The Kaiabi are an indigenous group of people who live in Brazil, states of Mato
Grosso and Pará. There were 1619 people in the group in 2006.
Until 1940 they lived between the Arinos and Tatuy rivers. They were considered wild
people by the whites because they refused to let rubber collectors enter their territory.
Many conflicts ensued with rubber collectors, travellers and people from the Indian
Protection Service. Still, the area was slowly occupied by white people, and the natives
started working for rubber companies.
After 1950 the region of the Arinos, Tatuy and Teles Pires rivers was split into
various territories occupied by ranches, and the indians were divided in three groups. The
majority moved to the Xingu park.
The Kaiabi people who still live in the park speak a Tupi language, which is similar
to the languages spoken by the Asurini and the Apiaka. They also speak portuguese, the national language of Brazil. Those who left the park to live
with the whites gradually stopped using their own language and didn't teach it to their
*Kaiabi on socioambiental.org