Guardians of the Amazon: how the indigenous tribes of Brazil live today

2 min

564 points

For several years, Brazilian photographer Ricardo Stuckert has been leading a project dedicated to the indigenous peoples of Brazil – the inhabitants of the Amazon rain-forest. Yes, the Indians live in their original habitats today, trying to maintain their familiar way of life and traditions … however, many would call this a struggle for existence.

Amazon rain-forest

Of course, it’s not easy for them. And the difficulty is not that they live far from the civilization, and not that they obtain food, as in the old days, by hunting, gathering and farming. The problem is that they remained small and getting smaller every year and their habitat – the Amazon rain forest – is rapidly disappearing and being destroyed. But the land is the basis of their survival. Being alone with nature is incredibly important for the indigenous people of Brazil.

amazonian girls

Here, indigenous people are developing sustainable management projects, reforestation of devastated areas, and even fighting those who cut down forests for financial gain.

In 2020, the Amazon suffered some of the most devastating wildfires – and now the very existence of many indigenous peoples is threatened as their land is the basis of their survival.

Kalapalo Indians in traditional dress
Kalapalo Indians in traditional dress

The goal of Ricardo Stuckert’s photo project is to highlight the importance of protecting the indigenous peoples of Brazil and to show that there can be harmony between nature and man.

“I’ve always been fascinated by the local culture,” says the photographer. “The importance of documentary photojournalism is to remove stigma and promote a lost culture.”

amazonian tribe

Thousands of stars can be seen in the clear night sky.

Brazil is home to over 210 million people, nearly one million of whom are indigenous.

“I always try not to bother the Indians. I’m here to make a documentary about people who are constantly fighting to protect nature,” says Ricardo.

“When you go to a forest or a village, you find yourself at a different time. You do not feel the same anxiety that surrounds you in the city, – he continues. – We think that we are the masters of the world, but the Indians taught me to stop, breathe and talk … Look in the eyes, touch and feel each other. “

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