Amazon Indian Tribes...
A view on the Amerindian population


Amazon Rainforest Indians. Brazil
Agência de Notícias do Acre, Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Brazil

It is estimated that, by 1500, time of the arrival of the first European settlers, the number of indigenous peoples in Brazil (povos indígenas no Brasil) totaled 11million Indians living in about 2,000 tribes.

Their history has been marked by brutality, slavery, violence and disease.

Tribal peoples have experienced genocide on a huge scale, and the loss of most of their land.

Within the first century of domination, 90% were wiped out, mainy due to diseases imported by the colonialists.


Flu, measles and smallpox was more lethal to them than actual warfare.

During the following centuries, many more died enslaved in the rubber and sugar cane plantations.

Amazon indian tribes were decimated by other reasons as well. Since the time of Pizarro's conquest of the Inca empire to the end of the "rubber boom" (visit Manaus and Fordlandia for more info on this) that occurred at the beginning of WWI, the Spanish and Portuguese - in the name of Catholicism - continued the long tradition of abuse against the Amerindian population.

In recent decades, they have suffered the invasion of colonists, rubber tappers and land developers. By 1950s, renowned Brazilian anthropologist Darcy Ribero (author of the superb book "O Povo Brasileiro") predicted there would be none left by the year 1980.