The Kayapo also call themselves “Mebengokre,” which means “people of the wellspring.” The Kayapo live in part of the Amazon rainforest. The Kayapo grow vegetables, eat wild fruits and Brazil nuts, and hunt fish, monkey, and turtle to eat. They use over 650 plants in the rainforest for medicine.
Tropical rainforests are home to indigenous peoples who rely on their surroundings for food, shelter, and medicines. Today very few forest people live in traditional ways; most have been displaced by outside settlers or have been forced to give up their lifestyles by governments.
They believe that their ancestors learned their social skills from insects, so they paint their bodies to mimic them and to better communicate with the Spirit that exists everywhere. The black body paint also allows them to blend into their surroundings when hunting in the forests.
Some tribes use shotguns for hunting, others use bows and arrows, spears, or blowguns with darts tipped with curare. Only a few Amazonian tribes are nomadic; they tend to live deep in the forest away from the rivers. They grow some crops but rely more on hunting and gathering.
Drug trafficking, logging, rubber tapping, mining, ranching, and other deforestation mean they are under mounting pressure to preserve the lands that have long been their home. Indigenous tribes are on the front-line of those affected by the recent catastrophic fires that have ravaged their lands and livelihoods.
Shifting cultivation Indigenous people have lived in the world’s rainforests for thousands of years without irreparably damaging it. They practise a primitive form of agriculture called ‘shifting cultivation ‘. It is a traditional and sustainable method of farming which involves producing just enough food for survival.
The tribes in the Amazon rainforest eat a wide variety of foods. These foods include: Meat from animals: wild boar, fish, monkeys, birds, grubs,
The Kayapo Indians are one of the main Amerindian (native) groups that remain in the rain forest around the Amazon River in Brazil. The Kayapos resisted assimilation (absorption into the dominant culture) and were known traditionally as fierce warriors. They raided enemy tribes and sometimes fought among themselves.
The Kayapo people protect one of the largest regions of the Amazon Rainforest in the world. With this way of life, PURE Energies found it inspiring and embarked on a journey to learn from the Kayapo people what independence, leadership and sustainability mean in the most remote corners of the world.
Uncontacted Indigenous people are among the most vulnerable to deforestation and fires, as they rely entirely on the forest to meet their needs for food, medicine and shelter. Forest destruction can also push them from their territories into forced contact with outsiders.
The Kayapo tribe live alongside the Xingu River in several scattered villages ranging in population from one hundred to one thousand people. They have small hills scattered around their land and the area is criss-crossed by river valleys. Their villages are typically made up of about dozen huts.
One example of Indigenous sustainable practices was the care and management of mangrove environments. Mangroves are trees or shrubs that grow in coastal areas. They are a rich source of natural resources. Many sources of food, such as clams, mud crabs, mangrove worms, and fish, live in and around the trees.
The majority of Amazon cultures practice some form of animism. This belief system sees the rainforest as the home of spiritual life, with every flower, plant and animal containing its own spirits.
Kayapo have fiercely protected their vast territory but face increased pressure from illegal incursions for goldmining, logging, commercial fishing, and ranching.
Divided into around 400 tribes, Indians of the Amazon rainforest live in settled villages by the rivers, or as nomads deep inside the forest. Most of the Amazon tribes that live by the rivers are in contact with the rest of the world.
Indigenous groups such as the Yanomamo and Kayapo have been living in the Amazon for thousands of years, slowly accumulating a detailed knowledge of the rainforest and methods to subsist from it.