Introduction / History The Trumai are an indigenous people who live in west central Brazil in the Amazon rainforest. They settled on the upper Xingu River, moving there in the 19th century as a result of attacks from another people group. They live in four villages in Xingu National Park: Terra Preta, Boa Esperanca, Steinen and Terra Nova. All four villages are on rivers. The rivers serve as sources of water, fish and transportation.
The Trumai language is in danger of disappearing in the next few decades. Since so few people speak Trumai, the language could die as a result of an epidemic or contagious disease. Trumai young people prefer to speak Portuguese or the two languages of larger people groups, the Aweti and the Suya.
No Christian resources are currently available in the Trumai language.
What are their lives like? The Trumai make their living by hunting, fishing and agriculture. Men fish the nearby rivers and hunt wild pigs, monkeys and birds. Some men work in the logging industry.
The Trumai also engage in agriculture. They grow manioc, peppers, bananas, coconuts, and beans. Manioc root is their staple food. Some families also have a few chickens, pigs or goats to supplement their diets. The Trumai trade any extra fish or surplus plant products for things that they cannot make for themselves like metal tools and appliances.
Village elders deal with outsiders and make judicial decisions. The elders work with government officials to prevent other Brazilians from taking over any more Trumai territory.
Life expectancy is low, only around 45. Many Trumai die of preventable diseases like TB, whopping cough and hepatitis. Many children die before their tenth birthday again due to the lack of access to modern medicine. Traditionally, the Trumai mainly marry among their group. Because of their diminishing numbers, young people are increasingly finding mates outside their community. Some young people are moving away from their villages and going to towns and cities in search of a better life.
What are their beliefs? Like most tribal peoples, the Trumai practice folk religion and animism. They believe that spirits inhabit the objects of nature such as rivers, trees, animals, and rocks. These spirits must be appeased, or they will bring harm on the people. The village shaman connects the Trumai with the spirit world. He provides amulets, offerings and charms to protect the people. He also serves as the primary physician for the Trumai.
A small fraction of the Trumai claim to be Roman Catholic Christians.
What are their needs? The Trumai are a tiny tribe and are isolated from modern Brazilian society. Believers need to find ways to befriend the Trumai people, showing true concern for their material and physical needs. The Trumai would greatly benefit by access to modern medicine. Their children need schools to learn how to read and write. Solar panels can bring them the blessing of electricity. Most of all, the Trumai need to hear and understand a clear presentation of the good news of Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and deliver them from their fear of evil spirits.
Prayer Points Pray that the few believers among the Trumai will hate that which is evil and cling to what is good, being joyful in hope in the only Savior.
Pray the Trumai tribe will be able to survive in rapidly changing times, and that schools will be available to the children.
Pray that the Bible and other resources will be translated into Trumai.
Pray the Lord raises up a disciple making movement among the Trumai of Brazil in this decade. * Pray for translation of the Bible to begin in this people group's primary language. * Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people. * Pray for Gospel messages to become available in audio format for this people group.