From Indigenous Peoples in Brazil
Photo: André Ricardo, 2007


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The Kaiabi have vigorously resisted the invasion of their lands by rubber companies since the end of the 19th Century. After the 1950s, the region of the Arinos, Peixes and Teles Pires rivers was divided up into glebes that became ranches and the Kaiabi were divided into three groups. Most moved to the Indigenous Park of the Xingu, where they are outstanding for their practice of a strong and diversified agriculture, their art which is characterized by complex graphic designs inspired by their mythology, and by their active participation in the indigenous movement organized in defense of the interests of the ethnic groups of the Park.


The first direct mention of the Kaiabi in a written document appeared in 1850, with the publication of the reports made by the French voyager Francis de Castelnau. In 1844 Castelnau was in Diamantino, in Mato Grosso state, where he interviewed Apiaká Indians and adventurers who had travelled through the region between the Arinos and Teles Pires rivers, spreading news of a 'hostile tribe,' named in his text as Cajahis. After this date, various other documents made reference to the Kayabi, using different spellings for the name (Cajahis, Cajabis, Kajabi, Caiabis, Cayabi, Kayabi etc). Nowadays the group's indigenous teachers have settled on the form Kaiabi, which explains the reason for its adoption in this text.

The origin of the name Kaiabi has been lost in time and today the Indians themselves have no idea where it came or what it means. It was probably the name by which they were called by the Apiaká or the Bakairi, the first sources of information on the Kaiabi in the 19th century. At least it is certain it is not the group's auto-denomination. Georg Grünberg, an ethnographer who studied the Kaiabi in the 1960s, suggests that the auto-denomination is the term iputunuun, which roughly means 'our folk' (1970: 120).


The Kaiabi language belongs to the Tupi-Guarani family. Since the first contacts it was observed that the Kaiabi spoke a language related to the other peoples known generically as Tupi. The most similar languages to Kaiabi are those of the Kamayurá, the Asurini of the Xingu and the Apiaká, though the method of assessing their proximity varies. Almost all the Kaiabi now living in the Xingu Park are fully bilingual, speaking both their native language and Portuguese. Some individuals residing in the villages of other groups, or married to individuals from other ethnic groups, also speak a third language. According to information from the Indians themselves, many Kaiabi living in other areas outside the Xingu Park no longer speak the native language.


Foto: IRG, 1958
Foto: IRG, 1958

The majority of the Kaiabi now live within the Xingu Indigenous Park (XIP) in Mato Grosso state. However, this is not their traditional land. Until around the 1940s they occupied an extensive tract between the Arinos and Tatuy rivers (the Kaiabi name for the Rio dos Peixes) and the middle Teles Pires or São Manuel, located to the west of the Xingu river. Discussion of their current location first requires a few comments on their recent history. Until the first decades of the 20th century the Kaiabi were considered 'wild and indomitable,' as they vigorously resisted the occupation of their lands by rubber companies which had been advancing along the Arinos, Paranatinga (upper Teles Pires) and Verde rivers during the last decade of the 19th century. Many conflicts took place with rubber tappers, travellers and functionaries from the Indian Protection Service (Serviço de Proteção aos Índios - SPI) during the first half of the 20th century. However, the Kaiabi area was gradually occupied and the Indians induced to work for the rubber companies.

Foto: Jesco - Arquivo de Orlando Villas Boas, 1966
Foto: Jesco - Arquivo de Orlando Villas Boas, 1966

After latex extraction came the removal of timber and the implantation of farms. From the 1950s, a large part of the region was divided up into plots of land and appropriated by the state government of Mato Grosso for the purposes of colonization. During this period (1949) the Roncador-Xingu expedition commanded by the Villas Boas brothers arrived in the Teles Pires region. The Expedition was the arm of the Central Brazil Foundation charged with taming the sertões (savannahs) bordering the Araguaia, Xingu and Tapajós rivers, preparing them for colonization as part of the interiorization policy instituted by the Vargas government.

The Expedition encountered the Kaiabi in a situation of conflict and with no apparent likelihood of improvement. Their migration to other areas within the territory and armed resistance to the invaders were no longer feasible. With the exception of the Catholic missionary João Dornstauder, whose activities were concentrated more on the Tatuy river, no organization supported the Indians in the fight for their lands. The operation of the Indian Protection Service in the area was not only incapable of ensuring the group's cultural survival, very often it acted alongside rubber companies in recruiting Indians to work in latex extraction. They were faced with the choice of passively integrating with the rubber extractors or accepting the proposal presented by the Villas Boas, namely to move to the Xingu Indigenous Park. The second alternative prevailed and became a reality in part due to the efforts of Prepori, one of the group's main leaders during the period. The Kaiabi, already more used to dealing with Whites and encountering, in Grünberg's words (1970: 52), "an unexpected comprehension of their oppressive situation" on the part of the Villas Boas brothers, joined the expedition and ended up collaborating with the pacification of other groups and taming of the region. The process of migration to the Xingu Indigenous Park began after this involvement in the Roncador-Xingu Expedition's work. Faced with the situation of conflict and plundering in their traditional area, and encouraged by the Villas Boas, the Kaiabi gradually moved towards the Xingu until 1966 when some of the Indians still living in the Tatuy region were transferred by aeroplane in what became known as the 'Kayabi Operation.'

The Villas Boas justified the need for the transfer as the only alternative to the process of detribalization and marginalization experienced by the Kaiabi. Grünberg states, however, that this final transference was performed without prior understanding and against the will of the Anchieta Mission, which apparently opposed the move as it thought that a fight for Kaiabi land was still feasible, at least in the Tatuy region.

The process left deep marks and divided the Kaiabi, who today still regret having abandoned their traditional lands. The small section of the population that refused to go to the Xingu Indigenous Park remains until now in a small area which it shares with some survivors of the Apiaká, located on the Tatuy (Apiaká-Kayabi Indigenous Territory). Another small section of the Kaiabi nowadays lives on the lower Teles Pires, in an indigenous territory located to the north in Pará state, where they were pushed following occupation of their lands (Cayabi IT and Cayabi Southern IT). In the Xingu Indigenous Park, the Kaiabi are dispersed between various villages located in the region close to the Diauarum Indigenous Post, in the northern portion of the Park, a territory previously inhabited by the Yudja (auto-denomination of the Juruna), Suyá and Trumai.

The regions currently inhabited by the Kaiabi are not homogeneous from the environmental, historic or sociocultural point of view. The Xingu Park region has a flat relief covered by vegetation in transition between tropical rain forest which becomes more dense to the north, and the lower woodland which predominates in the south. Gallery forests line the numerous river courses and lakes, and at some points naturally deforested open fields can be observed. The climate is characterized by the alternation between a rainy season lasting from November to April, followed by a dry period in the remaining months. Forest is much more predominant in the other areas inhabited by the group. As the ecosystems are relatively different, many plant species (as well as soil types, clay types for pottery, lithic material, shells, animals etc.) known and used by the Kaiabi in their traditional area are not found in the Xingu Park.

From the historical and sociocultural viewpoint, the differences are notable, both in the Pre-Columbian period and in the phase following arrival of the Whites in the continent.

The region formed by the Teles Pires, Arinos, Rio dos Peixes, Juruena and Tapajós rivers has been mainly occupied by Tupi groups since the ancient past. On the upper Xingu river, the indigenous groups lived, and still live, within a rich multiethnic and multilinguistic cultural complex, today shared by the Kaiabi inhabiting the Park.

In terms of recent history, the big differences derive from the advance of the fronts of colonization. For geographical, environmental and historical reasons, the upper Xingu region remained relatively outside the direct range of the expansion fronts when compared to other areas, at least until the end of the 1940s. After this period, the debates began concerning the creation of the first large indigenous area in Brazil, which came to be the Xingu Indigenous Park. The Park was considered from the outset an ecological and cultural paradise which had to be preserved from the reach of non-Indians. Today this preservationist ethic still has a sizeable impact on the political ideology of the region's indigenous leaderships. In contrast, the Arinos - Teles Pires - Tapajós region was subject to latex exploration from the 19th century onward and more recently to timber extraction and the influx of cattle ranching. This front of occupation provoked the extinction of many indigenous groups, as well as large ecological and cultural changes very often involving forced integration of the surviving and cultural changes very often involving forced integration of the surviving Indians.


Foto: Georg Grünberg
Foto: Georg Grünberg

The current Kaiabi population amounts to approximately 1,000 people. Of these, 756 reside in the Xingu Indigenous Park (UNIFESP-DMP 1997). The remainder of the population is divided between the other two areas occupied by the group. There is no up-to-date data available for these areas, also inhabited by other peoples, since many sources only indicate the total population without specifying the ethnic groups.

The estimate provided here is based on information from Indians who are familiar with these localities. The Kaiabi's populational growth rate is currently fairly high. Studies undertaken in one of the Kaiabi villages in the XIP suggest a rate of about 4.3% (Senra 1996). This strong populational increase reflects both the decline in mortality, a result of medical assistance and the now favourable conditions within the XIP, and high birth rates. With these growth indices, the Kaiabi population tends to double approximately very thirteen years. These high indices are today found in numerous indigenous groups who have succeeded in overcoming centuries of drastic demographic losses.

The villages

Focusing on the organizational pattern of the Kaiabi villages in the Xingu reveals some of the socio-political transformations experienced by this group in the last three or four decades. After the transference to the XIP ( Xingu Indigenous Park), the Kaiabi initially maintained a settlement pattern characterized by dispersion into small family units, as described by Grünberg in his research during the 1960s. Some time afterwards, the Kaiabi villages began to aggregate into larger multi-family units, thereby shifting away from the pattern of isolation observed in their areas of occupation just before transference. The coalition into large villages was clearly encouraged by the Park's administrators, with the primary aim of facilitating the provision of healthcare. In fact, the greater access to medical supplies and staff is considered one of the big advantages of living in large villages, used as an argument by leaders in their discourses as a means of stimulating the aggregation of extended families into larger units. Thus, to a certain extent, this concentration can be explained by the need to maintain an efficient and on-going relationship with the administrative bodies, NGOs and also other Indians.

However, Grünberg suggests that this trend towards the formation of large villages was a feature prior to the transference to the XIP, comprising part of the society's political dynamic. The high fragmentation of the model of territorial occupation, mainly observed after the 1940s and 1950s, resulted from a period marked by an accentuated population decline and by a "strong tendency for the extended family to divide into economically highly autonomous patrilocal nuclear families, which followed the model of the rubber tappers living in independent cabins, very close to each other, around a shared plantation" (Grünberg 1969: 21). Earlier reports such as the one written by Antônio Pyrineus de Souza, an official from the Rondon commission who travelled through the Teles Pires river region in 1915, suggest the existence of settlements ranging from small one-family groupings to large residential groups involving more than a hundred people. The transference to the XIP, and the relationship between the bodies functioning within the Park, in some ways created new conditions for the strengthening of this trend.

Before transference, the Kaiabi houses were very large, sheltering all the members of an extended family. These houses measured approximately 12 metres wide and 24 metres long with their straw thatching extending as far as the ground. Once in the XIP, the Kaiabi started to construct smaller houses with log walls, measuring approximately half the size of a traditional house. Currently they are returning to the construction of houses in the earlier format, which can be seen in some of their villages.

Subsistence and production of artefacts

Foto: Georg Grünberg
Foto: Georg Grünberg

The Kaiabi are a people with a strong agricultural tradition, which was maintained despite their migration to a new territory. Their horticulture is extremely diversified, comprehending dozens of varieties of cultivated plants and a fairly elaborate agricultural system. As among other indigenous groups, the agricultural calendar includes periods of felling and clearance (May and June), burning (August) and planting (September and October). The harvesting periods vary depending on the form of cultivation. There are two basic types of Kaiabi swidden: polyvariety manioc swiddens and polycultural swiddens. Planted almost exclusively in the first are the different varieties of manioc used for the production of flour, bread and porridges. Planted in the polycultural swiddens are various species demanding better soil types (areas of black earth): maize, cotton, peanut, potato, yam, banana, beans, sugarcane, pumpkin and watermelon.

Just like their agriculture, Kaiabi cuisine is highly diversified. The staple diet of manioc flour and fish is complemented by cassava bread plus various drinks and porridges based on manioc, maize, peanut, banana, wild fruits, etc. In the past, game played a more important part in the diet, but the greater sedentarization of the group on the shores of the main rivers, allied, among other factors, with the increased scarcity of certain animal species, contributed to fishing becoming the group's main source of animal protein. The Kaiabi have an elaborate and highly varied material culture. However, the items that most distinguish and identify them are their sieves, apás (a type of sieve) and baskets (woven by men), decorated with a large variety of complex graphic designs, which represent figures from the group's rich cosmology and mythology. The most elaborate artisan work made by women is woven cotton used to make hammocks and slings. Nowadays, the most frequently produced items are collars made from tucum palm, either smooth or decorated with zoomorphic figures, also made by women.

The domestic group

In common with many Amerindian groups, the organization of Kaiabi society does not present global social divisions such as lineages, moieties, age groups, or any other kind of corporate structure. Also like other Amerindian groups, relations founded on marriage (affinity) can be seen as the core of social life, with special attention paid to the father-in-law/son-in-law relationship, basic to the constitution of villages and kingroups, and a source of both solidarity and power. In this sense, the formation of local groups, mobilization for various village activities and many other aspects of social life depend more on relations of alliance than consanguinity.

The most visible social grouping beyond the nuclear family is the kingroup, which is made up by a domestic unit. This unit is led by a wyriat, literally, one who takes charge of the 'place' (wyri), and who in the past would almost always be the oldest male member. The kingroup is an extended family built around affinal and consanguinal relations, whose cohesive element is an older man who, basically through his personal prestige, managed to keep his children-in-law living with him and, consequently, his children and grand-children, as well as other kin, such as a brother for example.

There is a tendency among the Kaiabi for the married couple to reside in the bride's parents' house (post-marital uxorilocal residence), which reinforces the affinal bonds between fathers-in-law and sons-in-law. This residence rule accompanies the obligation for the husband to collaborate and work with his father-in-law and brothers-in-law (bride-service), the wife-givers. This temporary uxorilocality, conceived as bride-service, followed by ambi- or neo-locality, is the most common residential rule among Tupi-Guarani peoples.

The Kaiabi today say that the father-in-law/son-in-law relationship "is no longer the same," that it has "weakened," indicating the perception of a certain relaxing in the obligations that previously accompanied this residential rule. Despite this, they recognize the relevance of this aspect of their social organization and emphasize the need for sons-in-law to move to the house of their in-laws after marriage as a typically Kaiabi custom.

Past and modern leaders

Traditionally the wyriat organized almost all the agricultural work of his domestic unit, following the principles determining the constitution of the extended family. Formerly - when the limits of the village or maloca were often those of an extended family or 'household' conducted by the figure of the wyriat - the global organization of production reproduced the organization of these units. It is probably the case that in the past the Kaiabi did not pursue any clearly collective subsistence activity. Agricultural work involved only the extended family group led by a wyriat, and even then only at particular moments. Usually, the family leader chooses the site to be felled and cleared: these comprise the more collective phases of the work. After clearing, the area is marked out and portions of the terrain are assigned to the heads of the nuclear families, who undertake the planting basically with the help of their wife and children.

The profile of the Kaiabi leader has undergone some transformations over recent decades. The context in which the formation of large multi-family villages took place was also the setting for the emergence of a new type of chief. In the place of the traditional wyriat, an old and war-experienced man, head of a large extended family, itself the source of his authority (Grünberg 1969: 126), we now find young leaders whose main characteristic is greater adeptness in their relationship with Whites. This is perhaps the main role of the new leader, that of mediator between Indians and Whites and, consequently, a means of access to the goods and services from outside which have now become a necessity. However, this apparent transformation preserved certain previous structural principles. Just like the traditional chief, the new leader must 'care' for his followers and his power is based on his ability as a mediator. Previously, the binding nucleus of a chief's followers was the extended family, people linked to him through kinship and affinity. The obligations entailed by matrimony and kinship ties orientated the grouping's organization into a productive unit. Nowadays it is possible for a leader to have few children or grandchildren, and sometimes no sons-in-law, when he assumes the position of leader. Few people work for him under the bride-service regime or respect him for his seniority. Basically, his authority derives from his ability, dynamism and initiative in relation to Whites. According to some informants, chiefdom used to be a position transmitted via the paternal line to the firstborn. However, there is no solid information backing up this possibility.

Names and marks

Every Kaiabi individual possesses several names, which form a varied personal repertoire. Names are changed throughout life as the person enters new social categories or undergoes life-altering personal experiences. Birth of a first child is one event when the parents' always receive new names. These names may be from ancestors, supernatural beings or be related to some specific event in which the individual was involved. The oldest men of the villages, the child or the shaman, are generally responsible for the transmission of names. In the past, the main moment determining the change of name was participation in war expeditions and, more specifically, the death of an enemy.

Traditionally, all the Kaiabi wore facial tattoos which followed certain basic patterns, different for men and women. These tattoos were primarily made at the start of puberty. Just like names, tattoos served simultaneously as a mechanism of personal and group identity. Also as in the case of names, the death of an enemy was an event marked by the execution of new tattoos.


The Kaiabi conceive the cosmos to be divided into various overlapping layers, inhabited by an infinite number of beings which we conventionally call supernatural. There are many types of such beings. There are the various 'animal chiefs,' the dangerous anyang and mama'e which steal human souls, the cultural heroes (demiurges) who taught the Kaiabi everything that they know today, and the Ma'it gods, the great shamans of the sky. All these beings people the myths and narratives through which the Kaiabi comprehend the universe and act within it.

Every human, as well as many animals, possesses an ai'an, a concept which we can roughly translate as 'soul.' Humans are not automatically endowed with an ai'an at birth. They receive it along with their name, which incorporates them into the society in which they live. Those who fail to receive this soul do not become humans, they are only empty beings, an envelope without life (Grünberg 1970: 155).

The Kaiabi always had many shamans. Shamanism fulfils a fundamental role in their conception of a model society. Ideally, this society is led by an old chief with war experience, whose action is complemented by the activity of a number of shamans. Shamans are the intermediaries between the natural and supernatural world. In a general fashion, they can be seen as the restorers of social situations taken to be out of tune with the normal course of existence (Travassos 1984: 183). Shamanic initiation is comprehended as a voyage undertaken as a result of a serious illness or accident, a liminal moment between the quotidian level of reality and the supernatural level.

The Kaiabi are traditionally a warrior people, a fact that can be perceived from their mythic narratives, their stories of past wars, their ritual life and the testimonies of Whites who had contact with them. The most important moment in their ritual life was celebration of Yawaci, a period in which various villages gathered together to hear warriors' songs. This ritual was associated with the death of an enemy, taking place after the smashing of his skull, which was the pretext for initiation of young warriors. Although there are no longer any wars, nor enemy heads, the Kaiabi have returned to performing the Yawaci ritual. As Elisabeth Travassos observed, in a context of ethnic revival, they chose this ritual as the most appropriate for representing the image they most valued of themselves and with which they most identified - that of warriors.

Associations and projects

The Kaiabi's fights today are other and require new weapons. In 1995 the Indians from the northern part of the Xingu Indigenous Park, a region mostly inhabited by the Kaiabi, decided to create an association to defend their rights and attempt to implement a number of projects in the area. Thus, the Xingu Indigenous Territory Association (Associação Terra Indígena Xingu - ATIX0 was born, adding one more entity to the growing Brazilian indigenous movement. The Association's directorship is made of members from the Yudja, Suyá, Trumai Txikão and Kaiabi ethnic groups, as well as a council which brings together representatives from almost all the 15 ethnic groups present in the XIP. The initiative to create ATIX came mainly from the Kaiabi, whose participation involves them in various projects related to the environmental, economic and sociocultural sustainability of the groups living in the Park.

The Kumaná project stands out as one of the main initiatives: it gave rise to the 'Culture Schools' and has the aim of promoting the salvaging of different cultural aspects of the groups through the incentive given to the manufacture of artefacts and performance of festivals. The Kaiabi are also engaged in a movement to recover their areas of traditional occupation on the Teles Pires and Tatuy rivers. To this end, they spent several years pressurizing Funai to set up a Work Group to officially identify the areas previously occupied by them. Tired of waiting for the official body to act, they undertook expeditions on their own to evaluate the current situation of their lands. As a large part of the area is today densely occupied and devastated, they decided to demand that Funai demarcate a stretch of land bordering the western border of the XIP as reparation for the immense losses suffered as a result of their transference to the Park. The Kaiabi are still fighting today for the effective implementation of the Work Group needed to study their demand.

The XIP is becoming a green island in the middle of the rapid and increasing environmental damage in this region of Mato Grosso. The devastation surrounding the Park has led to the threat of large forest fires, the pollution of the rivers on which the indigenous populations depend, as well as various new problems and challenges, Today, the Indians are aware that political organization of the peoples living in the Park is the only means available to them for fighting for the preservation of their sociocultural and environmental diversity.

Notes on the sources

Foto: Jesco - Arquivo Orlando Villas Boas, 1967
Foto: Jesco - Arquivo Orlando Villas Boas, 1967

Compared to the sources available for some other indigenous peoples, the literature on the Kaiabi is fairly substantial. Any research on the group must start with the writings of Georg Grünberg, primarily his doctoral thesis entitled Beitrage zur Ethnographie der Kayabi Zentralbrasiliens (there is a Portuguese translation by Eugênio Wenzel). This comprises a general ethnography on the group, based on research conducted in the 1960s. It begins with an extensive and valuable survey of the historical sources mentioning the Kayabi, followed by sections on the group's material culture, social organization and finally cosmology and mythology, adopting a classical ethnographic model. Also of value is the article "Die Materielle Kultur der Kayabi-Indianer," where Grünberg provides a detailed description of Kayabi material culture.

In addition to Grünberg's thesis, two others have been written on the basis of research among the Kaiabi, both of which are fundamental sources of information on the group. At the end of the 1970s, Elisabeth Travassos undertook research with the Kaiabi of the Xingu which culminated in an M.Phil. dissertation on the topics of shamanism and music. Also recommended reading from the same author is the article "A tradição guerreira nas narrativas e cantos Caiabis," published in 1993. In 1996, the American researcher Suzane Oakdale presented her doctoral thesis at the University of Chicago, The power of experience: agency and identity in Kaiabi healing and political processes in the Xingu Indigenous Park, with important observations on the inclusion of the Kaiabi in the political and cultural setting of the Xingu Indigenous Park.

Alongside these more extensive works, the Kaiabi appear in a series of other works, a few of which can be mentioned here. In her book Diários do Xingu, Berta Ribeiro supplies important information on the group, primarily concerning their material culture. The brothers Cláudio and Orlando Villas Boas recount in their book Os Kayabi do rio São Manuel the episodes and adventures experienced with the Indians in their journeys along the Teles Pires and Tatuy rivers. Published in 1996, the field diaries of the anthropologist Eduardo Galvão contain useful and sometimes picturesque information enabling some understanding of the process of setting up the XIP and the actions of the Kaiabi in this context.

Specifically on the Kaiabi language, there is a grammar published by the Summer School of Linguistics (today the International Society of Linguistics), a missionary-run institute with many linguistic research projects among indigenous groups.

Sources of information

  • ATHAYDE, Simone Ferreira de (Org.). Arte indígena Parque do Xingu : catálogo de divulgação cultural e comercial. São Paulo : ISA ; Canarana : Atix, 2001.


  • --------. O livro das peneiras Kaiabi : Yrupema re je mu’e. São Paulo : ISA, 1999. 108 p.


  • --------. O projeto Kumana e a experiência da Atix na comercialização de artesanato Kaiabi, Yudja e Suya em 1998 : Relatório. São Paulo : ISA, 1999. 87 p.


  • --------. Sustentabilidade ambiental de recursos naturais utilizados na cultura material Kaiabi no Parque Indígena do Xingu, região Amazônica, Brasil. Etnoecológica, México : Etnoecologia, v. 4, n. 6, p. 84-100, 2000.


  • AZEVEDO, Ramiro Anthero de. Prevalência dos marcadores sorológicos da hepatite B (HBsAg, Anti-HBs, Anti-HBc, HB e Ag e Anti-HBe) e da hepatite delta (Anti-HDV) na população de 0 a 14 anos, das tribos Txucarramãe e Caiabí do Parque Indígena do Xingu, Brasil Central. São Paulo : EPM, 1992. (Dissertação de Mestrado)


  • CARVALHO SOBRINHO, João Berchmans de. A música entre os Suya e os Kayabi : a descrição de cerimoniais. Educação e Compromisso, Teresina : s.ed., v. 6, n. ½, p. 35-9, jan./dez. 1994.


  • COSTA, M. F.; MONTEIRO, M. D. Dois estilos plumários : “barroco” e “clássico” no Xingu. Rev. do Museu Paulista, São Paulo : Museu Paulista, n.s., n. 18, sep., p. 127-43, 1968.


  • DOBSON, Rose. Gramática prática com exercícios da língua Kayabi. Cuiabá : SIL, 1988.


  • --------. Textos Kayabí. Brasília : SIL, 1991. 268 p. (Arquivo de Textos Indígenas)


  • FERREIRA, Mariana Kawall Leal. Fragmentos de corpo : o espelho partido, a trajetória de Sabino Kaiabi no Parque Indígena do Xingu. Sexta Feira: Antropologia, Artes e Humanidades, São Paulo : Pletora, n. 4, p. 138-53, 1999.


  • --------. A matemática na vida cotidiana e na experiência escolar indígena : a trajetória Kayabi até o Parque do Xingu. In: --------. Madikauku, os dez dedos das mãos : matemática e povos indígenas no Brasil. Brasília : MEC, 1998. p. 88-107.


  • --------. Da origem dos homens a conquista da escrita : um estudo sobre povos indígenas e educação escolar no Brasil. São Paulo : USP, 1992. 227 p. (Dissertação de Mestrado)


  • -------- (Org.). Histórias do Xingu : coletânea de depoimentos dos índios Suyá, Kayabi, Juruna, Trumai, Txucarramãe e Txicão. São Paulo : USP-NHII ; Fapesp, 1994. 240 p.


  • FERREIRA, Mariana Kawall Leal. Quando 1 + 1 ≠ 2 : práticas matemáticas no Parque Indígena do Xingu. In: FERREIRA, Mariana Kawall Leal (Org.). Idéias matemáticas de povos culturalmente distintos. São Paulo : Global ; Mari/USP, 2002. p. 37-64. (Antropologia e Educação)


  • GALVÃO, Eduardo. Diários do Xingu (1947-1967). In: GONÇALVES, Marco Antônio Teixeira (Org.). Diários de campo de Eduardo Galvão : Tenetehara, Kaioa e índios do Xingu. Rio de Janeiro : UFRJ, 1996. p. 249-381.


  • GRÜNBERG, Friedl Von. Tentativa de análisis del sistema de parentesco de los Kayabi. Suplemento Antropológico, Assunção : s.ed., n. 5, p. 12, 1970.


  • --------; GRÜNBERG, Georg G. Die materielle kultur der Kayabi-Indianer : bearbeitung ciner ethnographischen sammlung. Archiv für Völkerkunde, Viena : Druck Bruder Rosenbaum, n. 21, p. 27-90, 1967.


  • GRÜNBERG, Georg G. Beiträge zur ethnographie der Kayabi zentralbrasiliens. Viena : Archiv fur Volkerkunde, 1970. 186 p.


  • --------. Contribuição para a etnografia dos Kayabi do Brasil Central. Viena : Univ. de Viena, 1969. 213 p. (Tese de Doutorado)


  • --------. Problemas interétnicos dos Kayabí. Terra Indígena, Araraquara : Centro de Estudos Indígenas, v. 10, n. 69, p. 56-64, out./dez. 1993.


  • --------. Urgent research in Northwest Mato Grosso. Bulletin of the International Commitee on Urgent Anthropological and Ethnological Research, Viena, n. 8, p. 143-52, 1966.


  • HIEATT, Marcela Stockler Coelho de Souza. Faces da afinidade : um estudo do parentesco na etnografia xinguana. Rio de Janeiro : UFRJ-Museu Nacional, 1992. 154 p. (Dissertação de Mestrado)


  • LEA, Vanessa Rosemary. Parque Indígena do Xingu : laudo antropológico. Campinas : Unicamp, 1997. 220 p. (AI: Parque Indígena do Xingu)


  • LINS, Elizabeth Travassos. Xamanismo e música entre os Kayabi. Rio de Janeiro : UFRJ-Museu Nacional, 1984. 357 p. (Dissertação de Mestrado)


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