Juruna

Introduction

Dois-pontosThe Yudjá, also called the Juruna, Juruhuna, Yuruna, Juruûna, Geruna, and Yudya, are an indigenous people who live in the states of Mato Grosso and Pará, Brazil. They have a population of 362 (2006), up from a low of 52 in 1916 (2,000 in 1842; 200 in 1884; 150 in 1896).

“The Juruna, once the most important tribe of the Xingu, suffered the entire onslaught of the advance of rubber tappers. Especially the people from Coronel Tancredo Martins Jorge, at the mouth of the Rio Fresco, committed every sort of crime, from murder on down, against the poor Peoples, until they revolted and fled, headed by their Chief Máma, to the other side of the border of Mato Grosso, where they settled down on an island above the Martius Falls.

“Later, the Yudjá made peace with the rubber tapper Major Constantino Viana, of Pedra Seca, for whom they worked as crew members on his boats in 1916, going downriver to Altamira, when 22 of the Yudjá died within a few days. When the survivors returned with this news, the elderly Máma once again fled with the others upriver.” (source: socioambiental.org)

The Juruna today are in a much more stable position; but that may soon change. Juruna lands are facing destruction at the hands of the Belo Monte dam.

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