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Headress for women, Waura Wauja Kuikuru - AMNH - DSC06151.JPG
Women's headress of the Waura on display at the American Museum of Natural History
Total population
487 (2010)
Regions with significant populations
Related ethnic groups

The Waura (waujá) are an indigenous people of Brazil. Their language, Waura, is an Arawakan language. They live in the region near the Upper Xingu River, in the Xingu Indigenous Park, and had a population of 487 in 2010.

Xingu River tributary river of the Amazon River in South America

The Xingu River is a 1,640 km (1,019 mi) river in north Brazil. It is a southeast tributary of the Amazon River and one of the largest clearwater rivers in the Amazon basin, accounting for about 5% of its water.

Xingu Indigenous Park national park

The Xingu Indigenous Park is an indigenous territory of Brazil, first created in 1961 as a national park in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. Its official purposes are to protect the environment and the several tribes of Xingu indigenous peoples in the area.



The Waura and Mehinako, two Arawakan-speaking tribes native to the Upper Xingu River, are likely descendants of various tribes which came into the region in roughly the 9th or 10th century CE. Archaeological records going back to the time between 1000 and 1600 suggest that the people living in the region were mostly sedentary, with relatively large communities. These villages were built around a central plaza, and were defended with ditches and palisades. Archaeological evidence from the region suggests a strong relationship with a band of Aruak tribes stretching from the Upper Xingu to modern day Bolivia. It is unknown what sort of relationship the Aruak-speaking people of the Upper Xingu River had with other, Carib-speaking tribes, although the current multiethnic order in the region was in place by the 18th century.

Bolivia country in South America

Bolivia, officially the Plurinational State of Bolivia is a landlocked country located in western-central South America. The capital is Sucre while the seat of government and financial center is located in La Paz. The largest city and principal industrial center is Santa Cruz de la Sierra, located on the Llanos Orientales, a mostly flat region in the east of the country.

German ethnologist Karl von den Steinen was the first European to record the existence of the Wauja tribe in 1884. He received hints that the tribe might exist (under the name Vaurá) by other indigenous peoples that he encountered on his expedition. He discovered exactly where they existed when given a map of the region by members of the Suyá tribe.

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Indigenous peoples in Brazil diverse range of ethnic groups

Indigenous peoples in Brazil or Indigenous Brazilians, comprise a large number of distinct ethnic groups who have inhabited what is now the country of Brazil since prior to the European contact around 1500. Unlike Christopher Columbus, who thought he had reached the East Indies, the Portuguese, most notably Vasco da Gama, had already reached India via the Indian Ocean route when they reached Brazil.

Arawak group of indigenous peoples of South America and historically of the Caribbean. Specifically, the term Arawak has been applied at various times to the Lokono and the Taíno, all of whom spoke related Arawakan languages

The Arawak are a group of indigenous peoples of South America and of the Caribbean. Specifically, the term "Arawak" has been applied at various times to the Lokono of South America and the Taíno, who historically lived in the Greater Antilles and northern Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. All these groups spoke related Arawakan languages.

Susquehannock group of indigenous people native to North America

Susquehannock people, also called the Conestoga by the English, were Iroquoian-speaking Native Americans who lived in areas adjacent to the Susquehanna River and its tributaries ranging from its upper reaches in the southern part of what is now New York, through eastern and central Pennsylvania West of the Poconos and the upper Delaware River, with lands extending beyond the mouth of the Susquehanna in Maryland along the west bank of the Potomac at the north end of the Chesapeake Bay. Evidence of their habitation has also been found in northern West Virginia and portions of southwestern Pennsylvania, which could be reached via the gaps of the Allegheny or several counties to the south, via the Cumberland Narrows pass which held the Nemacolin Trail. Both passes abutted their range and could be reached through connecting valleys from the West Branch Susquehanna and their large settlement at Conestoga, Pennsylvania.


The Kamayurá are an indigenous tribe in the Amazonian Basin of Brazil. Their name is also spelled Kamayura and Kamaiurá; it means "a raised platform to keep meat, pots and pans." The Kamayurá language belongs to the Tupi–Guarani family

Arawakan languages language family

Arawakan, also known as Maipurean, is a language family that developed among ancient indigenous peoples in South America. Branches migrated to Central America and the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean and the Atlantic, including what is now the Bahamas. Only present-day Ecuador, Uruguay, and Chile did not have peoples who spoke Arawakan languages. Maipurean may be related to other language families in a hypothetical Macro-Arawakan stock.

Xingu peoples people

Xingu peoples are indigenous peoples of Brazil living near the Xingu River. They have many cultural similarities despite their different ethnologies. Xingu people represent fifteen tribes and all four of Brazil's indigenous language groups, but they share similar belief systems, rituals and ceremonies.

The Panará are an Indigenous people of Mato Grosso in the Brazilian Amazon. They farm and are hunter-gatherers.

The Yawalapiti are an indigenous tribe in the Amazonian Basin of Brazil. The name is also spelled Iaualapiti in Portuguese. The current village Yawalapiti is situated more to the south, between the Tuatuari and Kuluene River. Their population in 2011 was 156, down from a 2010 population of 237 (2010) but up from a low of 25 in 1954.


The Mojeños, also known as Moxeños, Moxos, or Mojos, are an indigenous people of Bolivia. They lived in south central Beni Department, on both banks of the Mamore River, and on the marshy plains to its west, known as the Llanos de Mojos. The Mamore is a tributary to the Madeira River in northern Bolivia.

The Kuikuro are an indigenous people from the Mato Grosso region of Brazil. Their language, Kuikuro, is a part of the Carib language family. The Kuikuro have many similarities with other Xingu tribes. They have a population of 592 in 2010, up from 450 in 2002.


The Kalapalo are an indigenous people of Brazil. They are one of seventeen peoples who inhabit the Xingu National Park in the Upper Xingu River region of the state of Mato Grosso. They speak the Amonap language, a Cariban language, and are one of four peoples speaking languages in this family in the area. They have a population of 569 as of 2010.

The Aweti people are a group of Native Americans living in the Xingu Indigenous Park, close to the headwaters of the Xingu River in Brazil. The Aweti inhabit two villages in the region. One is called Tazu’jyretam, and the other is unnamed. Tazu’jyretam is the main village of the Aweti people, and has been inhabited since at least the 19th century. Tazu’jyretam also has a small port. Both of these villages are located in an area between the Curisevo and Tuatuarí rivers, which feed into the Xingu further upstream. Their population was 196 in 2011, up from 140 in 2006.


The Mehinaku or Mehináko are an indigenous people of Brazil. They live in the Indigenous Park of the Xingu, located around the headwaters of the Xingu River in Mato Grosso. They currently reside in area around the Tuatuari and Kurisevo Rivers. They had a population of 254 in 2011, up slightly from 200 in 2002.

The Suyá, self-denomination Kisêdjê, are indigenous people in Brazil, at the headwaters of the Xingu River.

The Ikpeng are an indigenous community that now lives in the Xingu Indigenous Park in Mato Grosso, Brazil. They had a population of 459 in 2010, up from a low of 50 in 1969.

Taíno language Arawakan language; the principal language throughout the Caribbean at the time of Spanish contact

Taíno is a poorly-attested Arawakan language that was spoken by the Taíno people of the Caribbean. At the time of Spanish contact, it was the principal language throughout the Caribbean. Classic Taíno was the native language of the northern Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and most of Hispaniola, and it was expanding into Cuba. Ciboney is essentially unattested, but colonial sources suggest that it was a similar language to the Taíno language and was spoken in westernmost Hispaniola, the Bahamas, Jamaica, and most of Cuba.

Waurá (Wauja) is an Arawakan language spoken in Brazil by the Waujá people. It is "partially intelligible" with Mehináku. The entire population speaks the language.

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    National Museum of the American Indian museum in Washington, D.C.

    The National Museum of the American Indian is part of the Smithsonian Institution and is committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of the Native cultures of the Western Hemisphere—past, present, and future—through partnership with Native people and others. The museum works to support the continuance of culture, traditional values, and transitions in contemporary Native life. It has three facilities: the National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., which opened on September 21, 2004, on Fourth Street and Independence Avenue, Southwest; the George Gustav Heye Center, a permanent museum in New York City; and the Cultural Resources Center, a research and collections facility in Suitland, Maryland. The foundations for the present collections were first assembled in the former Museum of the American Indian in New York City, which was established in 1916, and which became part of the Smithsonian in 1990.