Plant      Environment

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The Canela live in the eastern part of the Brazilian state of Maranhão, in a savanna and woodland area. They traditionally live in villages built with houses in a circle, connected to a central plaza by radiating pathways.

Aerial View of Village
Aerial view of Canela village in 1970.


The plaza is where the elders or the whole tribe can meet.



Plaza in 1979.


Traditional houses are airy and cool, with walls of anajá palm frond and thatched roofs.



Building a Room
Building an additional room, 1970.


It’s become popular for Canela to build their houses of clay over a wooden lattice structure.



Mixing Clay
Man mixing clay for walls, 1979.


Clay and Wood House
Palm and wooden lattice /clay house, 1971.
Mud is now often made into bricks.



Clay Brick House
Clay brick house, 1999.


In the early 1980s a Canela family moved to Barra do Corda so the children could attend school. Here they live by a straight road, in clay brick houses with metal or tile roofs. By the 1990s they had electric power and satellite television.



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Street in Barra do Corda, Maranhão, Brazil, 1999.

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