Awá people and their Hanimas

The Atlantic jungles of the Brazilian Amazon are home to the Awá Guajá, the most under threat indigenous people on the planet. The ethnic group retain a unique symbiotic relationship with unspoiled nature. They are hunter-gatherers who adopt all the animals left orphaned after the hunts as a way of thanking the jungle they live in. They rear and care for them until they reach the status of hanimas: another family member. On reaching adulthood, the hanimas are freed back into the jungle, never to be hunted by the Awá, who will always acknowledge them as sons and daughters. Maihu and Taquari are a typical couple whose hanima, Timaa, a black macaque, will soon return to the heart of the Amazon to live out the rest of its days.


“White people eat the animals that they breed. The Awá don’t do that. We adopt them when they become orphaned.”


“The loggers destroyed our land and now we breed less hanimas than before. They don’t like the jungle.”