Peoples of Latin American forests

The Latin American rainforests and the thickly wooded banks of the rivers crossing the near-by elevated savannahs are inhabited by approximately one million Indians divided into 300 ethnic and tribal groups. Even if the forest spontaneously offers all sorts of fruits, almost all foods are grown by the Indians, whose economy exclusively depends on farming. They turn to hunting and gathering only to supplement their crops. Gardens located near houses or small secluded plantations produce tea, tobacco, vegetables and herbs as well as cassavas and potatoes that are grown in small plots of land made in the forest by “cutting and burning”.
Indigenous groups are always on the move during the year: they can be organised in small isolated units or large groups, but they always move according to strictly settled habits in order to respect a sort of “right to the land”.
Comparatively small groups still resist the penetration of the developed world and successfully defend the boundaries of their lands and remain comparatively isolated also because they are very brave and ready to fight hand-to-hand. Other groups are involved, instead, in fierce disputes to defend their rights to the land against the claims of all sorts of industries and dealers, that they often lose.

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