Foto: APIZ-Associação do Povo Indígena Zoró Pangyjej, 2008

Zoró

  • Other names
    Pangyjej
  • Where they are How many

    MT625 (Associação Povo Indígena Zoró Pangyjej, 2010)
  • Linguistic family
    Mondé

Introduction

For centuries the Zoró, along with the other Tupi-Mondé-speaking peoples, have inhabited the area now comprising the northwest of Mato Gross and the south of Rondônia. In the 20th century this extensive indigenous territory was progressively invaded by rubber extractors and mining companies. The inauguration of the Cuiabá-Porto Velho highway in 1961 pitched colonizers, farmers and squatters into a dispute for the indigenous lands. In the fact of these increasingly bloody conflicts, various ‘pacification’ expeditions were organized. Officially contacted in 1977, the Zoró were the last of the Tupi-Mondé to encounter the regional pioneer fronts. (see "History of pacification") The Funai officers from the contact teams estimated their population at between 800 and 1000 people. A year after contact, this number had fallen by half. The invasion of their lands by squatters and loggers intensified over the following decades, leading to epidemics and depopulation. However, the removal of the invaders from the Zoró area at the start of the 1990s failed to interrupt the illegal extraction of timber. In recent years, the Pangyjej Association (APIZ) has embarked on various initiatives to protect the Zoró Indigenous Land and its natural resources, as well as supporting school education and production projects such as Brazil nut gathering.