"We don't want this mining on our land, we will never want it. We're here, this nature is ours," says Tapayona, a Waiapi from Pinoty village against pressure from the government and industrial lobbies to open their forests to mining and logging.

Waiapi tribe members at the Manilha village in the Waiapi indigenous reserve in Amapa state in Brazil on October 14, 2017.
Waiapi tribe members at the Manilha village in the Waiapi indigenous reserve in Amapa state in Brazil on October 14, 2017. ( AFP )

An ancient tribe living in Brazil's Amazon rainforest is preparing to defend the pristine corner of the Amazon rainforest they call home against the country’s government and international mining companies.

The Waiapi tribe only came into contact with the Brazilian government in the 1970s. To this day, they exist much as their ancestors did before Europeans arrived in South America five centuries ago, living in harmony with the planet's biggest rainforest.

But the outside world is getting ever closer.

"We don't want this mining on our land. We will never want it. We're here. This nature is ours," says Tapayona, a Waiapi from Pinoty village against pressure from the government and industrial lobbies to open their forests to mining and logging.

In August, President Michel Temer abruptly ended mining restrictions in parts of the Renca conservation zone, an area the size of Switzerland that encompasses the Waiapi reserve. 

Temer backtracked in September, but the tribe remains apprehensive. 

The tribe's way of life is still far from modern while the younger generation is using today's technology in the fight to preserve their ancient traditions. 

They post videos on social media, like this one showing an anti-Temer protest, when they have access to the web in town.

TRT World's Kerry Alexandra reports.

Source: TRT World