ASKiNGRADiO.com | Features | Yanomami Tribe | Nov 16
The Yanomami are the largest relatively isolated tribe in South America. They live in the rainforests and mountains of northern Brazil and southern Venezuela.
Like most tribes on the continent, they probably migrated across the Bering Straits between Asia and America some 15,000 years ago, making their way slowly down to South America. Today their total population stands at around 35,000.
At over 9.6 million hectares, the Yanomami territory in Brazil is twice the size of Switzerland. In Venezuela, the Yanomami live in the 8.2 million hectare Alto Orinoco – Casiquiare Biosphere Reserve. Together, these areas form the largest forested indigenous territory in the world.
Thousands of gold-miners are now working illegally on Yanomami land, transmitting deadly diseases like malaria and polluting the rivers and forest with mercury. Cattle ranchers are invading and deforesting the eastern fringe of their land.
Yanomami health is suffering and critical medical care is not reaching them, especially in Venezuela.
The Brazilian congress is currently debating a bill which, if approved, will permit large-scale mining in indigenous territories. This will be extremely harmful to the Yanomami and other remote tribes in Brazil.
Keep a date for more…