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Brazilian Indian And Their Strong Connection To The Land

1095 words - 4 pages

Brazil was officially discovered by the Portuguese in 1500 and colonized in 1532. The Brazilian Indians (Indians) occupied the land since 9000BC and had a population of approximately 6 million when the Portuguese arrived (Momson, 2013). The country had an abundance of resources, with vast amounts of land, Brazilwood, gold, diamonds, rainforest and fish, which made it an attractive asset (The World Economy). In Brazil today 0.4% of the population are Brazilian Indians, comprising about 240 tribes (Survival). Since there are still tribes following traditional nomadic lives, through this assignment, the research of the Indian culture is derived from the current traditional tribes.
The Brazilian Indians had a strong connection to the land with rich oral history, cosmology, myths, rituals and co-existence approach to survival (Survival). In 1500, the Brazilian Indians remained a stone age culture, leading primarily hunter-gatherer lifestyles (The World Economy). Savanna and highland tribes assumed peripatetic survival as hunters and gatherers (Momson, 2013), while Amazonian tribes included farming and fishing in addition to hunting and gathering throughout the rainforest (Momson, 2013)(Survival).
The Indians were highly knowledgeable about their lands, and how to look after and survive from it. For example, the Awa tribe does not eat certain animals at different times of the year to ensure they keep all populations growing at a sustainable rate (Survival). Brazilian Indians have highly detailed mental maps of the landscape, flora and fauna and the best hunting grounds of their lands, creating a deep connection to the land (Survival).
The Brazilian Indians currently own 13% of Brazil’s land, of which 98.5% is in the Amazon Rainforest (Survival). About half of the remaining tribes live within the Amazon and consider themselves as protectors of the forest; they are conservationists of the native ecosystems (Survival). Their critical role of protecting their forests emphasises their views on resources, which have stayed constant throughout millenniums. ‘I am a shaman of the rainforest and I work with the forces of nature, not with the forces of money or weapons.’ - Davi Kopenawa Yanomami (Survival).
The motives throughout Europe in the era of exploring and colonising the new world was very similar; ‘Gold, God and Glory’ (Oziah, 2011). Under a facade of propagating Christianity globally, European countries exploited uncolonized lands, acquiring wealth whilst simultaneously gaining prestige. This was the case for Portugal, as colonisers had a mentality that they would not be invading another culture, rather helping ‘civilise’ them through Christianity (South African History Online, 2009). Sharing Christianity was a ‘pull’ factor for colonisers to move abroad and settle another country. A ‘push’ factor was the lack of opportunity in their home country while the ‘pull’ was the prospect to create a new life with the probability of gaining riches from...

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