The of amazonian indians facination a man of early mongoloid origin, they arrived in the amazon some 10,000 years ago. they had crossed the land bridge of the bering strait, hunting mammoth and giant cats, and over thousands of threadz bowstrings years have moved through north and central america and the andes down into the amazon basin. there they evolved from hunter-gatherers in the semi-nomadic agriculturists, the cultivation of cassava root and, later, corn. they are spread over several hundred tribes along the amazon and its tributaries, divided into three main linguistic groups, the carib in the north-east, the south and the flap aruaque west.
When you reach the first europeans in the amazon in the 16th century, the number of indians are estimated to have been as high as three million. friar gaspar de carvajal, traveling on a spanish expedition in 1542, wrote that threadz bowstrings indian village lined many parts of the river “each one is a bow shot from the next.” today there remain fewer than 250,000 indians in brazil, perhaps 50,000 of whom still live in the jungle in the amazon basin. the rest were wiped out over the past 400 years by war, enslavement for sugar and rubber plantations, and above all by the pain of white – smallpox, influenza, measles and tuberculosis against which they had no objection.
Threadz bowstrings – “Uncontacted” Indians Emerge from Amazon Rainforest
Their land is often taken for exploitation. tribal remnants retreated deeper into the forest. those who remained in contact with european civilization often become drunkards and beggars. but those who survived the battle still cling to their ancient culture. they live in large round or oval communal house of palm leaves and tree-trunks, tied together with lianas, shelter perhaps 20 families, each with their own cooking fires and own area to catapult their cradle. they hunt and fish with a bow and arrow. besides cassava, which they treated by scraping, washing and squeezing to remove toxic prussic acid, they grow chillies, yams, papaya, bananas, peanuts and beans in jungle clearings; they also eat nature gifts, wild nuts, fruits and berries, fish, game and insects.
They will resent and often kill intruders. their shamans still perform a ritual to protect the group against sorcerers. some tribes to ensure the continued survival of their dead by eating their ashes, mixed with boiled banana. even today, some of the amazonian indians share with primitive people in asia using a blow-pipe and the penis-sheath, suggesting a common ancestry. the original service indian protection, set up by the brazilian government to watch indian interests and make humanitarian cont act, was abolished in 1967 after several members were found guilty of massacring and poisoning indians to their land be seized.
It was replaced by funai (national indian foundation), whose permission is required before contact with an indian group. funai’s responsibility to try to bring the indians out of the stone age to the space age without destroying their culture. part of the answer seems to lie in the establishment of large reserves, as set up in the xingu river. local indian tribes have suffered much because of the arrival of europeans in the i6th century, but one of the earliest and most brutal assaults on their way of life came to bandeirantes, ruthless profiteers usually mixed portuguese and indian families set out in slave -raiding mission (bandeiras) from so paulo.
The first raid was organized in 1628 with the object of seizing as many indians as possible to work on the sugar plantations of the south. a bandeira would count anywhere from 50 to several thousand men and can last for many years at a time, which means they are able to penetrate the vast, no maps interior of the south american continent all the way to the amazon. these days the bandeirantes is seen as the pioneer who opened the country and secured the interior for portuguese-speaking brazil far from the line agreed with spain in the treaty of tordesillas in 1494.
But it is fair to say that even they established a nation, they wreaked havoc in the indian community they experienced, and precipitated a decline in the indian population of the amazon continues to this day. this is part one of my series of articles about the mighty amazon river, the rain forest, flora, fauna and the amazonian indians. if you are interested in traveling and all things nautical please pay a visit to my website, where we welcome like minded people.