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.
In the depths of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil live tribes who have no contact with the outside world. Illegal loggers and cattle ranchers are invading their land and bringing disease. Some uncontacted tribes are tragically down to their very last members. Here are some of the most threatened.
In Brazil, particularly, most native tribes who were living in the land by 1500 are thought to be descended from the first Siberian wave of migrants, who are believed to have crossed the Bering Land Bridge at the end of the last Ice Age, between 13,000 and 17,000 years before the present.
The Awá are people living in the eastern Amazon rainforest. There are approximately 350 members, and 100 of them have no contact with the outside world. They are considered highly endangered because of conflicts with logging interests in their territory. The Kawahiva live in the north of Mato Grosso.
‘ Members of the Kulina (or Culina) tribe have been accused of killing a man, variously reported as a handicapped student and cattle farmer, and eating his heart and thighs in a ‘ cannibalistic ritual’. The Kulina live in the remote Amazon forest – some in Brazil, others in Peru.
The most widely spoken language in the Amazon is Portuguese followed closely by Spanish.
Collectively, the Khoikhoi and San are called the Khoisan and are often called the world’s first or oldest people. Like the San, the Nama share DNA with some of the oldest groups of humans. Today, very few pure Nama people exist because of intermarriage with other tribes and a smallpox outbreaks in the 18th century.
The Sentinelese. The Sentinelese are an uncontacted tribe living on North Sentinal Island, one of the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean. They vigorously reject all contact with outsiders. Survival International lobbies, protests and uses public pressure to ensure their wish to remain uncontacted is respected.
North Sentinel Island is one of the Andaman Islands, an archipelago in the Bay of Bengal which also includes South Sentinel Island. It is home to the Sentinelese, an indigenous people in voluntary isolation who have defended, often by force, their protected isolation from the outside world.
The Gond comprise the largest tribal group of India with a population exceeding 12 million. Linguistically, the Gond belong to the Gondi–Manda subgroup of the South Central branch of the Dravidian language family.
The Global Importance of Amazon Natural Resources Fresh Water. Starting as small streams in the Andes, over 1,100 tributaries converge to form the mighty Amazon River. Medicinal Plants. Across the Amazon, thousands of plant species are used for traditional medical issues by local peoples. Oxygen. Minerals. Food.
The Amazon rainforest – the lungs which produces 20% of our planet’s oxygen – is on fire. It is an international crisis.
Quahadis were the hardest, fiercest, least yielding component of a tribe that had long had the reputation as the most violent and warlike on the continent; if they ran low on water, they were known to drink the contents of a dead horse’s stomach, something even the toughest Texas Ranger would not do.
There are 574 federally recognized tribes living within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations. The US Census groups these peoples as ” Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander.”
The Amazon is the world’s largest rainforest. It is also the ancestral home of 1 million Indians. They are divided into about 400 tribes, each with its own language, culture and territory. Many have had contact with outsiders for almost 500 years.