indigenous cultures of the Amazon People in the Amazon Rainforest
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Indian rights activists, South American governments are challenged by recent encounters to rethink their 'no contact' policies.
Yanomami Tribes Amazon
The Brazilian Amazon alone is home to 20 million people including 400 different indigenous groups and the future of the Amazon depends on the future of those that call the forest home.
People of the Amazon zoom
22 April 2000
People of the Amazon
Deni woman and children sitting in the Tapaua river.
The rich and complex natural tapestry of forest life is interwoven with the people living in the forest. Although the majority of people
in the Amazon live in cities and towns, there are still many
indigenous groups living in the jungle, some who have had no contact with our "outside" world.
These people rely on the forest for their way of life. It provides
almost everything from food and shelter to tools and medicines, as well as playing a crucial role in people's spiritual and cultural life.
The people living in the forest make practical and sustainable use of the forest, and live within the constraints of this harsh
environment. We have much to learn from their unique and valuable perceptions.
For instance, the Waimiri Atroari of the Brazilian Amazon use 32
plant species in the construction of hunting equipment alone. Each
plant has a specific role according to its physical and chemical properties.
Yet the traditional way of life for indigenous Amazon cultures is being threatened.
As logging companies move in, indigenous people are losing their
traditional territory. Some indigenous people, such as the Deni living
in a remote area of Brazil's Amazonas state, are working not only to
protect their culture, but the forest and the diversity of life upon which they depend.