Colombian ǀ South American
Santander (Spanish pronunciation: [santanˈdeɾ]) is a department of Colombia. Santander inherited the name of one of the nine original states of the United States of Colombia. Prior to the arrival of the Spaniards in 1529, the territory now known as Santander was inhabited by Amerindian ethnic groups: Muisca, Chitareros, Laches, Yariguí, Opón, Carare and Guanes.
Their political and social structure was based on cacicazgos, a federation of tribes led by a cacique, with different social classes. Their main activity was planting maize, beans, yuca, arracacha, cotton, agave, tobacco, tomato, pineapple, guava, among others. Their agricultural skills were sufficiently developed to take advantage of the different mountainous terrains. The Guanes utilized terraces and an artificial system of irrigation. They had a knowledge of arts and crafts based on ovens to produce ceramics. They had cotton to make clothing and accessories such as hats and bags.
During the colony and independence war times, people from Santander were especially recognized for their bravery in battle and their policy of “not even a step back”. Soldiers from Santander were valued and respected but also difficult to control as they were, in general, more politically aware than people from other regions and therefore prone to question orders and law. Nowadays, they still retain those features as ‘Santandereanos’ and are normally depicted as cranky and stubborn, not afraid of anything, proud in extreme and speaking their minds without further consideration. However, people from Santander are also very gentle and kind espousing basic social conventions. In general, they are normally warm and respectful, but try not to make them angry.
Colombian – Northeastern – Santander represents data from 99 people assembled in 2003 at the Industrial University of Santander in northeast Colombia.
Source publication: Population genetic data for 13 STR loci in a northeast Colombian (department of Santander) population, Progress in Forensic Genetics 9, 2003, p197-200.