Foto: Maria Cristina Troncarelli, 2000

Trumai

  • Other names
  • Where they are How many

    MT258 (Siasi/Sesai, 2014)
  • Linguistic family
    Trumái

Population

trumai_3

The Trumai were quite numerous at the time they arrived in the Xingu, in the mid-19th Century. However, conflicts and wars with other peoples caused numerous losses, reducing the number of inhabitants in the villages. Later, the situation grew worse with the advent of flu and measles epidemics, which decimated whole families. The wars and the epidemics caused such depopulation of the Trumai that the group came to be considered on the verge of extinction.

Estimates indicate that in 1938, for example, there were 43 Trumai; in 1953, 25; in 1966, 26. Later, they managed to recover thanks to marriages with people from other ethnic groups and an increase in fertility.

The group continues growing and has a total of 120 individuals; however, their dispersion over the last few years is having negative effects on the continuation of their ethnic identity. There are few elderly men and women and the Trumai show their resentment at the lack of a chief who exercises leadership, dominates ritual knowledge and promotes festivals, stimulating union among the villages. As they say themselves, although scattered they still consider themselves as a single people, wishful of maintaining their traditions and knowledge.