The Xingu river in the Kayapo Indigenous Land is a protected clear water fishing paradise -ideal for anglers who want to target giant payara with a range of techniques and also target additional amazing jungle species such a peacock bass, wolf bass, bicuda, matrichas, red tail catfish and more.
The Xingu river sport-fishing project is located in the spectacular rainforest wilderness territory of the Kayapo indigenous people in the south eastern Amazon of Brazil. The Xingu River arises in the woodlands-savanna (cerrado) and transitional forest of northern Mato Grosso and flows north through the dense, moist forest of Pará for 2,700 km to empty in the Amazon. A clear water river, it drains a landscape of ancient crystalline Precambrian shields. After leaving the headwaters in the protected Xingu Indigenous Park to the south, the mighty Xingu river -or “Butire” as it is known in the Kayapo language- flows northward 250 km through over 9 million hectares (22 million acres) of virgin primary Amazon forest protected by the Kayapo indigenous people. Only about 6.000 Kayapo Indians live in this enormous area that may also be home to small groups who eschew all contact and choose to live in isolation. Six Kayapo villages with a total of 750 inhabitants are located along the bank of the legendary Xingu river in the northern part of Kayapo territory.
The Kayapos Community:
Most Kayapo groups were contacted in the 1950s and 1960s and inhabited widely dispersed settlements due to ongoing internal feuds among sub-groups following different chiefs. While many sub-groups were decimated by epidemics, “contact” with the surrounding society reflected Kayapo strategies to access outsider’s goods such as guns and metal tools for their own ends.
Their arrogant warrior attitude combined with well-developed political and social organization served the Kayapo well to secure legal recognition of their territory and defend it from invasions during the 1980s and 1990s. Kayapo cosmology, ritual life and social organization is rich and complex, while their relations with non-Indian society are marked by their intensity and ambivalence. Witnessing the inexorable advance of migrant settlement, deforestation, ranching, logging and gold mining around them, Kayapo leaders sought outside help to protect their lands and culture.Today, most Kayapo have formed alliances with conservation NGO’s in order to gain capacity to develop sustainable sources of income, manage resources and protect their territories in the 21st century.
Indigenous lands are generally the best protected and most ecologically intact areas of the Brazilian Amazon and therefore, offer the best conditions for sport fisheries and other eco and ethno tourism enterprises such as wildlife viewing and indigenous cultural experience. The conservation and development success with indigenous people of Untamed Angling Tsimane Lodge in Bolivia, Marié River and Kendjam (Ka-yapó Legacy) in Brazil, is being replicated on the Xingu river.
We have partnered with the northeastern Kayapo of the Xingu, their representative Indigenous Association “Protected Forest Association” (AFP) and government authority FUNAI (National Indian Foundation) to develop the Xingu project.
The aim of this project is to create a sustainable source of equitably distributed income for community members while contributing to the Kayapo capacity to protect their land and culture. Sport fishing is playing a critical role in the preservation of the Tsimane, Marie, Iriri and now Xingu riverine and rainforest wilderness areas. Untamed Angling Kendjam and Marié River projects in northwestern Amazon, are the only sportfishing enterprises authorized by Brazilian Government with indigenous communities in indigenous territories.
There are 8 fundamental components of Untamed Angling’s projects with indigenous communities:
1. Free prior informed consent and participation of all theindigenous landowners living in the project area;
2. Benefits distributed equitably among indigenouscommunity members;
3. Environmental stewardship and sustainability;
4. Scientific biological research;
5. Wilderness protection;
6. Legal authorization and permits;
7. First-class services;
8. World-class fishing;
Untamed Angling guarantees a unique sustainable world-class fishery, contribution to protection of a priceless rain forest wilderness and survival of the remarkable indigenous culture that protects it.
The Xingu sport-fishing project has been under development by the Kayapo people and Untamed Angling over the past three years and has received official authorization from the Brazilian government. The neighbouring Kayapo “Kendjam”sport fishery on the Iriri river, an affluent of the Xingu, offers a multi-species Amazon fly fishing experience where an angler can target over eight different species in fast, clear waters.
The Xingu project is the best destination for chasing big, hard fighting payaras that are less common in the Iriri river. As with the Iriri, the Xingu river flows over granite bedrock of the Brazilian shield allowing for good sight fishing and some wet wading in clear water; but fishing in the Xingu is mainly from aluminum canoes.
The Xingu River begins in Brazil’s second largest biome, the savanna-like cerrado, in Mato Grosso state and then flows north through more than 1.000 km north of the Amazon rainforest.
It is one of the great tributaries of the right bank of the Amazon basin, which together with the Tapajós, forms one of the largest Amazon river basins of crystalline and emerald waters. The Xingu river basin spans approximately 531.250 km2 and drains a significant portion of the Brazilian Shield.
The Kayapo indicated the Encounter Hill site as the best place to settle the lodge because of the beauty of this region and the proximity with the big payaras and catfishes, which inhabit the famous pool located in this section of the Xingu river.