The original inhabitants of Brazil were Amerindians. When the Portuguese settlers arrived in the 1500s, they intermarried with the Amerindians. As a result, about 40 percent of the population is of mixed descent. About 54 percent of Brazil's population is white, and 5 percent is black. The Amerindian population is estimated at approximately 250,000, or less than 1 percent. Among the Amerindians, the cultures of the Kayapos and Xavante remain distinct and are profiled in this chapter.