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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0102-311X

Abstract

SOUZA, Luciene Guimarães de  and  SANTOS, Ricardo Ventura. Demographic profile of the Xavánte Indian population in Sangradouro-Volta Grande, Mato Grosso (1993-1997), Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2001, vol.17, n.2, pp. 355-365. ISSN 0102-311X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2001000200010.

This paper analyzes the demographic profile of the Xavánte population at the Sangradouro-Volta Grande Indigenous Reserve in Mato Grosso, Brazil, from 1993 to 1997. The survey included annual censuses and vital statistics from 7 Xavánte villages. Permanent contact with Brazilian national society, established in the 1940s and 50s, caused a population drop due to epidemics and clashes. In 1995 there were 825 individuals in the community. The crude birth rate (57.7/1,000) and death rate (9.1/1,000) were higher than the national averages. The majority (56%) of the population is under 15 years of age (median: 13 years) and the infant mortality rate is high (87.1 per thousand live births), probably resulting from precarious sanitary conditions in the villages. Other results included the persistence of polygyny; low levels of migration; a dynamic of splits and formation of new villages; traditional housing patterns maintained in the old villages and abandoned in the new ones. The recent demographic recovery in the data from Sangradouro-Volta Grande is similar to that observed in the Pimentel Barbosa community. The study highlights the importance of systematically collecting and analyzing demographic data from indigenous populations.

Keywords : Demography; Mortality; Fertility; Xavánte; South American Indians.

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