Parque Nacional Indigena do Xingu
The Parque Nacional
Indigena do Xingu was founded in 1961 with the help of the Villas-Boas and today
has an estimated population of 6000, spread throughout 30 villages from 17
indigenous nations. The Parque is located in the northern state of Mato Grosso
and occupies 2.3 million hectares, an area 30% larger than that of the state of
Israel. Originally planned to be 120,000 square miles in area, by the time the
Park’s creation was officially ratified, it had shrunk to 12,000 square miles.
The area is administered by Funai (Indian National Foundation) and is under
direct supervision of the Brazilian Justice Ministry.
However, the Park was
not to remain untouched for long, when a road was built effectively cutting the
park in two and increasing outside contact with the communities within PIX (Parque
Nacional Indegina do Xingu). This ultimately led to the introduction of
non-traditional goods, and facilitated the spread of disease (most notably
malaria), both of these factors would alter the cultural make-up of the groups
within, and necessitate activities to counteract their effects.
Today the park is a
cultural and biological oasis surrounded by ranches, mechanized farming
activities and expanding urban centers. Within the Park's border, a complex
eco-system made up of grassland and dense rainforest is home to 16 distinct
cultural groups. But the reserve is under threat from a number of activities in
the surrounding area, the advancing agricultural frontier being the main threat.
In an effort to assist the communities of PIX to come to terms with the new circumstances by which they were being faced, the Rainforest Foundation working closely with Instituto Socioambiental (ISA) set about implementing a series of integrated projects to help them maintain their environment and cultural integrity.
GROUPS OF THE PARQUE DO XINGU
Aweti Tupi 091
Ipeng Carib 176
Juruna Isolated 175
*1997 - # totaled approximately 3,400
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