Interpreting the Evidence
Waiwai Leaders, 1915
Suggested Teaching Instructions
Waiwai chiefs with ornaments on necks, legs and arms, 1915. The Waiwai created very complex ornaments and crafted items that incorporated bird feathers and seeds.
At the time the Portuguese arrived in Brazil, approximately eight million Indigenous people lived in the country. The arrival of the Portuguese was disastrous for the indigenous population. They were killed and enslaved by the colonists and died from diseases that came from Europe with the explorers and settlers. Today only about 200,000 Indigenous people remain in Brazil.
The Waiwai are Carib-speaking people of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil and Guyana. Approximately two thousand Waiwai live in Brazil. They survive by hunting, fishing, and clearing small areas of the forest to plant crops. They are especially skilled at crafts such as basket making and pottery.
How does movement of human populations impact culture?
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and discuss the cultural diversity of Brazil.
Research a Brazilian Indigenous groups. Learn about their food, clothing, shelter, religion, customs, population, etc. How have their lives changed since the Portuguese settled Brazil?
Math: How much lower is the Indigenous population in Brazil today than it was before the Portuguese came to Brazil?
Science: Learn about the unique plants and animals that live in the Amazon rainforest.