Foto: Hein van der Voort, 2001

Arikapu

  • Other names
  • Where they are How many

    RO37 (Siasi/Sesai, 2014)
  • Linguistic family
    Jabuti

Introduction

The Arikapú represent an indigenous tribe that traditionally lived in the south of Rondônia. The language of the Arikapú and their neighbours the Djeoromitxí are closely related, and probably form a branch of the wider Macro-Jê language family. First contact between the Arikapú peoples and Westerners probably occurred at the beginning of the 20th century. According to their own oral history, the Arikapú lived on the uppermost headwaters of the Rio Branco. In addition to the Djeoromitxí their traditional neighbours were the Tupí-speaking Makuráp, Wayurú and Aruá. The neighbouring Tuparí used to represent enemies. Like most groups of southern Rondônia, they may each have numbered several thousand individuals. After contact with Westerners, the Arikapú were decimated and displaced. Nowadays, the remaining members of the tribe live mainly in the Terra Indígena Rio Branco and the Terra Indígena Rio Guaporé.