THE SURUI / PAITER INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF THE AMAZON
“Surui” is the most widely known name for our people. It was given to us by the anthropologists, but our real name is Paiter, which means in our language:
THE TRUE PEOPLE
In our recent history, our Homeland has been terribly threatened by the violence of the Polonoroeste program, the corruption and omission of government agencies, and the invasion by unauthorized individuals, including lumbermen and miners.
Since 1968, when We, the Paiter, “officially” had contact with the white man, relations with non-Indians have provoked drastic changes in our society. These changes, however, have not extinguished our warrior spirit, which has motivated our fight for the recognition and integrity of our territory.
Struggling as we can against these adverse conditions, We, the Paiter, along with the other Forest People, are determined to maintain our culture and our environment alive.
3 years after the first encounter, there were less than 300 of us alive out of a population of over 5000, due to imported sicknesses and war. Today, we are about 1300, we have barely escaped exinction and we now face assimilation…