Rainforest People


There are about 60 million indigenous rainforest people in the world.


Most live their traditional tribal lifestyle hunting and gathering, some have started growing vegetables and visit nearby towns to buy some supplies.




They all have a great knowledge about rainforests and because they depend on it, they are instinctive conservationists. The traditional lifestyle of these people is threatened by rainforest destruction.

Member of the Penan Tribe with Blowpipe, Mulu Expedition, Sarawak, Island of Borneo, Malaysia
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Rainforest People of America: Mexico, Caribbean and Central America
On the American continents, there are rainforest people in Mexico, Central America, Caribbean Islands, and South America.



In Mexico and Central America, there are tribes like Achi', Amuzgo, Bribri, Chocho, Cocopa, Eyeri, Guarijío, Garífuna, Kikapú, Paipai, Tepehuán, Chontal de Oaxaca, Chatino, Chichimeca Jonaz, Chinantec, Cibonei, Ciguayo, Ch'ol, Chorotega, Ch'orti', Chontal Maya, Chuj, Cochimí, Cora, Cuicatec, Galibi, Guanahatabey, Huastec, Huave, Huichol, Itza, Ixcatec, Ixil, Jakaltek, Tolupan, Kaqchikel, K'iche', Kiliwa, Kumeyaay, Kuna, Lacandón, Lenca, Lucaya, Macorix, Maleku, Mam, Matlatzinca, Mayo, Mazahua, Mazatec, Mexicanero, Miskito, Mixe, Mixtec, Mopan Maya, Nahua, Pame, Pech, Pima Bajo, Popoloca, Poqomchi', Poqomam, P'urhépecha, Q'anjob'al, Q'eqchi', Rama Nicaragua, Seri, Sumo, Taino, Tarahumara, Tlapanec, Tojolabal, Totonac, Trique, Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Tz'utujil, Xinca, Yaqui, Yucatec, Zapotec and Zoque.

Warao Indians in thatched huts on stilts alongside the rainforest
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Rainforest People of America: South America
The most famous tribal people in South America are Yanomami, who live in Amazon rainforests. Others include Asháninka, Awá, Ayoreo, Bora, Bororo, Chayahuita, Cocama-Cocamilla, Embera, Enxet, Jivaroan, Guaraní, Korubu, Kuna, Makuxi, Mapuche, Matis, Matsés, Nukak, Nasa, Secoya, Tapirape, Ticuna, Tukano, Tupi, Urarina, U'wa, Yora, Wichí, Warao and Wayuu.

Thatched Homes Along the River, Javari River, Amazon Basin Rainforest, Peru, South America
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Rainforest People of Africa: Central and Western Africa
In African rainforests, the most famous tribal people are Pygmies, who live in the deep jungles of central and western Africa. Other central and western African tribal people include Baka, Balengue, Benga, Bubi, Combe, Duala, Beti-Pahuin, and Ogoni people.

Mbnti Pygmies and Their Forest Huts, Ituri Rain Forest, Northern Zaire, Zaire, Africa
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Rainforest People of Africa: Eastern Africa
There are many indidgenous tribes even in eastern African rainforests. Some tribes include Acholi, Afar, Agaw, Akisho, Alur, Amhara, Ankole, Anuak, Aweer, Ayoup, Baganda, Bagisu, Bagwere, Bakiga, Bakonjo, Basoga, Batoro, Bertat, Betsileo, Bilen, Bisa, Borana, Bunyoro, Daasanach, Chagga, Chokwe, Chopi, Dorze, Gumuz, Gurage, Hadzabe, Hamer, Haya, Hehe, Hutu, Inamwanga, Iteso, Jeberti, Jopadhola, Kalenjin, Kamba, Karamojong, Kichepo, Kikuyu, Kisii, Lango, Lugbara, Luhya, Luo, Maasai, Makonde, Makua, Manyika, Me'en, Merina, Meru, Munyoyaya, Mursi, Ndau, Nguni, Nuba, Nubians, Nuer, Nyakyusa, Nyamwezi, Nyangatom, Ogiek, Oromo, Qemant, Rer Bare, Rundi, Sena, Sengwer, Shangana, Shanqella, Shona, Sidama, Sukuma, Suri, Tigre, Tigray-Tigrinya, Tirma, Tutsi, Watha, Welayta, Welega Oromo, Yao, Yiaku and Zay.

A Pygmy Woman is Seen at the Village of Mpha, Democratic Republic of Congo
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Rainforest People of Asia: India and Surrounding Countries
The tribes in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and the surrounding islands include Adivasi, Kisan Tribals, Nicobari, Shompen, Pashtun, Wanniyala-Aetto, Naga, Kalasha of Chitral, Khasi-Jaintia, Dasyu Devis, and Giraavaru people.

A Tribal Woman Decorated with Shell Necklaces and Bright Face Paint
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Rainforest People of Asia: South-east Asia
The Asian rainforest tribes of Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Borneo, Philippines, Indonesia and southern China include Akha, Bajau, Degar, Hmong, Igorot, Karen, Lahu, Lisu, Lumad, Mangyan, Negrito and Sakai.

Omo Masilai Skeleton Tribes People in Omo Masilai Village, Goroka, Papua New Guinea
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Rainforest People of New Guinea (Melanesia)
With hundreds of different tribes and clans, New Guinea is the number one country
(Papua New Guinea and the Indonesian province of West Papua) in the world when it comes to number of languages and variety of tribal cultures. It is one of the few countries in the world where tribal people still are the majority of population. It is also the country where cannibalism was still practiced until 1973.

Egele Tribe Members in Traditional Dress at Enga Cultural Show, Wabag, Enga, Papua New Guinea
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Indidgenous People of Australia
There are two kinds of indigenous people in Australia: Australian Aboriginal people, and Torres Strait Islanders. Australian Aboriginal People used to belong to hundreds of different clans and spoke at least 300 different languages. Although large parts of Australia used to be covered in rainforests, only pockets remain today, the largest being the tropical rainforests of north Queensland, known for Tjapukai Aboriginal People. 

Aboriginal Dance, Australia
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Indidgenous People of Micronesia and Polynesia
Indigenous people of Micronesia and Polynesia include Māori (New Zealand), Fijian (Fiji), Samoan (Samoa, American Samoa), Rarotongan (Rarotonga), Tongan (Tonga), Maohi (Tahiti), Moriori (Chatham Islands), Kanaka Maoli (Hawaii), Rapanui (Easter Island) and Chamorros (Guam, Northern Marianas).

Maori Poi Dancers, Waitangi, North Island, New Zealand
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Tribes in Africa and its Rainforests

Pygmy People




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