Foto: Harold Schultz, década de 1950

Waujá

  • Other names
    Waurá
  • Where they are How many

    MT540 (Siasi/Sesai, 2014)
  • Linguistic family
    Aruak

Territorial conflicts

The Wauja territory covers the south-western part of the Xingu IP and has one of the largest continuous borders with zones of timber exploration and extensive cattle ranching in the north-east of Mato Grosso State. At the end of the 1980s, the Wauja were victims of armed attacks by farmers from the region of the Upper Batovi, who burnt the only three houses of a small village called Ulupuene, which had been constructed for the strategic purpose of defending this area, corresponding to the lower region of the Batovi and Ulupuene rivers, a tract which had not been included in the official demarcation of the Park in the 1960s (Menezes 2001: 240). In 1998, this small border enclave of the Park was approved in the Wauja’s favour as the Batovi Indigenous Territory (Menezes 2001: 241). But according to the chief (amunaw) Atamai, the primary aim of the Wauja territorial struggle is a sacred place where an archaeological site with rock paintings is located, called Kamukuwaká, 40 km to the south of the mouth of the Ulupuene river (Ireland 1991).

The 1998 judicial resolution eased the tensions between the Wauja and neighbouring ranchers, but not enough to suppress them completely. According to some informants, fishermen and hunters continue to seek permission from the Indians to exploit natural resources in the south-west of the Park, an area whose surveillance is under Wauja responsibility. The issue of securing lands bordering the Park is vital for the survival of the latter, and its inhabitants are increasingly inclined to fight for new land demarcations.