FEBRUARY 18, 1956


Davi, born in the Amazon state of Roraima, was orphaned when government workers & religious missionaries brought diseases to his isolated community. When goldminers again brought disease to the region in the 1980s, Davi began his fight for recognition of the Yanomami areas warning that otherwise the Yanomami would not survive. In 1989, Davi’s fight earned both the UN Global 500 Award & “Alternative Nobel Prize” on behalf of Survival International. In 1991, he lobbied both the U.N. Secretary General & U.S. senators. The Yanomami area (a vast area in Brazil & Venezuela) was officially recognized by Brazil as it hosted the U.N.’s first Earth Summit in 1992. He helped create a bilingual education project to help the Yanomami defend their rights and, in 2004, co-founded the Yanomami rights organization Hutukara. In 2009. Davi was honored by the Bartolome de las Casas award in Spain. In 2019, Davi & Hutukara won the Right Livelihood Award.  He is a practicing shaman.

  “Davi Kopenawa Yanomami,” Survival.  Retrieved 4/25/2021, Davi Kopenawa Yanomami - Survival International
Photo: Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil, 8/4/2014.  Davi Kopenawa at 2014 International Literary Festival of Paraty.  Permissive Use. 

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