Waiapi in Brazil

The Waiapi have only been reported in Brazil
Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Waiapi people live in Brazil's northern state of Amapá near French Guiana. They had their first contact with outsiders in 1973 when the Brazilian government began to build a highway that was discontinued in 1976. It opened up enough of the area for outsiders to reach this tribe. Waiapi died of unfamiliar diseases like measles, but they have built up immunities since the 1970s. Through the 1980s the Waiapi people repelled invasions from outsiders, who violate the 1988 constitutional guarantee to tribes to have their lands protected (demarcated) by the Brazilian government.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Brazil's government is now in favor of moving the Waiapi and opening up their lands to mining interests, ranchers and loggers. The government would like tribes to cease from their traditional lifestyles and adopt those of modern Brazilians. The Waiapi have always been dependent on what they could find in the forest for food and other needs. This would be a major change for them.
If the government succeeds, the Waiapi people will lose a large portion of their land and be forced to drastically change their lifestyles. There are already many fires set by those who want to clear land for ranches. The Amazon has been called the "lungs" of the earth as a reminder that there will be ecological catastrophes if the world's biomass is eliminated. The Waiapi tribe has taken it upon themselves to save the rainforest. In 2019, the Waipai chief, Emyra Waiapi, was brutally murdered. The Waiapi have consulted sympathetic news reporters, foreign governments and Brazil's FUNAI, charged with protecting the interests of indigenous tribes.

What Are Their Beliefs?

There is a sizeable Waiapi group that is Roman Catholic. Most also adhere to traditional religion which involves trying to ward off evil spirits. They make a thick paste of bright red urucum seeds and apply it to their faces and chests. They believe this protects them from the sun and evil spirits. The spirits of the forest are very much a part of the lives of the Waiapi tribe.

What Are Their Needs?

The Waiapi people need protection from powerful outside interests. They also need to find a way to earn a living outside of their traditional ways.

Prayer Points

Pray for protection and justice for the Waiapi tribe of Brazil.
Pray for them to put their faith in the Creator rather than the spirit world.
Pray for the Lord to show the Brazilian government ways to help their economy without destroying the livelihood of their tribes.

Scripture Prayers for the Waiapi in Brazil.



Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Waiapi
People Name in Country Waiapi
Alternate Names Oiampi; Oyampi; Wajãpi; Wayãpy; Wyampi
Population this Country 1,100
Population all Countries 1,100
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 2
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
Pioneer Workers Needed
People ID 19355
ROP3 Code 115361
ROP25 Code 306388
ROP25 Name Waiapi
Country Brazil
Region America, Latin
Continent South America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Pará and Roraima states.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Brazil
Region America, Latin
Continent South America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Pará and Roraima states..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.10 %)
20.00 %
Ethnic Religions
80.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Waiwai (1,100 speakers)
Language Code waw   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Waiwai (1,100 speakers)
Language Code waw   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Waiwai

Primary Language:  Waiwai

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1966-1976)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1984)
Bible-Complete Yes  (2002)
FCBH NT (www.bible.is) Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
Mobile App Android Bible app direct APK download SIL
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file Faith Comes by Hearing
Mobile App iOS Bible app direct APK download SIL
Photo Source Ministério da Cultura - Wikimedia  Creative Commons 
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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