Foto: Beto Ricardo, 2002


  • Other names
  • Where they are How many

  • Linguistic family


The Indigenous Park of the Xingu covers, in its southern part, the cultural area known as the Upper Xingu, which includes the Aweti, Kalapalo, Kamaiurá, Kuikuro, Matipu, Mehinako, Nahukuá, Trumai, Wauja and Yawalapiti . Despite their linguistic diversity, these peoples are characterized by a high degree of similarity in their ways of life and world view.

They are, moreover, interconnected through a network of specialized trade, marriages and inter-village rituals. However, each of these groups makes a point of cultivating its own ethnic identity and, if the ceremonial and economic exchange celebrates upper Xinguan society, it also celebrates the differences among these societies.

The other ethnic groups who inhabit the Park – the Ikpeng, Kaiabi, Kisêdjê, Tapayuna and Yudja – are not a part of this complex and are culturally quite heterogeneous. They were integrated to the borders of the demarcated area by administrative order, which in some cases meant their removal from their villages.

The 16 ethnic groups who inhabit the Park: Aweti, Ikpeng, Kaiabi, Kalapalo, Kamaiurá, Kĩsêdjê, Kuikuro, Matipu, Mehinako, Nahukuá, Naruvotu, Wauja, Tapayuna, Trumai, Yudja, Yawalapiti.


Languages: Kamaiurá e Kaiabi (Tupi-Guarani family); Yudjá (Juruna family); Aweti  (Aweti family, Tupi Trunk); Mehinako, Wauja e Yawalapiti (Aruak family); Kalapalo, Ikpeng, Kuikuro, Matipu, Nahukwá e Naruvotu (Karib family); Kĩsêdjê e Tapayuna  (Jê family, Jê Trunk); Trumai

There are, however, frequent marriages among these groups, which results in a greater articulation among them.

A recent movement has made all the peoples of the Xingu come together in the name of common interests. The indigenous organizations (above all the Indigenous Land Association of the Xingu) has been established as an important means for dialogue with the national society and encouragement of projects in education, economic alternatives and protection of the territory.

This section consists of a general introduction to the Park and the Upper Xingu, complementing the set of texts which deal specifically with each people.



Ahira, the Mehinako Association at Indigenous Park of the Xingu -

Ikpeng People Site -