Foto: Carlos Fausto, 1988

Parakanã

  • Autodenominação
    Awaeté
  • Where they are How many

    PA1.576 (Sesai/Programa Parakanã, 2014)
  • Linguistic family
    Tupi-Guarani

Introduction

The Parakanã are traditional inhabitants of the interfluvial region of the Pacajá-Tocantins. They speak a Tupi-Guarani language from the same subset as Tapirapé, Avá (Canoeiro), Asurini and Tocantins-Surui, Guajajara and Tembé. Lacking canoes and being excellent hunters of large mammals, they are typical of Amerindians who live in the terra firme. They are slash-and-burn horticulturists who cultivate a small range of crops and their staple is bitter manioc. The Parakanã divided themselves into two large population blocs at the end of the 19th century, an Eastern and a Western one. The Eastern Parakanã were subjected to state administration during the construction of the Trans-Amazonian highway in 1971, while the Western Parakanã were contacted during a chain of episodes in different locations between 1976 and 1984.