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Refuge and exile

An unprecedented victory, the area demarcated in 1961 was, however, far smaller than foreseen in original plans. It did not even cover the headwaters of the Xingu River. Entire communities were exposed to government construction projects and attacks from miners and farmers. In the years that followed the Villas Bôas brothers arranged the safe transfer of some of these populations to demarcated land.

This transposition saved lives, yet interfered dramatically in the everyday realities of these peoples, who had come from other cultural contexts. Years later, some of them, such as the Panará and the Khisêtjê, returned to their traditional territories. Others, such as the Ikpeng, did not. In the film Pirinop – Meu primeiro contato [My First Contact], they recall the impact of this change and contemplate the perspective of recovering their land.