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Kayapo Expeditions


Expeditions by foot and river complement the role of guard posts for occupying and defending sections of border not yet monitored by a guard post. They are also important venues for transmission of traditional territorial and cultural knowledge from elder to youth; and therefore, provide training in traditional and modern territorial surveillance as well as instilling Kayapo pride.

Here are a few examples of previous expeditions.

Akrotidjam 2021


The Akrotidjam expedition set out to i) re-clear a section of border, ii) locate the decades old federal government geodesic survey markers permanently fixed to the ground for demarcating indigenous territory (the TI Kayapo), iii) check whether the geodesic markers had not been moved or destroyed by ranchers, and iv) check for encroachment by ranchers. Four km of trail was cleared in very degraded post-deforestation area. No intact geodesic markers were located. A single old government sign announcing indigenous territory was found.

Young Kayapo members of the Akrotidjam expedition examine part of a geodesic indigenous territory border marker they found.

Riozinho 2022


The AFP representing Kubenkranken organized an expedition of two weeks by 15 members of this community to patrol ~200 km of the Riozinho river from the village north to where the Riozinho river empties into the Fresco river.  This expedition was especially arduous because it took place during the dry season when the water level in the Riozinho river is very low (see photos below). The objective of the expedition was to check for any signs of invasion as indicated, for example, by muddy water from goldmining flowing into the Riozinho from feeder streams, and ii) generate income for the community. No signs of illegal activity were observed.

Menkragnoti Velho 2022


This is an original village of the Kayapo located deep in the huge Menkragnoti territory with air access only. Members of this community long sought road connection to the 200+ km track that connects the interior village of Kubenkokre to the frontier town of Castelo dos Sonhos. Because of its isolated location members of Menkragnoti Velho are unable to participate in a guard post. Therefore, the decision was made by their representative NGO the IK to help this community by supporting an expedition of 15 Kayapo men that served both to generate income and open a 25-km track to Kubenkokre so that members of Menkragnoti Velho can reach town and participate in the guard post program.

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Learn more about all recent Kayapo expeditions by consulting our territorial surveillance reports.