Southeastern Rondônia

The Aikanã and Kwaza live in southeastern Rondônia, Brazil along the upper portion of the Rio Pimenta Bueno and its tributaries near the town of Chupinguaia. Traditionally, the Aikanã were more concentrated along the main course of the river, while the Kwaza were more concentrated along western tributaries such as the Rio São Pedro and Igarapé Taboca (see Mapa Etnohistórico dos Aikanã).

Mapa Etno-Historico dos Aikana_North

The Kanoê people occupied a territory along the headwaters of the Rio Corumbiara, directly west of the Aikanã and south of the Kwaza. Farther to the west lived members of the Tuparian language groups, such as the Mekens (Sakurabiat) and Wayoró, and to the north lived the Mondé groups, most closely the Salamãi. Their eastern neighbours primarily consisted of groups from the Northern Nambikwaran subgroup of languages, such as Latundê, Mamaindê and Tawandê. To the northeast lived the now-extinct Tupian group, the Kepkiriwat.

This region of Rondônia was traditionally dense forest with arid scrublands to the east of Aikanã territory. With a large influx of cattle ranchers and, more recently, soy plantations, this region has been severely affected with deforestation and pollution. In fact, the indigenous reserves of southeastern Rondônia are some of the only areas with significant tracts of forest still remaining (see satellite images).