Indigenous Film Index: South America



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Culture groupS


A´uwe (Xavánte/Shavante)


Today there are some 13,000 A´uwe (exonym: Xavánte) living in the nine Indigenous areas which are part of the territory they traditionally occupied for at least 180 years, in the region which comprises The Roncador mountain range and the valleys of the das Mortes, Kuluene, Couto de Magalhães, Batovi and Garças rivers, in the eastern Mato Grosso. A’uwe is a language in the Jê family. It has been orthographically rendered as Chavante and Shavante, and is also called Akuen, Akwen, A’uwe Uptabi, A’we, Crisca, Pusciti, and Tapuac.

Learn more:
Povos Indigenas no Brasil

Article about relationship with Brazillian government – news.mongabay.com
Xavante – Encyclopedia.com

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Anunsu (Nambikuára)


The Anunsu (exonym: Nambikuára) is an Indigenous people of Brazil, living in the Amazon. Currently about 1,200 live in Indigenous territories in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso along the Guaporé and Juruena rivers. The Anunsu language family can be divided into three major groups: Sabanê, Northern Nambikwara (Mamaindê), and Southern Nambikwara (or just Nambikwara). Sabanê is spoken by the Nambikwara inhabiting the northern part of their demarcated territory, north of the Iquê river.

Learn more:
Nambikwara – Povos Indigenas no Brasil
Wikipedia

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Aónikenk (Tehuelche)


The Aónikenk (exonym: Tehuelche) people are an Indigenous people from Patagonia in South America, with existing members of the group currently residing in the southern Argentina-Chile borders. Tehuelche was the name given by the Mapuche to the people inhabiting the Pampa on the northern coast of the Strait of Magellan. European sailors called them “Patagones” (“bigfoot”), giving the territory its name and endowing the land with the aura of a mythical land inhabited by giants. Although the Tehuelche had a common way of life and language, different dialects and local particularities were apparent among the different subgroups. These included the “Aonikenk” people who inhabited the Magallanes region, groups living inland in the Aysen region, and others that had settled near the Argentinean border on the mainland adjacent to Chiloe Island, and who had only indirect contact with the other Telhuelche groups.

Learn more:
Tehuelche – Chile Precolombino
Wikipedia

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FILMS


Arahuaco (Ica/Ika)


The Arahuaco (Ika) are an Indigenous people of Colombia. They are Chibchan-speaking people and descendants of the Tairona culture. The Arahuacos live in the upper valleys of the Piedras River, San Sebastian River, Chichicua River, Ariguani River, and Guatapuri River, in an Indigenous territory in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Mountains.

Learn more:
Arhuaco – Minority Rights Group
Wikipedia

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FILMS


Asháninka (Campa/Chuncha)


The Asháninka are Indigenous people living in the rainforests of Peru and in the State of Acre, Brazil. Their ancestral lands are in the forests of Junín, Pasco, Huánuco and part of Ucayali in Peru. By outside groups, they are known as Campa. However, that term is considered derogatory. The Maipurean language family they speak includes what have been called Asháninka, Ashéninka, Axaninca, Machiguenga, and Nomatsiguenga.

Learn more:
Povos Indigenas no Brasil
The Ashaninka, A Threatened Way of Life – The Atlantic 
A Historic win for the Asháninka… – lifegate.com
Wikipedia

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Awaeté (Parakanã)


The Awaeté (Parakanã) are traditional inhabitants of the interfluvial region of the Pacajá-Tocantins. They speak a Tupi-Guarani language from the same subset as Tapirapé, Avá (Canoeiro), Asurini and Tocantins-Surui, Guajajara and Tembé. Lacking canoes and being excellent hunters of large mammals, they are typical of Indigenous peoples of South America who live in the terra firme. ‘Parakanã’ is not an auto-denomination. The Parakanã call themselves Awaeté, ‘true people (humans)’, in opposition to akwawa, a generic category for foreigners.

Learn more:
Awaeté (Parakanã) – Povos Indigena no Brasil
Wikipedia

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Aymara


The Aymara people are an Indigenous people in the Andes and Altiplano regions of South America; about 2.3 million live in northwest Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Peru. The Aymara language (along with Quechua) are now official languages in Bolivia and there has been a rise of programs to assist the Aymara and their native lands.

Learn more:
Aymara – Minority Rights Group
Celebrating the Everyday lives of the Aymara – National Geographic
Museo Chileno De Arte Precolombino
Wikipedia

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Ayoreo (Morotoco)


The Ayoreo are an Indigenous people of the Gran Chaco. They live in an area surrounded by the Paraguay, Pilcomayo, Parapetí, and Grande Rivers, spanning both Bolivia and Paraguay. There are approximately 5,600 Ayoreo people in total. Traditionally nomadic hunter-gatherers, the majority of the population was sedentarized by missionaries in the twentieth century. The few remaining uncontacted Ayoreo are threatened by deforestation and loss of territory. The name Morotoco was applied to them by rival culture groups and are thus considered offensive. Ayoreo speak a Zamucoan language.

Learn more:
The Case of the Ayoreo – International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs
The Ayoreo People – iccaconsortium.org
Wikipedia

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Enawenê-nawê


The Enawenê-nawê are an Indigenous people of Brazil in the Mato Grosso state. Enawene Nawe (Enawené-Nawé, Enawenê-Nawê, Eneuene-Mare), also known as Salumã, is an Arawakan language of Brazil spoken by about 570 people living in the Juruena River basin area, and more specifically along the Iquê river in the state of Mato Grosso.The Enawene Nawe are a relatively isolated people who were first contacted in 1974 by Vicente Cañas.

Learn more:
Enawenê-nawê – Povos Indigenas no Brasil 
Enawenê-nawê, Yaokwa ritual – UNESCO
Wikipedia

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Guarani Kaiowá


The Guarani-Kaiowá are an Indigenous people, who live in the Mato Grosso do Sul region of Brazil, where have long fought for their rights to territory. The Guarani-Kaiowá are also known as the Kaiwá, Caingua, Caiua, Caiwa, Cayua, Kaiova, and Kayova. In their own language this means “the people.” They speak the Kaiwá language which is a subgroup of Tupi-Guarani.

Learn more:
Povos Indigenas no Brasil
Why the Guarani Kaiowá are victims of a silent genocide – lifegate.com
Guarani-Kaiowá – Wikipedia

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Huni Kuin (Kaxinawa)


The Huni Kuin (Kaxinawa) are an Indigenous people of Brazil and Peru. Their villages are located along the Purus and Curanja Rivers in Peru and the Tarauacá, Jordão, Breu, Muru, Envira, Humaitã, and Purus Rivers in Brazil. In the Peruvian Amazon rainforest, some Huni Kuin live on the Alto Purús Indigenous Territory with the Kulina people. The name Huni Kuin means “true people” or “people with traditions”. The alternative name Kaxinawa means “cannibals”, “bat people” and “people who walk about at night”. It is still widespread in literature, yet the Huni Kuin reject the name as an insult. The Huni Kuin speak a Panoan language.

Learn more:
We are Huni Kuin – hunikuin.org
Huni Kuin – Povos Indigenas no Brasil
Wikipedia 

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Ikpeng (Xicao)


The Ikpeng Indigenous community that now lives in the Xingu Indigenous Park in Mato Grosso, Brazil were known to inhabit the same land as the Txipaya peoples, near the Iriri River, and they had a strong alliance with that group in times of war. They had a population of 459 in 2010, up from a low of 50 in 1969. The name of their language is also Ikpeng. Ikpeng is the self-denomination of the group, but they became known through the name given to them by a hostile group with whom they came in contact: Xicao (or variations of).

Learn more:
Ikpeng – Wikipedia 
Ikpeng leader documents his tribe’s struggle – Indian Country Today
Povos Indigenas no Brasil

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Kaingáng (Caingang)


The Kaingáng people are an Indigenous Brazilian ethnic group spread out over the three southern Brazilian states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul and the southeastern state of São Paulo. They are also called Caingang. The Kaingáng language is classified as a member of the Jê family, the largest language family in the Macro-Jê stock.

Learn more:
Kaingáng (Caingang) – Povos Indigenas no Brasil
The Kaingáng perspectives on land and environmental rights in the south of Brazil – scielo.br
Wikipedia 

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Kawésqar (Alacaluf)


The Kawésqars are an Indigenous people who live in Chilean Patagonia, specifically in the Brunswick Peninsula, and Wellington, Santa Inés, and Desolación islands northwest of the Strait of Magellan and south of the Gulf of Penas. Their traditional language is known as Kawésqar; it is endangered as few native speakers survive. The name Kawésqar means ‘men of skin and bone’, and is the name used to refer to a subgroup of the Alacalufe people.

Learn more:
Kawésqar – Wikipedia
Kawésqar Community – National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian Institute) 
Museo Chileno De Arte Precolombino

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FILMS


Kinja (Waimiri-Atroari)


The Waimiri-Atroari or Uaimiris-Atroari are an Indigenous group inhabiting the southeastern part of the Brazilian state of Roraima and northeastern Amazonas, specifically the Waimiri Atroari Indigenous Territory. They call themselves Kinja people. They speak the language kinja iara, “people’s language.”

Learn more:
Waimiri Atroari Indigenous Territory – Wikipedia 
Waimiri Atroari – Encyclopedia.com
Povos Indigenas no Brasil
Waimiri-Atroari Language – Wikipedia

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Krenak (Aimoré/Borum)


The Krenak language, or Botocudo, is the sole surviving language of a small family believed to be part of the Macro-Gê languages. It was once spoken by the Botocudo people in Minas Gerais, but is known primarily by older women today. The Krenak or Borun are the last of the Botocudo do Leste (Eastern Botocudo), name given by the Portuguese in the end of the 18th Century to the groups that wore plugs in the ears and lips. They are also known as Aimoré, the name given to them by the Tupi, and as Grén or Krén, their self-denomination.

Learn more:
Brazil tribes struggling to survive after dam burst… – Reuters
Povos Indigenas no Brasil 

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Kuikúro (Lahatuá ótomo)


The Kuikúro are an Indigenous people from the Mato Grosso region of Brazil. Their language, Kuikuro, is a part of the Cariban language family. The Kuikuro have many similarities with other Xingu tribes. They have a population of 592 in 2010, up from 450 in 2002. The Kuikúro are likely the descendants of the people who built the settlements known to archaeologists as Kuhikugu, located at the headwaters of the Xingu River.

Learn more:
Kuikuro – Povos Indigenas no Brasil
The Kuikuro Beat COVID-19 – Worldcrunch.com
Wikipedia

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Macuxi (Pemon)


The Macuxi (Pemon or Pemón) are Indigenous people living in areas of Venezuela, Brazil, and Guyana. They are also known as Arecuna, Aricuna Jaricuna, Kamarakoto, and Taurepang. Macuxi people speak the Macuxi language, a Macushi-Kapon language, which is part of the Carib language family. Macushi were hesitant to teach their language to outsiders, thus the language was threatened in the 1950s, as it was considered “slang” compared to the official Portuguese.

Learn more:
Pemon – Wikipedia
Macuxi and Wapixana – Minority Rights Group
Povos Indigenas no Brasil

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Maguta (Ticuna/Tucuna)


The Maguta (Ticuna or Tucuna) are an Indigenous people of Brazil, Colombia, and Peru. They are the most numerous tribe in the Brazilian Amazon. They speak the Ticuna language, which is usually identified as a language isolate, although it might possibly be related to the extinct Yuri language thus forming the hypothetical Ticuna–Yuri grouping.

Learn more:
Ticuna – Povos Indigenas no Brasil
Ticuna – Encyclopedia.com
WIkipedia

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Matetamãe (Cinta Larga)


This culture group refer to themselves as the Matetamãe. However, they are known to outsiders by the name Cinta Larga which means “Broad Belt” in Spanish. The name Cinta Larga has been used to refer to several groups who inhabit the region near the border between Rondônia and Mato Grosso, since all of these groups used some kind of belt and built large and long houses.

The main activity of this Tupi group is hunting, and festivals, when the game is consumed after a complex ritual, which symbolically equates hunting and warfare, thus revealing significant aspects of Cinta Larga society and guaranteeing the equilibrium of the group. This equilibrium in the last few years has been deeply upset by the presence of goldpanners on their lands.

Source:
Povos Indigenas no Brasil

Learn more:
Cinta Larga and the curse of the diamonds – BBC News
Cinta Larga – Google Earth

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Mbya-Guarani


About 4,000 Mbya-Guarani inhabit the north-eastern province of Misiones, near Paraguay and Brazil (Instituto Nacional de Estadistica, 2004-5, although other sources have suggested up to 8,000). Most are trilingual (Guaraní, Myba and Spanish). Some in live in rural communities where they farm the little land they have (or migrate to other regions as temporary labourers during harvest time); others have moved to the cities of Salta and Jujuy, often finding work in the textile plants, sawmills or sugar refineries. The lack of land titles is still a major concern for the Myba Guaraní of Misiones; it has led to many protests which have often been harshly repressed.

Source:
Povos Indigenas no Brasil

Learn more:
Mbya-Guarani language – dbpedia.org
Mbya-Guarani – Wikipedia 

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Mebêngôkre (Kayapó/Cayapo)


The term Kayapó (sometimes written ‘Kaiapó’ or ‘Caiapó’) was first used at the start of the 19th century. The people do not call themselves by this term, a name coined by neighbouring groups and meaning “those who look like monkeys”, which probably derives from a ritual lasting many weeks during which Kayapó men, adorned with monkey masks, execute short dances. Although aware that this is how others name them, the Kayapó refer to themselves as Mebêngôkre, “the men from the water hole/place.”

Source:
Povos Indigenas no Brasil

Learn more:
Kayopo – Wikipedia
The Kayapo Project – kayapo.org

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Panará


Despite the trauma of contact with Brazilian society in 1973, the white men’s diseases that almost decimated them, and twenty years of forced dislocation from their traditional lands of Peixoto de Azevedo River to the Parque Indígena do Xingu, the Panará have been able to recover their joy and desire to fight.  They are once again growing in numbers and proud of their way of life.  They were also able to take back part of their ancient traditional territory along the Iriri River (495,000 hectares of dense forest and headwaters, unspoiled by the white man) located on the border of Mato Grosso and Pará states.  Nowadays, they want to be known by their real name:  Panará.

Source:
Povos Indigenas no Brasil

Learn more:
Panará people – WIkipedia

 

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Parakatêjê (Gaioes/Gavião)


After a traumatic phase of ‘pacification’ taking place in the 1970s, in which more than 70% of the population was lost, the Parakatêjê (Gaioes/Gavião) survived the population crisis and reconstructed their way of life. The conception of Kaikoturé village, built in 1984, translates the Parkatêjê’s project for the future: reproducing the traditional circular layout of Timbira villages, it possesses brick houses linked to water, electricity and drainage systems.

The Parakatêjê (Gaioes/Gavião) live in the Mãe Maria Indigenous Territory, located in the municipality of Bom Jesus do Tocantins in the south-east of Pará State. Situated within a terra firme zone of tropical rainforest, it is bordered by the Flecheiras and Jacundá creeks, affluents of the right bank of the middle Tocantins river.

Source:
Povos Indigenas no Brasil

Learn more:
The Failure to Protect Tribal Peoples – Cultural Survival
Gavião – Wikipedia

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Quechua


The Quechua are an Indigenous people whose name refers to the language they speak— Quechua. The first Quechua communities to emerge were located in what is now Antofagasta Region in Northern Chile, specifically in Ollagüe and along the San Pedro River (a tributary of the Upper Loa River). Recently, some families and individuals living in the oases and ravines of Tarapacá Region—including Mamiña, Quipisca and Miñe Miñe—have identified themselves as Quechua because their families have a long history of occupation in traditional Quechua areas, though they no longer speak the language.

Source:
Quechua – Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Learn more:
Quechua people – Wikipedia
Highland Aymara and Quechua – Minority Rights Group 

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Runa (Otavaleño/Otavalo)


The Runa (Otavaleño/Otavalo) are an Indigenous people native to the Andean mountains of Imbabura Province in northern Ecuador. The Runa (Otavaleño/Otavalo) also inhabit the city of Otavalo in that province. Commerce and handcrafts are among the principal economic activities of the Runa (Otavaleño/Otavalo), who enjoy a higher standard of living than most indigenous groups in Ecuador and many mestizos of their area. They live in the high, cool altitudes of the Andes.

Source:
Wikipedia 

Learn more:
Otavalo – Encyclopedia.com

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Selk'nam (Ona)


The Selk’nam inhabited the Isla Grande (large island) of Tierra del Fuego, which was divided into the Párik, the windy plains region north of the Rio Grande, and Hérsk, the mountainous region of forests and lakes south of the river. The region has a rather inhospitable climate, with short cool summers and long, cold wet winters. Animal life abounds here, despite the harsh environment: the Pacific coast is especially rich in marine mammals and shellfish while the Atlantic coast has abundant guanaco, fox and rodents. A variety of edible plants and rich variety of bird life are also found throughout the island.

Chile’s Selk’nam people were also known as the Ona, a Yamana word meaning “northward” or “northern.” They are completely extinct today. The Selk’nam’s first contact with Europeans was with the expedition of Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa in 1580, but no regular contact was established until 1880, when the European occupation of Tierra del Fuego began, initially in search of alluvial gold and later to take advantage of its extensive plains for sheep ranching. Contact was mainly violent at first, with clashes between the local Selk’nam and gold miners resulting in the capture and rape of native women and destruction of villages.

Source:
Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Learn more:
Selk’nam people -Wikipedia
Selk’nam people – dbpedia.org

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Tariana


The Tariana are an indigenous people of the Vaupés or Uaupés River in the Amazon region of Brazil and Colombia. Starting in the 19th century missionaries tried to persuade them to abandon their traditional beliefs and practices, with some level of success. The government made efforts to convert them to a “colony” system in exchange for health, education and economic benefits starting in the 1980s. They are now relatively autonomous within several indigenous territories.

Source:
Wikipedia

Learn more:
Tariana – Povos Indigenas no Brasil
Tariana language – dbpedia.org

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Tikmu´un (Maxakali)


The Tikmu´un (Maxakali) face today the great challenge of overcoming the difficulties created by successive authoritarian administrations, which are reflected in serious problems of alcoholism, social maladjustments and economic marginality. To confront them, the group shows systematic resistance against inter-ethnic marriages and to changes in its social organization and in their cultural universe, giving preference to entropy and isolation as determining factors for their inter-ethnic relations.

Source:
Povos Indigenas no Brasil

Learn more:
Racial Revolutions – Google Books

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Wajãpi (Wayampi)


The Wajãpi (Wayampi) are an Indigenous people located in the south-eastern border area of French Guiana at the confluence of Camopi and Oyapock rivers, and the basins of the Amapari and Carapanatuba Rivers in the central part of the states of Amapá and Pará in Brazil. The number of Wayampi is approximately 2,171 individuals. Approximately 950 live in French Guiana in two main settlements surrounded by little hamlets, and 1,221 live in Brazil in 49 villages.

Source:
Wikipedia

Learn more:
Wájapi – Povos Indigenas no Brasil
Wájapi – Instituto de Pesquisa a Foração

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Walimanai (Baniwa)


The Walimanai (Baniwa) live on the borders of Brazil with Colombia and Venezuela, in villages located on the banks of the Içana River and its tributaries the Cuiari, Aiari and Cubate, as well as in communities on the Upper Rio Negro/Guainía and in the urban centers of São Gabriel da Cachoeira, Santa Isabel and Barcelos (AM).

Recently, they have also become outstanding for their active participation in the Indigenous movement in the region. This movement includes a cultural complex of 22 different indigenous groups who are articulated through a network of trade and are very similar in their social organization, material cultural, and worldview.

Source:
Povos Indigenas no Brasil

Learn more:
Baniwa – Wikipedia
Baniwa food myths and rituals – SciELO.br

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Wayuu (Guajira/Goajiro)


The Wayúu are a traditional, historical, Indigenous community who are known as the people of the sun, sand and wind. They live in the La Guajira peninsula, a desert area in the northeast of Colombia. This tribe has battled with Spanish, local Government and nature to keep their traditions alive.

This region has lacked access to basic public services and economic resources, displaying high levels of social inequality and extreme poverty which has led them to have an undignified life. The Wayuu ethnic group is a matriarchal society which greatly depends on the trade of traditional craftwork for their economic sustainability, facing unfair local trade dynamics, where their work is undervalued, and leaves them with no profits for economic growth. However weaving is more than a cultural practice and inheritance from their ancestors because through this activity they express how they feel about life.

Source:
Hilos Sagrado

Learn more:
Wayuu people -Wikipedia
Wayuu Land – The Story Institute 

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Yahgan (Yámana)


The names ‘Yaghan’ and ‘Yámana’ are based on words from the tribe’s language: yámana means ‘man’ (as opposed to kipa, meaning woman), and yagán or yaghan means ´us´. By 1973 the Yaghan language was the only significant indigenous trait still surviving, and it was dwindling towards extinction. The tribe’s first sporadic contact was with European sailors in the 16th Century. Missionary groups arrived in the following century. Thus began the transformation of the Yaghan’s traditional way of life, through evangelization and the incorporation of new patterns of living brought by the outsiders – principally a change in diet and the abandonment of their former nomadic lifestyle.

The Yaghan inhabited the archipelagos at the southern tip of South America, from the Brecknock Peninsula to Cape Horn. They were found on the southern coast of the Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, as well as on the shores of the Beagle Channel and the islands of Hoste, Navarino, Picton and Wollaston. These chains of islands made up their entire territory. The vegetation is dense at these latitudes up to an altitude of about 500m (1600 feet), which made it difficult to move about on land.

The Yaghan were traditionally nomads and hunter-gatherers. They traveled by canoes between islands to collect food: the men hunted sea lions, while the women dove to collect shellfish.

Source:
Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Learn more:
Yahgan – Wikipedia
Yahgashagalumoala: The Yaghan/Yamana People – Youtube

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Yanomami (Yanomamö)


Yanomami are one of the largest communities – numbering some 22,000 (2010 Census) – of hunter gatherers living in the Amazonian rainforest of Roraima and Amazonas states, which straddles the Brazil-Venezuela border. The first contact with the Yanomami occurred in 1910 with the opening of border commissions, and later, in the 1940s, through Roman Catholic and Protestant missionary groups. After the illegal invasion of Yanomami lands by garimpeiros (small-scale independent miners) an estimated 20 per cent were exterminated through disease. A major campaign by national and international support groups in 1991 resulted in the signing of a presidential decree on 25 May 1992 creating an ‘indigenous park’ which covered all Yanomami lands in Brazil.

Source: 
Minority Rights Group

Learn more:
Yanomami – Povos Indigenas no Brasil
Yanomami, beset by violent land grabs, hunger and disease in Brazil – The Guardian

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Ye'kuana (Makiritare/Mayagone)


The Yekuana (also commonly referred to as Makiritare or Mayagone) are a Cariban-speaking population who inhabit part of the tropical forest zone of southern Venezuela and a small section of northern Brazil. Their subsistence is based upon shifting cultivation, hunting, fishing and gathering. In general, their lifestyle is similar to that of other indigenous inhabitants of Amazonia. Approximately 2,200 Yekuana occupy about 35 basically autonomous villages throughout their territory. Their political system is typically tribal-Amazonian – egalitarian, a village headman lacking coercive power and decision making by consensus.

Source:
Cultural Survival

Learn more:
Ye’kuana – Povos Indigenas no Brasil
Yekuana – Minority Rights Group

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