Indigenous Ritual Fires Reduce Deforestation in Central Brazil

26 December 2013

The indigenous people of Brazil known as the Xavante are reducing deforestation through controlled burning in their hunting rituals; that is the finding of a study conducted by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (OCF) of Brazil and Indiana University (IU).

On December 12, Indiana University spokespeople issued a press release explaining the findings and the context of the study that involved an analysis of 37 years of satellite imagery and many years of fieldwork.

"Many Indigenous Peoples in Brazil have practiced hunting with fire, and today Brazil’s Xavante Indians often use fire to hunt game for ceremonial occasions such as weddings and rites of initiation," according to the press statement. "While the practice has also often been blamed for causing deforestation and increasing carbon dioxide emissions, the new study dispels this popular myth."

Read more from Indian Country Today here