A group of Brazil’s Kambeba people, an indigenous tribe in the Amazon rainforest, are open and welcoming to people who want to learn more about their traditions and culture.
One way to reach them is by boat from Manaus, Brazil. Here's a view of cruisers from the Iberostar Grand Amazon disembarking to the village. The blue building is the town hall and the one trimmed in red is the church.
On the beach: FUNAI is the Brazilian government body that establishes and carries out policies relating to indigenous peoples.
In the town hall, the chief gave a short welcome speech while a guide translated. The children of the tribe listened intently whenever their chief spoke. There are only a little more than 50 people living in the village, most of which seem to be children. The chief and villagers joked that the only thing to do there was to make more children.
Our guide told us Kambeba actually means the “Flat Head” tribe, a name given by other indigenous nations. The Kambeba people used to have a ritual where they would compress their heads with wooden boards. This happened from birth until the desired form was made. The Kambeba people are working on documenting their history through several books, such as the one shown above.
The children performed two of their traditional dances for us. That man standing in the middle of the picture is the chief (yes, he’s wearing athletic shorts!).
After the introduction, the tribe led a tour of their village. Above is the church.
This is the outside of a typical Kambeba home. All the houses were on stilts because the river has been known to rise 15 to 20 feet in a season.
Another house. I was trying to capture a collection of pots and pans hanging in neat rows just inside the door, but it was too dark inside. Note the satellite dish!
Next stop: the school. It was well equipped with books and other supplies, relatively speaking. The tourist dollars from cruise visitors probably helps. At the school, children are learning both their native language and Portuguese.
Many of the trees around town were labeled. Health nuts are probably jealous that these folks have açaí berries growing right in their backyard.
Another way Kambeba people make money is by crafting jewelry. The village courtyard has several gazebo-like stands set up in a circle.
This might be a remote village, but a love of soccer still found a way to get here (perhaps the satellite shown above helped!). Here the goal post was made out of branches — look closely between the two boys and you can see one of the posts.