% of the total population of African Americans in Kentucky resides in Jefferson County while the Louisville Metro Area has about 52% of the total African Americans within the state.

As of 2013, the US Census Bureau established that the largest ancestry in the state was American (20.2%). Other significant ancestries include German (14.5%), Irish (12.2%), English (10.1%), and Italian (2.1%).

Religion Of The People Of The State

Data from 2000 from The Association of Religion Data Archives shows that the largest number of the population practices Christianity. Among them, 33.68% practiced Evangelical Protestantism, 10.5% were Roman Catholics, while 8.77% were Mainline Protestants. There were sizable followers of Islam and Judaism as well, especially in Louisville.

By Ferdinand Bada

•culled from

Thursday 27 February 2020

Religious Beliefs In Kansas

A church at dusk in Kansas.
Christianity is the most popular religion in Kansas.

Kansas is a state in the US located in the midwestern region of the country. Like any other state in the US, the state has several religions divided among the population of about 2,907,289 people (July 2016 estimate). These religions include Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and others. On a broad scale, these religions can be categorized into Christian and non-Christian faiths. As is the case in most parts of the world, Christianity is subdivided into smaller subdivisions such as Protestants and Catholics. However, as much as the state has these two major religious groups, there are two more groups of people in the state. The first group is for those who do not have any affiliations with religion while the other group is for those who do not know their religion.

Religion In Kansas

Data from the Pew Religious Landscape Survey from 2014 shows that Christianity is the biggest religious group in Kansas, with a following of about 76% of the total population. The unaffiliated come in the second place with a portion of about 20% of the total population while non-Christian religions are third with a following of about 4%. Those who are not sure about their religious affiliations make up a negligible portion of less than 1%.

Christianity is the most popular religion since the region is part of the Bible Belt where Christianity is the dominant religion. Among Christians, Protestants make up 57% of the Christian population while Catholics make up 18%. The remaining 1% comprises of the Mormon Church and Jehovah’s Witness. However, data from the Association of Religion Data Archives from 2010 shows that the Catholic Church has the highest number of followers (426,611). This high number is despite the fact that Protestants have a higher portion of adherents. These numbers can be explained by the fact that Protestants are further subdivided into different denominations including Evangelical, Mainline, and Black Protestants. Data also shows that religion is becoming something for the older generations with baby boomers having the highest number of Christians. By comparison, millennials are slowly steering away from religion, which is a common trend in all the US states as the younger generations have lost faith in traditional systems.

Other religions have been present for a short time while others have been around longer. For example, Judaism traces its roots all the way back to 1854 when the first Jewish settlers arrived. The early Jews began spreading the religion until they managed to open the Jewish Community Center of the state in 1917. The community has grown over the years and has produced prominent individuals such as congressional representatives and senators. As of 2017, there were about 17,300 Jews in Kansas.


Similar to other states in the US, there is a growing trend of irreligion in the state. Data shows that atheists and agnostics make up 2% and 3% of the population of the total 20% of the unaffiliated in Kansas. However, the remaining 14% comprises of individuals who believe in nothing in particular. These high numbers can be explained by the fact that more parents are raising children out of the church set up as times and mentalities keep on changing.

By Ferdinand Bada

•culled from

Wednesday 26 February 2020

The Ethnic Composition Of The Population Of Kansas

A sign marking the Kansas border.
White is the most common cited ancestry in the state of Kansas.

Located at almost the center of the US, Kansas ranks 15th in size and 33rd in population. The 2010 census put the population of Kansas at about 2,911,641 people. The growth rate in the state is estimated to be about 0.57% per year which puts the estimated population of Kansas as of 2018 at around 2.91 million people. The population is primarily comprised of white people who make up more than 77% of the population. Native Americans, black Americans, Hispanics, Native Hawaiians, Asians, and other Pacific Islanders compose the remaining 23% of the population.


The population of whites in Kansas is the largest in the state accounting for about 2.39 million individuals. This population is substantially constituted by Europeans of Irish, English and German ancestry. There are also individuals of Polish, French, Swedish and Scottish descent in Kansas. Estimates have put the number of people of German origin at about 25.8% while that of Irish individuals is 11.5%. Populations of German descent are mostly inhabitants of the northwestern parts of the state while those of English descent are commonly in the southeast. There are at least 30,000 more white females in Kansas than males.


The Hispanic population of Kansas is roughly 11.6% of the total population of the state. The majority of these individuals are of Mexican descent. In some counties, those of Mexican descent account for as much as 50% of the entire population. Out of the 300,000 individuals of Hispanic/Latino origin living in Kansas, there are at least 12,900 more males than females.


The African American population makes up 5.9% of the entire Kansas population. Following the 1865 abolition of slavery, there was a considerable number of newly-freed slaves who made their way northwards to Kansas. These are the so-called Exodusters from whom a majority of the black people in Kansas are descendants.

Native Americans

At its formation, Kansas had one of the largest and most diverse populations of Native American people. The name of the state is in fact drawn from the Kansa people who were the largest group of indigenous inhabitants of the area. The numbers of Native Americans have since declined significantly. Today, American Indians, Alaskan Natives, and other Native American populations are estimated to be less than 1.2% of the entire population of Kansas.

Rural-Urban-Suburban Migration

There is an increasing number of ghost towns in many parts of rural Kansas. Urban-rural migration is still very active in Kansas with economic opportunities being more prominent in the urban centers. The cost of living has been one of the causative factors of the migration. There is also an increasing number of white people moving into the major cities in Kansas especially Kansas City. Black residents and Hispanic residents, on the other hand, are primarily moving out of the cities to the suburban areas. Surprising as this phenomenon may be, it is not unique to Kansas but is also being witnessed in other mid-Western cities of the size of Kansas City such as Tulsa, Dallas, and Minneapolis.

By Joseph Kiprop

•culled from

The 10 Biggest Cities In Kansas

Wichita, Kansas.
Wichita is the largest city in the US state of Kansas.

The US state of Kansas is located in the Midwestern region of the country. With an area of 211,754.1 square km and an approximate population of 2,853,132, Kansas is the country’s 13th largest state by land area and the 34th largest by population. Kansas is subdivided into 105 counties and 627 municipalities, all of which have been designated as cities.

There are three classes of cities in Kansas. "Cities of the 3rd Class" are incorporared cities, which must have a minimum of 300 inhabitants or 300 platted lots with individual sewer and water lines. "Cities of the 2nd Class" have a minimum of 2,000 and maximum of 15,000 inhabitants. A city with a population of 15,000 or more can petition to become one of the "Cities of the 1st Class." However, if its population reaches 25,000, a city will automatically be upgraded to the 1st class.

The Five Most Populated Cities in Kansas

1. Wichita

With a population of 382,368 individuals, Wichita is the largest city in Kansas and serves as the county seat of Sedgwick County. Wichita traces its origin to a trading post established in the area in the 1860s, and later became a city in 1870. It is located in the south-central part of the state, along the Arkansas River. Wichita is a major center of the US aircraft industry, and is also a regional hub of culture, trade, and media.

2. Overland Park

According to the 2010 census, Overland Park is the second biggest city of Kansas, with a population of 173,372. Overland Park is located in Johnson County. The city was founded by William B. Strang Jr. in 1905, and later incorporated as a "City of the 1st Class in 1960. The Sprint World Headquarters Campus, the largest office complex in the Midwest at the time of its construction, is located in Overland Park and contains 3.9 million square feet of office space.

3. Kansas City

Kansas City is the third most populated city of Kansas, with a population of 145,786. The city was established in 1866 and serves as the county seat of Wyandotte County. Kansas City is located at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers.

4. Topeka

Topeka is its fourth biggest city in Kansas. It serves as the state capital, as well as the seat of Shawnee County. According to the 2010 census, Topeka has a population of 127,473. Founded by Eastern antislavery men as a Free-State town, Topeka was established in 1854 and chartered as a city in 1857. The state government is one of the city's biggest employers.

5. Olathe

With a population of 125,872, Olathe is the fifth most populous city in Kansas. The city also serves as the county seat of Johnson County.

The 10 Biggest Cities in Kansas by Population

Rank City Population (2010 Census) County
1 Wichita 382,368 Sedgwick
2 Overland Park 173,372 Johnson
3 Kansas City 145,786 Wyandotte
4 Topeka 127,473 Shawnee
5 Olathe 125,872 Johnson
6 Lawrence 87,643 Douglas
7 Shawnee 62,209 Johnson
8 Manhattan 52,281 Riley
9 Lenexa 48,190 Johnson
10 Salina 47,707 Saline

By Oishimaya Sen Nag

•culled from

Tuesday 25 February 2020

Biggest Cities In Iowa

Most populated city  Des Moines, in Iowa.
With a population of 207,510 as of 2013, Des Moines, located in Iowa's Polk Warren county, is the state's most populous city.

The State Of Iowa

Iowa is a state in the Midwestern US. The state shares a border with Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Nebraska, Missouri, and Illinois. This states encompasses an area of 145,746 square miles and has a population size of 3,123,899, making it the 30th most populated US state. Many of these individuals live in the state’s cities and urban centers. This article takes a look at the most populated cities in Iowa.

The Biggest Cities In Iowa

Des Moines

The most populated city in Iowa is Des Moines, the state capital. It is the 91st most populated metropolitan area in the country with around 207,510 residents. The racial makeup of Des Moines is White (76.4%), African American (10.2%), Hispanic or Latino (12%), and Asian (4.4%). The average age is 33.5 years.

Although the area has been inhabited since prehistoric times, the current city began in 1843 as a military fort to control local, indigenous peoples before forcing them further west. It was incorporated as a city in 1851. Fifteen years later, the railroad was completed which resulted in a huge population increase. During this time, coal mining was a significant part of the economy. Today, this city is home to a large number of insurance and financial services companies. The number 1 private sector employer is Wells Fargo & Co.

Cedar Rapids

Cedar Rapids is the second most populated city in the state and the county seat of Linn County. The population size is 128,429, and its racial diversity consists of 87.98% White, 5.58% African-American, 3.31% Hispanic or Latino, and 2.21% Asian. The first European settler arrived here in 1838, but the city did not grow significantly until 1871 when a meat packing company was established. Today, the economy relies on the grain processing industry, which provides approximately 4,000 jobs.

This city also plays an important role in Muslim culture; the first Muslim immigrants arrived in 1895 from present-day Lebanon and Syria. In 1934, the Mother Mosque of America was founded. It is the oldest mosque in North America, although it was rebuilt in 1972. In 1975, Islamic Services of America, an organization that provides global Halal certification, began here.


Davenport, the county seat of Scott County, is the third largest city with a population of 102,157. The racial demographics of its residents are as follows: White (83.7%), African American (9.2%), Hispanic or Latino (5.4%), and Asian (2%). The average age is 34 years and women outnumber men 100 to 94.7.

After the 1832 Black Hawk War, the US government purchased the land from the defeated indigenous peoples and Davenport was officially established in 1836. When the Rock Island Railroad was built in 1856, trade with Chicago increased and helped its economy grow. This growth, however, was reversed during the Great Depression. After World War II, several large companies were established here, including Oscar Mayer. Today, the economy continues to center around the manufacturing industry, which provides over 7,000 jobs.

Other urban areas in Iowa and their population sizes can be found in the chart below

The Biggest Cities In Iowa

Rank City Population County

1 Des Moines 207,510 Polk Warren
2 Cedar Rapids 128,429 Linn
3 Davenport 102,157 Scott
4 Sioux City 82,459 Woodbury Plymouth
5 Iowa City 71,591 Johnson
6 Waterloo 68,366 Black Hawk
7 Council Bluffs 61,969 Pottawattamie
8 Ames 61,792 Story
9 West Des Moines 61,255 Polk Warren Dallas
10 Dubuque 58,253 Dubuque
11 Ankeny 54,598 Polk
12 Urbandale 41,776 Polk Dallas
13 Cedar Falls 40,566 Black Hawk
14 Marion 36,147 Linn
15 Bettendorf 34,707 Scott
16 Marshalltown 27,844 Marshall
17 Mason City 27,704 Cerro Gordo
18 Clinton 26,473 Clinton
19 Burlington 25,725 Des Moines
20 Ottumwa 24,840 Wappello
21 Fort Dodge 24,639 Webster
22 Muscatine 23,034 Muscatine
23 Coralville 20,092 Johnson
24 Johnston 19,798 Polk
25 North Liberty 18,228 Johnson
26 Altoona 15,653 Polk
27 Newton 15,136 Jasper
28 Indianola 15,108 Warren

By Amber Pariona

•culled from

The Ethnic Composition Of The Population Of Iowa

People at the State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa.
The ethnic demographics of the state of Iowa.

Iowa is a Midwestern U.S state which is bordered by Big Sioux, Missouri and Mississippi rivers and six states including Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Iowa was part of Spanish Louisiana and French Louisiana during the colonial times; in fact, the flag of Iowa has the same colors as the French flag. After the United States purchased Louisiana in 1803 from France, an agricultural-based economy was laid down in the middle of the Corn Belt. Iowa’s agricultural economy advanced to financial services, green energy, and manufacturing economy during the late twentieth century. Iowa is the 30th most populous and the twenty-sixth largest state by land area in the United States.

Demography Of Iowa

By July 1, 2015, the population of Iowa had increased by 2.55% from 2010 to over 3,123,899 people. Over 72.2% of the residents were born in the Iowa, 23.2% in other states and 0.5% in Puerto Rico while 4.1% are born in other countries. Immigration from outside the country has increased the Iowan population by over 29,386, and domestic migration caused a reduction of about 41,140 residents. About 14.7% of the residents are over 65 years, 22.6% are below 18 while 6.5% is under the age of five. The population density in Iowa is about 52.1 individuals per square mile and 49.6% of residents are male.

91.3% of the population of Iowa is white. Of this group, the ethnicities cited include Norwegian (5.2%), American (6.2%), English (8.5%), Irish (13.7%) and German (35.9%). 2.9% of the population of Iowa is black, while 3.8% of the state described themselves as Mexican, 0.2% as Puerto Rican, 1.7% as Asian 1.7% as Native American and 0.4% as other.

Religion In Iowa

As at 2014, over 60% of the residents are Protestants, 18% are Catholics, and about 21% had no religious affiliation. A study conducted by ARDA (Association of Religion Data Archives) confirmed that the leading Protestants denomination in Iowa were the Evangelical Lutheran Church and United Methodist Church. The Catholics are the largest non-protestant religion in the state with over half a million adherents. Iowa has the highest number of Reformed denominations.

By Geoffrey Migiro

•culled from

Monday 24 February 2020

Music Of Argentina Yesterday and Today

Frederic Cirou. © Getty Images
Argentina covers most of the southern half of South America and is the home of both European and indigenous musical styles. Settled in the seventeenth century by the Spanish, other Europeans migrated over the next three centuries to make Argentina a true South American melting pot. It’s not surprising that Argentina’s music reflects a wealth of European and indigenous influences.

The History of Argentinian Music

In the 20th century, Western Classical Music traditions were explored by such composers as Alberto Ginastera. Western popular traditions were incorporated into the music of Lalo Schiffrin, while many less well-known names added to the mix of musical styles cultivated.


Folclore is a general term used for many specific genres of music. Candombe, carnavalito, cumbia, media cana, polka, and rasquido doble are just some of the styles of music that have either originated or are practiced in Argentina.

Of course, the best-known music from Argentina is the tango. Famed Argentinean musicians from Carlos Gardel to Astor Piazzolla have ensured that the tango is sung and danced worldwide. For a sampling of both vocal and instrumental tangos, as well as other Argentine folk music, the album Argentina Canta Asi is a good place to start.

Argentinian Music Today

Argentina has lately provided us with some great rock music, most notably from singer Fito Paez and ​Los Fabulosos Cadillacs.

If you’re interested in listening to the rock sound of Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, try their compilation album Vasos Vacios. It contains their hard rock hit single “Matador” and a great duet with Cuban salsa diva Celia Cruz.

By Tijana Ilich

•culled from

Sunday 23 February 2020

Religious Beliefs In Indiana

Indiana is home to the St. Meinrad Archabbey.
Christianity is the predominant religion in the US state of Indiana.

The US state of Indiana is located in the Great Lakes and Midwestern regions of the nation. With an area of 36,418 square miles, the state had an estimated population of 6,666,818 in 2017. Indiana’s population practices several religions including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Additionally, there is a significant segment of the population that are not affiliated with any type of religion.

The Religious Landscape of Indiana

Like the United States in general, Christianity is the dominant religion in Indiana practiced by a whopping 72% of the state population in 2014. Of this total, Protestantism made up the biggest group (52%). Unaffiliated individuals made up the second largest proportion, representing 26% of Indiana's population. Other religious populations included Judaism (1%), Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism (all three with 0.5% each). Other faiths made up 1% of the state population, while about 0.5% of the population either did not know or did not answer the question.

Christianity in Indiana

The largest single religious denomination in Indiana is Roman Catholicism (18%), with a following of 747,706 members. However, Protestantism makes up the largest religious group as a whole (52%) which is further subdivided into various forms of Protestantism including Evangelical Protestant (31%), Mainline Protestant (6%), and Black Protestant (5%). Other Christian denominations include Mormonism (1%), Orthodox (0.5%), and Jehovah's Witnesses (0.5%).

The state is home to several headquarters and major offices of certain religious groups. For example, one of the two archabbeys of the Catholic Church in the US is located in Indiana. Additionally, the Wesleyan Church, the Christian Church, and the Free Methodist Church are all headquartered in Indianapolis.

Islam in Indiana

Indiana is also home to the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), located in Plainfield, which is the largest Muslim organization in North America. Together with its umbrella associations such as the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), the ISNA strives to unify the Muslim community. The organization has also fostered interfaith dialogue with other religious groups.

Judaism in Indiana

Judaism has been practiced in Indiana since the beginning of the 19th century. As the state's Jewish population grew, various associations were established in the 1960s, as well as the creation of a Jewish Studies program at Indiana University in 1973. The state passed legislation in 2015 to protect the Jewish community from anti-Semitism. As of 2017, the Jewish population in Indiana had reached 17,345.

Unaffiliated Population of Indiana

Approximately 26% of Indiana's population identify as unaffiliated with the forms of religion discussed above. The unaffiliated category can include individuals who are indifferent to or uninterested in religion, as well as atheism and agnosticism, and forms of irreligion such as secular humanism and Freethought.

By Ferdinand Bada

•culled from

What Is The Population Of Indianapolis, Indiana?

A street in downtown Indianapolis
Indianapolis is the most populous city in Indiana, hosting 12.8% of the state's total population.

What Is The Population Of Indianapolis, Indiana?

Indianapolis is the most populous city in Indiana, hosting 12.8% of the state's total population. With a population of about 853,173 in 2015, the city is the most populous town in the Midwest, second only to Chicago. Indianapolis is the cultural and economic center of the Indianapolis metropolitan area with per capita income of $24,430; it is the 26th largest economic region in the US. The city sits on 372 square miles, housing two main multiracial communities the whites and blacks alongside minorities of Asians and Latinos. Christianity is the city's dominant religion, and most of the population identify with Roman Catholicism.

Vital Statistics Of The Population Of Indianapolis

The city’s total population in 2015 was 853,173. According to the 2010 US census, 33.7 years is the average Indianapolis age; 25% of the population registered as under 18; 20.7% of the city population were between 18-65 years, and 13.1% were senior citizens above 65 years. The female population is 442,100 while the male population is 411,114 indicating that for every 93 males there were 100 women. In the age bracket, the female to male ratio for 18 and over was 1:0.93. The per capita income of the city in the same year was $24,430, and about 18.9% of Indianapolis community lived below the poverty line with the biggest population being under eighteen, (28.3%). Out of the total population, 4.2% of residents identified as LGBT as of 2015 ranking the city as number 18 in the country’s LGBT community areas.

Racial Composition Of The Indianapolis Population

In the State of Indiana, Indianapolis is the most populous city with 12.8% of the state's total population. As per the 2010 census in the US, Indianapolis population was reported to have a primarily white community which comprised of 61.8% of the total population; 0.2% lower than the data recorded in 2014 and 20% less than in the 1970s. The Black or African community had a 27.5% which increased to 27.9% in 2014 and 10% higher than in the 1970s. The Asian community holds a 2.1%, Native Americans 0.3%, and other races taking a 5.5% of the population. The 2010 census data indicated that 2.8% of Indianapolis population was multiracial. The Hispanic community comprised of 9.4% of Indianapolis population.

Religion Of The People Of Indianapolis

Only about 42.42% of the city’s population identify as religious. 22% of the population does not have any religious affiliations. Roman Catholicism makes up the largest religious group with 11.31% of the religious affiliated. Baptist is the second largest group with 10.31%, Methodists 4.97%, Presbyterians 2.13%, and another 8.57% comprises other Christian faiths. Of the religiously affiliated population, 0.29 affiliated with Islam, 0.68% Jewish and 0.32 identifies with Eastern Religions. The most notable churches in the city are the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis, the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis, the Indiana-Kentucky Synod, and the Indiana Conference.

Indianapolis Households

In the 2010 census, the city recorded households totaling 332,199. The average household size was 2.42 with 3.08 as the mean size of a family. Out of the 332,199 households, 40.7% were nonfamily households while 59.3% had family homes. In the family home bracket, 28.2% of them had children under the age of 18; husband-wife families made up a 36.5% of the family households; 17.2% of them had a female householder without a husband while only 5.6% household had no female present. In the same census data, 32% of those without a family lived alone with 8.3% of the households being occupied by senior citizens of 65 years of age or older. The median household income in the city as recorded in the 2010 Census data was $42,704 and $53,161 as the median family income. Females working full time had a median income of $34,788 compared to $42,101 for males.

What Is The Population Of Indianapolis, Indiana?

Rank Race % Of Population

1 White 61.8%
2 Black or African American 27.5%
3 Asian 2.1%
4 American Indian 0.3%
5 Other 5.5%
6 Multiracial 2.8

By Benjamin Elisha Sawe

•culled from

The Ethnic Composition Of The Population Of Indiana

The skyline of Indianapolis, Indiana.
White Americans account for over 80% of Indiana's population.

Indiana is a Midwestern American state that covers an area of about 36,418 square miles which makes it the 38th largest state in the country. Estimates from the US Census Bureau in 2017 indicate that Indiana is home to approximately 6,666,818 people, a slight change from 2010 estimates that placed the population at 6,484,125. Indiana's population density is the 16th highest in the US with 183 people living in a single square mile. The largest city in the state is Indianapolis, which is the state capital, having a population of about 829,718 people. On December 11, 1816, Indiana became the 19thstate to gain admission into the US. Indiana is a racially diverse state with people of different races living comfortably in the state.

White Americans

Settlement of white Americans in Indiana dates back to the 1600's when Robert de La Salle became the first European to set foot in Indiana in 1679. A trading post was established near Vincennes around which the first permanent settlement was created. Caucasians dominate the population of Indiana as non-Hispanic whites make up 81% of the population. The percentage of white people in Indiana has been on a decline from 1990 when they made up 90.6% of the individuals living in the state. A vast majority of the white population in Indiana claim to be of German descent. A significant number of people also claim English, Irish, Polish, and American origin. Most of the people who claimed American ancestry are descended from the English.

African Americans

African Americans make up around 9.7% of the state's population according to data from the US Census Bureau. Since 1990, when they made up 7.8% of the population, the number of African Americans in Indiana has been increasing. African Americans make up the most significant percentage of the population in the city of Gary, slightly over 80%. In Indianapolis, they make up approximately 27.8% of the population. During Indiana's history, African Americans have been victims of racially motivated prejudice although the government is working to improve race relations in the state.

Hispanic Americans

The state of Indiana is home to about 426,000 people of Hispanic descent which is about 6.5% of its population. The Hispanic community is growing faster than all other minority communities in the state. The Hispanic population make up the most significant percentage of East Chicago's population at around 54%. Hispanics make up about 9.2% of the people living in Indianapolis. Data from the Indiana Business Research Centre indicates that most of the Hispanic people in the state are from Mexico. El Salvador and Guatemala also have a significant representation in the state.

Race Relations in Indiana

During different periods in Indiana's history, the different races living in the state have been stuck in perpetual conflict. During the 1800's Native American communities were removed from the territory which resulted in some deaths. The most infamous is the Potawatomi Trail of Death where 40 members of the Potawatomi tribe died after armed eviction from their ancestral land. African Americans were mistreated particularly after the introduction of segregation. Over the years, race relations in the state have improved though according to many activists there is still room for improvement.

By Benjamin Elisha Sawe

•culled from

Saturday 22 February 2020

The Largest Cities in the Midwest

Chicago, the largest city in the American Midwest.
Chicago, Illinois is the largest city in the Midwest region.

The Midwest or the Midwestern United States consists of the states that cover the north-central part of the country. The Midwestern states are South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Kansas, Ohio, and Indiana. The term “Midwest” was adopted in the late 19th century. Other names that refer to the region include "the Heartland," "Old Northwest," or the "Northwest." The Midwest plays a significant role as the farming and manufacturing center of the country. The region represents a broad aspect of American culture due to its diverse economy, politics, and demography. More than a quarter of American presidents emerge from the Midwest. The cities of the Midwest are growing and attracting populations from across the country although Chicago remains the only city in with a population of more than a million. The following are the largest cities of the Midwest.

The Largest Cities In The Midwest


The City of Chicago is the largest both in Illinois and in the Midwest. It is also the third largest city in the country with a population of about 2.72 million. The city is an international hub for technology, commerce, industry, and finance. It has the fourth largest city GDP in the world producing over $670.45 billion. Chicago is the second most visited city in the country after New York.


Columbus is the second most populous city in the Midwest after Chicago and 14th populous in the country with a population of nearly 880,000. Columbus is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. It ranked third during the 2010 census, but the population has grown significantly over the past nine years to surpass Indianapolis. It is also the third most populous state capital after Phoenix and Austin. The primary drivers of the economy are energy, healthcare, technology, service industry, manufacturing, insurance, government, and education.


Indianapolis is the third largest city in the Midwest with a population of about 865,000. It is the capital of Indiana State and the seat of Marion County. Census in 2010 placed Indianapolis second in the Midwest, but recent estimates show that it has been surpassed by Columbus, Ohio. Regardless of this, Indianapolis is still a significant player in the economics of the Midwest with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Area housing more than 2 million. The city's economy is primarily driven by manufacturing, wholesale trade, service industry, insurance, finance, and education.

The Economy Of The Midwest

Agriculture generally dominates the economy of the Midwest, but financial and manufacturing sectors drive the cities. The region has some of the most productive farmlands in the world and accounts for billions of dollars in exports and
thousands of jobs. Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska account for half the corn produced in the United States.

The Largest Cities in the Midwest

Rank City State Population

1 Chicago Illinois 2,695,598
2 Indianapolis Indiana 829,718
3 Columbus Ohio 787,033
4 Detroit Michigan 713,777
5 Milwaukee Wisconsin 594,833
6 Kansas City Missouri 459,787
7 Omaha Nebraska 432,958
8 Cleveland Ohio 396,815
9 Minneapolis Minnesota 387,753
10 Wichita Kansas 382,368

By Victor Kiprop

•culled from

Biggest Cities In Illinois

Chicago is the biggest city in the U.S. state of Illinois, and also the third most populous city in the entire country.

Illinois is located in the Midwestern parts of the US. Its capital is Springfield while Chicago is its largest city. The official language is English. On average, households have an income of $54,124 USD. Illinois boasts of mineral deposits such as coal and petroleum, and the production of energy from the wind and nuclear power.

Biggest Cities In Illinois


Chicago is the most populated city in Illinois and ranks third in the entire country with an estimated population of 2,720,546. Chicago is commonly nicknamed “the Windy City”, and is known for its sports teams, architecture, and midwestern culture as well as being the site of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.


Aurora, ranking second among the biggest cities in Illinois, occupies an area of 45.80 square miles and with a population density of 4,404 persons per square mile. It is a production city with huge manufacturing firms setting up plants in the area.


Rockford is found in the north central parts of Illinois and is made up of four counties. The population of the city is estimated at 420,215 people. The cost of housing in Rockford is lower than the national mean cost by 23% with the mean rent cost being $671 USD. The average number of people living in a household is 2.4 people which are 10% lower than the national average rate.

Biggest Cities In Illinois

Rank Name Population

1 Chicago 2,695,598
2 Aurora 197,899
3 Rockford 152,871
4 Joliet 147,433
5 Naperville141,853
6 Springfield 116,250
7 Peoria 115,007
8 North Peoria 113,004
9 Elgin 108,188
10 Waukegan 89,078

By Kenneth Kimutai too

•culled from

Tuesday 18 February 2020

Behind Trinidad’s Music

Machel Montano. © Shutterstock

Trinidad’s multicultural heritage gives our music an intriguing eclecticism, and a range of rhythms and styles that’s guaranteed to please.

“We music”: an intro to the sounds of Trinidad

Trinis are a talented lot, with a strong exhibitionist streak, so you’ll never be at a loss for musical entertainment in Trinidad. And it always goes hand in hand with celebration, festivities, or just relaxing. Our music lies at the core of our national spirit and culture. As with many other aspects of Trinidad’s culture, our multicultural heritage gives our music an intriguing eclecticism, and a range of rhythms and styles that’s guaranteed to please.

Calypso & soca

The signature music of Carnival, calypso dates back to pre-Emancipation times, when slaves created songs as a form of praise or derisive social commentary. Today, the art form tends to focus more on generating dance vibes than reflective lyrics.

This modern, uptempo offshoot is called Soca. Some well-known calypsonians include the Mighty Sparrow , Lord Kitchener, Lord Melody, David Rudder, Denyse Plummer, the Mighty Shadow , Singing Sandra, among many more. Some of the big names in Soca include Machel Montano, Bunji Garlin , Destra Garcia, Fay-Ann Lyons, Nadia Batson, Patrice Roberts, and many others. An outing to a calypso “tent” during Carnival season is a must, though an increasinly rare event: Calypso Revue, Spektakula, Kaiso House, Kaiso Karavan and Maljo Kaiso are a some of the popular ones.


This music style derives from the Hindi folk songs brought to Trinidad by Indian immigrants, and features instruments like the sitar and dholak drums. The fusion of chutney with soca has led to the introduction of the National Chutney Soca Monarch competition, held during the Carnival season.


Trinidad’s traditional Christmas music. Accompanied by instruments like the cuatro, box bass and maracas, with lyrics sung in Spanish, parang was traditionally sung by roving bands of serenaders called paranderos. Today, parang groups are well organised and much in demand on the Christmas party circuit. The parang season begins in October with the launch of a national competition, and groups perform at various nightspots and shopping malls. The tradition of house-to-house serenading has survived mostly in rural areas.


Drawing on the African oral tradition, rapso is a lyric-oriented, drum-driven form that begs comparison with American rap. The lyrical content of rapso often highlights present-day issues, with heavy drumming and chanting. For more on rapso, see our article on rapso band 3canal and the state of the music.


A drum-driven music form that is central to the Muslim festival of Hosay . The goatskin-covered drums are heated over fires at the roadside in order to achieve the right pitch.


Also known as pan (from “ steelpan ”), this Trinbagonian invention is the only non-electronic musical instrument created in the 20th century. Pan is most popular at Carnival, when panyards (practice arenas) are abuzz with activity as steel orchestras prepare calypso selections for the Panorama competition, a major highlight of the season. The instrument’s versatility is showcased at other times of the year in festivals  at which the orchestras interpret classical and jazz numbers.

BONUS! Did you know?

Steelpan to the world

Steelbands exist all over the globe, from the US to Japan and Australia. Local ones have performed at prestigious venues world-wide. In 2015, a steelpan concerto (the second ever composed) was premiered at the Kennedy Centre in Washington by the US National Symphony Orchestra, featuring pannist Liam Teague.

Trinis to the bone

Multiple award-winning rap/hip-hop artist Nicki Minaj ; Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Angela Hunte (who co-wrote “Empire State of Mind”, performed by Jay Z featuring Alicia Keys); Tony and Grammy winning singer/actress Heather Headley; and the late, celebrated performer Geoffrey Holder are all Trinidadian.

Written by Discover Trinidad & Tobago

•culled from

Monday 17 February 2020

Religious Beliefs In Idaho

Christianity is the largest religion in Idaho.
A significant segment of Idaho's population is not affiliated with any particular faith.

Idaho is a state located in the northwestern United States. The state has an area of 83,569 square miles and a population of about 1.7 million people. Idaho's population practices several religions, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism. In addition to these religions, a significant segment of the population is unaffiliated with any religion.

Largest Religions in Idaho

A 2008 study conducted in by the Pew Research Center determined that Christianity was the predominant religion in Idaho, practiced by a whopping 81% of the state's population. Individuals unaffiliated to any religion made up the next largest group (18%), while other religions such as Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and Hinduism each composed less than 0.5% of the population. In 2014, findings of a similar study revealed slightly different results. In 2014, Christianity was still the predominant religious group, but its proportion of the population decreased to 67%. The unaffiliated group grew to 27%, while other non-Christian religions also experienced increases in their number of followers.

Christianity in Idaho

Both studies found that Evangelical Protestants were the largest Christian group, representing 22% of Christianity's 81% total in 2008. In 2014, the group had a slightly lower following of 21%. Mainline Protestants were unaffected, representing 16% of the total number of Christians in both studies. The Christian denominations that experienced the greatest decreases were the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which dropped from 23% to 19% between 2008 and 2014, and Catholics, which dropped from 18% to 10%.

This decrease in the proportion of Christians in Idaho can be largely explained by growth in the unaffiliated category. The unaffiliated group is composed of three groups, namely agnostics, atheists, and those who are simply uninterested in religion. Interestingly, the trend has not occurred only in the state of Idaho, but in the U.S. as a whole.

Religion in the United States

The findings of a larger study, also conducted by the Pew Research Center, showed that more and more young Americans are shunning religion. The drop in religious adherents is explained by the fact that it is becoming increasingly acceptable to claim a lack of interest in religion. In the past, shunning religion led to stigmatization. Other factors may include the widespread use of the internet and social media, and general cultural shifts in the state’s beliefs.
Another possible reason is that young people believe that religion can cause political backlash. This backlash could come from peers and those who may believe that religion is conservative, rather than progressive. In addition, some young people believe that religion is polarized. An additional possibility is that the decrease in the marriage rate has made people less reluctant to engage in customary religious activities. This trend could also be explained by the fact that more people have lost faith in the traditional ways of life.

By Ferdinand Bada

•culled from

Sunday 16 February 2020

The Ethnic Composition Of Idaho

The city of Boise, Idaho.
As estimated in 2017, Idaho has a population of 1,716,943.

Idaho is an 83,797 square mile state located in the northwestern part of the US with a population of 1,716,943 in 2017 according to the US Census Bureau. Idaho is ranked 44th regarding its population density with about 20 people living in each square mile. Idaho joined the US in 1890 as the 43rd state. Humans have lived in the territory of Idaho for close to 14,500 years with evidence being discovered at the Wilson Butte Cave indicating the presence of human settlement. For much of the state's history various Native American communities such as the Shoshoni and the Kutenai lived in Idaho's territory and dominated the population. Idaho's current population is predominantly white.

White Americans

According to 2010 estimates Caucasians made up slightly over 89% of Idaho's population. White Americans have been the most dominant ethnic group in Idaho since 1970 when they made up 98.1% of the population. The proportion of white Americans in Idaho has been gradually declining from their peak in 1970. Wilson Price Hunt led what is believed to be the first expedition into the area consisting of individuals of European descent. Caucasians were attracted to the region primarily by the trade in furs. Fort Henry, established by Andrew Henry, was the first fur post in the area. Individuals of English and German descent make up the largest population of Caucasians in the state. People who claim German descent account for 18.9% of the state's population while those who claim English descent make up 18.1% of the population. People who claim Italian descent make up the smallest percentage of those who claim European descent at 3.5%.

African Americans

The African American population in Idaho has been gradually increasing since 1970 when they made up 0.3% of the population. In 2010, African Americans constituted 0.6% of Idaho's population. During the civil war, Idaho was one of the regions that supported the abolition of slavery. Mountain Home, with a black population of 280 individuals, 2.03% of the city's population, has the largest percentage of African Americans. In the state's capital, Boise, African Americans make up 1.67% of the population.

Asian Americans

According to the 1970 census, Asian Americans constituted 0.5% of Idaho's population. Their percentage has gradually increased to 1.2% according to data collected in 2010 by the US Census Bureau. In the state's capital, Boise, Asians make up 3.6% of the people living there.

By Joseph Kiprop

•culled from

The Largest Cities In Idaho

Meridian, the second-largest city in Idaho.
Boise is the largest city in Idaho.

Idaho is located in the Western US. With 1,567,652 inhabitants, it is the country’s 12th least populous state. Idaho’s territory spans across an area of 214,044.7 square km which makes it the 11th biggest state by land area. Idaho has 44 counties with 201 incorporated municipalities which are legally mentioned as cities. Here is a list of Idaho's largest cities.

The Most Populous Cities In Idaho

1. Boise

The largest city of Idaho, Boise, is also the state’s capital city. It also serves as the county seat of the Ada County. Boise is positioned on the Boise River in the southwestern part of the state. According to the 2010 census, Boise had a population of 205,671 individuals. It is the 99th most populous city in the US. Several major US companies are headquartered in Boise. A large number of manufacturing facilities are based in the city. The state government is one of Boise’s biggest employers.

2. Meridian

With a population of 75,092 individuals, Meridian is the second largest city in Idaho. It is located in Ada County in the Treasure Valley’s north-central part. Meridian occupies an area of 69.52 square km. It is Idaho’s fastest growing city and one of the fastest growing ones in the country. In 2018, its population was estimated to be 106,410. Meridian was founded in 1891 and was then known as Hunter. It was later renamed Meridian by virtue of its location on the Boise Meridian.

3. Nampa

Nampa is the third most populous city in Idaho and the largest city in Canyon County. The 2010 Census measured Nampa’s population to be 81,557 individuals. The city is located about 32 km to the west of Boise. It is one of the three principal cities forming the Boise-Nampa metropolitan area, the other two being Boise and Meridian. Settlements in Nampa flourished in the 1880s with the building of a railroad between Granger and Huntington that passed through Nampa. Today, it is a rapidly growing urban center with new homes, roads, and shopping hubs.

4. Idaho Falls

With a population of 56,813 people, Idaho Falls is the fourth biggest city in Idaho. It is located in the Bonneville County where it serves as its county seat. It is the largest city in Idaho outside the Boise metropolitan area. It is the commercial and cultural hub of eastern Idaho. Idaho Falls originally developed as an agricultural center and later had a thriving service sector. Today, the city has a significant restaurant, entertainment, retail, and medical sector constituting its economy.

5. Pocatello

Bannock County’s largest city and county seat, Pocatello, is the fifth most populous city in Idaho. A small part of the city stretches into the neighboring Power County. Pocatello’s population was 54,255 in 2010. In 2007, Forbes ranked the city as the 20th Best Small Place for Business and Careers. Idaho State University, located in Pocatello, is one of its major employers. The manufacturing facility of the ON Semiconductor is also present here.

The Largest Cities In Idaho

Rank City Population (2010 Census) County

1 Boise 2,05,671 Ada
2 Meridian 75,092 Ada
3 Nampa 81,557 Canyon
4 Idaho Falls 56,813 Bonneville
5 Pocatello 54,255 Bannock
6 Caldwell 46,237 Canyon
7 Cœur d'Alene 44,137 Kootenai
8 Twin Falls 44,125 Twin Falls
9 Lewiston 31,894 Nez Perce
10 Post Falls 27,574 Kootenai

By Oishimaya Sen Nag

•culled from

Thursday 13 February 2020

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines celebrate the Garifuna heritage

(Photo: The Garifuna Heritage Foundation)
On May 18, 2001, the Garifuna language, music and dance were proclaimed a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO.

In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, March is the “National Heroes and Heritage Month”. On this occasion, The Garifuna Heritage Foundation has been organizing a series of events for several years to promote, in particular, history and culture of the Garifuna people. This year, the events are scheduled from March 8 to 24.

Petroglyph in St Vincent. (Photo: Kay Wilson)
The Garifunas are the unique people resulting of intermarriage between Amerindians (Arawaks and Kalinagos) and Africans in the 17 th century. The best-known story can be summed up by these few sentences but sometimes the dates are different.

In 1675, a Dutch slave ship was wrecked between St. Vincent and Béquia. No European survived but many Africans swam toward the shore. They were accepted by the Caribs and allowed to marry their women. Their very large mixed descendants were called the “Black Caribs”, different from the native Caribs called the “Yellow Caribs”.

In 1770, for the first time, the Caribs allowed European colonists – French people – to settle in St. Vincent because they did not want to appropriate their island as did the English… Unfortunately, by the Treaty of Paris of 1783, France gave up St. Vincent to Great Britain. This decision caused many Caribs’ revolts. In 1795, with French support, the “Yellow Caribs” and the “Black Caribs” killed many British settlers. During a duel with the British commander Alexander Leith, Chatoyer/Chattawae, the chief of the “Black Caribs” was killed.

The British army defeated the rebels and deported nearly 5,000 Caribs to the island of Roatán, Honduras, in 1797. Some Caribs who did not participate in the revolt were taken to Sandy Bay on the north-east coast of St. Vincent.

The island of Roatán, Honduras.
To collect and disseminate information

According to the Garifuna Heritage Foundation which was founded in 2001 in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, “there are, however, varying streams of thought regarding the manner in which the Africans came to be on St. Vincent. There is also much information which needs to be documented regarding the Amerindians, both Arawaks and Calinago and their relationship on St. Vincent and in the Antilles. What has been documented, however, is the incursion by the Europeans, mainly British and French, on the Island of St. Vincent during their epoch of colonial expansion into the Caribbean and how this impacted on the Calinago and Garifuna people” .

On May 18, 2001, the Garifuna language, music and dance were proclaimed a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO through the work of the National Garifuna Council of Belize.

According to the International Garifuna Research Center (IGRC), “the Garifuna culture, having made a tremendous contribution to the economic, social and political landscape of Central America and the Caribbean, has attracted researchers at Universities and other Institutions worldwide in the fields of anthropology, history, archaeology and music among others. However, this research is not easily accessible to the Garifuna people themselves (…).

Its objectives are to collect physical and virtual copies of all Garifuna arts, craft and technologies, documentation on research concerning Garifuna heritage and culture and to disseminate them to the various Garifuna communities in Yurumei (former name of Saint-Vincent and the Grenadines considered as ancestral land) and in the diaspora living in Honduras, Nicaragua, Belize, Guatemala, etc.

By Évelyne Chaville

•culled from

Wednesday 12 February 2020

Religious Beliefs In Hawaii

Ancient Polynesian carvings at the Ki'i Pu'uhonua 
O Honaunau National Park in Hawaii.
A significant section of the population of Hawaii is not affiliated with any religion.

Hawaii is the 50th and the most recent constituent state of the United States having been admitted in August 1959. It comprises a group of volcanic islands in the central Pacific Ocean. Hawaii is the only state located outside North America , and the only located in Oceania . Albeit being the eighth smallest state, it is the 13th most densely populated state with a rich mix of culture. It is believed that the Hawaiian population comprises of Polynesians who migrated from the Marquesas Islands between the 4th and 7th centuries. Following their Polynesians ancestry, 51% of the Hawaiian population is not affiliated to any religion.

History of Religion in Hawaii

The Polynesians worshiped nature and saw its forces manifested in a municipality of forms to which they ascribed godlike powers and animistic philosophy. As an indigenous culture, the Polynesians largely focused on natural forces such as tides, the sky, volcanic activity, and man's dependence on nature for subsistence. The four major early gods worshiped by native Hawaiians encompass Kū, the god of war and male pursuits, Kāne, the god of creation, Lono, the god of peace, rain, and fertility, and Kanaloa, the ocean god. The gods took the form of idols made from wood, feathers, and stone. The eyes were made from shells while the mouth was fitted with dog teeth and left gaping. The majority of the people had small figures made of woven basketry and covered in red and yellow feathers taken from specific forest birds by men whose work was to roam in the forests in search of the birds.

Missionaries arrived in Hawaii in the early and mid-19th century and converted the native Hawaiians to congregational Christianity. Christianity became the most widespread religion in Hawaii with Catholics being the highest population of Christians followed by Protestants.

In the ensuing centuries, the religious makeup of Hawaii experienced dramatic changes. Ethnic groups arriving from Asian countries, mainland USA, Europe, and other Oceania countries brought along diverse religious beliefs. Major and minor denominations including Adventists, Baptists, Christian Scientists, Catholics, Episcopalians, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Lutherans, Mormons, Unitarians, the Salvation Army, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shintoism, and Islamism exist in the country.

Present Day Religion in Hawaii

Notwithstanding the diversity of religious cultures in the country, nearly half of the Hawaiian population is not affiliated to any religious group. Today, agnostics, atheists, humanists, and the irreligious have taken over the country in the wake of religious oppression in the world. Loss of faith in the old gods coupled with immense influence from the United States and European lifestyles, and ardent interests in learning how to read and write brought about the adoption of Christianity by many Native Hawaiians. The importance of Hawaii and a base for all military branches of the US army leads to the continuous inflow and outflow of military personnel and their dependents in and out of Hawaii thus influencing the religious affiliation of the population. Moreover, even with the diverse religious groups, a vast majority of the native Hawaiian population still practices Polynesian religions as a co-religion.

By Molly John

•culled from

Population Of Hawaii

Hawaiian women of all ages show their pride
in their state.
The US Census Bureau estimated the population of Hawaii was 1,431,603 on July 1st, 2015, an increase of 5.24% over the 2010 tally.

Origin And Growth Of The Population Of Hawaii

Although the origin of the native population of Hawaii is a topic of debate for many scholars, most theories suggest that Polynesian explorers discovered and settled on the islands between 300 and 400 AD. These explorers are believed to have originated from the Marquesas Islands. By 900 AD, human settlements were spread over all of the Hawaiian islands and by 1000 AD, the people were practicing agriculture. Tahitians explorers arrived between 1100 and 1200 AD, conquered the inhabitants, and established a new ruling system. This system separated the islands under different royal lines, brought from Tahiti. This new system promoted the idea of social classes, or castes, that were adhered to for many years. Historians agree that the population grew slowly, moving inland from the coastal regions. By the time European explorers arrived in 1778, the population was between 250,000 and 800,000. European and Asian interest in the islands increased and they began arriving as traders, whalers, and explorers. They brought with them diseases to which the natives had no immunity. By 1820, the native population had been cut in half. During the 1850’s, another 20% was lost to measles. The US Census of 1900 reported 37,656 people of indigenous descent. That number has since grown to around 283,430 people of Pacific Islander or Hawaiian ancestry.

Race And Ethnicity

Today, the population of Hawaii has reached 1,431,603 people who reflect many different races and ethnic identities. These identities, as reported in the 2010 US Census, are Asian (38.6%), White (24.7%), Two or More Races (23.6%), Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander (10%), Hispanic and Latino (8.9%), Black or African American (1.6%), Other Race (1.2%), Native American or Alaska Native (.3%).
Hawaii is the only state in the US with an Asian majority. Most of these individuals are Filipino Americans and Japanese Americans. There is a smaller population of Chinese Americans and Korean Americans. Of Hispanic and Latino identities, Puerto Ricans and Mexican Americans are the largest groups. Approximately 17.9% of the Hawaiian population was born outside of the US.

Languages Of Hawaii

The official languages of the state are English and Hawaiian. Over 70% of the population speak English at home. Only around 2,000 people speak Hawaiian as their primary native language, although around 24,000 can speak the language. It evolved over time from Polynesian languages belonging to the Austronesian language family. Hawaiians had no alphabet for their language until missionaries in the 1820’s developed a written form based on the Latin alphabet.

Another more common local language is Hawaii Creole English, or Pidgin. This language has around 600,000 native speakers and developed by borrowing from English and various indigenous Hawaiian languages as well as Portuguese, Cantonese, Japanese, Filipino, and Korean. It was a way for English-speaking residents, native Hawaiians, and foreign-born residents to communicate while working together in sugar plantations. Other languages spoken in the state include Tagalog, Japanese, Ilokano, Chinese, and Spanish.

Religion Of The People Of Hawaii

Just over half of the people, 51%, of Hawaii do not practice a religion. They identify as Atheist, Agnostic, or Humanist. The most widely practiced religion on the islands is Christianity, the religion of 29% of the population. Of these Christians, the majority follow the Catholic denomination. Another 9% follow the Buddhism, .8% are Jewish, and 10% are made up of various religions such as Islam, the Baha’i Faith, Hinduism, Taoism, indigenous Hawaiian religions, and Sikhism.

Primary Sources Of Livelihood

Today, the economy relies largely on tourism. This industry is responsible for roughly one-quarter of the gross state product and provides jobs in hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops, surfing shops, and tour agencies. The state also exports agricultural products, including such goods as coffee, pineapples, macadamia nuts, honey, sugarcane, and livestock. Hawaii has a relatively low unemployment rate at 3.2%.

Population Of Hawaii

Rank Racial composition % Of Population (2010)

1 White 24.7%
2 Asian 38.6%
3 Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander 10.0%
4 Black 1.6%
5 American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.3%
6 Other race 1.2%
7 Two or more races (Multiracial) 23.6%

By Amber Pariona

•culled from
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