Foto: Miltom Guran, 1978


  • Other names
  • Where they are How many

    MT604 (Siasi/Sesai, 2014)
  • Linguistic family

Kamaiurá testimony: a people teaching another people



The whites learned from the Indians some dancesteps, to smoke tobacco, to make ceramics, hammocks, porridge, manioc mush, corn, guaraná, to take a bath, remedies, flutes, rattles, many words from the indigenous languages that were included in the Portuguese language. There are pots, large pots and pans for making beiju made of clay, of Waurá origin. We use these objects out of necessity. For food we use vegetal salt made by the Aweti and Mehinako. In dances and feestivals we have Takwara that the people of the upper Xingu learned from the Bakairi. This dance went from village to village until it got to the Kamaiurá.

Today, in this festival we play music which came from the Yudjá. The famous Jawari festival which is celebrated by the indigenous people of the upper Xingu every year, comes from the Trumai. This festival is celebrated to remove sadness or mourning and to burn objects that were of the dead kin, for example, a bow or arrow-thrower. The most frequent and threatening influences that we live today are from the city. I will cite some examples: machines, food, clothes, schools, basic health units, medication, soccer, music and many other things. I have an observation to make with respect to this: there are some things that are important among those I mentioned, and others not. It is good to remember that it is good to learn to use the most important things from the city and it is necessary to be careful with the other things that aren’t worth anything.