Foto: Dominique Gallois, 1991


  • Other names
  • Where they are How many

    PA295 (Frente Etnoambiental Cuminapanema/Funai, 2016)
  • Linguistic family

Name and language


The expression Zo'é is used only in situations of differentiating between one of "us" and the whites (Kirahi) or the enemies (Apam, Tapy’yi), the two only ethnical categories presently used by the Tupi. Except for these expressions, the Zo’é do not use other terms to define, for example, neighboring indigenous groups. In a few circumstances, they differentiate the kirahi ete, the true white, that is, the first strangers who contacted them several decades back (nut pickers and gateiros in the region), and the agents with whom they make contact now are only kiraki or kirahi amõ (other whites, not from the region). The expression poturu, initially used by Funai to designate this Tupi group, refers only to the wood the embe’po labrets are carved of: that is what the Zo’é answered when somebody pointed at them, asking for a name.


The Zo’é speak a language of the Tupi-Guarani family of the Tupi branch. The entire population is monolingual, with the exception of a few youngsters who learned a few words in Portuguese hearing Funai employees talking over the radio.