tropical plant

Amazon Interactive
Where did the word "Amazon" come from?

Forest Panorama

A Greek myth?

That's right!

Francisco de Orellana was a Spanish conquistador and the first European to travel the length of the Amazon river, in 1541-42. Along the way, he and his men ran into a tribe of fierce women warriors, each "doing as much fighting as ten Indian men." Orellana recalled the Greek myth of warrier women and named the entire river "Amazonas."

Orellana's journey down the Amazon River
Animated map of Orellana's journey down Amazon

The Amazon women of South America were only one of many indigenous peoples which Orellana met during his expedition. Most lived along rivers, where canoes made transportation easy. Many of these Indians, or indigenous people, died from diseases brought by Europeans. Others died after being enslaved. Today, there are fewer indigenous people in the Amazon than there were 500 years ago. But other people also live in the Amazon. Who are they?

 Who else lives there now?

  Back to World Rainforest Map
Back to Amazon Interactive Home Page
Back to Educational Web Adventures
Copyright 1996 Educational Web Adventures. All rights reserved.