Where are the isolated groups?

The information presented here is taken from the work of the Indigenous Territories Monitoring Program run by ISA since 1983. This research enabled compilation of the list of territories recognized for occupation by isolated groups, and also the territories that, though demarcated and approved for other peoples, contain isolated groups. The research also includes references to isolated Indians in various regions of Amazonia and a small group in the region of Goiás/Northwest of Minas Gerais. This information comes from the list produced at the 1986 Gathering, continually updated by researchers and compared with the list maintained by CGII.

Isolated groups in ITs created specifically to protect them


Terras Indígenas Estado Situação Jurídica
Alto Tarauacá
obs: Xinane e Igarapé D'ouro
AC Ratified and registered
Cabeceiras dos Rios Muru e Boiaçu AC In the process of identification
Hi Merimã AM Ratified
Igarapé Taboca do Alto Tarauacá AC With use restrictions
Ituna/Itatá PA With use restrictions
obs.: quase integralmente dentro do Parque Nacional Mapinguari e com uma pequena parte dentro da Resex Ituxi
AM With use restrictions
Kawahiva do Rio Pardo MT With use restrictions
Massaco RO Ratified and registered
obs.: chamados de Piripicura pelos índios Gavião da TI Igarapé Lourdes, esses índios se localizam na área entre os rios Branco e Madeirinha, afluentes do Roosevelt/MT. Já foram contatados dois índios, e parece existir mais um grupo sem contato de cerca 17 pessoas.
MT With use restrictions
Riozinho do Alto Envira AC Identified and approved by Funai
Tanaru RO With use restrictions


ITs demarcated or ratified for other indigenous groups, also inhabited by isolated groups


Terras indígenas Isolados Estado Situação Jurídica
Apiaká do Pontal e Isolados
In 1984, the anthropologist Eugenio Wenzel, who lived with the Apiaká for more than 15 years, announced reports of a group of Apiaká who, after living in contact with regional non-indigenous populations and suffering massacres during the rubber boom at the start of the 20th century, fled from the region’s larger rivers. The group is located in the region of the Ximari and Matrinxã, rivers between the Teles Pires and Juruena, in the municipalities of Apiacás/MT and Apui/AM.  MT/AM Identified and approved by Funai
Alto Turiaçu
(Ka'apor e Tembé)
 Isolated Guajá, no igarapé Jararaca  MA Ratified and registered
Arara do Rio Branco    MT Ratified and registered
Isolated Guajá  MA Ratified and registered
(Cinta Larga)
   MT/RO Ratified and registered
Isolated Guajá located at the western part TI  MA Ratified and registered
Kampa e Isolados do Rio Envira
At Igarapé Xinane and Imbuia  AC Ratified
Kaxinawá do Rio Humaitá    AC Ratified and registered
Kayapó Isolated Pituiaro, do grupo Kayapó  PA Ratified and registered
Isolados  PA Ratified and registered
Menkragnoti  PA Ratified and registered
(Yaminawa e Manchineri)
Isolated Masko, in the summer they migrate between the Mamoadate river and the headwaters of the Purus, called Masho-Piro in Peru.  AC Ratified and registered
Rio Tea Isolated Maku AM Ratified and registered
(Wai Wai)
Isolated Karafawyana RR/AM/PA Ratified
(Tiriyó, Katxuyana, Wayana e Apalai)
  PA/AP Ratified and registered
Uru Eu Wau Wau There are at least three isolated groups. RO Ratified and registered
Vale do Javari  Various isolated groups: on Igarapé Nauá, Ig. Alerta, Ig. Urucubaca, Ig. Inferno, Ig. Lambança, Ig. São Salvador, Ig. Cravo, Itaquaí River e Ituí River. AM Ratified and registered
Waimiri Atroari Isolated Piriutiti inside and outside the IT. RR/PA Ratified
Xikrin do Catete
According to the anthropologist Isabelle Giannini, the Xikrin say that to the north of the IT, in the region of the Cinzento river, there is an indigenous population identical to those encountered on their land in 1987, a group of isolated Araweté.  PA Ratified and registered
Moxi hatëtëma thëpë, name given by some Yanomami to this isolated group.  AM/RR Ratified and registered


References to isolated indigenous groups outside the recognized ITs

People Location
Isolated Apiaká Since the 1980s there have been reports of a group of isolated Apiaká, who after living in contact with regional non-indigenous populations and suffering massacres at the start of the 20th century, isolated themselves far from the shores of the larger rivers. The group is located in the region of the Ximari and Matrinxã rivers between the Teles Pires and Juruena in the municipalities of Apiacás/MT and Apui/AM.
Arama/Inauini   The Jamamadi of the Purus and a Katukina family living on the Kanamari river provided information on the presence of an isolated group in this region of the Inauini. In October 1985, some of the group appeared on the other side of the river in front of the Katukina family’s house. Municipality of Pauini/AM.
Isolated Avá-Canoeiro In the region of the northwest of Goiás.
Isolated Awá – Guajá There are reports of small groups in the mountains containing the headwaters of the Farinha and Lageado rivers (west of the Maranhão). In 1998, the Funai contact specialist Wellington Figueiredo rescued an Awá family on the border of the Awá Indigenous Territory and the Gurupi Biological reserve (the Mão de Onça River region). In 2006, while Figueiredo was visiting the Juriti Indigenous Post, the man belonging to the group that he had rescued came to ask him to fetch his brother who had stayed behind there. (Information from August 2006.)
Isolated groups on the headwaters of the Cuniá river

Funai created a work group intended to locate and monitor isolated indians on the headwaters of the Cuniá river, Amazonas, over the period from 09/07/2013 to 22/08/2013. (DOU, 18/07/2013)

Isolated groups on the Liberdade river For years the Metuktire have said that ‘wild’ Kayapó live in the region of the Liberdade river, where they found traces of the group. It seems to be the same group seen by the Metuktire at the Von Martius Waterfall, a few hours from the Liberdade river. Three long-haired people were seen. They shot at the Metuktire with an arrow identical to those of the Kayapó on the 25/10/90. Located in the municipalities of Luciara and Vila Rica/MT and perhaps São Felix do Xingu. According to the anthropologist Gustaaf Verswijver, who has worked with the Kayapó, today they wander between the region of the Liberdade river, increasingly deforested, and the Menkragnoti IT. (Information from November 2005.)
Isolated groups on the Muriru and Pacutinga  rivers Located between the Juruena and Aripuanã rivers, in the municipality of Aripuanã/MT. The Rikbaktsa say that they have already had contact with this group, who they call Yakara Waktá (forest dwellers). They number 20 to 30 individuals who migrate to the Aripuanã in the dry season. Food remains suggest they could be an Apiaká subgroup. In 1985 the Jesuit priest Balduino Loebens located their swiddens during a flight over the area. The same missionary said that in 1984 a trail guide from the Cotriguaçu colonizing company met the group. According to anthropologist Rinaldo Arruda, the group was spotted in the Escondido IT of the Rikbaktsa.
Isolated group on the Tapirapé river This indigenous population lives on the headwaters of the Tapirapé river, an affluent of the left shore of the Itacaunas river, in the municipality of Senador José Porfírio/PA. It may be the same group to which the Xikrin of the Cateté refer to the north of the border of the Cateté IT, in the region of the Itacaiunas and Tapirapé National Forests.
Isolated Kayapó Pituiaro (Meruré river) This Kayapó population is named after the oldest man who led this group when the Kuben Kran Ken were scattered in 1950 during an attack from the Kokraimoro. The group migrates between the region of the Merure river and the Kuben Kran Ken area, in the municipality of Altamira/PA. In August 1977 the anthropologist Gustaaf Verswijver, on leaving the village on a flight to Santana do Araguaia, saw a village constructed by the Pituiaro next to the Merure river – a circle of five to six houses built in traditional Kayapó style, located in an upland area. Verswijver stated in November 2005 that it was impossible for the group to be living still in the region of the Meruré river due to heavy deforestation. He believes that they may have taken refuge in the Kayapó IT, southeast of the Gorotire or south of the Kuben-Kran-Krên.
Isolated Kayapó Pu´ro This group was formed in 1940 when 25 members belonging to the chief Tapiete’s faction left the Menkragnoti village never to return. The contemporary Menkragnoti refer to this group as the Pu´ro. According to anthropologist Gustaaf Verswijver, in November 2005, they had since left this heavily deforested region. Verswijver reported that the Menkragnoti of Pukanu village stated that kubens (whites) had told them that two or three years earlier four men from this group had been killed (probably by loggers). This is worrying news, especially given the small size of the group. The survivors seem to be located on the northern borders of the Menkragnoti IT.
Isolated group on the Karipuninha river Rieli Franciscato, a Funai officer, said in the 1990s that residents of the region of the Karipuninha river were afraid to travel upriver towards its headwaters due to the numerous remains of ‘wild Indians’ found there. The Karipuninha river is an affluent of the left bank of the Madeira river, roughly 100km upriver from Porto Velho, and its headwaters are located close to the boundary between Rondônia and Amazonas state.
Isolated group on the Bararati river Reference to the existence of an isolated indigenous group on the Bararati river and the left shore of the Juruena, close to the border with Mato Grosso (municipalities of Apuí and Sucurundi/AM; information from CGII-Funai).

Bom Futuro National Forest (Candeias river)
Information on the existence of an isolated group prompted an expedition of the Guaporé Contact Team in mid 1998. The team explored 90km along the right bank of this river without any concrete results. No evidence of indigenous occupation in the area surveyed was discovered. However a large area remains to be researched. According to Gilberto Azanha/CTI, this group is located within the boundary of the Bom Futuro National Forest (Flona).

Isolated Wajãpi on the Upper Amapari river
The anthropologist Dominique Gallois stated in 1990 that since 1987 prospectors based along the Perimetral Norte highway had reported finding frequent evidence of the presence of an isolated group in the region of the headwaters of the Amapari river. According to the Wajãpi of the Amapari, these are the survivors of the ‘Amapari Wan’ subgroup, which separated from the rest almost 50 years ago. Members of this same group live in Mariry village and Camopi village (French Guiana). The region occupied by the isolated group is located inside the Montanhas do Tumucumaque National Park and sometimes the population migrates temporarily to French Guiana. In 2003, the Wajãpi of the Camopi river found a swidden cleared by the group on the Muturá river.
Isolated Wajãpi on the Ipitinga river According to the anthropologist Dominique Gallois, the indigenous peoples living in the Tumucumaque Indigenous Park speak of these Wajãpi who live close to the Park in the municipality of Almeirim in Pará.