Mẽbêngôkre, sometimes referred to as Kayapó (Mẽbêngôkre: Mẽbêngôkre kabẽn [mẽbeŋoˈkɾɛ kaˈbɛ̃n]) is a Northern Jê language (Jê, Macro-Jê) spoken by the Kayapó and the Xikrin people in the north of Mato Grosso and Pará in Brazil.
The Kayapo also call themselves “ Mebengokre,” which means “people of the wellspring.” The Kayapo live in part of the Amazon rainforest.
5 • RELIGION The Kayapos believe that at death a person goes to the village of the dead, where people sleep during the day and hunt at night. There, old people become younger and children become older. In that village in the afterlife, Kayapos believe they have their own traditional assembly building.
The Kayapo people used forceful tactics to banish loggers and miners in some areas, as well as to establish themselves as an economic force. Developers ranging from gold miners to soy farmers and cattle ranchers were often killed.
The Kayapo use approximately 250 different food plants and 650 different medicinal plants that they find around their village. The type of sweet potato that forms an important part of the Kayapó diet is sometimes named “caiapo”, after the tribe.
The Kayapo’s land is also under threat from logging and some farmers want to clear the rainforest to make fields for cattle. In an effort to preserve some of the remaining natural wilderness, laws have been passed banning development in sections of the rainforest. These protected areas of land are called reserves.
The Kayapó (ka-yah-POH), who call themselves Mẽbêngôkre (meh-bingo-KRAY), are a dynamic Indigenous people of more than 12,000 individuals. Surviving centuries of warfare and forced migration, they use their warrior heritage to protect their lands from new invaders.
Kayapo have fiercely protected their vast territory but face increased pressure from illegal incursions for goldmining, logging, commercial fishing, and ranching.
The Kayapó maintain legal control over an area of 10.6 million hectares (around 26 million acres) of primary tropical forest and savanna in the southeastern Amazon region of Brazil. They number approximately 7,000 people scattered across 46 villages in five territories.
The Korubo, also known as the “clubber Indians” because of their war clubs, live in the region surrounding the confluence of the Ituí and Itaquaí rivers in the Javari valley. Most of the population (more than 200 people) still lives in isolation, moving between the Ituí, Coari and Branco rivers.
Yanomami, also spelled Yanomamö or Yanoamö, South American Indians, speakers of a Xirianá language, who live in the remote forest of the Orinoco River basin in southern Venezuela and the northernmost reaches of the Amazon River basin in northern Brazil.
Since the early 1980s, several Kayapó communities have acquired considerable wealth by allowing outsiders to exploit their natural resources ( especially gold and timber ) and receiving a portion of the proceeds.
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.
With outside help, tribes like the Kayapo defend their land against ranchers, loggers, and miners. The destruction of the Amazon in Brazil can be seen by satellite: Where logging roads have spread their tentacles and ranchers have expanded their grazing, all is brown.
The Amazon rainforest, alternatively, the Amazon jungle or Amazonia, is a moist broadleaf tropical rainforest in the Amazon biome that covers most of the Amazon basin of South America.