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Characteristics of indigenous groups

Characteristics of indigenous groups

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Tupi: The Tupi-speaking indigenous groups were the Tamoio, Guarani, Tupiniquim, Tabajara, etc. tribes. All these tribes were in the Brazilian coast, were the first Indians to have contact with the Portuguese who arrived here.

These tribes were hunting specialists, were great fishermen, and developed fruit gathering well.

Macro-Gê: They were rarely found on the coast, except for some tribes in the Serra do Mar, they were found mainly in the central plateau, in this context stood out the tribes or groups: timbira, aimoré, goitacaz, carijó, carajá, bororó and botocudo.

These indigenous groups lived near the streams and river springs, lived primarily from fruit and root gathering and hunting. These groups only came into contact with the whites in the seventeenth century, when the colonizers entered the interior of the country.
Karib: Indigenous groups that inhabited the region where today comprises the states of Amapá and Roraima, also called the lower Amazon, the main tribes are the atroari and vaimiri, these were very aggressive and anthropophagic, which means that when the Indians defeated their enemies, they they ate believing that they could absorb the qualities of those who were defeated. The contact of these tribes with the whites occurred in the seventeenth century, with religious missions and the dispersal of the army throughout the territory.
Aruak: Its main tribes were aruã, pareci, cunibó, guana and terena, were located in some regions of the Amazon and the island of Marajó, the main activity was the ceramic crafts.


According to their survival needs, the Indians produced food preparation, hunting, fishing, clothing, held cultural and commemorative parties, built shelter and transport with materials taken from nature without harming it.

The Indians produced various crafts, such as:

  • Hunting and fishing arrow and bow
  • Drain to grate manioc
  • Tipiti for squeezing cassava dough
  • Balaios and Urutus to store pasta, flour, tapioca, beiju, fruits and others
  • Sieve to sift dry dough to make flour and beiju, tapioca or curadá
  • Special cumata for removing gum
  • Shake to turn and take the kiss from the oven made of clay
  • Banks
  • Pestle to grind cooked meat, minced fish, pepper and others always roasted
  • bracelets
  • Tucumã stone rings
  • Vine basket and sieve for loading and storing groceries
  • Blowgun for special bird hunting
  • Japurutu, Cariçu and Flute, musical instruments among others each with their specific harmonious sound
  • Ceramics for making dishes, pans, ceramic bottles for making special alcoholic beverages and other ornaments for holiday parties.


The Federal Constitution promulgated in 1988 is the first to bring a chapter on indigenous peoples. It recognizes the "original rights to the lands they traditionally occupy". They do not own these lands that belong to the Union, but have ensured the enjoyment of the riches of the soil and rivers.

Ethnic diversity is recognized as well as the need to respect it. The provision of the Civil Code which considered the Indian an incapable individual, who needed the protection of the state until it was integrated into the way of life of the rest of society, was repealed.


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