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Exotic Tribes
Be a responsible traveller. Show tribal people respect and meet them on their premises. Visiting people with a different lifestyle and culture could sometimes be a very rewarding adventure, but be aware of that many tribal communities are extremely vulnerable to outside influences. All tribal people need to be protected from tourists in order to preserve their unique lifestyle and cultures. Travellers should understand that some tribes would like to live undisturbed, and that visit would be an intrusion.

How many uncontacted tribes are left in Brazil?

Brazil and the Amazon jungle has been origin for legends and myths about unknown people since the first Portuguese set their foot there. Exploration of untouched areas in Brazil leads to new great surprises! How many more uncontacted tribes can we expect to find?

In recent years there have been at least 42 evidences of the existence in Brazil of "isolated Indians", according the Socio-Environmental Institute website in Brazil (www.socioambiental.org).


Photo. An Indian living in the Amazon - the Brazilian side - playing on an instrument © Photo Copyright - Per Henriksen, Reiseliv - www.Reiseliv.no - one of our freelance journalists and an great adventurer from Norway.


These are the Indians who the organ of the Federal Government in charge of Indian affairs, the Fundação Nacional does Índio - National Foundation for the Indian - Funai has not been in contact with. No one knows for sure who they are, where they are, how many they are and what languages they speak.


The little that is known about them. One thing is that 25 of those evidences have occurred within Indigenous Lands that have already been demarcated or have some degree of recognition by Federal organs. Of the 42 evidences, the organisation Funai has already confirmed 12.



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The demarcation is intended to guarantee the Indians` right for the land. It should establish the real extension of the area under Indian possession, assuring the protection of the demarcated limits and keeping invaders away.


According to the estimates provided by many scientists, anthropologists, demographers or health people, most part of the indigenous peoples has been growing, on average, 3,5% per year, much more than the average of 1,6% estimated to the period from 1996 to year 2000 for the Brazilian population in general.


Yanomamiene who live in the northern part of Brazil, on the border to Venezuela, count 14,000 Indians. They live in several small villages, and live in an area big as Portugal. The extensive jungle area in Brazil, especially in the Amazon, makes it possible to find more uncontacted tribes.


Stein Morten Lund, 7 March 2004


Additional information

Read more about uncontacted Indians in the Amazon jungle on the Socio-Environmental Institute website: www.socioambiental.org.


Instituto Socioambiental (ISA) is a private institution, qualified as Organização da Sociedade Civil de Interesse Público (Oscip), since 21 September 2001, established to propose integrated solutions to social and environmental issues. ISA's main objective is to defend the social good and rights, both collective and diffuse, relating to the environment, cultural heritage, human rights and the peoples.

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