Atikum Indigenous People
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Last update: 26/02/2014
The Atikum reserve, with an area of 15,276 hectares and a population of 3,582 indigenous, is situated at the Umã Mountain Range, in the municipality of Carnaubeira da Penha, in Pernambuco.
The presence of indigenous people at the Umã Mountain Range probably dates from the 19th century. According to documents from 1801, those indigenous people, under the denomination of Umãs together with other tribes, lived in a village in the place where they stayed until 1819, when the village was abandoned after a number of conflicts.
In 1824, there was the dispersion of several indigenous groups throughout the sertão of Pernambuco, and the Umã went to the Serra Negra region.
It is not known when the tribe had its name changed, but the reserve was created, in 1949, for the indigenous people already called Atikum.
The community has agriculture as its main activity and does not face problems with land possession.
Considered good agricultural producers, they cultivate mainly corn, beans, castor beans and some fruit such as banana, guava, pine and orange. They still plant manioc to manufacture flour. They also practice hunting and they have small ranches.
The production of the Atikum supplies the neighboring cities and is sold, both in the place itself, and in the street market in Mirandiba.
The Atikum do not preserve any longer, as some other indigenous communities from Pernambuco, many traces of their culture. They still dance the toré, however only the older ones are committed to the preservation of this tradition, when they sing the songs, where there are remains of their native language, accompanied by maracás by cabaças and they smoke their wood pipes.
In a faraway place called "gentio", they have secret meetings, which according to some reports are similar to Afro-Brazilian worship.
Their physical features indicate a strong mix with black people, probably groups that ran away from slavery who settled at the Umã mountain range.
Their native language did not survive, except for rare words still mentioned in the tore songs.
Recife, 19 August 2003.
(Updated on 28 August 2009).
AS COMUNIDADES indígenas de Pernambuco. Recife: Instituto de Desenvolvimento de Pernambuco-Condepe, 1981.
SÁ, Marilena Araújo de. "Yaathe" é a resistência dos Fulni-ô. Revista do Conselho Estadual de Cultura, Recife, Ed. especial, p.48-54, 2002.
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Source: GASPAR, Lúcia. Índios Atikum. Pesquisa Escolar Online, Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, Recife. Available at <http://basilio.fundaj.gov.br/pesquisaescolar/>. Access on: day month year. Ex: 6 Aug. 2009.