Brazil National Archive
Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
Indian Museum National Archive - FUNAI
The Life and Legacy of Cândido Rondon: Amazon Explorer, Environmentalist, Scientist, and Advocate for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
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In his book Rondon, Uma Biografia (Rondon: A Biography), award-winning journalist Larry Rohter details the life and work of Brazilian military officer Cândido Mariano da Silva Rondon, one of the greatest—yet least known—explorers in world history.
Rohter’s work reveals the breadth of Rondon’s impact on Brazil in an effort to resurrect his achievements as one of the most decorated explorers and naturalists of the Amazon. Rondon oversaw the installation of thousands of kilometers of telegraph lines and roads across the uncharted Brazilian interior—and in doing so, expanded the reach of the Brazilian state. Rondon also emerged as an early advocate for the rights of indigenous peoples and the protection of their lands, becoming the founding director of the Indian Protection Service, later replaced by FUNAI. Perhaps most famously, Rondon shepherded former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt on a famous expedition down the River of Doubt in 1913 and 1914.
The Brazil Institute—the only country-specific policy institution focused on Brazil in Washington—works to foster understanding of Brazil’s complex reality and to support more consequential relations between Brazilian and U.S. institutions in all sectors. Read more