Tupinamba in Brazil

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People Name: Tupinamba
Country: Brazil
10/40 Window: No
Population: 6,200
World Population: 6,200
Primary Language: Portuguese
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 20.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.10 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Guarani
Affinity Bloc: Latin-Caribbean Americans
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Before the arrival of the Portuguese colonists the Tupinamba people grew casava and corn and fished. Their culture and religion centered on warfare, and they called upon the spirit world for mercy. Their shamans looked to these spirits to heal their ailments. The Tupinamba spoke their own language.
The arrival of Portuguese colonialists in the early 1600s meant subjugation and slaughter. Their traditional lands were taken.
The Tupinamba now speak Portuguese, the trade language of Brazil. They live in the east coast of Brazil from CearĂ¡ in the north to Porto Alegre in the south. They are in Brazil's eastern Bahia state.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The 2000s was a decade when loggers and game hunters took more land from the Tupinamba people, often killing them for getting in their way. The Tupinamba are beginning to get some lands back, but it is a difficult process. They are forced to negotiate for their tribal lands with government officials who favor their opponents. The Tupinamba people are able to claim a fraction of their traditional land.
The logging industry is eliminating the source of the Tupinamba economy. This tribe depends on the ecosystem of the forest. The forests provide them with birds, wild game, cassava, cocoa, medicinal herbs, etc. Some loggers and government officials have proposed "sustainable" forestry, but Tupinamba leaders reject this idea. They say the forest will not grow back fast enough when there are hundreds of trees cut down for logging and home building. Tupinamba elders remind us that when the forests are leveled, there is a much greater chance of having tsunamis and other natural disasters.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The forests are also important to the Tupinamba people for spiritual reasons. Though many are officially Roman Catholic, the Tupinamba people also depend on the spirits which dwell in the dark places of the forest. They depend on the creation rather than the creator.

What Are Their Needs?

The Tupinamba people need justice and mercy. They need a way to make a living as the forests continue to be cut down.

Prayer Points

Pray for mercy and justice for the Tupinamba people.
Pray for the Roman Catholic church in Brazil to become Christ-centered rather than tradition centered.
Pray for the Tupinamba people to put their faith in the creator rather than the creation.
Pray for Tupinamba disciplers to make other disciples.

Text Source:   Joshua Project