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Indigenous Tribes of the Amazon

By November 21, 2019 No Comments
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Popular medicine comes from indigenous wisdom and culture. The Indians lived for millennia in this ecosystem without the need to destroy it, because they identified with nature in such a way that they did not need to deforest or cause greater damage to nature. They used natural resources to cure diseases with medicinal plants.

Thus, the junction of the white man with the Indian (miscegenation) was the benefit in the cultural area. However, this rich feature is being lost because Brazilian Indians are increasingly having influences from the white man. It is estimated that approximately 460,000 Indians live, divided among 225 indigenous societies in Brazil, but some of them survive with the customs of the white man and no longer of their culture. They were losing their cultural identity.

Indigenous Tribes of the Amazon

Originally, these indigenous people lived in the Amazon rainforest for over 10,000 years. The number of Indians living in the pre-Columbian Amazon was between 1 and 10 million, according to data from the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI). The indigenous people of the Amazon speak about 180 languages, excluding those who live away from society. The prevailing language in Brazil is Portuguese, but until the 18th century, in the Portuguese language there were traces of Tupi-Guarani, such as cassava, beiju, paçoca, corn, pirão and canoe. by the colonists of the Indians, who still mark the Brazilian culture.

They were organized into semi-nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes and underdeveloped agriculture, a unique way of planning life, as they divided things according to the purpose of each village, making this division a harmonious way of working. They were dispersed into several small tribes, and their kinship was defined according to paternal lineage.

They were also divided according to their age, gender, and knowledge (for example, the chief, a type of political chief who resolved tribe issues, slept separately from the rest of the tribe).

The religious beliefs of these peoples came about through spirit worship or animism, and the shamans functioned as a kind of link between our world and the spiritual world. Puberty dances and rites were essential for dividing totemic clans, that is, groups considered to be descended from common mythical ancestors and differed from one another due to some rituals.

Currently, more than half of the Brazilian Indians are located in the Legal Amazon (an area composed of nine Brazilian states in order to facilitate the socio-economic planning issues of Northern Brazil). According to data from the Socio-Environmental Institute, in 2009, within the Legal Amazon, about 242,123 inhabitants lived in the Indigenous Lands.

These lands, according to the 1988 Constitution, are for the exclusive use of these peoples and protected by the Brazilian State and in the Amazon are larger than those existing in other regions of the country. This is because the Europeans last occupied the areas within the Legal Amazon, benefiting the Indians who fled the slavery of the first occupied areas (near the coast).