Indigenous


The indigenous peoples of Brazil

On arriving in Bahia, in the 16th century, the Portuguese colonialists encountered the native people, very different to the Europeans, wearing little or no clothing, but adorned with lots of jewelry. They were noisy, for the most part, and used strange weapons to defend themselves against the invaders who anchored there.

Later, the chiefs of these lands, which the Portuguese had previously thought never to have been explored, were identified as Indians of the Tupi people, or more precisely, of the Tupiniquim tribe, who had lived in that region for approximately two centuries. The cradle of Brazilian civilization, as colonized by the Portuguese, the land that is now the State of Bahia, was also home, in that era, to tribes of two other indigenous peoples, aside from the Tupis: the Gês or Botocudos and the Cariris, who, despite the decimation they suffered in the first centuries of colonization, have succeeded, up till the present day, to maintain the traditions of their ancestors and now form a principal tourist attraction in various regions of the State.
To reconstruct their history and understand the origins of their traditions and cultural expression is a trip back in time, a retrospective of the most authentic roots of the Brazilian people. From the Extreme-South to the Northeast, from the riverside communities of São Francisco to the native people who inhabit the west of Bahia, the indigenous communities provide as much of a reference of obstinate resistance in the preservation of their culture and history of Brazil as a fascinating tourist attraction.
 

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