Uma mãe Munduruku
On top of a hill overlooking the Tapajós, the fourth-largest tributary of the Amazon in Brazil, lies a village of around 130 Indigenous families, who live between the river and their small fruit and manioc farms.
Walking tracks lead deep into the forest to where men hunt and women gather spicy ants to flavour their cassava flour.
This village of wood and palm-thatched houses, and the area surrounding it, is called the Sawré Muybu. It is one of many Indigenous
svillages along the Tapajós River that are home to the Munduruku people.
In just a few years this village may find itself an island, surrounded by the reservoir of a large hydroelectric dam. Others nearby will be underwater.
The São Luiz do Tapajós dam is the first of four slated to be built on the Tapajós River. This first dam would block the river, creating a reservoir that would submerge an area nearly the size of New York
City – including important parts of the Sawré Muybu Indigenous land.
The project has attracted significant international interest.
A group of western companies, including French state-owned EDF, have set up a group to study their options in the region. Chinese firms are also reportedly interested, and so is German giant Siemens, and US General Electric who manufacture the turbines used in these projects.
Whether or not the Munduruku have any say in the plans hinges on how this land is officially recognised under Brazilian law.