List of extinct indigenous peoples of Brazil

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At the time of the discovery of Brazil by the Europeans, a total of 2,000 indigenous nations, divided into several thousand tribes, existed in Brazil. The total number of native tribes which inhabited present day Brazil at the time of first contact is disputed and difficult to ascertain. The names of large number of tribes who were exterminated as a result of intertribal warfare are not recorded anywhere and so is the case of several smaller tribes who were wiped out by the colonizers. Curt Nimuendajú gives a list of 1,400 nations in his monumental work Mapa etno-histórico do Brasil e regiões adjacentes, but he ignored many smaller (extinct) tribes in Eastern Brazil, and was at the time of writing unaware of some other tribes which were uncontacted at that time.[1] Currently only 200 nations (790 tribes) are alive, with no survivors being reported for the remaining nations. However, this doesn't mean their bloodlines are extinct; only their cultures. Brazilian Pardo and Mestizo population have mostly unknown indigenous backgrounds, some or several of them likely stemming from extinct cultures. The Bandeirantes hunted and enslaved indigenous peoples in the then unexplored interior of Brazil from the 16th to the early 19th century. The indigenous peoples were eventually acculturated and integrated into European civilization.

Most of the recorded extinctions of the Brazilian tribes were caused by warfare with the neo-Brazilians and from the epidemics which were sometimes deliberately spread by the colonizers. Intertribal warfare between various native Brazilian tribes also caused a significant number of extinctions. For example, the Matses, one of the tribes in the Vale do Javari region exterminated at least 4 smaller tribes during the 20th century.[2]

Famous extinct Brazilian nations[edit]

Out of the more than 1,800 extinct nations and thousands of tribes, names are available for only a few of them.

  • Abacaxis - Abacaxis River
  • Abaeté - Tupian (?). Minas Gerais. Extinct since the 18th century
  • Abaeté do Rio Madeira - Same as Abacátes (?). Rio Madeira, Amazonas[3]
  • Abarés - Northeast Brazil
  • Acauas - Also known as Acauans - Lower Amazon
  • Achouaris - Rio Jurua and Rio Solimoes
  • Acroa - Bahia province - related to Xokleng people
  • Addaraias - Rio Negro
  • Adorias - Near Amazon River - extinct since the start of the 19th century
  • Aipatsé - Previously inhabited the Xingu river region - became extinct during the 1980s
  • Akontsu - Still alive but fated to be extinct in a near future. Only survivors are six people. Five are elders. Rondônia.
  • Anumania - Previously inhabited the Xingu river region[4]
  • Aracadaini - Amazonas
  • Araés - Goias
  • Araraus - Rio Jatapu, Amazonas
  • Ariquéns - Rio Jamari, Rondonia
  • Amena-Diapá - Once inhabited the region around São Felipe river, in the Acre - Amazonas border
  • Bacuéns - Minas Gerais
  • Beaquéos - Mato Grosso do Sul
  • Boimés - Sergipe
  • Boraris - Para
  • Burukäyo - Related to the Arikapú[5]
  • Cabixiana - Near Corumbiara, Rondônia. Became extinct during the 1940s.[6]
  • Caeté - Once inhabited the region near the mouth of river São Francisco to the island of Itamaracá.
  • Camamu - Ceara
  • Campe - Related to Makurap. From Rio Mequens, Rondonia. Extinct since early 20th century.[7]
  • Canela, Kenkateye - Part of the Canela nation. Originally from Serra das Alpercatas, Maranhao. According to Nimuendajú, this tribe became extinct after the ranchers massacred them in 1913.[8]
  • Cauixana - Arawakan. From Rio Mauapari. Extinct since early 20th century.[9]
  • Cataguéo - Related to Caduveo
  • Coropó - Espirito Santo
  • Cracmuns - Minas Gerais
  • Crateús - Piaui
  • Cucoecamecrãs - Maranhao
  • Cujigeneris - Amazonas
  • Cupinharós - Once lived in Piaui
  • Goitacá - Previously inhabited a large stretch of the eastern Brazilian coast, from the São Mateus River to the Paraíba do Sul River.
  • Guatiedéos - Mato Grosso do Sul.
  • Guatiedéo - Related to Caduveo
  • Gueguê - Piaui[10]
  • Guayanases - Are known to have inhabited the Plains of Piratininga which is now the city of São Paulo.
  • Irã-Amráire - One of the Kayapo nations. Numbered 3,000 in 1900, divided into five tribes (Kren-re, Nhangagakrin, Kuben Ken Kam, Me Mranh & Mejôt´yr). Became extinct in the 20th century.[11]
  • Jeikó - Extinct since the 19th century.
  • Juma - lived in the Terra Indígena Juma in the Amazonas, along the Mucuim River, a tributary of Rio Açuã. The tribe is extinct since 2021.
  • Kinikinao - Matro Grosso do Sul. Extinct in mid-20th century.[12]
  • Kutenabu (Kustenau) - Previously inhabited the Xingu river region. Became extinct in 20th century[13] The last two survivors, a woman and her son, were assimilated into the Waura.[14]
  • Maxubí - Related to the Arikapú.[15]
  • Manitsawa - Previously inhabited the Xingu river region[4]
  • Mbaya - Guaycuruan speakers and nomads of the Gran Chaco, who migrated to Mato Grosso do Sul in the late 18th century. Survived by the Kadiweu.
  • Naravute - Previously inhabited the Xingu river region. Became extinct during the 1940s.[12]
  • Purí - Previously resided in coastal Brazil.
  • Tapajós - Amazonas
  • Tupinambá - Once inhabited the Atlantic coast of Brazil.
  • Urucu - Related to Botocudo, Minas Gerais.
  • Western Bororo - Extinct since the end of 19th century.[16]

Recent Extinctions[edit]

According to Darcy Ribeiro, a total of 87 tribes became extinct during the 1900-57 period. Another 38 became Assimilated (detribalized and merged in to the general population).

Recorded extinctions of Brazilian tribes during the 1900–1957 time period:[17]

Tribe* Language Family Location
Aipatse Carib Rio Culuene, MT
Aminape Tupi Rio Mequens, RO
Apaniekra Je Rio Porquinhos, Maranhão
Apiaka Tupi Upper Rio Tapajós
Arara do Xingu [Pariri, Timirem.etc.] Carib Between Xingu and Tocantins
Arara [4 different tribes] NA 1. Jamaxim 2. Manicore 3. Rio Preto 4. Rio Guaraibas, PA/AM
Arawine Tupi Rio 7 de Setembro, MT
Ariken Tupi Between Rio Candeia and Rio Jamari, RO
Arua Tupi Rio Branco, RO
Baenan Baenan Left bank of Rio Pardo, Bahia
Botocudos [Pojixa, Nakreehe, Minajirum, Jiporok, Gutkrak, Krenak] Botocudos Bahia & Minas Gerais
Emerilon Tupi Far North Amapa
Espinhos Pano Rio Corumaha, Acre
Guarategaja Tupi Rio Mequens, RO
Guato Guato Rio Paraguai, MS
Huari Huari Rio Corumbiara, RO
Itogapuk Tupi Rio Madeirinha, AM
Ipotewat Tupi Upper Cacoal, RO
Jabutifed Tupi Between Rio Cacoal & Rio Riosinho, RO
Jabuti NA Upper Rio Branco
Kabixiana Tupi Upper Rio Corumbiara, RO
Kamakan Kamakan Bahia
Kanamari Katukina Upper Inauini, AM
Karipuna do Rondonia Pano Rio Capivari, RO
Karitiana Tupi Alto Rio Candeias, AM
Katiana Aruak Upper Rio Purus
Kaxarari Aruak Upper Rio Curuquete, AM-AC
Kayapo-Kradau Je N. Araguaia, S.Para
Kayapo do Sul Je Boundary of Minas Gerais and São Paulo
Kayuixana Aruak Between Rio Japura and Rio Solimoes, AM
Kenkateye Je Rio Alpercatas, Maranhao
Kepkiriwat Tupi Rio Pimenta Bueno, RO
Kinikinao Aruak Aquidauana, MS
Kokama Tupi Rio Solimoes, AM
Krem Ye Je Maranhão - Para
Krikati Je Maranhão
Kujijineri Aruak Between Upper Envira and Curumaha, Acre
Kuniba Aruak Between Juruasinho and Jutai, AM
Kurina Pano Rio Jutai & Rio Jandiatuba, AM
Kuruaya Tupi Rio Jamaxim, S Para
Kustenao Aruak Rio Batovi and Rio Ronuro, MT
Kuyanawa Pano NW. Acre
Layana Aruak Rio Miranda, MS
Makurap Tupi Rio Branco, RO
Maniteneri Aruak Rio Purus, Acre
Manitsawa Tupi Upper Xingu, MT
Marakana NA Mountains south of Rio Uraricoera, Roraima
Marawa Aruak Lower Jutai, AM
Matanawi Matanawi Lower Marmelos, AM
Mayoruna Pano Rio Javari, AM
Mialat Tupi Upper Leitao, RO
Miranha Witoto Rio Tefe, Rio Caicara, AM
Monde or Sanamaika Tupi Right of Pimenta Bueno, RO
Naravute Carib Middle Culuene, MT
Natu NA Sergipe
Ofaye Ofaie MS
Oti Oti Campos Novos, São Paulo
Oyanpik or Wayampi Tupi Oiapoque, Amapa
Palmelas Carib Right of Rio Guapore, RO
Parawa [Hon, Maro-Djapa] Katukina Left of Upper Jurua, AM
Pase Aruak Lower Rio Ica, AM
Pataxo-Hahahai Pataxo Jequitinhonha, Bahia
Pauxi Carib Right of Middle Cumina, Para
Pauxiana Carib Between Rio Mocajai and Rio Catrimani, Roraima
Payaguá Guaycuruan Along the Paraguay River and in Mato Grosso do Sul. The last Payaguá died in 1942.
Poyanawa Pano Upper Rio Moa, Acre
Purukoto Carib Maraca Island, Rio Uraricoera, Roraima
Rama Rama Tupi Rio Anari & Rio Machadinho, RO
Sakuya Pano Extreme NW Acre
Sanamaika Tupi Left of Pimenta Bueno, RO
Takuatep Tupi Rio Tamuripa, RO
Tora Chapacura Lower Marmelos, AM
Tsuva Carib Middle Culuene, MT
Turiwára Tupi Maranhão
Txakamekra Je Rio das Flores, Maranhão
Urumi Tupi Right of Rio Jiparana, RO
Wainuma Aruak Middle Japura, Amazonas - Colombia border
Warekena Aruak Rio Icana and Rio Xie, NW AM
Wayoro NA Upper Rio Branco, RO
Xipaya Tupi Rio Iriri & Rio Curua, Para
Yuberi Aruak Lower Tapaua & Middle Purus, AM
Yuma NA Upper Ipixuna & Tabocal, AM
Yuri Yuri Between Ica, Japura & Solimões

*Ribeiro grouped several nations into one in certain cases. For example, the Arara are actually 4 different tribes, which may or may not be linguistically and ethnically related. In such cases, the names of the known individual nations are given in Square Brackets.
In some cases, the tribes which were classified as extinct later re-emerged and exerted their identity. Examples are Krenak and Apiacá
In certain other cases, tribes which became extinct in Brasil existed as a living nation else where, such as the Oyanpik


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