Foto: Kim-Ir-Sem, 1985

Bororo

  • Autodenominação
    Boe
  • Where they are How many

    MT1.817 (Siasi/Sesai, 2014)
  • Linguistic family
    Bororo

History of contact

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Available historical sources inform that the initial contact of the Bororo with the national society goes back to the 17th Century, when the 'bandeiras jesuítas' (Jesuit expeditions) came from Belém to the Araguaia River basin and followed the Taquari and São Lourenço rivers towards the Paraguai River. In mid-18th Century contacts intensified with the 'Bandeiras Paulistas' (expeditions from São Paulo) and the discovery of gold in the region of Cuiabá. In this period, gold exploration was responsible for splitting the group into Western and Eastern Bororo (Bororo Ocidentais and Bororo Orientais respectively).

The Western Bororo, also called 'Bororo da Campanha' and 'Bororo Cabaçais', suffered the aggression of the contact with colonists from Cáceres and Vila Bela to a point that, by mid-20th Century, they were considered extinct.

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The Eastern Bororo, commonly known as 'Coroados', remained isolated until mid-19th Century, when they became the protagonists of the most violent episodes in the history of the occupation of Mato Grosso. The construction of a road that crossed the São Lourenço River Valley, connecting Mato Grosso to São Paulo and Minas Gerais, began a war that lasted more than 50 years and ended with the total surrender of the Eastern Bororo.

'Pacification' brought the creation of the Teresa Cristina and the Isabel Military Colonies in 1887. Soon after the Republic was declared, in 1896, Marshall Rondon demarcated the Teresa Cristina Colony, with the idea of preserving an important part of the traditional Bororo territory. Until 1930, Rondon reserved for the Bororo other areas of the São Lourenço River Valley, among them the lots called São João do Jarudori, Colônia Isabel and Pobori, which had been under the SPI's responsibility since 1910.

On the Araguaia River basin, strayed Bororo groups - which lived in the regions of the Mortes and Garças rivers and along both margins of the Araguaia River - were affected by the occupation of farmers from Goiás and by diamond 'garimpos' (prospecting areas). During that time violent conflicts took place, and the provincial government charged the Salesians, who had been removed from Teresa Cristina Colony, with the task of pacification. In 1902 they founded the Sagrado Coração Colony and began the catechizing of the Bororo. In 1906 they founded Sangradouro Colony, which later would receive the Xavante expelled from the Parabuburi area.

To summarize, the process of contact with the national society resulted for the Bororo not only in the loss of most of their traditional territory but also a drastic population reduction.