Bororo people

This article is about the Bororo people of Brazil. For the Bororo Fulani of Western Africa, see Wodaabe.

Bororo-Boe man from Mato Grosso at Brazil's Indigenous Games, 2007
Total population
1,571 (2010)[1]
Regions with significant populations
 Brazil ( Mato Grosso)
Borôro, Portuguese[2]
traditional tribal religion

The Bororo people are an indigenous people of Brazil, living in the state of Mato Grosso. They also extended into Bolivia and the Brazilian state of Goiás. The Western Bororo live around the Jauru and Cabaçal rivers. The Eastern Bororo (Orarimogodoge) live in the region of the São Lourenço, Garças, and Vermelho Rivers. The Bororo live in eight villages.[2]


The Bororo, whose name means "village court" in their language, are also known as the Araés, Araripoconé, Boe, Coroados, Coxiponé, Cuiabá, and Porrudos people.[1][2]


Bororo-Boe man from Mato Grosso at Brazil's Indigenous Games, 2007

While searching for missing explorer Percy Fawcett in 1930, a wayward party including Aloha Wanderwell filmed the daily activities of the Bororo. A 32-minute silent film from the trip survives as part of the Smithsonian Institution's Human Studies Film Archives and documents a ceremonial dance, a first contact scenario with Boboré villagers, and Bororo men experiencing sympathetic labor pains.[3] Anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss lived for some time among the Bororo during his first stay in Brazil (1935–1939). Their mythology features extensively in his book The Raw and the Cooked.[4]

Marshal Cândido Rondon (1865–1956), who was to become the first director of Brazil's Indians Protection Bureau (SPI/FUNAI) and creator of the Xingu National Park, was the son of a Bororo woman. His first major success after joining the Army was the installation of a telegraph line to Mato Grosso. He not only was able to pacify the Bororo, who had blocked previous attempts to set up that line, but even recruited their help to complete it.

The Bororo associate body odor with a person's life-force, and breath-odor with the person's soul.[5]


The Bororo people speak Bororo Proper, which belongs to the Bororo language family in the Macro-Ge language family. Literacy rates are under 30%. The language is written in the Latin script.[2]

The Bororo people call their original language Boe Wadáru. The majority of the population today speak Portuguese and Bororo language.[6]


The Bororo all share the same blood type: Type O blood, like most Native Americans.[7]

See also


  1. 1 2 "Bororo: Introduction." Instituto Socioambiental: Povos Indígenas no Brasil. Retrieved 22 April 2012
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Bororo." Ethnologue. 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2012.
  3. "Last of the Bororos 1930-1931". Human Studies Film Archives. Smithsonian Institution.
  4. Lévi-Strauss, Claude (1990). The Raw and the Cooked. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-47487-8.
  5. "The Smell Report". Retrieved 2007-09-21.
  6. "Bororo language". Archived from the original on 2008-05-29. Retrieved 2007-09-21.
  7. "Blood group O alleles in Native Americans: implications in the peopling of the Americas.".

Further reading

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