The story

The First Inhabitants of Brazil


The following is a summary of the first peoples that inhabited Brazil.

In the tables below, you can check the location and period in which each people existed, as well as information about their housing, food, utensils and clothing they used.

Hunters and Collectors

Location
and
period

Central and Northeast Region.
Between 50000 and 2500 years ago.
Cave Inhabitants

Subtropical forests of the Southeast.
About 7300 years ago.
Humaitá Tradition

South region.
About 6700 years ago.
Umbu Tradition

Home

Caves (in general)

Forests, riverside forests

Cave or open sky

food

Game meat
Wild fruits
Fish
Shellfish

River Molluscs
Fish
Game meat
Little animals
Wild fruits (mainly pine nuts)

Wild fruits
Game meat of small animals
Fish

Utensils, clothing and achievements

Bows and Arrows
Large chipped stone axes
Rustic Stoves
Rock paintings (human figures, hunting scenes, food gathering, dances and wars)

Elongated Boomerang Stone Knife

Bows, arrows and boleadeiras (allowed the hunting of fast animals)
Stone-tipped arrows in different shapes, likely to target fighters of varying sizes

Concheiros

Location
and
period

South and Southeast Coastline
About 6000 years ago
Inhabitants of sambaquis (accumulation of shells left by fishing communities near the coast and river banks)

Home

Cabins built on top of shell hills

food

Fish (catfish, sharks)
Whales and Dolphins
Shellfish
Game meat (monkey, tapir, skunk, turtle)
Fruits and roots

Utensils, clothing and achievements

Hatchet
Various size shavings for cutting and scraping
Grinders
Scraping and Polishing Polishers
Bone instruments (arrowheads, harpoons, needles, hooks, knives, pans, ornaments and sculptures)
They buried the dead in the shell hills

Farmers and Ceramists

Location
and
period

Amazon region
About 3500 years ago
Ananatuba

Marajó Island
Around 1800 years ago
Marajoara

South (Rio Grande do Sul)
About 1500 years ago
Itarare

Southeast and northeast coast
About 1500 years ago
Tupi Guarani

Home

Detached houses housing around 100 to 150 people

Construction of dwellings on artificial hills called theses. The houses were thus protected from flooding

Underground houses (to protect from the cold)
They formed large villages

Circular huts forming the village near the rivers. The huts housed several families, relatives

food

Vegetables, Roots and Grains
Game meat
Fish

Vegetables, Roots and Grains
Game meat
Fish

Corn
Pinion
Game meat

Corn Cassava
Fish, game meat

Utensils, clothing and achievements

Clay Objects:

pots, plates, decorated with crossed lines and dots
They practiced agriculture

Funeral urns
Vases, jars,

ceremonial bowls, figurines (usually placed on graves)
Agriculture

Construction of underground tunnels (to store food or escape from enemies)
Pottery - small wide-mouthed pots (where they stored food or cooked)
Agriculture, hunting

Hunting, coivara farming (burning a section of the

forest for agriculture), fishing and canoeing
Funeral urns
Pottery decorated with geometric designs
Pipes, stone axes, spindle rounds

Support material:
BERGAMIN, Ana Maria, HUMBERG, Flávia Ricca. People of America: From the first inhabitants to the first urban civilizations. Sao Paulo: Current, 1996.
GUARINELLO, Norberto Luiz. The first inhabitants of Brazil. Sao Paulo: Current, 1994.