Kayapo (Portuguese: Caiapó)
people are the Gê-speaking
native peoples of the
plain lands of the Mato Grosso and
Para in Brazil, south of
the Amazon Basin and along Rio Xingu and its tributaries.
Brazilian Indigenous chiefs of the Kayapo tribe: Raoniiii, Kaye,
In 2003, their population
was 7,096. Using global media and international attention, they
have established political power over their own land . At one time,
mining and logging threatened to destroy the rainforest, and thus
their way of life. In retaliation, the Kayapo people used forceful
tactics to banish loggers
in some areas, as well as establish themselves
as an economic force. Later, they were again threatened by
secretive government plans to build a series of hydro-electric dams
on their land. Under the leadership of Paulinho Paiakan
, a large demonstration was
orchestrated by the Kayapo, drawing media attention world-wide.
demonstration, staged at the planned site for the first dam in
Pará, lasted several days and brought much pressure upon
both the World Bank and the Brazilian
In addition, the rock star Sting
made an appearance at the demonstration. As a result, the World
Bank denied the request for a loan which was to be used to build
the dam. The Brazilian government backed out of the plans, as well.
Subgroups of the Kayapo include the Xikrin
The forest gives them houses, transport, food and medicine. The
problem is that rivers are essential to their way of life and gold
mining in Brazil is polluting the rivers, therefore, spreading
diseases throughout the tribes.
They have trade agreements with The Body
The Kayapo people use shifting cultivation, a type of farming where
land is cultivated for a few years, until the people move on then
they clear another patch and do it all over again.
They get medicine from 650 different plants that they find from
plants around their village.
They have a village which has 15 huts; one of those huts is the
central house located in the middle of their village this is where
only men go to, to talk about issues and decide if they need to
- BBC - Bruce Parry's Amazon - About The Journey -
- http://www.raoni-institute.org Raoni Institute]
- Kayapo: The Body Shop states its case
- Wilson, Edward O., et al. Biodiversity, Part 3,
National Academies Press, 1988. Pg. 140.
- McConnell, Douglas John. The forest farms of Kandy: and
other gardens of complete design. P. 108