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My first contact: autonomy on their ancestral territories

De Kumaré Ikpeng et Mari Corrêa


It happened forty years ago, on the bank of the Rio Jatoba in the middle of the Brazilian Amazonian forest. The Ikpeng Indians, a tribe of aggressive warriors, met with the white man for the first time ever. The Indians relate this decisive meeting that irreversibly changed their lives. We thus discover another version of this story and consider it from a different angle, because, in this film the roles have been reversed : we, the white men, are the intruders with our different customs and culture. The film is much original as the meeting between the Ikpeng tribe and the white men is seen from the Indians’ point of view. The Indian filmmaker witness’s and understands the deep motives, emotions and feelings of the different protagonists. At the time of the first meeting there were about one hundred people in the tribe. They were completely isolated and lived on the bank of the Rio Jatoba.

The tribe has moved to the Xingu reservation since. It is with sadness and nostalgia, but still with a touch of humour, that the elderly Ikpeng filmmaker recalls the past when they didn’t know the white men and could live in total freedom and