Zoe in Brazil

The Zoe have only been reported in Brazil
This people group’s population is unknown or estimated to be extremely small. This people group may have assimilated into larger surrounding groups and may no longer be recognizable as a distinct group. To ensure every people group is represented, Joshua Project includes unknown and very small population people groups until on-site research determines they do not exist. More info at Small People Group Policy.
Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Indians by the Cuminapanema river in Brazil call themselves by the name of Zoe. They are also called Bure, Porturu and Porturujara. They speak one language and it is from Tupi-Guarani, related to the Tupi.

The Zoe had contact with Protestant missionaries and Funai woodsmen. In 1975 people from the IDESP agency found a village with three large huts. The team flew above the village and arrows were fired at the plane. They found another three villages and told the Funai who put woodsmen in the region to work.

In 1982, Evangelical missionaries from the Missao Novas Tribos do Brasil (New Tribes Mission of Brazil) contacted the Zoe. The contact was uneasy and a few gifts were given. Later in the 1980s they made occasional contacts with the Indians who were said to be restless and withdrawn. In 1987 contact was made and the missionaries offered gifts but were fired at with arrows. The Funai were told about it and they prevented the missionaries from living in the villages. In 1989 the Funai found that the health of the Indians was not too good and they told the missionaries to leave and then took control of the region.

The Zoe appear to keep away from local neighbors who they regard as enemies. Travelling conditions are difficult. The region is quite preserved.

It was decided that the Zoe could have contact with other people according to their own terms. The Zoe decided they want relations with the white people and are curious about the world around them. They also want to meet other Indians.

The Zoe have an autonomous economic and political social structure of the local group. They have huts for houses with one family or two units in different places in the hut and having their own hearth. They are involved in agriculture and they hunt and fish.

The fields are reused every year and cassava and other products get replanted. Hunting and fishing causes families to go well away from their villages and to stay to where they go to for many weeks, having plenty to hunt and fish and using flour. The women use ceramics and woven materials for the usage of cassava.

The Zoe love Brazil nuts. Besides being used for food, the nut shells are made into bracelets and hammocks are made from the fiber of the shells.

The Zoe men may have more than one wife and the Zoe women may have more than one husband. Though the advice of men called Yu is particularly taken notice of in certain matters, everyone is equal amongst the Zoe.

Prayer Points

Pray that when they go to the cities they will meet Christians who will lead them to Jesus Christ.
Pray that people from the Yu become Christians and lead other members of the Zoe tribe to salvation.

Scripture Prayers for the Zoe in Brazil.



Profile Source:   Anonymous  

People Name General Zoe
People Name in Country Zoe
Alternate Names Poturu; Zo'e
Population this Country 200
Population all Countries 200
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 0  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 14454
ROP3 Code 108136
ROP25 Code 306802
ROP25 Name Poturu (Zoe)
Country Brazil
Region America, Latin
Continent South America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Pará state: Obidos municipality on Cuminapanema river.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Brazil
Region America, Latin
Continent South America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Pará state: Obidos municipality on Cuminapanema river..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
100.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Zo'e (200 speakers)
Language Code pto   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Zo'e (200 speakers)
Language Code pto   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Zo'e

Primary Language:  Zo'e

Bible Translation Status:  Translation Needed

Resource Type Resource Name Source
None reported  
Photo Source Angelo Bonelli 
Map Source Joshua Project  
Profile Source Anonymous 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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