Our Land

More than our territory, this is our land.

When the waradzu thinks of indigenous land, he envisions still, enclosed land, much like his own farms.

When we, A’uwe, think of the land, we envision the movements of everything within it. We think of the waters that flow into our river. We think of the plants spreading their seeds. We think of the animals running through the fields. And we think of ourselves, the A’uwe, who use the paths through the forest to hunt, fish, and collect fruits.

1985 newspaper article from Correio Braziliense reporting the mobilization in Sangradouro Indigenous Land against the impacts of BR-070 paving and for the completion of demarcation.

1980 newspaper article from Diário de Pernambuco reporting the occupation of Funai headquarters by leaders of Pimentel Barbosa Indigenous Land, demanding the removal of invaders and completion of land demarcation.

These paths extend from the mouth of Öwawe, rio das Mortes, to its headwaters. We, A’uwe, call them maranã bödödi.

Before the arrival of the waradzu, we walked these paths to visit our relatives and built villages around them. It was along these paths that we resisted the massacres imposed by the waradzu.

These paths are our land. These paths are part of our people. Maranã bödödi is the physical and spiritual world of A’uwe.

The waradzu, however, cleared the land to establish large farms throughout the Araguaia valley, along the banks of the Rio das Mortes, and in the Serra do Roncador. The government sliced our lands with highways and created villages and cities around our territories.

  • Our land was divided, our people were split. Our grandparents resisted. Following in their footsteps, we also resist.
  • The Xavante Warã Association fights for the full protection of our land and advocates for:
  • Integrated management of all Xavante territories;
  • Completion of the five pending demarcation procedures;
  • Review of demarcations done without proper anthropological studies under the authoritarianism of military governments;
  • Creation of corridors of protected areas between demarcated territories to ensure the circulation of water, plants, animals, and the A’uwe-Xavante people;
  • Protection of the River of Deaths as a cultural and environmental heritage of the A’uwe people and all Brazilians;
  • Monitoring and enforcement of environmental offenses committed within and near our territories; and
  • Participation of all A’uwe in environmental impact studies of highways, railways, hydropower plants, and other projects affecting the land and our way of life, ensuring the right to free, prior, and informed consent.

To achieve these goals, we have developed our actions along three lines:

  • Defense of the territory and confrontation of projects;
  • Environmental and territorial management of Xavante lands for sustainable development; and
  • Community organization and women’s organization.

II Women’s Meeting Xavante Piõ nori tsiptede, Sangradouro/Volta Grande IL, 2023.