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The terotero bird is a common literary symbol for the audacious, bold, attentive, and vivacious nature of the gaucho.
Another important symbol is the historical figure of José Gervasio Artigas, who is considered the father of independence and political nationalism.
Most of the indigenous population was exterminated by the nineteenth century, and those who survived were assimilated.
The ethnic composition of the population is 90 percent European (predominantly Spanish and Italian), and 6 percent of the people are partly of Native American descent.
The name "Uruguay" is a Guaraní word meaning "river of shellfish," or "river the uru birds come from." Uruguayans have a strong sense of national identity and patriotism.
There are no alternative traditions or nationalities within the country. Uruguay is on the southeastern Atlantic coast of the Southern Cone of South America, bordering Argentina to the west and south and Brazil to the north.
Most of the country consists of gently rolling plains interrupted by two ridges of low hills.
Before independence, it was known as Banda Oriental del Uruguay .
The Charrúa, a dominant fierce and independent regional First Nation, although annihilated by the Europeans, is imagined to still live in the spirit of the gaucho mestizo and the Uruguayans (who sometimes called themselves "charruas").
The national flower is the ceibo and the most symbolically significant tree is the ombu .
Originally, they were equestrian hunters of cattle for hides, beef or salting, and horses for riding.
Later they traded in contraband, worked on the cattle and sheep ranches, and served as militia during the struggle for independence and as mercenaries for post-independence caudillos .
It is present in the four horizontal stripes of the flag that alternate with five white ones (a sun with a face in the upper corner also symbolizes independence).