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According to Fundai (National Indian Foundation), the main Brazilian indigenous ethnic groups today and their estimated populations are as follows:
Ticuna (35,000), Guarani (30,000), Caiagangue or Caigangue (25,000), Macuxi (20,000), Terena (16,000), Guajajara (14,000), Xavante (12,000), Ianomâmi (12,000), Pataxó (9,700), Potiguara (7,700) ).
Location of indigenous tribes in Brazilian territory
Best-known Indigenous Peoples of Brazil
Aimoré: The non-Tupi group, also called botocudo, lived from southern Bahia to northern Espírito Santo. Great runners and fearsome warriors were responsible for the failure of the captains of Ilhéus, Porto Seguro and Espírito Santo. They were only overcome in the early twentieth century.
Ava-Canoeiro: people of the Tupi-Guarani family who lived between the Formoso and Javarés rivers in Goiás. In 1973, they were caught "in a loop" by a team headed by Apoena Meireles, and transferred to the Araguaia Indigenous Park (Bananal Island) and placed alongside their greatest historical enemies, the Javaé.
Bororós: also called Crowned or Fuzzy and called themselves Boe. The Western Bororós, extinct at the end of the last century, lived on the eastern bank of the Paraguay River, where, at the beginning of the 17th century, the Spanish Jesuits founded several mission villages. Very friendly, they served as a guide to whites, worked on farms in the area, and were allies of the Girl Scouts. They disappeared as a people, both from contracted illnesses and from marriages to non-Indians.
Caeté: Bishop Sardinha's swallowers lived from the island of Itamaracá to the banks of the São Francisco River. After eating the bishop, they were considered "enemies of civilization." In 1562, Men de Sa determined that "all should be enslaved without exception."
Kayak: By exploiting the richness of the 3.3 million hectares of its reserve in southern Pará (especially mahogany and gold), the kayaks became the richest Indians in Brazil. They moved about $ 15 million a year, felling an average of 20 mahogany trees a day and extracting 6,000 liters of chestnut oil annually. Who initiated the capitalist expansion of the Kayak was the controversial Chief Tutu Pompo (killed in 1994). For this, he dismissed the legendary Raoni and faced the opposition of another caiapo, Paulinho Paiakan.
Carijó: its territory extended from Cananeia (SP) to Lagoa dos Patos (RS). Seen as "the best gentile on the coast", they were receptive to catechesis. This did not prevent their mass enslavement by the colonists of St. Vincent.
Goitaca: occupied the mouth of the Paraiba River. Taken as the wildest and cruelest Indians in Brazil, they filled the Portuguese with terror. Great cannibals and intrepid shark fishermen. It was about 12 thousand.
Ianomâmi: people consisting of several groups whose languages belong to the same family. Formerly called Shiriya, Shirianá and Waiká.