Matses in Brazil

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People Name: Matses
Country: Brazil
10/40 Window: No
Population: 900
World Population: 6,200
Primary Language: Matses
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 14.00 %
Evangelicals: 2.00 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Amazon
Affinity Bloc: Latin-Caribbean Americans
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Matses are a tribe of Peru and Brazil in the Amazon. They speak Matses and Spanish and Portuguese is also spoken. They live between the Javari and Galvez rivers. Many live in the Matses Indigenous Reserve. They hunt and sell meat to help them earn a living. Matses means 'people' in their language. They are also called Mayoruna.

At the present time they are having problems with poachers and illegal logging. It has been said that their living conditions have gotten worse and that they could become extinct.

The Matses know about animal and plant life where they are and rely on this in the forests. They hunt with bow and arrows. Their religion is animist and they worship human and animal spirits. They were first to make contact with the outside world when SIL missionaries came to them in the late 1960s.

The Matses practice polygamy and like cross-cousin marriages. There was conflict between them and the Peruvian government but they are at peace with them now. Each village has its own chief. There are difficulties in them getting medicines. Maybe medical staff who are Christians could help them in this area.

Prayer Points

* Pray that the contact they had with SIL missionaries in the past will help bring
the Matses to Jesus Christ.
* Pray that the troubles they are having will lead them to salvation.
* Pray that the Matses will not become extinct.

Text Source:   Anonymous