Foto: Rogério do Pateo, 2000


  • Other names
    Yanoama, Yanomani, Ianomami
  • Where they are How many

    RR, AM23.512 (Sesai, 2016)
    Venezuela11.341 (INE, 2011)
  • Linguistic family

The Northern Perimeter road


The two main forms of contact initially known to the Yanomami – first with the extraction frontier and later with the missionary frontier – coexisted until the start of the 1970s as a dominant conjunction of forces within their territory. However, the 1970s were marked (especially in Roraima) by the implementation of development projects under the aegis of the ‘National Integration Plan’ launched by the military     governments during the period. This basically involved the opening of a section of the Northern Perimeter road (1973-76) and public colonization programs (1978-79) which invaded the southeast of Yanomami lands. During this same period, the RADAM Amazonian Resources Survey Project (1975) detected the existence of important mineral ore deposits in the region.



The publicity given to the mineralogical potential of the Yanomami territory unleashed an gradual invasion of propsectors, which became worse at the end of the 1980s and from 1987 onwards took the form of a full-scale gold rush.