Reporter Photographer Leonardo Milano is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography. From the ‘Maró Project: The Struggle for Survival in Indigenous Land’. To see Leonardo’s body of work, click on any image.
In the Amazon, the Arapiuns and Borari peoples live in the Maró Indigenous Land, located along the river that bears the same name as the territory, in the municipality of Santarém, west of the state of Pará, in the region of the lower Tapajós. For almost 20 years, these two peoples have been waiting for the demarcation of the 42,000-hectare land.
The Maró territory is constantly threatened by logging and the advance of agribusiness. It has even been the target of legal action by non-indigenous people against the demarcation of the territory.
The devastation of the land impacts natural resources, compromising rivers, lakes, cassava plantations, fruits such as uxi, açaí and bacaba, and game such as cotia and paca, which form the food base of the Arapiuns and Borari.
In order to defend the Maró territory from loggers, land grabbers and all kinds of invasions, the Arapiuns indigenous people decided to keep an eye on their land, although this is an obligation of the public authorities, in this case, of the National Foundation of the Indian (Funai).
“Surveillance is a job that we indigenous people do, so that we can have control over our territory,” says the Hilton de Souza Marques leadership, of the Arapiuns people. Surveillance also serves as a moment for the transfer of knowledge from the oldest to the youngest.
All images and text © Leonardo Milano
By Leonardo Milano
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