Ikpeng

Introduction

The Ikpeng are a Carib-speaking tribe located near the Upper Xingu River. They have a population of 459 (2010), up from a low of 50 in 1969.

The Ikpeng came from the region of the feeder streams of the Xingu in the beginning of the 20th Century, when they lived in a state of war with their upper Xinguan neighbors. Contact with the non-indigenous world was even more recent, at the beginning of the 1960s, and had disastrous consequences for their population, which was reduced to less than half as a result of diseases and killings. They were then transferred to the borders of the Xingu Indian Park and “pacified.” Today they maintain relations of alliance with the other villages of the Park, but nevertheless their society is quite distinct from the others. They don’t wage war any longer, although war is still at the center of their worldview, not only as a motive for death but also for the replacement of the dead through the incorporation of the enemy into the group, thus also being responsible for the reproduction of social life.

You can learn more about the Ikpeng at socioambiental.org

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