Foto: Eliana Motta

Ingarikó

  • Autodenominação
    Kapon
  • Where they are How many

    RR1.231 (Siasi/Sesai, 2012)
    Guiana4.000 (1990)
    Venezuela728 (1992)
  • Linguistic family
    Karib

History of contact with non-Indians

No precise information exists on the first contacts of the Ingarikó with non-Indians on the Brazilian side of the border. It is known that in 1932 the Boundary Demarcation Commission was in contact with the Patamona of the Maú (Ireng) river on the Brazilian side, in the area between the mouth of the Timã creek and the Ireng-Scobi confluence.

Still in the 1930s, Benedictine priests, in particular Dom Alcuino Meyer, entered into contact with the Ingarikó in the Serra do Sol village and in other more remote villages.

The first scientific expedition reached the Ingarikó in 1946. The team was composed of Nunes Pereira, then an employee of the Ministry of Agriculture, and the US ornithologist G. Tate. Nunes Pereira explained the objectives of his own research thus: “to learn about the ecological conditions enjoyed by the Taulipangue and Ingaricó Indians and to obtain data on the ichthyological fauna of the Cotingo river and nearby creeks in the Uêitêpêi and Roroima Mountain Ranges.” They set out from Boa Vista without being able to obtain numerical data on the Ingarikó population from the Benedictines, since the missionaries only had data for the Macuxi and Wapixana. Nunes Pereira was responsible for the first photographic images of the Ingarikó. These comprise five photographs taken in the village of the ‘tuxaua’ (chief) Jones in the foothills of the Uêitêpêi mountains. The caption to three of the photos reads ‘Dancers of the Aleluia Dance,’ but the same photos are cited elsewhere as the  ‘Parixara Dance.’ The photos as well as Nunes Pereira’s observations were made public only in 1967 in the book Moronguetá.

In the 1950s the priest Bindo Meldolesi of the Ordem da Consolata reached the Ingarikó of the Serra do Sol a few times without, though, taking plans for establishing a mission.

Between 1952 and 1964, Atlas Brasil Cantanhede, an agronomist and civil air pilot known as the pioneer of aviation in Roraima, made regular trips to Serra do Sol as part of the rubber extraction in the area. An Ingarikó man worked for him for some years during which time he learned Portuguese.

The 1970s saw a surge of prospecting in the upland region of the Macuxi area with miners reaching the Ingarikó. However they were forced to retreat, settling in the locality of Caju, one day’s horse ride from the Serra do Sol village. Caju was a non-indigenous mining site with a landing strip and some stores selling food, drink and tools. The Ingarikó visited the site regularly but refused to allow the non-Indians to enter their area. Around this time a trader from Caju tried various times to install a cattle ranch close to the Serra do Sol village. The Ingarikó drove away the cattle and burnt down the farmhouse.

Also in the 1970s, priests from the Ordem da Consolata visited the Ingarikó. Father Jorge Dal Ben undertook three journeys during which time he was in contact with all the villages in the area.

From 1975 onwards FUNAI began to make regular flights to the Serra do Sol village. The FAB (Brazilian Air Force) for its part was already making border control inspections.

In 1976 the anthropologist Orlando Sampaio Silva was informed of the continued isolation of part of the Ingarikó as well as the sporadic contact of another group with missionaries from the Assembly of God Evangelical Church in Serra do Sol. He also recorded the presence of a few of the Ingarikó at the São Marcos Farm.