Native American Nations of Brazil

Brazilian Indigenous People
Brazilian Indigenous People | Source

1,000 TRIBES

Before the Spanish and Portuguese explorers set foot on land in South America hundreds of years ago, there were over 1,000 separate tribes or nations of Native South Americans living in Brazil alone.

This population included upwards of 13,000,000 people or more, but in the early 21st Century, there were fewer than 400,000 remaining.

As reported by Survival International, the major native nations of indigenous Brazilian people have been reduced to the following list:

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  • Awa
  • Guarani - about 80,000 and the largest group in Brazil as well as elsewhere on the continent.
  • Yanomami
  • Makuxi
  • Kanamari
  • Kaxinawa
  • Maku
  • Matis (not Metis) - Their magic animal is the Jaguar and they use Curare as a weapon - a paralyzing drug.
  • Tenharim
  • Tikuna
  • Tukano
  • Waimiri-Atroari

According to the Brazilian government, at least 50 tribes of native Brazilians have never met a Caucasian.

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17 Tribes

Paraguay's original native peoples are thought to have been divided into at least 17 different tribal groups.

This represented only six separate language families, meaning that many of these tribes were related in subgroups of 2-3 or more.

The Brazilian 1,000 tribes likely mixed with Paraquay and Uruguay peoples as well, espeically after the oncoming influx of Spanish and Portuguese explorers and settlers.

Only 1 Tribe, but a Strong One

The sole people living of Uruguay before the European (Spanish and Portuguese) settlers advanced into the land were of a single tribe.

This tribe is known as the Charrua Indians, a small nation of indigenous people that had been driven south by another tribe, the Guarani Indians of Paraguay and Brazil, and likely the northwestern part of the continent abutting uruguay, since the Guarani were widespread in territory. The Charruan language is related to other nations: the Yaró, Guenoa, Bohane, and Minuan.

The Charrua were determined to keep their land in Uruguay and not to be displaced again.

The Spanish advanced into Uruguay in the early 16th century, but the Charrua resisted relocation and they possessed no treasures - no gold or silver, so the Spanish coexisted with them.

These Europeans introduced them to cattle as well and the Spanish kept the Portuguese in Brazil, so the Charrua may have been saved from destruction that would result by additional settlers advancing.

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Comments 7 comments

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY

This is a wonderful series of Hubs, Patty. I've enjoyed glancing through them. I'm going to snuggle up here tonight with my martini and go through them all slowly. Thanks for my evening read!

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Thank you Veronica - I hope you really enjoy them. There is so much going on in the native worlds, even today.

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Patty! great collection. make sure you let all of us know here on hubs when your book compiling all these great articles comes out. I want to be one of the first to own a copy.

regards Zsuzsy

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Thanks very much for the nice comment and the visit, Z!

Iðunn 8 years ago

colorful and informative - great combo. I have the entire "time-life" series on ancient civilizations, so it's a big interest for me. lovely hub~

AuraGem profile image

AuraGem 8 years ago from Victoria, Australia

I have fallen into this hub, so I have missed earlier parts of the collection. But now I must seek them out. I am utterly fascinated! Adore learning about original peoples and old ways.

Beautifully presented!

Smiles and Light

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Click on the tags box on "native american nations" and the whole series will come up!

Thanks to you both for stopping by. Iouun, I have read the Thomson Gale 4-colume set but it is very dry and not very colorful.

AuraGem - I hope you have a chance to read them all and especially to access the links to some great webnsites about cultures.

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