Naua in Brazil

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People Name: Naua
Country: Brazil
10/40 Window: No
Population: 500
World Population: 500
Primary Language: Portuguese
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 1.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South American Indigenous
Affinity Bloc: Latin-Caribbean Americans
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

After 100 years some Naua of Brazil emerged from the jungle. Anthropologists believed the Naua died out a century ago due to their harmful contact with Europeans. These Naua are the few hundred people who survived by fleeing to live in the remote Brazilian rainforest.

A third of the Naua under the age of 10. This tribe was long thought to be extinct, although at one time they were the most numerous people of the region.

Representatives from the Naua went to court. The Naua want a legal right to their land. This land is designated by the Brazilian government to be a national park. Since the land is a national park the Naua will have to move to another place, something they do not want to do. The issue will be settled in the Brazilian legal system in the next few years.

Due to their previous contact, the Naua speak Portuguese as their first language. Many resources are available in Portuguese. Unfortunately, many of the Naua are unable to read or write.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Portuguese colonizers captured many Naua and made them slaves on rubber plantations. Some of their women were taken as sex slaves by the colonizers. With the Portuguese came forced labor, war and disease. This soon caused the Indian population to plummet, eventually leading to a retreat into the jungle by the surviving few members of the tribe.

The primary occupations of the Naua are agriculture and hunter-gathering. They grow manioc and maize along with gathering edible forest products. Men also hunt monkeys, birds and wild pigs. Fishing is another way the Naua get food for their families. The Naua live in simple homes made from wood and grasses.

Life expectancy for the Naua is low, about 45 years. This low number is due to their lack of access to modern medicine.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Almost all Naua practice folk religion with ancestor veneration. Animism is the belief that spirits inhabit the objects of nature such as tree, rocks, animals, rivers, and the sky. They live in constant fear that the evil spirits will come and bring disaster upon the people. These spirits must be appeased by offering, prayers and rituals. The village shaman connects the Naua with the spirit world. The village shaman provides charms and rituals to protect the Naua.

A tiny group of Naua claim to be Roman Catholic Christians.

What Are Their Needs?

A member of the National Indian Foundation (NIF) commented, "These are authentic Naua and should have their rights and land restored." Instead, their land has been designated as a national park. As indigenous people, the Naua say they should not have to give up their land as it has always been their home. The Naua have huge physical and spiritual needs. They need access to modern medicine. They a regular source of food and clean water. Most of all, the Naua must hear the good news of Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and deliver them from their fear of evil spirits.

Prayer Points

Pray that the Lord will direct the Naua into constructive lives and a prosperous future.

Pray that the Lord will send the Naua spiritual help through the JESUS Film, gospel radio and other resources.

Pray for adults as well as children to receive basic literacy skills.

Pray that the word of God will be available to them in their own language, bringing many to Christ.

Pray that their land dispute will be settled in a just and honorable way.

Text Source:   Joshua Project