The Tatuyo – Incredible life of a surviving Amazon Brazilian tribe

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Updated May 6, 2017 / João Leitão / 9 Comments / Filed in: / Reading time 3 minutes
The Tatuyo, Incredible life of a surviving Amazon Brazilian tribe

The Tatuyo – Incredible life of a surviving Amazon Brazilian tribe

Tatuyo Brazilian tribe

The world is developing fast.

Indigenous way of life is fairly almost gone for most remote tribes around the globe.

Many people leave their ancestral way of living and migrate to urban centers in search of a better and more comfortable life.

In Brazil, the State protects a few number of indigenous communities and issues travel restrictions to the normal citizen. Basically, no one from the outside is allowed to visit them. They will remain fairly untouched and isolated forever.

Meanwhile some other tribes in the Brazilian rain forest are trying to survive in a way that they need to find a relation between the past – their present – and the future.

Tatuyo dance ritual

Tatuyo dance ritual

During my visit to Manaus, I decided to go through the experience of living with a Tatuyo indigenous tribe – settled on the banks of Rio Negro.

On this page I gather some incredible photos of an indigenous Brazilian jungle community.

Indigenous woman giving dog a bath in Rio Negro river

Indigenous woman giving dog a bath in Rio Negro river

Daily life in this part of the Amazon is almost totally dependent on the river.

Amazon indigenous man

Amazon indigenous man

During the ceremonies, traditional clothes and decoration are made using natural pigments and fabrics.

Girls from Brazilian tribe

Girls from Brazilian tribe

Many Tatuyos make their living by showing off to tourists who either want to watch their traditional dance rituals or to buy their crafts.

Tatuyo tribe in northwest Brazil

Tatuyo tribe in northwest Brazil

Tatuyo dance and singing highlight the history of the tribe creation. With a dance ritual, they praise the indigenous God and tell the story about their origins as well as about mysticism after death.

When I talked to Tatuyo Chief Pinó, he told me that he doesn’t want his family to move to the city, and wants to keep on passing his ancestors’ traditions to his siblings.

[su_heading size=”24″] “The only way to survive in the jungle as a tribal community is to make business out of fish and hunt, to manufacture handicraft and to make 20 minute performances to groups of tourists that visit us, especially during the weekend. Actually, the fact that people visit us to see our show, allows us to keep our traditions and pass them to future generations. It’s a win-win relationship.”[/su_heading]
Preparing Açaí with natural ingredients

Preparing Açaí with natural ingredients

Açaí is a very important fruit for the inhabitants of the Amazon. For Amazonian indigenous people, açaí is their main source of daily vitamins and anti-oxidants.

Dangerous piranha fish

Dangerous piranha fish

Piranhas are one of the most dangerous animals in the jungle. Falling into the river in the wrong place will be fatal.

Fishing the redtail catfish

Fishing the redtail catfish

To get to this tribe, you have to go on a 2 hours fast boat ride from Manaus, the capital city of Amazonas State in Brazil.

Cleaning the Amazon rodent called agouti

Cleaning the Amazon rodent called agouti

Termites for food in the jungle

Termites for food in the jungle

Termites are a nutritious snack within Amazon indigenous communities.

Grilling fish

Grilling fish

Amazon indigenous boy

Amazon indigenous boy

Indigenous camp in Brazil

Indigenous camp in Brazil

The main structure is used as ceremony house, kitchen, accommodation and community gatherings. Some families do have private shacks outside.

Young Brazilian indigenous girl

Young Brazilian indigenous girl

Amazon Tatuyo people

Amazon Tatuyo people

How to avoid being a tourist while visiting an Indian tribe:

  • Don’t go just for the 20 minute show. Try to stay in the camp for a few days to indulge yourself deep in their community.
  • Avoid making fun of a different culture, lack of clothes and traditional dancing.
  • Try to contact the community chief directly, and visit them not through a travel agency (that will get more than 80% of the money you pay). When in Manaus phone to Chefe Pinó – (92) 94 89 86 98 or Wapi – (92) 94 91 76 36. They can arrange boat transportation to the village (they only speak Portuguese and Spanish).
  • Do buy some souvenirs as they are made locally, much better than getting them somewhere in the city.
Insect in the Amazon rainforest

Insect in the Amazon rainforest

Surviving in the Amazon rain forest, Tatuyo Brazilian tribe

Surviving in the Amazon rain forest, Tatuyo Brazilian tribe

Young indigenous boy

Young indigenous boy

Sunset over Rio Negro in the Amazon

Sunset over Rio Negro in the Amazon

The Rio Negro is a 2250 km / 1398 mi South American river, tributary of the Amazon River.

And how about you? Was this page useful? Please leave a comment below. Thanks.

Visual artist shares inspiring photos and exotic travel destinations. Adventure travel blogger with ideas and narratives to motivate independent travelers and audacious backpackers. Intense journeys into more than 126 countries around Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Europe, North America, South America and Oceania since 1999. Expat in Morocco – North Africa since 2007, polyglot and proud Lonely Planet Pathfinders blogger.


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9 Comments. Leave new

This is so great to read this article! Your pictures are really stunning. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing experience with us 🙂

Reply

Thank you so much for this information. I love traveling in Brazil and I am dying to see more of the country than just Rio, Salvador, and the Falls. I appreciate knowing how to arrange a visit with a village so that they will be the ones getting the most of the money.

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I think the Amazon is beautiful and the culture fascinating. But it SCARES me so much! You are so brave EVERYTHING kills you in the Amazon lol. These pictures are great and I never thought anyone could make termites look delicious but I want to try some of those.

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Awesome. It is great to read the stories of a real traveller. Most travel bloggers write about the same standard destinations as every other travel blogger, and these days, going to Hong Kong does not make you an adventurer. If I ever make it back to Brazil I will be calling the chief. Thanks.

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Jorgen Niklas Lehmann
October 4, 2015 5:24 pm

Hello João Leitão! So you are in Maseru…when are you coming over to us in Mozambique?

Reply

Hi Joao, gread tip about “don[t be a tourist”. it[s very useful to know their culture bether, especially their mobile number tip. great.

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Since retiring two years ago, I have traveled extensively. However, I have never been to Central or South America. Your beautiful pictures have inspired me to step out of my comfort zone once again, this time for the purpose of exploring the world of the Amazon. Thanks a bunch!

Reply

Incredible photos on this page, like in the whole blog. Keep on travelling and sharing, João Leitão!

Reply

Thank you brother, I appreciate your feedback! Big hug all the way from Maseru – Lesotho.

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