From Indigenous Peoples in Brazil
Photo: José Carlos Meirelles, s/d


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AM, RO 522 (Siasi/Sesai, 2020)
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The Kaxarari live on the border between Rondônia and Amazonas, close to the BR-364 federal highway. In 1910 they occupied the headwaters of the Curequeté river, an affluent of the Ituxy river, and their population was estimated at around 2,000 people. From this time until the start of the 1980s the Kaxarari, due to the violent attacks perpetrated by Peruvian caucho rubber extractors and Brazilian rubber tappers, as well as the epidemics, became reduced to less than 200 people. Over the following decades there has been a slight population increase. The Kaxarari throughout the 20th century had to relocate through the region in search of better living conditions since their lands have been a continual target of predatory actions by non-Indians seeking to exploit the natural resources found locally, especially latex, Brazil nuts, timber and precious stones.

Name and language

Kaxarari does not seem to be the group’s autonym. However it is not easy to establish its origin. The first references to the name date from the start of the 20th century. In 1910, João Alberto Masô, an engineer with the Brazil/Bolivia/Peru Border Commission who travelled along the Ituxy river and its affluent, the Curequeté, used the name Cacharary.

Kaxarari, like so many other names used to designate the indigenous peoples of Western Amazonia, derives from interethnic contact.

The Kaxarari speak a language from the Pano family similar to the idioms spoken by the Yaminawa, Kaxinawa, Yawanawa, Nukini, Katukina and Poyanawa who live in Acre.

“Among the Kaxarari living in Pedreira village it is noticeable that only the oldest still speak the language; few children speak the language and some merely understand it. Few adults apparently read or write Portuguese and some have problems understanding the language.”


(Aquino 1984).


The Kaxarari today live in four villages – Marmelinho, Barrinha, Paxiúba and Pedreira – all located within the Kaxarari Indigenous Territory on the border of the states of Amazonas and Rondônia. The area occupied by the Kaxarari is close to the municipalities of Lábrea, Porto Velho and Extrema, and can be accessed over land via the BR-364 highway between Rio Branco and Porto Velho.

According to the report by Terri Vale de Aquino, in 1910 João Alberto Masô located the Kaxarari on the headwaters of the Curequeté creek, an affluent of the right shore of the Ituxy river.

The older Kaxarari state that their malocas were traditionally sited not only near the sources of the Curequeté but also on other rivers and creeks in the region.

In the mid 1980s the biggest population concentration was located on the shores of the Azul river at the sites called Maloca and Boca da Barrinha. Some families were found at the confluence of the Vermelho river and the Marmelo, along the BR-364 and in various urban centres in the region (Rio Branco, Porto Velho and Guajará-Mirim).

(Aquino 1984)

Between the end of the 1980s and the start of the 1990s the Kaxarari domestic groups living in the villages of Azul and Barrinha moved to the Pedreiras area (built at the end of the 1980s by the Mendes Junior construction firm for large-scale production of stones and gravel to be used to pave the BR-364 highway and for civil construction in Rio Branco).

The relocation of the Kaxarari and the occupation of the Pedreiras area was a form of paralyzing the predatory activities that the Mendes Junior construction firm had been pursuing in the region (see the section Fight for land demarcation).

(Funai 1997)


Kaxarari, Rio Azul, Terra Indígena Kaxarari. Foto: Terri Vale de Aquino, 1981
Kaxarari, Rio Azul, Terra Indígena Kaxarari. Foto: Terri Vale de Aquino, 1981

At the start of the 20th century the Kaxarari population was estimated at around 2,000 people (Masô 1910). From this period until the start of the 1980s the Kaxarari, killed by armed Peruvian caucho extractors and Brazilian rubber tappers and victims of viral epidemics, saw their population fall to less than 200 individuals. The first census was conduced in 1978 by the Funai team that carried out the first delimitation of the Kaxarari Indigenous Area. In total 109 people were recorded, 58 men and 51 women. Of these 53 lived inside the area delimited by Funai and another 56 lived outside its boundaries, dispersed in various localities (Cruvinel 1978). A new census by CPI-Acre in 1981 registered 129 Kaxarari. Of this total, 88 lived inside the area delimited by Funai in 1978 and another 41 were living spread along the BR-364 highway and the shores of the Marmelo, Vermelho and Abunã rivers (Meirelles 1981).

In 1983 CPI-Acre carried out a new census, registering 93 people living inside the indigenous area and around 16 families residing outside with approximately 60 people, making a total of 153 individuals.

(Aquino 1984)

According to the report on the visit to the area made by the Missionary Indigenist Council (Cimi) of Rondônia, the Kaxarari totalled around 135 people in 1984, living in the villages, along the BR-364 and outside the area delimited by Funai.

The demographic census conduced in July 1993 by the head of the Indigenist Post presented a total of 192 individuals. Approximately sixty per cent of the Kaxarari population was under the age of 20, while 34 per cent was in the 20-50 year age range with only around six per cent represented by people over the age of 50 (Report of the Visit to the Kaxarari Indigenous Area. Funai 1997).

According to data from the National Health Foundation (Funasa), there were around 318 Kaxarari in mid 2009.

Contact history

The Kaxarari separate their contact history into three distinct periods: the ‘time of the correrias (killings),’ the ‘time of captivity’ and, more recently, the ‘time of rights.’ They also refer explicitly to the names of people and social institutions from each period who directly and/or indirectly marked them.

Time of the correrias

The Kaxarari associate the beginning of contact with the period of the ‘correrias,’ or killings, in which the majority of their population was exterminated by the Peruvian caucho extractors and Brazilian rubber tappers. The ‘correrias’ were organized by entrepreneurs working in extractivism with the aim of ‘clearing the area’ and expropriating indigenous lands, rich in rubber, caucho and Brazil nuts. The spread of viral diseases is also recalled by the Kaxarari as a prominent feature of this period.

“In the past only Kaxarari lived on the Curequeté, Macurenem, Ituxy and Aquiry. The first to arrive were Peruvians extracting caucho. They entered the malocas and killed many people with gunshots. They killed all the men, women and children to take our land. In the time of the Peruvians they didn’t let anyone escape. They killed everyone with bullets, machetes and clubs. The leader of the Peruvians was a man called Missael. Afterwards the migrants from Ceará appeared to work in rubber tapping and they too shot us to take our land. In the time of the killings the whites riddled us with bullets. Here on the Macurenem, on the Curequeté, there were many fierce caboclos. There where most of our people were. There were no others. Only pure Kaxarari. Many died too of measles, whooping cough, malaria, chickenpox, flu and tuberculosis. There were no medicines, there was nothing. The rest died of bullets. Crazy bullets. Those who escaped, ran. Otávio Reis, where he found rubber and Brazil nut, he shot dead the caboclos already living there, right? An employee of Captain Valdivino killed all of the older caboclos when they crossed his path. He tied them up and shot them. He was wicked. The employees of Captain Valdivino who killed the most were Anísio and another man called Joaquim (...). Later this killing business stopped, but the diseases continued”. (Testimony of Antônio Caibú, at the start of the 1980s)

Time of captivity

Having expropriated the Kaxarari lands and established the first rubber extraction areas (seringais) in the Ituxy-Curequeté region, the aim became that of ‘taming’ those who had survived the massacres of the ‘correrias’ in order to incorporate them as workers in the rubber industry. This period is marked by the violent exploitation and enslavement of the Kaxarari people, now reduced to mere labourers for the rubber ‘bosses’ in the region.

“After the killings ended we met the boss Matias Quaresma. With Matias’s protection, no one could mess with us. We went to work for him. He was the one who tamed us, the younger generation, right? The elders all died by the bullet. He tamed us to put us in captivity. To perform any kind of hard labour. Carry rubber on our backs, haul away caucho on our backs, clear trails, find the timber to make the rubber roads, punting rafts to carry the rubber and bring his merchandise from the city, make canoes for him, collect Brazil nuts for him, make swiddens for him, for Matias Quaresma. The younger men learnt how to extract latex for him. We worked and worked for him to earn a few scraps of clothing and some industrial goods. We never got anything, just disease and many dying from lack of food. That’s what we call captivity”. (Testimony of Artur César, at the start of the 1980s)

The time of ‘captivity’ is also marked by the systematic absence of any surplus earnings, the rent charged for the rubber roads occupied by the Indians, the high price of merchandise, the low price of the rubber and Brazil nuts they produced and the manipulation of the current accounts of those working in rubber tapping to ensure they were always in debt to their rubber ‘bosses.’

This period lasted until the end of the 1960s, a period that coincided with the construction of the Porto Velho-Rio Branco section of the BR-364 highway, which passes close to the Kaxarari villages, and the decline of the region’s former seringais where the Indians lived. During this time they relocated from the headwaters of the Curequeté and Ituxy to the left shore of the Azul river. Until construction of the highway, this river was considered the rear of their lands but afterwards it became the entry to the indigenous area. From then on they began to be influenced and dominated by the small ‘highway merchants.’

“During the time of captivity we never received any profits and we were also forced to pay rent for the rubber roads. The boss never gave us coupons for the merchandise or a current account. We worked and only ever got into more debt. During this time when we worked for Matias Quaresma, the rear of our area was on the Azul. By the time the road was built nearby, the bosses were already dwindling in number. When the road passed there, the highway merchants took over. The rear became the front and the front became the rear. In other words at first the front faced the Ituxy, at the Remancinho rubber site. We traded goods at the Port depot. Then over the time the bosses and so on drifted away and hunting became worse and worse too. So we started building settlements to the rear of the area, facing the Azul river, which was good for hunting and was nearer to the highway. Caibú [a Kaxarari leader] built the first settlement right next to the Azul, which is precisely where he lives still today, a site called Maloca. The rest moved there gradually over time. The area where the front was became deserted. Everyone came to the Azul. There on the Azul we began to trade with the merchants because of the highway. Things already began to improve. The merchandise was sold at a better price. We didn’t have to pay rent for the rubber road anymore. And here and there we could make a bit of money. The time of captivity of the rubber bosses came to an end. But these merchants are no picnic either. Things only improved a little.”(Testimony of Artur César, at the start of the 1980s)

The time of rights

For the Kaxarari, this new historical movement is marked by the installation of a regional Funai office in Acre in the mid 1970s and by the demarcation of their indigenous area by a team of specialists from the federal agency in 1978. From this time onwards the Kaxarari became aware of their rights, including those related to the effective ownership of their lands and the sufficient and necessary means for their collective survival.

“After Funai implanted a regional office in Rio Branco and came here to the Azul to take a piece of land for us, we became calmer because we now know our rights. We learnt that we have the right to our land, the right to the rubber trees and Brazil nut trees found on our land. FUNAI promised to demarcate our land, but they still haven’t done that. It’s only demarcated on the map, on paper only. For now it’s just a promise but we already know that we have a right to our land. We want to demarcate our land quickly because it’s not yet invaded by cariú [non-Indians]”. (Testimony of Antônio Caibú, at the start of the 1980s)

(Aquino, 1984)

Fight for land demarcation

Índios Kaxarari posados junto a uma placa de Demarcação, Rio Azul, Terra Indígena Kaxarari. Foto: Terri Vale de Aquino, sem data
Índios Kaxarari posados junto a uma placa de Demarcação, Rio Azul, Terra Indígena Kaxarari. Foto: Terri Vale de Aquino, sem data

Even after the ‘time of the correrias,’ which led to their dislocation and depopulation and the expropriation of their lands, the Kaxarari continued to live in parts of their former territory. According to the accounts given by the older Kaxarari, the rubber and caucho extraction took place mainly in the areas of their traditional territory, which were rich in these trees.

From 1910 until the present, the Kaxarari have gradually moved from the headwaters of the Curequeté, an affluent of the Ituxy, where they were found by Masô, to the shores and centres of the Aquiry river and, more recently, to the shores of the Azul river and its affluents, the Barrinha and Maloca. They therefore live in parts of their ancient territories.


Following construction of the Porto Velho-Rio Branco section of the BR-364 highway close to their dwellings and the later attempts to sell the lands bisected by this federal highway to cattle ranchers from the south, the Kaxarari became afraid to lose the little land they still occupy.

Seeing their former lands being sectioned off by the trails demarcating the farms established in the region in the mid 1970s, the Kaxarari leaders turned to those in charge of Funai’s regional office in Porto Velho (RO), demanding urgent delimitation of their indigenous area.

The response came some years later, more precisely in 1978 when a Funai team from Brasilia, made up of an anthropologist and a surveyor, completed the first delimitation of their lands. From 1978 to 1984 the limits of the Kaxarari area were modified numerous times.

But it was only at the end of the 1980s that the Kaxarari claimed a part of the land that had been mistakenly excluded from the demarcation of their area: Pedreiras (the Quarries).

(Aquino 1984)

Predatory action of the Mendes Junior company in the Pedreiras area

The period 1988/89 saw the beginning of a process of widescale devastation of the forests and subsoils of Pedreiras, an area located on the western border of the Kaxarari territory, some 900 hectares in size, which had been excluded – according to the Indians themselves, intentionally – from the demarcation carried out by Asserplan/Funai in 1987 to the benefit of the Mendes Junior construction company. The latter, possessing the necessary equipment and technology (tractors, trucks, large pneumatic drills, dynamite, etc.) and backed by considerable financial resources from the federal government/BID, introduced large-scale production of stones and gravel for use in paving the BR-364 highway and in civil construction in Rio Branco.

Pedreira da Construtora Mendes Júnior, responsável pela poluição da água e destruiçãoo do meio ambiente na Terra Indígena Kaxarari. Foto: Silbene Almeida, 1989
Pedreira da Construtora Mendes Júnior, responsável pela poluição da água e destruiçãoo do meio ambiente na Terra Indígena Kaxarari. Foto: Silbene Almeida, 1989

In 1990, alarmed by the damming of the headwaters of the Azul river whose middle course flowed past the villages/rubber settlements of Barrinha and Azul, scared by the dynamite explosions, concerned by the disappearance of game, the deforestation of the area and the increase in illnesses cause by water pollution, the Kaxarari, mobilized by their leaders and supported by FUNAI and other indigenist organizations, occupied the Mendes Junior site and paralyzed the gravel production activities that had been conducted in the Pedreiras area for more than two years.

The ‘clash’ caused by the Kaxarari at the work site drew the attention of federal and state authorities and the wider public. Peacefully occupying the site, they seized heavy equipment and large quantities of crushed stones, and achieved an important political victory that ensured the demarcation of the Pedreiras area in 1991, thereby annexing another 900 hectares to the area demarcated in 1987.

This important victory was consolidated when Mendes Junior was forced to negotiate payment of compensation to the Kaxarari population for the devastation inflicted on their territory. Only then was the company able to retrieve the equipment and gravel seized by the Kaxarari. Part of the money paid by the construction company was shared proportionally among the different domestic groups in the Kaxarari communities.

As well as the depredation of important natural resources from their indigenous area, Mendes Junior’s activities also created a large expectation among the indigenous population that they could now supervise the exploration of crushed stone in the community’s benefit. They requested permission from Funai for the commercial exploration of crushed stone from their 14 quarries, but received no response.

(Funai 1997)

Social organization

The Kaxarari are divided into clans (classified according to a descent rule based on a single line). In the case of the Kaxarari, this descent line was patrilineal, that is, each man or woman always belonged to the clan of their father. As in any society divided in this way, the Kaxarari clans were exogamic (people could not marry within the same clan).

At the start of the 1980s, eighteen named clans were identified, though in the past they were more numerous:

Inauêtxabê jaguar people
Xaualitxabê people macaw
Bauêtxabê parrot people
Xapuitxabê cotton people
Xauitxabê heron people
Txalamaitxabê stork people
Tekuluitxabê nunbird people
Rititxabê embira people
Waraínerotxabê banana people
Txurutxabê swallow people
Binuissakaitxabê seedeater bird people
Xaxuitxabê stone people
Xukitxabê toucan people
Kalatxabê blue-and-yellow macaw people
Tescubatxabê little bird people
Apulitxabê anteater people
Kukuiritxabê eagle people
Tauãxanetxabê sugar cane people


The preferred marriage among the Kaxarari was to the daughter of the koko (maternal uncle or father-in-law) or to the daughter of the iaiá (paternal aunt or mother-in-law): in other words, the ideal marriage was between bilateral cross-cousins, which maintained clan exogamy.

The young husband typically moved to the site where his father-in-law’s family was living, following the rule of matrilocality after marriage, and had to work for them. Since male children left their domestic group to marry from the age of 15 onwards, sons-in-law were very important to maintaining the family. They were the ones who extracted latex, collected Brazil nuts, felled forest to make swiddens or worked as ‘bóias frias’ (itinerant labourers) on the cattle ranches and rubber plantations established along the BR-364. The marriage was decided by the parents of the future spouses. Separation of couples was very frequent in the first phases of marriage.

“According to the Kaxarari, young people have paid little observance to the question of the clans when marrying. The number of clans cited today is just six.” (Taken from ‘Aspects of the phonology of the Kaxarari language’ (2004), by Gladys Cavalcante Sousa.)

At birth, children, as well as receiving the clan name of their father and residing in their mother’s domestic group, possessed personal names in their native language, which were transmitted in alternative generations. Older people explained the practice thus: “when a boy is born he receives his name from his [paternal] grandfather while a girl receives her name from her [paternal] grandmother.”

“Because of the lack of people with knowledge of the ancient customs, the naming ritual for children is becoming extinct. Naming had to be done by an older person with knowledge of the families’ names, since a child has to receive the name of a former kinsperson; therefore, knowing the Kaxarari language and genealogy is indispensable to naming a newborn in the Kaxarari language. Some parents relate that their children, due to the absence of people capable of naming, do not receive Kaxarari names, only those in Portuguese.” (Taken from ‘Aspects of the phonology of the Kaxarari language’ (2004), by Gladys Cavalcante Sousa.)


(Aquino 1984)

Productive activities

Índio Kaxarari espremendo a massa de mandioca para fazer o beiju, Rio Azul, Terra Indígena Kaxarari. Foto: Terri Vale de Aquino, 1981
Índio Kaxarari espremendo a massa de mandioca para fazer o beiju, Rio Azul, Terra Indígena Kaxarari. Foto: Terri Vale de Aquino, 1981

The Kaxarari live off their subsistence swiddens, gathering wild fruit and sometimes working as day labourers or temporary workers on the ranches and rubber extraction areas (seringais) established near to their area.

In their small swiddens, not always large enough to feed them throughout the entire year, they mainly plant sweet and bitter manioc, maize, yam, sweet potato, blue taro, banana, papaya, cashew, avocado and pineapple. They also plant coffee, rice and beans. To acquire what they themselves do not produce, generally manufactured items and very often even what they could produce in their swiddens, the Kaxarari harvest Brazil nuts during the winter and extract latex during the summer months to sell to merchants on the BR-364.

Brazil nut gathering and rubber extraction have become the main economic activities and practically the group’s only sources of income. By selling these products the Kaxarari acquire industrial goods and much of the food that they consume during moments of scarcity and crisis, such as rice, flour, beans, jams, dried meat, dried and salted fish, and so on.

For hunting the Kaxarari use guns and ammunition, as well as dogs. Given the proximity of the BR-364 highway, game is scarce on their lands, which has led to an increase in domesticated animals, such as chickens, ducks and pigs.

The rivers, lakes and creeks found within the indigenous territory are relatively low in fish. Generally they fish using uaca (a kind of tingui or timbó fish poison) or hooks only in the peak summer months.

The main wild fruits gathered are assai, bacaba, patuá and moriche, with which they make nutritious wines as a complement to their staple diet.

(Aquino 1984)

Annual cycle of activities

From the beginning of January to the end of April they work exclusively in harvesting, breaking and selling Brazil nuts. From May to mid July they dedicate themselves to extracting latex (‘summer cut’). From mid July to mid October they work exclusively in their subsistence swiddens. And finally from mid October to the end of December they return to work in rubber extraction (‘winter cut’). At the end of December they recommence the Brazil nut harvesting.

These activities, though not mutually exclusive, compete with one another, especially in relation to rubber extraction (summer cut) and the opening of new swiddens. Here the decision falls to the family heads, since if they opt for larger swiddens and more frequent hunting and fishing trips, activities geared towards the subsistence of the domestic groups, they considerably reduce the number of days dedicated to work on rubber extraction during the ‘summer cut,’ an activity focused exclusively on the market.

The sale of Brazil nuts and rubber is the main source of income for the Kaxarari groups. Selling tins of Brazil nuts and balls of rubber provides the principal means of acquiring the goods they need to live.

The Brazil nut period is considered the most favourable and profitable for the families. The time spent collecting and breaking the nuts, which coincides with the winter season, is represented as the most abundant time of year, both in terms of family subsistence and in sales in the regional market. Brazil nuts are also considered as the main ‘forest money.’

The case of illegal logging

The lack of resources for the Kaxarari to organize their own forms of rubber extraction and Brazil nut harvesting immediately led to a sharp increase in predatory hardwood extraction within the indigenous area. From 1989 to March 1993 different heads of Kaxarari households cut down numerous frejó, mahogany and cerejeira trees to negotiate their sale later with timber merchants in the towns of Extrema and Califórnia. The latter, equipped with tractors and other machinery, cleared a considerable quantity of wood from inside the indigenous area. The indiscriminate removal of timber provoked a series devastation of their forests. The timber was almost always sold at prices lower than the market value or sometimes exchanged for basic goods and the tools needed to harvest Brazil nuts and latex and to carry out agricultural work.

Migration to the Pedreiras area and the change in the subsistence economy

The relocation of the domestic groups living in the traditional villages on the Azul and Barrinha rivers to the Pedreiras area at the start of the 1990s heavily disrupted their subsistence economy. The situation of poverty and hunger culminated in 1993 when their animals, who had previously grazed on the pastures located around the Azul and Barrinha sites, were taken to the Pedreiras area. Forced to choose between their animals, who ran the risk of becoming lost back in their former pastures, and their new swiddens on terra firme, the Kaxarari opted to lose the latter.

After Funai clamped down on the illegal sale of hardwood from inside the area, the domestic groups began to spend more time cultivating their subsistence swiddens.

The Pedreiras area is not considered good for hunting or fishing. This part of the land is practically surrounded by lots belonging to colonists from an Incra settlement whose machinery and chainsaws frighten away game. The dams built on the Azul river by the Mendes Junior construction company also negatively affect fishing in the region.

Game used to be found in larger quantities on the salt licks and hunting trails located on the headwaters of the Macurenem and Marmelinho rivers. Periodically the Kaxarari left on hunting and fishing trips to the sources of the latter river, a two-day trek from the Pedreiras area from where they brought back a lot of smoked and/or salted meat for family consumption. However this area, considered good for game and fish, has been increasingly invaded by professional hunters who hunt for purely commercial gain. As a result, large game is becoming ever harder to find in the area’s forests.

(Funai 1997)

Ways of life


The Kaxarari no longer live in the traditional malocas and villages described by Masô in 1910:

“The villages are composed of 15 to 20 malocas or large shacks covered with ivory palm thatch (...). The malocas are spacious, able to shelter as many as 10 families or roughly 40 people (...) the dwellings posses just two openings or doorways, closed at night with jaguar skins or the pelts of other quadrupeds.” Today only the oldest people from the Azul settlement recall these types of dwellings. The elder Kaxarari describe their traditional dwelling places as follows: “Each of the old villages had its name (...). In the past there were many malocas. It was a large, round maloca. Completely sealed, it had just two doors. Many people could fit inside. Each village had many malocas arranged in a circle and in the middle was the large clearing, kept free of weeds, where festivals were held.” (Testimony of Antônio Caibú).

The Kaxarari currently live in regional style, pitched rood houses covered in wattle-and-daub with floors, side walls and inner walls made from stilt palm and covered in babassu thatch.

(Aquino, 1984)


The Kaxarari no longer practice their traditional rituals such as shamanism. The main curing technique used by shamans was suction.

“In the past there were shamans to heal us. When someone became sick, he sucked on the body and removed those stones from the patient’s body, throwing the illness away. He chanted for the sick person to become well soon. He ingested rapé snuff and kupá to cure. He knew many forest medicines, but not now, there are no more shamans. Everything ended.”  (Testimony of Antônio Caibú, taken from ‘The Kaxarari’ (1984) by Terri Vale de Aquino).

There are no more shamans among the Kaxarari. They also used to hold numerous celebrations and singing. It was common for them in their festivals to make clothing from moriche frond thatch, feather adornments, jaguar skins, masks and body painting. There was the buiarri festival, or fruit festival, where everyone went into the forest to pick ingá, naja and maçaranduba fruits. One of their games was bili, agame using a caucho ball, played with the knee, similar to the football of the cariú [non-Indians].

Kupá was a shamanic practice that provoked altered states of consciousness, which “intoxicated, provoked a lot of sweating, caused dreaming and cured.” It was a kind of cleansing through the use of a type of plant.

The kupá drink was in principle restricted to men and ingested only by older people. Women and children took no part in the ritual for starting work. Curiously there were cases of women who acted as shamans and performed diagnoses and cures for afflictions supposedly caused by spirits. The cure was very often effected by blowing tobacco smoke over the sore spot or even the entire body of the patient (biakintahi). When under the effect of kupá, the shaman could see what type of affliction or spiritual presence was affecting the patient.

(Santos, 2002)

Sources of information

  • AQUINO, Terri Valle. Os Kaxarari. Relatório de avaliação. CPI-Acre, 1985.


  • ----------Relatório de Acompanhamento e complementação do Projeto Kaxarari. Manuscrito. CPI-Acre, 1983.


  • ----------Demarcação que é bom nada. In: Aconteceu/Povos Indígenas no Brasil. CEDI, São Paulo, 1982.


  • CONSELHO INDIGENISTA MISSIONÁRIO (CIMI). Relatório de vista aos índios Kaxarari (26 a 29 de junho de 1984).


  • COUTO, Alexandre. Ortografia Kaxarari: uma proposta. Porto Velho, 2005.


  • CRUVINEL, Noraldino. Relatório de Delimitação da Área Kaxarari do rio Azul. Funai, Brasília, 1978.


  • GAULIK, Pe. Pedro Maria. Relatório sobre a Situação dos Kaxarari da BR-364. Encaminhado à Funai, 1975 (manuscrito).


  • MACEDO, Antônio Luis. Relatório de Acompanhamento do Projeto Kaxarari. CPI-Acre, 1984. (manuscrito)


  • MASÔ, João Alberto. “Os Índios Cachararys”. In: Revista da Sociedade de Geografia do Rio de Janeiro. Tomo XXII e XXIV, pp. 98-10 (1909-1911).


  • MEIRELLES, José Carlos & AQUINO, Terri. Entrevista gravada com as Lideranças Kaxarari do rio Azul/Barrinha. CPI-Acre, 1981.



  • SANTOS, Edna Dias dos. “Os Kaxarari”. In: Povos do Acre: História indígena da Amazônia Ocidental. Fundação de Cultura e Comunicação Elias Mansour (FEM) e Conselho Indigenista Missionário (CIMI), Rio Branco-Acre, 2002.


  • SILVA, Mário Lúcio da. Levantamento estatístico da população Kaxarari. Porto Velho: CIMI, 1986.


  • SOUSA, Gladys Cavalcante. Aspectos da fonologia da Língua Kaxarari. Campinas, Unicamp, 2004. (Dissertação de Mestrado)


  • FUNAI. Relatório de viagem à Área Indígena Kaxarari, 1997.