The Waiapi live near the eastern end of the Amazon river, at the national reserve in Amapa state, Brazil.
The tribe operates according to its own laws, with a way of life at times closer to the Stone Age than the 21st century. Now, the government is pushing to abolish the reserve and open the region of pristine rainforest known as Renca to international mining companies who covet the rich deposits of gold. From a tiny settlement of palm-thatched huts hidden in foliage, the tribesmen streaked in red and black dye have vowed to defend their territory.