The Aruá are an indigenous group of people who live in the Brazilian state of Rondônia. According to Funasa, there were 69 individuals in the group in 2006. Anthropological and linguistic studies of the Aruá people are extremely rare.
The Aruá language belongs to the Tupi-Mondé family. There are about 20 people who speak Aruá as a first language.
According to Eurico Miller (1983) the Tupi of the Guaporé originated from the dispersion of Tupi families coming from the Aripuanã. In the regions around the upper-middle Guaporé, some groups of pottery-making agriculturists reached the river and its affluents around 900. These groups spoke languages from the Tupari family of the Tupi trunk.
The numerous Tupi groups on the right shore of the Guaporé river remained unknown until the beginning of the 20th century since they were primarily located next to the Branco, Terebito and Colorado rivers, some distance from the shores of the Guaporé itself. They only started living near this river after the destruction of their traditional villages during the rubber boom.
Most information about the Aruá was obtained from a single man, who was 70 years old. He related that the Aruá villages were situated close to the Gregório river, an affluent of the upper Branco river.
The rubber extractors encountered the Aruá around 1920, and some time later measles had killed most of the population. Those who were still alive left the traditional territory to live on the São Luís rubber area.
Today, the Aruá live inside the Rio Branco and Rio Guaporé Indigenous Lands, located in the state of Rondônia.
- Arua on socioambiental.org, in English