From Indigenous Peoples in Brazil
Photo: Egon Heck, 1980


Where they are How many
AM 38 (CTI, 2016)
Linguistic family

The Tsohom-dyapa live in the region between the Jutaí and Jandiatuba Rivers in the Vale do Javari Indigenous Land. Though very little is known about them, they undoubtedly speak a language from the Katukina family, very similar to the languages of the Kanamari and Katukina of the Biá River. The name Tsohom-dyapa can be translated as ‘toucan people’ and is a self-designation typical to the Kanamari subgroups. All the indications are that the Tsohom-dyapa are one of the subgroups that remained further away from the others, inhabiting a region between two clusters of Kanamari populations, on the upper course of the Jutaí and Itaqui rivers.

Although the Tsohom-dyapa are considered isolated by FUNAI, some of them maintains sporadic contacts with the Kanamari and occasionally with the region’s non-indigenous population.


Tsohom Djapá, Caranã village, Jutaí River, Vale do Javari Indigenous Land, Amazonas. Photo: Egon Heck, 1980
Tsohom Djapá, Caranã village, Jutaí River, Vale do Javari Indigenous Land, Amazonas. Photo: Egon Heck, 1980

The name Tsohom-dyapa signifies ‘toucan people’ in the Kanamari language. Tsohom designates ‘toucan’ and dyapa, a collectivity usually constituted by a group of extended families. The word for ‘toucan’ in Kanamari varies according to the speaker’s dialect. The Kanamari of the upper Itaquaí, for example, refer to this people as Tsohom-dyapa and more frequently as Tsohonwak-dyapa, both meaning ‘toucan people.’ The Kanamari who speak Portuguese refer to the Tsohom-dyapa simply as Tucano (Toucan), which is how they are known by the region’s non-indigenous population.

As well as the two above variants, other forms of writing the name are found, which perhaps correspond to differences between the dialects of the Katukina languages and/or to different ways of writing the words ‘toucan’ and ‘people.’ The linguists Francisco Queixalós and Zoraide dos Anjos (2007) for instance prefer the form Tyohon dyapa, based very probably on the pronunciation of the Katukina of the Biá River. Some other variants frequently encountered in the literature include Txunhuân djapá (Melatti 1981) and Tukún Djapá or Tukano Djapá (Metraux 1948).

Tsohom-dyapa is a typically Kanamari name. The Kanamari call all speakers of Katukina languages – including the Tsohom-dyapa – by the term tukuna, meaning ‘people.’ However, the Kanamari are divided into innumerable subgroups, who also receive the name of an animal followed by the word -dyapa (sometimes written djapa, djapá, dyapá, diapa, with or without a hyphen). This classification is extended to other Katukina-speaking peoples (and sometimes to speakers of other languages) such as the Katukina of the Biá River, who the Kanamari call Pidah-dyapa, ‘jaguar-people.’ These collectivities are generally called ‘subgroups’ (Reesink 1993) although they had also been called ‘clans’ previously (Tastevin, n.d.) and represent groups of extended families who reside in the same place. Most of these subgroups maintain some degree of contact with each other, which in the past may have involved ritual meetings and today involve matrimonial relations. Hence, for the Kanamari, Tsohom-dyapa is just one more of these subgroups.

Although this is the view of the Kanamari, there is presently no way of knowing for certain whether this is the case. It is also impossible to know for certain whether the Tsohom-dyapa identify themselves in some form with this denomination or whether it merely represents a Kanamari classification for a small constellation of peoples speaking a similar language. It is possible, for example, that the people known as the Tsohom-dyapa recognize themselves as another –dyapa subgroup, or that it is divided into various subgroups of this type. On the other hand it is also possible that due to the isolation, the -dyapa names have fallen into disuse among them and that they may identify themselves merely as tukuna, ‘people.’ This seems to have happened with the Katukina of the Biá river, a people who remain more or less distant from the Kanamari and for whom the names supplemented by the term -dyapa seem to exist above all as markers of past differences – more the memory of an ancient social system than a form of tracing relations between collectivities in the present (Deturche 2007).

Hence, the social system of the Kanamari and Katukina peoples represent a range of possibilities – a range of variations on certain recurrent themes. What we do know is that Tsohom-dyapa is a name given by the Kanamari and is connected to the way that the latter named the divisions within the category of ‘people’ (tukuna), which also encompasses the so-called Tsohom-dyapa.


The Tsohom-dyapa and the Kanamari are the only peoples in the Vale do Javari Indigenous Land who speak languages from the Katukina family (Rivet 1920). The other peoples from this region, including probably those considered isolated or autonomous, speak languages from the Pano family.

In analysing the Tsohom-dyapa language, it needs to be situated in relation to the other Katukina languages on which some information and some linguistic studies already exist.

Recent studies suggest that all the languages of the Katukina family still existing, including the variations of Kanamari and Katukina of the Biá river, are dialects of the same language, which has been called simply ‘Katukina’ or sometimes ‘Kanamari-Katukina’ (Queixalós e dos Anjos 2007). These languages are today the only representatives of the Katukina family, which once was spread across the entire course of the Juruá River.

The Kanamari claim that this is the only language spoken by the Tsohom-dyapa, since they, unlike the majority of the Kanamari, have no knowledge of Portuguese.

Population and location

Tsohom Djapá, aldeia Caranã, Rio Jutaí, Terra Indígena Vale do Javari, Amazonas. Foto: Egon Heck, 1980
Tsohom Djapá, aldeia Caranã, Rio Jutaí, Terra Indígena Vale do Javari, Amazonas. Foto: Egon Heck, 1980

In 1981, the population of the Tsohom-dyapa was estimated at 100 people. They live exclusively in the Vale do Javari Indigenous Land, an area situated in the far west of the state of Amazonas and inhabited by various indigenous peoples, including the Kanamari, Marubo,   Matis, Matsés (also known as Mayoruna), Kulina-Pano and Korubo. There are also a large number of peoples considered isolated by the FUNAI, which includes the Tsohom-dyapa, even though today they (or a part of the group) maintain regular contact with the Kanamari, inhabitants of the Jutaí River, in the east of the Vale do Javari IL.

Contact history

Tsohom Djapá, Caranã village, Jutaí River, Vale do Javari Indigenous Land, Amazonas. Photo: Egon Heck, 1980
Tsohom Djapá, Caranã village, Jutaí River, Vale do Javari Indigenous Land, Amazonas. Photo: Egon Heck, 1980

The point of dispersal of the Katukina peoples is without doubt the valley of the Juruá River, especially its middle course (Metraux 1948, Rivet & Tastevin 1921). The Juruá basin is south of the Javari basin and the affluents of both are separated by an interfluvial area of terra firme that currently forms the boundary between the Vale do Javari and Mawetek Indigenous Lands, the latter also inhabited by the Kanamari. The Katukina-speaking peoples who live today in the valley of the Javari undoubtedly migrated to this region at the start of the twentieth century. However their ancestors who lived on the left shore of the middle Juruá knew the upper courses of rivers like the Itaquaí, the São Vicente (Javari valley), the Jutaí and the Jandiatuba (which flow into the Solimões), where they hunted and sometimes lived during the dry season. There are three clusters of Kanamari populations in the Vale do Javari Indigenous Land: one on the upper Jutaí, composed of people who have been there from time immemorial (Carvalho 2002); another on the Itaquaí, formed by people who migrated from the Juruá in the 1930s (Costa 2007); and a cluster further to the north, on the middle Javari river, constituted by people who migrated from the Itaquaí river in the 1950s.

Little is known about the history of the settlement of the Tsohom-dyapa in this region, but it is likely that they had moved from the Jutaí river around 1912 (Tastevin n.d.). In the imaginary of the Kanamari, the basin of the Jutaí is traditionally the land of two subgroups: the Kotya-dyapa (‘otter people’), many of whom still live there, and the Tsohom-dyapa, who migrated northwards and westwards (Carvalho 2002).

The Tsohom-dyapa inhabit the interfluvial region between the Jutaí and Jandiatuba rivers, principally around the headwaters of the Curuena River.

According to Heck (1979), the Tsohom-dyapa lived on an affluent of the Jandiatuba (called Ahe Teknin). In 1920, approximately, an internal conflict led to the death of the leader (tuxaua) Txiwi. As a result, part of the group, led by Txiwi’s son, began to occupy more intensively the headwaters of the Dávi creek. Another part of the group, under the leadership of Aro and Iakuna, began to occupy the region between the Curuena and Jutaí rivers.

According to Coutinho Junior, in the 1950s and 60s various relations were recorded between the Tsohom-dyapa and rubber tappers or loggers, some of them lasting for a number of years. In the accounts going back to the 1950s, rubber tappers claim that one of the Indians, perhaps the leader, spole Portuguese reasonably well, though other members of the group knew less. Some non-indigenous inhabitants of the region told members of OPAN (Operação Amazônia Nativa) at the end of the 1970s and start of the 1980s that many of these encounters were friendly. The Indians asked for salt, traded game meat for metal tools or ate turtles and eggs in the houses of some of the non-indigenous river dwellers, who were visited twice a year. The Indians never stole anything when the river dwellers were away, but sometimes warned them not to enter the forest alone. Two Indians, including the tuxaua, apparently contracted flu on one of these occasions and died. The group then retreated, fearing sorcery, and moved to the Dávi creek, as well as circulating in the region formed by the headwaters of the Maloca creek, a left shore affluent of the upper Jutaí River (Coutinho Junior 1998).

There were also violent deaths. One elder man recalls that when the Indians killed three rubber tappers, working for a boss on the Jutaí, the latter in turn hired four river dwellers and a Kanamari Indian to mount an ambush. At night the men apparently attacked and killed around 120 Indians. The Kanamari man was later killed by Indians identified as ‘Tucanos’ (ibid).

A priest who journeyed along the Jutaí in 1977 claimed to have encountered Indians close to the São Francisco creek. It was a group of ‘Tucanos’ from the Dávi river, formed by around 10 families, who did not use guns, only bows and arrows, and were travelling to meet their neighbours and, in the case of the single men, find a wife (Coutinho Junior 1998).

Coutinho Junior (1998) states in his report that in 1979 the Tukano population of the Tracoá maloca, located on the headwaters of the Dávi River, had around tem families, totalling 32 people. These Indians occupied the upper course of the Dávi and its left-bank affluent, the Branco creek. In 1985, FUNAI and CIMI flew over the region and located three ‘Tukano’ malocas, one of them occupied, another abandoned and the last one burnt to the ground. They also spotted a temporary encampment and two swiddens. The population was estimated at 40 people.

The specialist in indigenism Sebastião Amâncio da Costa recorded violent encounters between this Tsohom-dyapá group and other autonomous peoples, probably from the upper Jutaí, which resulted in deaths on both sides. These episodes provoked a certain geographic retreat among the non-indigenous river dwellers, as well as the Kanamari, Kulina and ‘Tukano’ (Coutinho Junior 1998). One man living on the Curuena River claimed to have travelled in the company of the Kanamari of Queimado village in 1993 to encounter the ‘Tukano,’ who numbered around 80 people. Two years later, another inhabitant saw various huts between the Urucubaca and Jacundá creeks and a path cleared by the ‘Tukano’ between the upper Curuena and the Lobo River.

The Kanamari say that the ‘Tukano’ consider the upper Dávi to be their exclusive territory and that they visit the headwaters of the Curuena to obtain bamboo to make their arrows. During their periodical visits to Queimado village to take part in festivals or to obtain manufactured goods, the ‘Tukano of the Dávi’ beat the prop roots grown by some types of trees to announce their arrival. They stay a short while and then leave again (Coutinho Junior 1998).

However, it is difficult to determine for sure whether these are the same people now identified as the Tsohom-Dyapa.

History of isolation

Tsohom Djapá, Caranã village, Jutaí River, Vale do Javari Indigenous Land, Amazonas. Photo: Egon Heck, 1980
Tsohom Djapá, Caranã village, Jutaí River, Vale do Javari Indigenous Land, Amazonas. Photo: Egon Heck, 1980

The Tsohom-dyapa are classified as ‘isolated’ by FUNAI and ‘autonomous’ by the local indigenous movement. This means that today they have no regular contact with the government agency, situating themselves more or less on the margins of regions such as the upper Jutaí and upper Itaquaí where FUNAI maintains a presence. However, this does not mean that they always lived in isolation. They clearly participated in a network of relations that existed between the Katukina-speaking peoples until the first years of the twentieth century and which still exists, albeit with obvious transformations.

Little is known about their history. However, some clues are provided by the ethnographic data gathered by Constant Tastevin between 1910 and 1920. These clues combined with data collected among the Kanamari over the last fifteen years shed some light on the history of the Tsohom-dyapa and enable us to comprehend, perhaps, the reasons for their isolation from both the rubber tappers and loggers, and the other Katukina-speaking peoples.

The analysis of various documents allows us to suggest that the Tsohom-dyapa experienced not just one but at least two phases of ‘isolation’: the first, around 1912, distanced them from the (other) Kanamari, but did not isolate them completely from a portion of the Kanamari who lived (and still live) on the Jutaí river; and the second, more recent, that probably occurred in the 1970s. The latter ‘isolation’ split the Tsohom-dyapa into two groups: one of these isolated themselves completely from non-Indians and the Kanamari, while the other moved even closer to the Kanamari of the Jutaí and through them to the non-indigenous population.

In a handwritten text, unpublished and undated (probably from the end of the 1920s), Tastevin speaks of a people whose name is written Tiõwök dyapá and who “also call themselves Tukano dyapá, when their totemic name is translated into Portuguese or Tupi.” The author situates the people concerned in the Jutaí basin, also noting that they were located “more to the west and undoubtedly also to the south, along the Itewahy [Itaquaí?] River, an affluent of the Jawary [Javari], and the Yandiatuba [Jandiatuba] river, an affluent of the Amazon [Solimões].”

Although he does not say so explicitly, Tavestin does not seem to have had direct contact with these ‘Tukano dyapá.’ All the information that he obtained seems to have come from the Kanamari who lived in the Jutaí basin who were mostly from the Kotya-dyapa (‘otter people’) subgroup. Tastevin was among the Kotya-dyapa around 1920 and we can therefore presume that the information obtained about the ‘Tukano dyapá’ more or less date from this period. The Kotya-dyapa told the author that the ‘Tukano dyapá’ had a reputation of being skilled and intrepid hunters.

The region in which the ‘Tukano dyapá’ lived was situated a little to the west of the Jutaí basin and some distance from the cluster of other Kanamari subgroups (even the Kotya-dyapa). According to Tastevin, this isolation was due to their fame as skilful hunters:

In 1912, the Kuniba [probably an Arawak-speaking group] of the upper Jutaí had massacred their boss and his wife and abducted four white girls, taking them into the forest to be their wives. A little over six months later, they [the Kuniba] had still managed to avoid all the searches by the Brazilian police and the rubber tappers themselves. The brother-in-law of the killed boss had the idea of asking the Tukano-dyapá to follow their tracks. In fact, they [the Tukano-dyapá] reached a place where two days earlier the Kuniba had been killed in an ambush laid by the Wadyo Paranim-dyapa [‘capuchin monkey people’] at the request of the civilized inhabitants. They [the Tukano-dyapá] pursue game by smell and by the slightest sign [left by the game] in the branches of trees or on the damp earth. Their neighbours immediately to the north in the past must have been the Tikuna, a tribe with a very different language, despite their name recalling that of the Tokona [tukuna, ‘people’ in the Kanamari-Katukina language], and who today live on the left shore of the Amazon downstream of the Javari river, and on the right shore upstream [of the Javari] (Tastevin n.d.).

This seems to be the only reference made by Tastevin to a people who have the same name as the present-day Tsohom-dyapa and who live in a practically identical area. Indeed all the signs are that these ‘Tukano dyapá’ are the direct ancestors of the present-day Tsohom-dyapa. Although belonging to the subgroup is more flexible than Tastevin supposed, and despite the possibility of people changing subgroup over the course of their lives, all the ethnographers of the Kanamari have noted the striking similarity between the data collected by Tastevin concerning the names and location of the subgroups at the start of the twentieth century and the memory of the Kanamari themselves concerning where and with whom they lived during this same period. What becomes clear in this comparison is the consistent association between a territory and a name over almost one hundred years, even though history has fractured some relations, induced others and diluted the endogamy of the subgroups.

Moreover, the history related by Tastevin, probably paraphrased from an account given by the Kotya-dyapa, contains some interesting data. Firstly, it allows us to establish that prior to 1912 the Tsohom-dyapa maintained relations with the Kanamari, some probably more intense (with the Kotya-dyapa) and others more sporadic (with the Wadyo Paranim-dyapa), and with the rubber tappers who lived on the Jutaí. Secondly, this indicates that the Tsohom-dyapa had already settled in the Jutaí basin at the start of the twentieth century. Indeed the Kanamari consider them to have originated from the Jutaí basin, which suggests that they had lived there for a much longer time (Carvalho 2002). Thirdly, the cited extract makes clear that despite the relations between the Tsohom-dyapa and some rubber tappers being apparently friendly, some relations between Indians and rubber tappers in the region were violent. Fourthly, the text established a highly relevant date for the beginning of the isolation of the Tsohom-dyapa: the year 1912, the end of the rubber boom in this period (ibid). This data provides valuable clues to understanding the history of the Tsohom-dyapa, since they situate the question of the isolation of the Tsohom-dyapa in a much more complex context than the simple history told by Tastevin, about a group of Indians who left to hunt and never came back, allows us to glimpse.

According to Carvalho (2002), by 1907 many of the Kanamari of the Jutaí were already concentrated in the Restauração rubber extraction area. The latter extended from the Maloca creek (Mawetek, in Kanamari), a left-bank affluent of the Juruá, as far as the Juruazinho river, an affluent of the Jutaí. Most of the indigenous workforce from this rubber extraction area was composed of the Kotya-dyapa, accompanied by some Wadyo Paranim-dyapa and Tsohom-dyapa individuals (ibid). While life on the rubber extraction area is recalled as initially positive, since they lived with a boss who protected them and provided them with manufactured goods, these memories do not exclude the problems stemming from this new relation, which were of two types. First the exploration of rubber in the region and the strong presence of the rubber tappers on the rivers occupied by the Kanamari obviously caused tensions between the Indians and the invaders, especially when this presence implied changes to the Kanamari lifestyle and, above all, to the dynamic of the subgroups. The case of the people called ‘Kuniba’ in Tastevin’s account is a clear example of these violent phenomena, which also emerge in the Kanamari descriptions of the period.

The second type of problem refers to the period when the Indians worked in rubber extraction. This led to a gradual deterioration in the relations with the rubber tappers and with other Kanamari subgroups. In fact, the Kanamari tend to explain this tension as entirely the outcome of the intensification of the relations between the various subgroups and the weakening of the relations that had predominated prior to the arrival of the rubber tappers. It was during this period that the subgroups, who had used to live in separate river basins, began to live together on the rubber extraction areas, to marry each other and to fragment and disperse. The overall result was that people who had used to meet only during rituals (the Hori) became co-residents. Hence, a structure that demanded the maintenance of localized and differentiated kingroups began to transform into a network of multi-local relations in which people no longer knew who was kin or with whom they should live.

The result of these ambivalent relations was a proliferation of sorcery accusations: people who had previously seen each other as ritual partners (-tawari) now began to accuse each other and even those who had considered each other kin a short time before now distanced themselves because of sorcery. Consequently, the period that began more or less in 1912 led a number of Kanamari to settle in the remotest points of the middle Juruá region. The most extreme case of this tendency was that of a group that arrived to work on the Restauração rubber extraction area and, believing themselves to have become the victims of sorcery, moved down the Juruá to its mouth, crossed the Solimões and today lives on the Japurá rover, which flows into the left shore of the Solimões (Paraná do Paricá and Marãa/Urubaxi Indigenous Lands: see Neves 1996). The Kanamari of the Itaquaí, who were later victims of the rubber boom, also arrived there fleeing from similar conflicts, shamanic attacks, which had not ceased since the mid-1930s.

The relations with rubber tappers and other Kanamari groups tended towards shamanic conflicts and armed warfare: hence, the splitting of some subgroups and the isolation of others were not only viable options but also sometimes desirable. In this sense the Kanamari would be correct to say that the Tsohom-dyapa are a Kanamari subgroup, that took part in the same network of relations as them and that isolated themselves from the other Kanamari as these networks dissolved and became reformulated.

It remains questionable, though, how far the Tsohom-dyapa did actually remain isolated from the other Kanamari and especially the Kotya-dyapa – a people with whom they share a common origin in the Jutaí basin.

Anthropologists who have worked with the Kanamari of the Jutaí, on the other hand, systematically emphasize the contacts between the Tsohom-dyapa and the Kotya-dyapa throughout almost the entire twentieth century. Neves (1996), for example, speaks of the ‘nomad cycle’ of the Tsohom-dyapa, which led them almost annually “to ‘their Kanamari kin’ on the upper Jutaí.” Reesink (1993), in turn, mentions a visit made by the Tsohom-dyapa to the Kanamari of the Jutaí village of Caraná in 1984, where they built a large tapiri. Referring to the same period, Carvalho (2002) cites the journey of some Tsohom-dyapa to the same village to receive treatment for tuberculosis.

All the indications are that the contact between the Tsohom-dyapa and the Kanamari of the Jutaí always occurred, yet the dynamic of this contact was altered completely during the second half of the twentieth century. While all the Tsohom-dyapa distance themselves to some extent from the Kanamari and the non-Indians in 1912, a rift within the Tsohom-dyapa resulted in the group splitting. This separation meant that part of the population maintained more intense contacts with the Kanamari of the Jutaí while the other part ceased even the sporadic contacts with these people, ceasing all relations with the Kanamari and non-Indians.

According to Reesink (1993), the Tsohom-dyapa divided into two groups. The exact date of this fission is unknown, but the result was the relocation of part of the population south and eastwards, along with the Kanamari of the Jutaí, and the gradual isolation of the remaining Tsohom-dyapa, who stayed in the same place or moved further north and westwards. The first group today lives in the headwater region of the Branco creek, an affluent of the Dávi creek, which for its part is an affluent of the Jutaí River. The other group, meanwhile, remained in the region of the headwaters of the Jandiatuba or became further isolated by relocating to the Curuena River, an affluent of the Jandiatuba (Carvalho 2002). This did not mean the emergence of a new –dyapa unit, since the two groups comprise “(…) a single almost entirely endogamic conceptual unit” (Reesink 1993).

It is impossible to know to what point this split may have led to fresh animosities or ended with the reconciliation of these two factions, because at the start of the 1980s a new wave of non-Indians isolated the Tsohom-dyapa of the Curuena-Jandiatuba from those of the Branco creek and the Kanamari of the Jutaí. This time it was Petrobrás – through the Brazilian Geology Company (CBG) and LASA Engenharia e Prospecções S.A. – that set up in the region in search of oil. Constant helicopter flights were made over the Tsohom-dyapa areas, as well as incursions over land, which led them to abandon their traditional hunting and foraging areas even further (Neves 1996, Labiak & Neves 1985). 

Neves writes:

All the indigenous groups were heavily affected by the presence of Petrobrás in the Juruá basin and nearby regions. […] Violated especially by the seismic survey teams whose movements through the forest disrupted the villages and areas of occupation of the different indigenous peoples, the local groups were subjected to the impact of an immense array of technological equipment that they had no idea even existed and that, in installing itself in their areas, brought along a huge wave of workers […] from all levels of the company’s workforce” (Neves 1996).

Nobody knows what the impact of Petrobrás’s action was on the Tsohom-dyapa who remained in isolation. Likewise, nobody knows the impact of the demarcation of the Vale do Javari Indigenous Land, encompassing the area in which they live. As can be seen, very little is known about the Tsohom-dyapa.



Tsohom Djapá, Caranã village, Jutaí River, Vale do Javari Indigenous Land, Amazonas. Photo: Egon Heck, 1980
Tsohom Djapá, Caranã village, Jutaí River, Vale do Javari Indigenous Land, Amazonas. Photo: Egon Heck, 1980

All the indications are that the Tsohom-dyapa, like the Kanamari in the past (Costa 2007, Tastevin n.d.), build temporary shelters around the larger and more permanent malocas (longhouses). The malocas are located on the shores of small creeks and streams in the region inhabited by them. Despite constructing malocas, the Tsohom-dyapa, like many Kanamari, are always on the move, a fact that led Neves to describe this pattern of mobility as part of a ‘nomad cycle’ (Neves 1996). According to Heck (1979), this people can be considered practically nomadic.

It is impossible to identify the location of the Tsohom-dyapa malocas with any certainty, or know for sure if the malocas photographed in flights over the region belong to them. There is another isolated group, speaking a Pano language, which lives a little further to the west of the region of the Tsohom-dyapa, on the upper course of the São José River and the surrounding area (Melatti 1981). We do not know to what extent the areas of these groups overlap, or the type of contact existing between them. Hence, it cannot be determined by aerial reconnaissance alone whether the malocas in this region belong to the Tsohom-dyapa or these Pano groups. Indications exist that the Tsohom-dyapa trek through a larger area than the basin of the Jandiatuba, and some members of the group have been seen by the Kanamari on the shores of the upper course of the Itaquaí river both recently (Costa 2007) and deeper in the past (Tastevin n.d.).

The Tsohom-dyapa tapiris (small temporary shelters) are made with two pairs of poles stuck in the ground at a certain distance from each other forming two upside-down ‘Vs’ and another pole on top functioning as the roof pole. The structure is covered with leaves of paxiubão, palheiro, jarina, jaci or patauá (Coutinho Junior 1998).

Note on the sources

There is no academic work in any area of knowledge that focuses specifically on the Tsohom-dyapa. This entry is based on texts that primarily discuss the Kanamari, and some that discuss neighbouring indigenous groups. The text used in its elaboration are cited over the course of the entry and are included in the bibliography.

Sources of information

  • Carvalho, Maria Rosário. Os Kanamari da Amazônia Ocidental. História, Mitologia, Ritual e Xamanismo. Salvador: Fundação Casa de Jorge Amado, 2002.


  • Costa, Luiz. “Os outros dos outros. Os Kanamari no Vale do Javari”. In: Beto Ricardo & Fany Ricardo (eds.). Povos Indígenas no Brasil 2001/2005. São Paulo: Instituto Socioambiental, 2006.


  • Costa, Luiz. As Faces do Jaguar. Parentesco, História e Mitologia entre os Kanamari da Amazônia Ocidental. Tese de doutorado, Museu Nacional/UFRJ, 2007.


  • Deturche, Jeremy. “Katukina do Rio Biá”. In: Enciclopédia dos Povos Indígenas, site do Instituto Socioambiental, 2007.


  • Erikson, Philippe. “Uma singular pluralidade: a etno-história pano”. In: Manuela Carneiro da Cunha (org). História dos Índios no Brasil. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1992.


  • Erikson, Philippe. La Griffe des Aïeux. Marquage du Corps et Démarquages Ethniques chez les Matis d’Amazonie. Paris: Editions Peeters, 1996.


  • Heck, Egon D. “Rio Jutaí. População Indígena. Levantamento”. Prelazia de Tefé/CIMI, OPAN, 1979, ms.


  • Labiak, Araci & Lino João de Oliveira Neves. “A Petrobrás e os Arredios do Itacoaí e Jandiatube: ‘Apocalipse Now’, em silêncio”. In: CEDI (org.) Aconteceu: Povos Indígenas no Brasil/84. São Paulo: CEDI, 1985.


  • Lima, Deborah e Py-Daniel, Victor. Levantamento Etnoecológico das Terras Indígenas do Complexo  Kanamari Biá Kanamari do Rio Juruá e Katukina do Rio Biá. Funai/PPTAL/GTZ, Brasília, 2008.


  • Loukotka, C. “Documents et vocabulaires inédits de langues et de dialectes sud-américaines”. In: Journal de la Société des Américanistes, 1963, n. 52.


  • Melatti, Julio Cezar. Povos Indígenas no Brasil 5: Javari. São Paulo: CEDI, 1981.


  • Metraux, Alfred. “Tribes of the Juruá-Purus Basin”. In: Julien Steward (ed) Handbook of South American Indians. Washington: Smithsonian Institute, 3 vols, 1948.


  • Neves, Lino João de Oliveira. 137 Anos de Sempre: um Capítulo da História Kanamari do Contato. Dissertação de mestrado, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, 1996.


  • Queixalós, Francisco & Zoraide dos Anjos. A língua Katukina-Kanamari. 2007, (manuscrito).


  • Reesink, Edwin. Imago Mundi Kanamari. Tese de doutorado, Museu Nacional/ UFRJ, 1993.


  • Rivet, Paul. “Les Katukina. Ethude Linguistique”. In: Journal de la Société des Américanistes, 1920, n. 12.


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