Foto: Marcos Mendes, 1995

Akuntsu

  • Other names
    Akunt'su
  • Where they are How many

    RO5 (Siasi/Sesai, 2012)
  • Linguistic family
    Tupari

Population

akuntsu_3

In January 1999 a Funai technical group was set up to define the limits of the Omerê Indigenous Territory, inhabited by the Kanoê and Akuntsu, which delimited an area of 26,000ha with a 81km perimeter. The Territory was declared by the Ministry of Justice in December 2002 and awaits ratification from the President of the Republic.

Today the Akuntsu comprise one of the smallest ethnic groups in Brazil. Marked by the usurpation of lands and massacres, their history is little different from that of other indigenous peoples of Rondônia.

According to information given to ISA by the local Funai representative, Moacir Góes, in March 2005, the group is constituted by Kunibu (also known as Babá), a man about 65 years of age; Ururu, a woman aged around 75; Popak, a man of approximately 35 years; and three women aged between 18 and 30.

In the mid 1980s, the Akuntsu probably experienced their last large conflict with whites. Evidence found by Funai’s teams revealed that a massacre had taken place in the region’s forests, since they encountered various remains of tools and the traces of a village containing about thirty individuals. Ten years later, when the official indigenist agent contacted the Akuntsu for the first time, the account given by one of the members of the group, then composed of just seven people, explained to Funai's officers what had really happened. Kunibu recognized the pottery remains and some tools as items belonging to his former village and revealed clear details, including showing the scars on his own body showing what he described as the attempt to exterminate them. Kunibu gave an account of the attack that he and his people had suffered at the hands of white men who a long time ago had wanted to expel them from their lands. He also recalled with grief the names of the dead, which appeared to number more than fifteen.

Since official contact in 1995, the Akuntsu have lost one more person according to information supplied to ISA by Marcelo dos Santos. In January 2000, during a nocturnal storm, a large tree fell on Kunibu’s house, killing his younger daughter and injuring himself.