ISPN - Instituto Sociedade, População e Natureza

Brazilian mix

Xavantes, Tapuias, Karajás, Avá-Canoeiros, Krahôs, Xerentes, Xacriabás. The first indigenous peoples were divided into ethnicities which went on to occupy different regions in the Cerrado and to interfere in the environmental processes, but coming from a sacred relationship of deep respect toward the Earth. However, the relationships between indigenous peoples and the people who arrived after them were not merely destructive. With the arrival of the Bandeirantes pioneers, the advances of European colonization and the occupation of inland territories by free blacks and runaway slaves around big community centers, the quilombos, the interaction with the first inhabitants was inevitable.

Many groups among the indigenous were nomads and explored the Cerrado by hunting and collecting. Others practiced coivara agriculture, an itinerant type of slash-and-burn agriculture. Art has always been one of the best material expressions of indigenous culture. The indigenous cultural legacy got mixed up with the traditions brought over by other peoples. Meanwhile, marriages between indigenous, Blacks and Whites were shaping a new people, the result of the mixture of the three basic matrices. As a result of genetic and cultural diversity, the people that have fixed their roots in the Cerrado are today an important heritage for humanity. Millennia in tradition and direct contact with the environment gave the peoples of the Cerrado a great deal of knowledge about the biome and its potential. Medicine, food, shelter and spirituality, the Cerrado is everything for these communities.

Miscegenation and adaptation for survival in the biome have thickened the cultural soup. Indigenous peoples, quilombola maroon communities, extractivists, geraizeiros (living in the drier regions), riverbank dwellers and vazanteiros (who live on floodplains) make up the current group of traditional peoples in the Cerrado.


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TFCA - Tropical Forest Conservation ActFundo AmazôniaPNUD - Programa das Naes Unidas para o DesenvolvimentoGEF
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