Xingu River
The Xingu River also called Rio Xingu, is a 1,230-mile long, (1979 km) river in north Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

; it is a southeast tributary of the Amazon River
Amazon River
The Amazon of South America is the second longest river in the world and by far the largest by waterflow with an average discharge greater than the next seven largest rivers combined...


Description and history

The first Indian Park in Brazil was created in the river basin by the Brazilian government in the late 1950's
The 1950s or The Fifties was the decade that began on January 1, 1950 and ended on December 31, 1959. The decade was the sixth decade of the 20th century...

. This park marks the first indigenous territory recognized by the Brazilian government. Currently, fourteen tribes live on the reserve surviving with natural resources and extracting from the river most of what they need for food and water.

The Brazilian government is planning the Belo Monte Dam
Belo Monte Dam
The Belo Monte Dam is a proposed hydroelectric dam complex on the Xingu River in the state of Pará, Brazil...

, which would be the world's third-largest hydroelectric dam, on the Lower Xingu. Construction of this dam is under legal challenge by environment and indigenous groups, who assert the dam would have negative environmental and social impacts along with reducing the flow by up to 80% along a 100 kilometres (62.1 mi) stretch known as the "Big Bend" (Volta Grande).

In the Upper Xingu region was a highly self-organized pre-Columbian
The pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the American continents, spanning the time of the original settlement in the Upper Paleolithic period to European colonization during...

 anthropogenic landscape, including deposits of agricultural terra preta
Terra preta
Terra preta is a type of very dark, fertile anthropogenic soil found in the Amazon Basin. Terra preta owes its name to its very high charcoal content, and was indeed made by adding a mixture of charcoal, bone, and manure to the otherwise relatively infertile Amazonian soil, and stays there for...

, with a network of polities each of which covered about 250 square kilometers.

In popular culture

  • The name is the title of a humorous Edith Wharton
    Edith Wharton
    Edith Wharton , was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, short story writer, and designer.- Early life and marriage:...

     short story
    Short story
    A short story is a work of fiction that is usually written in prose, often in narrative format. This format tends to be more pointed than longer works of fiction, such as novellas and novels. Short story definitions based on length differ somewhat, even among professional writers, in part because...

     from 1911.
  • "Xingu" is the title of a song on Waterfall Cities
    Waterfall Cities
    Waterfall Cities is an album by the British band Ozric Tentacles. It was released in 1999 on Stretchy Records.Like previous studio albums by the band, Waterfall Cities was recorded at guitarist Edward Wynne's home studio, The Mill, and features a cover by the artist Blim.-Track listing:# "Coily" –...

    , a 1999 album by Ozric Tentacles
    Ozric Tentacles
    Ozric Tentacles are an instrumental rock band from Somerset, England, whose music can loosely be described as psychedelic or space rock. Formed in 1983, the band has released 28 albums as of 2011, and become a cottage industry selling over a million albums worldwide despite never having major...

  • A beer
    , or "black beer", is a German dark lager beer. It has an opaque, black colour and a full, chocolatey or coffee flavour. Although they share some similar flavours they are milder tasting and less bitter than British stouts or porters, owing to the use of lager rather than ale yeast and no roasted...

     produced near the river is sold in the international market under the name "Xingu".
  • In the novel Relic by Douglas Preston
    Douglas Preston
    Douglas Preston is an American author who has written seventeen popular techno-thriller and horror novels, four alone and the rest with Lincoln Child...

     and Lincoln Child
    Lincoln Child
    Lincoln Child is an author of seventeen techno-thriller and horror novels. He often writes with Douglas Preston. Many of their novels have become bestsellers, and one, Relic, was adapted into a feature film...

    , the Xingu River is the location of the doomed Whittlesey/Maxwell expedition responsible for discovering evidence of the lost Kothoga tribe and their savage god Mbwun.

Further reading

  • Heinsdijk, Dammis, and Ricardo Lemos Fróes. Description of Forest-Types on "Terra Firme" between the Rio Tapajós and the Rio Xingú in the Amazon Valley. 1956.
  • Sipes, Ernest "Brazilian Indians: what FUNAI Won't Tell YOU". 2002.
  • Brazilian Indians: What FUNAI Won't Tell You
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