Mongabay.com is considered a leading source of information on tropical forests by some of the world's top ecologists and conservationists. TROPICAL RAINFORESTS: Human Inhabitants

Forest Dwellers of Today

Presently most people living in and around tropical rainforests are colonists of mixed descent, not indigenous people living in traditional ways. These colonists usually migrate to the rainforest seeking to escape rural (and to a lesser extent urban) poverty, sometimes as part of government programs to develop national wildlands, and at other times following roads created by forest developers. When they arrive, colonists may know little of cultivation techniques in the tropical rainforest and sometimes mimic those of local detribalized indigenous people no longer living in their traditional ways. Thus the people come to rely on manioc (cassava) as the basic ingredient in most meals and acquire protein through hunting and fishing. Subsistence farming using slash-and-burn techniques and sometimes agroforestry methods generally produce food for consumption (especially manioc, yams or potatoes, and plantains) and some cash crops (black pepper, fruit). Income is derived from the sale of cash crops, charcoal, lumber, and various forest products and is used to purchase some foods and manufactured goods.

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Suggested reading
  • The Lost Amazon: The Photographic Journey Of Richard Evans Schultes by Andrew Weil, Chris Murray, and Wade Davis
  • Light at the Edge of the World: A Journey Through the Realm of Vanishing Cultures by Wade Davis
  • Last Place on Earth by Mike Fay and Michael Nichols
  • One River: Explorations and Discoveries in the Amazon Rain Forest by Wade Davis by Wade Davis



  • Continued: People of the Rainforest [an error occurred while processing this directive]
    Forest People
    African Forest People
    Asian Forest People
    American Forest People
    Forest People Overview
    Incas - Wade Davis
    Incan Achievements
    Dyaks
    - - - - -
    References
    References
    Indigenous Health
    Lessons from the Maya
    Forest people plant knowledge
    A Brief Social History of Borneo
    Forest people today
    Tri-country Amerindian summit
    Indigenous people estimates
    Varzea vs Terra settlements

    - - - - -
    Kids version of this section
    - Who lives in the rainforest?
    - Great rainforest civilizations
    - Medicinal plants and native people
    - What happened to the people of the Amazon?
    - Kids in the rainforest


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    Copyright Rhett Butler 1994-2013

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