Foto: Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, 1991

Araweté

  • Autodenominação
    Bïde
  • Where they are How many

    PA450 (Siasi/Sesai, 2012)
  • Linguistic family
    Tupi-Guarani

Location and population

arawete_4

The Araweté live in the Southern region of the state of Pará, in a single village, on the banks of Igarapé Ipixuna, a right bank tributary to the middle Xingu river. The Ipixuna is a black water, rapid-packed river flowing over a rock bed bound Southeast / Northwest. The prevailing vegetation in the Ipixuna basin is the open forest with palms, where trees rarely exceed 75 feet. Around the village there are extensive areas of "liana forests", where lianas and thorny plants make progress difficult. The ground is rife with granitic outcroppings covered by cacti, bromeliads and century plants.

The Araweté claim to live "on the edge of the earth:" their tradition tells of successive movements from some Eastern spot (the center of the earth), always fleeing from more powerful enemies.

All that could be ascertained is that they have lived for many years, perhaps centuries, in the forest region between the mid Xingu and Tocantins rivers.

The Araweté live in the Araweté/Igarapé Ipixuna Indigenous Land, in the state of Pará.

The Araweté were 278 individuals in 2000, more than twice as many as surveyed by The Brazilian Federal Agency for Indian Affairs (Funai)'s first census (120 individuals) made in March 1977, when 36% of the population contacted a year earlier died of attacks from the Parakanã and, mainly, of diseases caught during contact with whites.