Sunday, July 25, 2010


Orlando, Claudio e Leonardo Villas-Boas
were Brazilians Act
ivists regarding
indigenous peop

They created the Xingu National Park as the home-land of the Indians.
Together the Villas-boas brothers helped spread the notion that Indians should
not be acculturated and civilized, but they should be left alone and as
isolated as possible from the rest of the Brazilians. The park by 1994
had 6,000 Indians living in 18 settlements from different tribes.

The British historian, John Hemming, wrote that the Villas-Bôas were pioneers in
many ways. They were almost the first non-missionaries to live permanently
with the Indians; and they treated them as their equals and friends.
They persuaded tribes to end internecine feuds and unite to
confront the encroaching settlement frontier.
They were the first to empower indigenous people to run their own affairs.
The Villas-Bôas were the first to appreciate the value of politics
and themedia in furthering the indigenous cause. They also devised a policy
of "change, but only at the speed the Indians want".

Robin Hanbury-Tenison, from Survival International, wrote that:
"The Xingu is the only closed park in Brazil, which means that it is the only area
in which Indians are safe from deliberate or accidental contact with un desirable
representatives of Western civilization. This is due entirely to the Villas-Bôas brothers
and the total dedication of their lives to this work over the last 25 years. Since 1971,
when this was written, more indigenous parks and reserves have been created, such
as the Tumucumaque Indigenous National Park in northern Pará state, but
the Xingu park remains the most important of them

The anthropologist Shelton Davis wrote that: "The Villas-Bôas brother s further argued
that it was the responsibility of the federal government to provide a secure protective
buffer, in the form of closed Indian parks and reserves, between Indians and the
frontiers of national society. In time, the three brothers believed, Indians
would integrate into Brazilian national society. This process of integration,
however, should be a gradual one and should guarantee the Indians'
survival, ethnic identities and ways of life.

In the foreword of the book Xingu: the Indians, Their Myths the anthropologist
Kenneth S. Brecher wrote that" It is now almost 30 years since the Villas-Bôas
brothers led the expedition known as 'Brazil's march to the West' which was
intended to open up the heart of the interior for colonization. They were
overwhelmed by the beauty and cultural richness of the network of Xingu
tribes which they discovered, and when the expedition disbanded they remained
in the jungle to protect the Xinguanos from the land speculators, state senators,
diamond prospectors, skin hunters, and rubber gatherers who h ad followed
in their wake.That the Xingu tribes continue to exist, in fact to thrive, is due
largely to the extreme dedication, intelligence, cunning, and
physical strength of these brothers."

And it is with this passion that Alfredo Villas-Bôas, a descendant of the brothers, is ready to
embark in his journey to Xingu too see, experience and protect the legacy left from his ancestors
and their love for the indigenous people.


The goal of the Xingu Expedition is to produce a documentary about Xingu River
and the tribes/villages that populate the river to bring awareness about what
is happening in the region and share cultural practices
between Hawaii and the tribes at Xingu Park.


The Brazilian government is planning to build the world's third-largest
hydroelectric project one of the Amazon's major tributaries, the Xingu.
The Belo Monte Dam will divert the flow of the Xingu River, devastating
an extensive area of the Brazilian Rainforest, displace over 20,000 people,
and threaten the survival of indigenous peoples.

The most controversial dam project facing Brazil today, Belo Monte
represents the struggle about the future of Amazonia. The Brazilian government
plans to build more than 100 large dams in the Amazon Basin over
the next 20 years. Many Brazilians believe that if Belo Monte is approved,
it will represent a great destruction of all the Teles Pires, then the Araguaia-Tocantis,
and so on. The Amazon will become an endless series of reservoirs, with
giant walls of concrete replacing indigenous plants and people.
In fact, all life on the planet will be affected.

"We are consciously responsible for how we leave this Planet for future generations."
Alfredo Villas-Bôas

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