Native American Civilizations: The Enawene-Nawe


Figure 1.-- Relatively little is known about the tribes to the east if the Andes. Most of the tribes have disappeared. A few primitive tribes survive in remote Amazonian areas. They are very small tribal groups. One such group is the Enawene-Nawe. The Enawene-Nawe are found in the Mato Grosso State of Brazil. They live along the Rio Preto and now consist of only about 400 individuals. The photograph here shows the characteristic hairstyle of an Enawene-Nawe boy. The boy is the son of the chief (cachique).

The best known Native American tribe in South America is the Inca. There were many other tribes both in the Andes and east and west of the Andes. Relatively little is known about the tribes to the east if the Andes. Most of the tribes have disappeared. A few primitive tribes survive in remote Amazonian areas. They are very small tribal groups. One such group is the Enawene-Nawe. The Enawene-Nawe are found in the Mato Grosso State of Brazil. They live along the Rio Preto and now consist of only about 400 individuals. So the tribe is in danger of extinction. They subsist through fishing, gathering, and gardening. They live in large communal houses called malocas. The Enawene Nawe are particularly noted for their fishing skills. They build large dams in the forest. There in temprary camps they fish in the reservoirs created by their dams. They smoke the carch which is then carried back to their villages bu canoe. They practice limited agriculture, concentrating on manioc and corn. They also gather useful forest products. A favorite iten is honey gathering is celebrated in keteoko, or the honey feast, when men collect large amounts of wild honey which they find it in the forest. The men hide any honey they find when they return to the village. They only bring it out when the women start to dance. They do not hunt eat red meat which is unusual for Amazonian tribes. They have faced encroachment by many groups which want to eploit their land, including rubber tappers, diamond prospectors, cattle ranchers and more recently soya planters. Brazil's largest soya company, Maggi, built an illegal road on the Tribe's land in 1997. The Federal Government subsequently closed the road. The photograph shows the characteristic hairstyle of an Enawene-Nawe boy. The boy is the son of the chief (cachique).






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Created: 11:23 PM 11/22/2006
Last updated: 11:24 PM 11/22/2006