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Hydropower Dam to Flood Sacred Amazon Indigenous Site

Source:  Copyright 2012, Inter Press Service
Date:  August 20, 2012
Original URL: Status ONLINE

The Sete Quedas or "seven waterfalls" on the Teles Pires River, which runs through the Amazon rainforest states of Mato Grosso and Pará in central Brazil, are a spiritual oasis venerated by several indigenous groups.

But the 20-metre-high rocky falls are to be covered by a reservoir created by a hydroelectric dam that is to flood an area of 95 square km.

"It's a sacred area, our creator and mother. And the 'pajé` (shaman) says it is where the fish lay their eggs," João Kayabi, 52, told IPS by phone from the area. He is the chief of Kururuzinho village, home to 106 members of the Kayabi community, who speak a Tupí-Guaraní language.

For the Kayabi, the area around Sete Quedas must be left untouched, because it is the dwelling of a god who is responsible for the natural balance. Related IPS Articles

"It will be left underwater, and will only be a memory. We are trying to keep that from happening," Kayabi said.

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