Rikbaktsa - Orientation



Identification. The name by which these Brazilian Indians refer to themselves is "Rikbaktsa," meaning "human beings." They are called "Canoeiro" by the local non-Indian population because of their custom of using canoes.

Location. Their present-day territory consists of two contiguous areas: one between the Juruena and Sangue rivers, the other between the Juruena and Arinos rivers; they total 228,384 hectares and are located in the state of Mato Grosso, Brasil, between 10°30′ and ll°40′ S and 58°05′ and 58°30′ W.

Demography. The 1989 population of the Rikbaktsa was 626 persons. In 1957 there were around 1,000 individuals, 70 percent of whom died of measles, influenza, and smallpox during the the early phase of their relatively late contact with the Western world.

Linguistic Affiliation. The language of the Rikbaktsa belongs to the Macro-Gê Linguistic Stock.


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