The Bororo people are an indigenous group who live in Mato Grosso, a state in western Brazil. According to Funasa, there were 1392 individuals in the group in 2006.
The word "Bororo" means 'village court', which is represented by the circular distribution of the houses, which creates an empty space which is used for rituals.
They are also known as Coxiponé, Araripoconé, Araés, Cuiabá, Coroados, and Porrudos.
The traditional lands of the Bororo ranged from eastern Bolivia to the western part of Brazilian state of Goias; they primarily inhabited the lands near the Rio Xingu and the Rio Miranda (Ribeiro, 1970:77). The Bororo have been living in these lands for around 7000 years (Wüst & Vierter, 1982).
Boe Wadáru is the term used by these people to refer to their own language. It has been classified as an isolate language. Sometimes the language is placed in a category of languages, the branch of Macro-Jê languages, due to some similarities with other languages of the group. (Manson,1950; Greenberg,1957).
The language is spoken by virtually any Bororo person, along with Portuguese, the official language of Brazil. Until the end of the 1970s, the Salesian Indigenous Mission had a program where children and teenagers were taught only Portuguese in school, and usage of their native language was forbidden in villages such as Meruri and Sangradouro. Later, the Salesian missionaries adopted the idea of letting the children learn their original language and favored a bilingual education. In their daily life the Bororo use their language, with some borrowed words from regional Portuguese, and only speak the latter when interacting with people who don't belong to their group.
The Bororo live in six demarcated Indigenous Lands in the State of Mato Grosso, which cover an area 300 times smaller than their traditional territory. Meruri, Perigara, Sangradouro/Volta Grande and Tadarimana Indigenous Lands are registered and homologued. The Jarudori reservation was apart by the SPI, and it was overrun by white brazilians over time, which built a city over it.
In the 1970s, the Bororo created a movement demanding the reassignment of their original territories, and improvement of health care and education services. The Meruri reservation was overrun by landowners under the leadership of General Carneiro, who also massacred the local population.
The movement nowadays encompasses all Bororo villages, and tries to find solutions for land disputes in the Teresa Cristina, Jarudori and Sangradouro Indigenous Lands. Insuring the inclusion of the Bororo in the reports on environmental impact is also a priority.
*Bororo on socioambiental.org, in English