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Fine Art Prints - Documentary Photography

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The Kayapo people are the Gê-speaking native peoples of the plain lands of the Mato Grosso and Para states in Brazil, south of the Amazon Basin and along Xingu river and its tributaries. Women from the Gorotire sub-group dance and celebrate. Using global media and international attention, they have established political power over their own land. At one time, mining and logging threatened to destroy the rainforest, and thus their way of life. In retaliation, the Kayapo people used forceful tactics to banish loggers and miners in some areas, as well as establish themselves as an economic force. Later, they were again threatened by secretive government plans to build a series of hydro-electric dams on their land. Under the leadership of Paulinho Paiakan, the Altamira Gathering was orchestrated in 1989 by the Kayapo, drawing media attention worldwide. This demonstration, staged at the planned site for the first dam in Altamira, Para state, lasted several days and brought much pressure upon both the World Bank and the Brazilian government. In addition, the rock star Sting made an appearance at the demonstration. After which, but not because of, the World Bank denied the request for a loan which was to be used to build the dam. The Brazilian government backed out of the plans, as well.