The Awa: Faces of a Threatened Tribe

"Little Butterfly" Plays

An Awa child plays in a stream.

(Image credit: ©Survival)

Apãranã ("Little Butterfly") swings from a liana over a creek where children bathe and play. The Awá fish in the streams on their land, and especially appreciate turtle meat.

Awá Man with Bow

Awá man with bows and arrows.

(Image credit: ©Survival)

Awá men are skilled hunters who handmake their own bows and arrows. Awá tribespeople depend on the forest for their hunter-gatherer lifestyle.

Family Time

Awa family taking a break from gathering.

(Image credit: ©Survival)

A family take a break during a walk in the forest to collect fruit.

Awá Hunter

An Awa Hunter resting in the forest.

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A young man rests in the forest on a hunting expedition. Many  family groups go off on extended hunts lasting several weeks, where they sleep in palm leaf shelters in the forest and make torches out of tree resin.

Awa Girl

Awa girl eats papaya

(Image credit: ©Sarah Shenker/Survival)

A young Awá girl from Juriti eats papaya, Brazil.


Deforested Awa tribal land

(Image credit: ©Fiona Watson/Survival)

Members of the Awá tribe look over a deforested swatch of land. Illegal logging is increasingly encroaching on Awá territory.

Awa Mother and Child

An Awa mother and child in Brazil

(Image credit: ©Fiona Watson/Survival)

Awá mother and child, Brazil.

Awa Man

Indigenous Awa man

(Image credit: ©Survival)

An Awá man with bows and arrows.

Young Awa Girl

Awa girl from Juriti

(Image credit: ©Fiona Watson/Survival)

An Awá girl from Juriti community, where most recently contacted Awá live, Brazil.

Stephanie Pappas
Live Science Contributor

Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science, covering topics ranging from geoscience to archaeology to the human brain and behavior. She was previously a senior writer for Live Science but is now a freelancer based in Denver, Colorado, and regularly contributes to Scientific American and The Monitor, the monthly magazine of the American Psychological Association. Stephanie received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.