Introduction / History The Wayoro people first had contact with Europeans in the 1730s when gold prospectors came to their homeland bringing diseases and taking these people as slaves. In the early 1900s and the 1940s, the Wayoro population went into a sharp decline when the rubber industry discovered their homeland to be a good source of rubber trees.
In the 20th Century, the Brazilian government attempted to protect indigenous peoples by establishing FUNAI. The goal was to keep the native population free from potentially harmful outside forces. Many logging, mining, and farming interests have managed to seep in none the less. The rain forest is being torn down, leaving the peoples of the interior vulnerable to disease, economic exploitation, and potential extermination.
Where are they located? The Wayoro people live in the remote state of Rondonia near the Bolivian border. This state has the sad distinction of being the most deforested state in Brazil. The Wayoro people have traditionally lived near the headwaters of the Colorado River, but now the few members of this tribe live near the Branco River.
What are their lives like? The Wayoro people have been able to survive by hunting wild game, fishing, and finding edible plants for the duration of their history. They have also done some farming.
What are their beliefs? The primary religion practiced by the Wayoro people is ethnic religion. Ethnic religion is deeply rooted in a people's identity, and they associate conversion with selling out to the dominant culture. This is especially true for peoples like the Wayoro who are becoming fewer in number.
What are their needs? The Wayoro people need advocates who will help them navigate life in the 21st century. They are no longer a viable social unit.
Prayer Points Pray for believers to train the Wayoro people in the skills that they will need in the 21st century.
Pray for this people group to find Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.