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Indigenous 'Olympics' set to start in remote Brazilian city

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NTP: Indigenous Olympics Brazil
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Indigenous 'Olympics' set to start in remote Brazilian city
A Manoti Indian attends the ceremony of the sacred fire of the World Indigenous Games, in Palmas, Brazil, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Billed as the indigenous Olympics, the games are expected to attract nearly 2,000 athletes from dozens of Brazilian ethnicities, as well as from such far-flung nations as Ethiopia and New Zealand. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
Indiams from Panama pose for photos before the start of the ceremony of the sacred fire of the World Indigenous Games, in Palmas, Brazil, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Billed as the indigenous Olympics, the Games are expected to attract nearly 2,000 athletes from dozens of Brazilian ethnicities, as well as from such far-flung nations as Ethiopia and New Zealand. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
Karaja indigenous woman Narube Werreria protests the World Indigenous Games outside the arena in Palmas, Brazil, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Protesters denounced what they said was poor organization and unnecessary multi-million dollar spending on the games, saying the money would be better spent on improving the conditions of Brazil's impoverished indigenous peoples. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
Gaviao indigenous children watch a soccer game during the World Indigenous Games in Palmas, Brazil, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Billed as the indigenous Olympics, the Games are expected to attract nearly 2,000 athletes from dozens of Brazilian ethnicities, as well as from such far-flung nations as Ethiopia and New Zealand. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
An Embera Gonna Indian from Panama, dances before the start of the ceremony of the sacred fire of the World Indigenous Games, in Palmas, Brazil, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Billed as the indigenous Olympics, the games are expected to attract nearly 2,000 athletes from dozens of Brazilian ethnicities, as well as from such far-flung nations as Ethiopia and New Zealand. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
Indigenous from the Kibatsa ethnic group leave their headdresses on the sidelines of a soccer game at the World Indigenous Games in Palmas, Brazil, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Billed as the indigenous Olympics, the Games are expected to attract nearly 2,000 athletes from dozens of Brazilian ethnicities, as well as from such far-flung nations as Ethiopia and New Zealand. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
Kayapo Indians take pictures during the cultural festival of the World Indigenous Games in Palmas, Brazil, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. Palmas is the host city for the first World Indigenous Games that will showcase traditional sports with the participation of more than 2,000 indigenous athletes from around the world. The event begins Oct. 23 and runs through Nov. 1. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
A Kayapo Indian attends the cultural festival of the World Indigenous Games in Palmas, Brazil, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. Palmas is the host city for the first World Indigenous Games that will showcase traditional sports with the participation of more than 2,000 indigenous athletes from around the world. The event begins Oct. 23 and runs through Nov. 1. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
Indians of the ethnic group Kuikuro perform a traditional dance during the cultural festival of the World Indigenous Games in Palmas, Brazil, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. Palmas is the host city for the first World Indigenous Games that will showcase traditional sports with the participation of more than 2,000 indigenous athletes from around the world. The event begins Oct. 23 and runs through Nov. 1. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
Indigenous soccer coach of the ethnic group Gaviao team attends a game at the World Indigenous Games in Palmas, Brazil, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Palmas is the host city for the first World Indigenous Games that will showcase traditional and indigenous sports with the participation of more than 2,000 indigenous athletes from around the world. The event begins Oct. 23 and runs through Nov. 1. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
The goalkeeper of the team Canela, center, controls the ball during a game against Gaviao at the World Indigenous Games in Palmas, Brazil, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Palmas is the host city for the first World Indigenous Games that will showcase conventional sports as well as indigenous sports, with the participation of more than 2,000 indigenous athletes from around the world. The event officially begins Oct. 23 and runs through Nov. 1. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
Gaviao indigenous women cheers on their soccer team at the World Indigenous Games in Palmas, Brazil, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Billed as the indigenous Olympics, the Games are expected to attract nearly 2,000 athletes from dozens of Brazilian ethnicities, as well as from such far-flung nations as Ethiopia and New Zealand. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
Tupi Guarani indigenous Chief Doran Guarani speaks during protest against the World Indigenous Games outside the arena in Palmas, Brazil, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Protesters denounced what they said was poor organization and unnecessary multi-million dollar spending on the games, saying the money would be better spent on improving the conditions of Brazil's impoverished indigenous peoples. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
Tobi Itauna, of the Tupi Guarani ethnic group, smiles as he stands in the arena of World Indigenous games in Palmas, Brazil, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. Palmas is the host city for the first World Indigenous Games that will showcase traditional sports with the participation of more than 2,000 indigenous athletes from around the world. The event begins Oct. 23 and runs through Nov. 1. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
An indigenous family walks on the banks of the Taguarussu River in Palmas, Brazil, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. Palmas is the host city for the first World Indigenous Games that will showcase traditional sports with the participation of more than 2,000 indigenous athletes from around the world. The event begins Oct. 23 and runs through Nov. 1. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
An indigenous woman wades in the waters of the Taguarussu River as the sun rises in Palmas, Brazil, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. Palmas is the host city for the first World Indigenous Games, that will showcase traditional sports with the participation of more than 2,000 indigenous athletes from around the world. The event begins Oct. 23 and runs through Nov. 1. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
People from various tribal groups bathe in the Taguarussu River as the sun rises in Palmas, Brazil, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. Palmas is the host city for the first World Indigenous Games that will showcase traditional sports with the participation of more than 2,000 indigenous athletes from around the world. The event begins Oct. 23 and runs through Nov. 1. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
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PALMAS, Brazil (AP) — What's billed as the first "indigenous Olympics" is set to kick off with some 2,000 athletes from around the world at a remote sunbaked city in northern Brazil.

The first edition of the games officially opens in Palmas on Friday, but the event's soccer tournament got underway on Thursday.

Participants came from dozens of Brazilian ethnicities, as well as from such far-flung nations such as Ethiopia and New Zealand.

On Thursday a small group of Brazilian indigenous people staged a protest denouncing what they say is poor organization and unnecessary spending on the World Indigenous Games.

About a dozen protesters decried the multi-million dollar price tag, saying the money would be better spent on improving the conditions of Brazil's impoverished indigenous peoples.

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