Foto: Joshua Birchall, 2010

Oro Win

  • Autodenominação
    Oro Win, Oro Towati'
  • Where they are How many

    RO88 (Siasi/Sesai, 2014)
  • Linguistic family
    Txapakura

Introduction

The name Oro Win or Oro Towati’ is an autonym, the term oro meaning ‘collective’ or ‘group’ in the Txapakuran language spoken by this people. The Oro Win live in the Uru-eu-wau-wau Indigenous Land in Rondônia, located in the headwater region of the Pacaás Novos river.

Occupation of their land by other indigenous groups began at the start of the 20th century when the Uru-eu-wau-wau crossed the Serra dos Pacaás Novos uplands, coming from the upper Jamarí. In the 1940s rubber tappers arrived and established a seringal (rubber plantation) in their territory on the upper Cautário river. Subsequently the São Luís Seringal was established in 1963. The Oro Win were forced to work at the latter site under slave-like conditions for almost twenty years before being transferred to live with the Wari’.

It was only in 1991, following the expulsion of the São Luís Seringal’s owner, that the Oro Win were finally able to return to their traditional area.

Currently the site of this former rubber plantation is home to most of the Oro Win population, which in 2010 totalled more than seventy people. This slight demographic revival has been accompanied by other initiatives aimed towards political and cultural strengthening, such as the founding of their own association and the inclusion of classes taught in the Oro Win language in the schools.