AMAZON PEOPLE: CABOCLOS AND INDIANS

The times of the Amazon women, hiding in the big rainforest and with their warring ways, last only in legends and popular journalism and literature. As for the Indian tribes, most of them have almost disappeared.

In fact, Amazon Indians are very few in numbers, remaining perhaps around a hundred thousand. There are still some unassimilated Indian tribes, such as the famous Yanomani, in the most inaccessible and unexplored Amazon regions (like the Roraima), but they only account for some thousands.

Amazonian IndianThe reasons for these low numbers are mainly past slavery, wars and diseases, making the legendary Amazon women, Indian tribes and Indian culture have little importance in today's Amazon.

There is, however, another important category of Amazon population (around three million people) scattered over the immense jungle, aside of urban centers, with only episodic contacts with the outside world. They are the caboclos, who mainly work as rubber-tappers, fishermen and small farmers near the rivers' margins. They are the true representatives of present Amazon culture.

Their have a rather pragmatic culture, rooted in our most remote capabilities: the capability of surviving through the knowledge of the forest and its animals, secrets, beauties, dangers, cycles, means, and the ability of creating the necessary tools for surviving.

If you want to contact some settlements of caboclos, Manaus is a perfect choice. Once in Manaus, you can easily arrange a tour to some nearby caboclos settlements; a visit to a near Indian tribe is much more difficult to arrange though.

Caboclo culture

Chico Mendes: caboclo culture

The caboclo culture such, much like the culture of the remaining Indian tribes, is very different from the culture of the ranchers. In some sense they are the opposite to the dreams of an exaggeratedly developed Amazon, with its dramatic costs to the environment and the human future. This ecological conscience in the Amazonian caboclos is symbolized by an ancient rubber-tapper: Chico Mendes.

 

 

 

 

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