The Kayapo are a powerful and well-known Brazilian tribe who inhabit a vast area of the Amazon across the Central Brazilian Plateau.
What is the Kayapo tribe called?
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.
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. Logging and mining, particularly for gold, have posed threats to the Kayapos’ traditional way of life.
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 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.
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.
Kayapo have fiercely protected their vast territory but face increased pressure from illegal incursions for goldmining, logging, commercial fishing, and ranching.
Threats to the forest home of the Kayapo have been an area of extreme concern in the last 30 years, beginning with mining and logging enterprises which threatened to destroy the rainforest, and thus the Kayapos’ way of life.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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 Belo Monte Dam (formerly known as Kararaô) is a hydroelectric dam complex on the northern part of the Xingu River in the state of Pará, Brazil.
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.