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The Panará lived in relative isolation until 1973 when a government road project (Cuiabá-Santarém) through their territory brought them in contact with the outside world. As a result the tribe was decimated by modern world diseases such as flu and diarrhea which they had no immunity against, and by the environmental degradation of their land. Nearly two-thirds of the Panará community died in the initial years following first contact.
The 79 surviving members of the tribe were relocated by the government in 1975 to the Parque do Xingu - an indigenous reserve they shared with a large number of other tribes.
Twenty years later the Panará began negotiations to move home to their original territory. However, much of their old land had by now been degraded by prospectors, gold-panning, settlement or cattle breeding (six out of eight of their old villages had by now been destroyed), but one large stretch of unspoiled dense forest could still be identified. In 1994 the tribe elders met with Xingu Park leaders and FUNAI to demand the right to move back to their original territory, and was eventually allowed 4,950 square kilometres from their ancient traditional territory along the Iriri River located on the border of Mato Grosso and Pará states.
Between 1995 and 1996, the Panará gradually moved to a new village called Năsẽpotiti in their traditional land, and on November 1, 1996 the Justice Minister declared the Panará Indigenous Land a "permanent indigenous possession".
By 2003 the number of Panará was around 250.
Other names for the Panará include Kreen-Akarore, Krenhakarore, Krenakore, Krenakarore and "Índios Gigantes" ("Giant Indians").
On Paul McCartney's 1970 album McCartney, the closing track is called "Kreen-Akrore".