The contacted Awá number about 360 and there are others still living, uncontacted, in the forest.
Their problems began in the 1970s when huge deposits of iron ore were discovered in the neighbouring region of Carajás. Today one of the world’s largest mines is in operation there and the railway taking the ore to the coast passes through Awá land.
The mining boom attracted loggers and settlers. Even though the Awá territory was officially recognised in 1992, the occupation of their land continued. It now has three large illegal settlements. Several large cattle ranches also occupy significant tracts of Awá land and have already destroyed much forest.
Survival International is launching a campaign to urge the government to stop loggers and settlers invading Awá territory. The film can be seen here.