Pataxó

The Pataxó were formerly nomadic people that lived in a region comprising the limits of two rivers: São Matheus in the state of Espirito Santo (called Krikaré) and Santa Cruz River in Bahia (currently known as João de Tiba River). The Pataxó used to come from the forest to the Atlantic coast to feed on shellfish and perform their rituals. Since the arrival of Portuguese the Pataxó have suffered from the colonialist repression heavily since they have been among the tribes that have been in direct and immediate contact with the Portuguese from the very beginning. For example, the 1757 Direito do Indio that prohibited the use of any other language than Portuguese and violently forced indigenous people to unlearn their culture and traditions, had immediate effect on Pataxó compared to some other tribes in Brazil living in more remote areas who the colonizers encountered much later and couldn ́t control so easily. After the devastation of the forests by Portuguese colonialism, the Pataxó took refuge on the coast. The first settlements made ​by the priests in the region of Prado and Santa Cruz de Cabrália began in 1814, first by the Rio das Ostras (Oyster River), following another by the Corumbau river. From 1822 on, the Pataxó, joined with other indigenous groups who lived or passed through the settlements, started to lose what was left of their freedom and were forced to stay in small reservates (aldeias) by government decision in 1861. That ́s when the Aldeia Barra Velha Pataxó was created. The creation of the reservates were followed by further intensive exploitation of forests, causing reduction of the original land, further loss of Pataxó mother tongue Patxohã and traditional habits, as well as the adoption of different cultures that weakened the Pataxó people and made them become sedentary. In 1951 Aldeia Barra Velha became the scene of a massacre when all the reservate were set to fire (the episode is known as Fire of 51). After that, many indigenous people denied their identities and scattered in the vicinity of Monte Pascoal area, while other families formed small settlements within this territory. One of these is Aldeia Velha.

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