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Story Publication logo December 19, 2022

Video: Ka'apor - People of the Forest (Portuguese)


Ka’apor, Povo da Floresta

The devastation of the Amazon advances in Maranhão, Brazil. What native vegetation remains is in...

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This story excerpt was translated from Portuguese. To read the original story in full, visit Jornalismo TV Cultura. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.

The documentary Ka'apor - People of the Forest reveals how this ethnic group has developed a special way of ensuring their own survival in the state of Maranhão, in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest. The region, which in the last 30 years lost 76% of its native forest, five times more than the national average, and 85% of the preserved areas, owes the preservation of what is left of this forest to the presence of the native people.

The unpublished report also shows the damages especially in Alto Turiaçu, home to at least two thousand Ka'apor Indigenous people, who learned Portuguese as a second language. To protect their land, the Ka'apor have developed a peaceful and effective surveillance strategy. Instead of fixing their villages in a single location, they divided themselves into small villages, bringing their families to the limits of their territory, placing their own bodies as shields in the forest.

The TV Cultura journalism production also highlights the centuries-old art of featherwork: the production of headdresses, necklaces, armbands, and other ornaments from palm leaves, cotton, and bird feathers, a cultural treasure that the Ka'apor, present in the region since before the discovery of Brazil, use in their celebrations and rituals.

Video by Jornalismo TV Cultura. Brazil, 2022.