Six large indian nations are to be
found in Tocantins: the Karaja, the Apinajé, the Krahô, the Xerente,
the Xambiao and the Javae. Their customs still survive on the
tip: As far as we know there is not yet a touristic program to
visit the reservations. Officials have explained us that it is
better to be accompanied by a guide. Better for the indians
and better for the tourist.
Indian art can be bought at any Casa
do Artesanato throughout the state.
On the map you will find the main
locations of indian reservations in the state of Tocantins. Click to
These belong to the non-classified
linguistic group of the Marco-Je who are divided into the Karaja,
the Javae and the Xambioa. They call themselves people of the Iny
and possess customs and dialects in common. The Araguaia Reservation
is 4000 acres, inhabited by 2900 indians. The Karaja, the Javae and
the Avacanoiro live primarily of fishing and hunting and cultivate
Kara¡á villages: Santa Isabel do Morro, Fontoura,
Javaé villages: Txuiri, Gantanã, Boto Velho, Wari Wari,
São João, Cachoeirinha, Manalué , Barreira Branca,
Xambioá villages: Xambioá and Kurerê.
These also belong to the Macro-Je
linguistic group and are part of the Timbira group, along with the
Kraho and the Xerente. The Timbira are especially noted for their
circular villages and the circles of tree-trunks around them. They
have a rich and distinctive culture, still upheld by most of their
members. They ara found around Tocantinópolis, Maurilândia and
Cachoeirinha in the far north, and their numbers are growing. At
present they number 900. The Apinajé reservation cover 350,000 acres
and their basic economy revolves around the babucu-palm nut,
subsistence agriculture and handicrafts.
Apinajé villages: São
José, Mariazinha, Butica, Riachinho, Cocalinho and
They also belong to the Timbira group
and originally lived around Carolina, in the State of Maranhao,
driven out by wars over land ownership, they gave rise to the
Xerente, the Xavante, the Kraho, the Apinage and others. The Xerente
are found in the center of the state and their reservation is
located in the municipality of Tocantinia. They are 1,500, divided
into 29 villages over an area of 459,000 acres. Their customs are
well preserved. Body painting is commonplace and dancing, often
carrying tree-trunks is still practiced. They engage mostly in
substance agriculture, handcrafts and hunting, although their
customary prey is now in short supply.
Xerente villages: Funil,
Bela Vista, Cercadinha, Brejo Comprido, Serrinha I e II, Centro,
Agua Fria, Rio do Sono, Mirasol, Recanta, Baixa Funda, Brejinha,
Salto, Porteira, Aldeia Nava, Sangradouro, Lajeadinho, Cabeceira,
Morrinho, Recanto da Agua Fria, Novo Horizonte, ZéBrito, Aldeinha,
Rio Preto, Bom Jardim, Paraío, Baixão, Traíra, Ponte, Mirasol
They speak Timbira in the Krahô
dialect. Such languages are spoken from the north (Maranhao and
Para) and central Brazil (Goias and Mato Grosso) to the south and
south-east (Sao Paulo, Parana, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul)
and are subdivided into Tombira, Caipo, Akwen and Kaingang.
Krahô Reservation is situated in the municipalities of Goiatins and
Itacajá, in the northeast. About 2,500 members are distributed among
13 villages in an area of 750,000 acres. The reservation possesses
quite remarkable beauty spots in an ecosystem typical of the arid
Brazilian central plateau characterized by mountains, networks of
caves and cascades. Agriculture is the nations mainstay, along with
hunting and fishing. The Krahô are notable for their zeal in
preserving the customs. Their main festivals are Wakamye Katamye
(the potato festival) and the winter/summer festivals during which
new village chiefs are chosen.
Krahô villages: Rio Vermelho,
Manoel Alves Pequeno, Cachoeira, Pedra Branca, Macaúba, Pedra
Furada, Campos Lindos, Agua Branca, Riozinho, São Vidal, Morro do
Boi, Serra Grande, Forno Velho, Santa Cruz and
The Xambioá Village
The Karaja and
Guarani live along the banks of the Araguaia on the border with
Para, in the municipality of Santa Fé do Araguia. There are 280 in
two villages. They live by fishing, even on a commercial scale and
subsistence agriculture. Their reservation covers 8,200
About 700 Javaé indians live in the
Parque Nacional do Araguia.
Less than 100 Boto
Velho indians live in the area of the Lagoa da Confusão.
About 250 Funil indians
live near the village Tocantinia.