Bandeira do Brasil

Bandeira do Brasil

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


The Indigenous peoples in Brazil (Portuguese: povos indígenas no Brasil) comprise a large number of distinct ethnic groups who inhabited the country prior to the European invasion around 1500. Unlike Christopher Columbus, who thought he had reached the East Indies, the Portuguese, most notably Vasco da Gama, had already reached India via the Indian Ocean route when they reached Brazil.
Nevertheless the word índios ("Indians") was by then established to designate the people of the New World and stuck being used today in the Portuguese language to designate these peoples, while the people of India, Asia are called indianos in order to distinguish the two people.

On the eve of the Portuguese arrival in 1500, Brazil's coastal areas had two major mega-groups - the Tupi (speakers of Tupi–Guarani languages), who inhabited practically the entire Brazilian coast, and the Tapuia (a catch-all term for non-Tupis, usually Jê language peoples), who resided in the interior. The Portuguese arrived in the final days of a long struggle between the Tupis and Tapuias, which had resulted in the defeat and expulsion of the Tapuias from the coastal areas.
The names by which the different Tupi tribes were called and recorded by Portuguese and French authors of the 16th C. are poorly understood. Most do not seem to be proper names, but descriptions of relationship, usually familial - e.g. tupi means "first father", tupinambá means "relatives of the ancestors", tupiniquim means "side-neighbors", tamoio means "grandfather", temiminó means "grandson", "tabajara" means "in-laws" and so on.

 These are the major ethnic groups:

  • Amanyé
  • Awá-Guajá
  • Baniwa
  • Botocudo
  • Caingang
  • Dowlut
  • Enawene Nawe
  • Guaraní
  • Kadiwéu (Caduveo, Cadioeos, Gaicuru)
  • Kamayurá (Kamaiurá)
  • Karajá
  • Kayapo
  • Kubeo
  • Kalia
  • Korubo
  • Marinaha
  • Matsés
  • Mayoruna
  • Munduruku
  • Nambikwara
  • Ofayé
  • Panará
  • Pataxó
  • Pirahã
  • Paiter
  • Quilombolo
  • Suruí do Pará
  • Tapirape
  • Terena
  • Ticuna
  • Tremembé
  • Tupi
  • Tupiniquim (Tupinikim)
  • Waorani
  • Xavante
  • Xokó
  • Xucuru
  • Yanomami
  • Yawanawa
  • Zuruaha
  • Zemborya
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