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- Linguistic family
The Manchineri use a variety of hunting techniques. One of them involves the use of personal trails: rather than belonging to anyone, these are personalized by starting on a particular person’s land and are used more or less restrictively, though no permission is required to use them. These trails may be short, about half an hour’s walk in length, or they may run for a longer distance, covering some 3 or 4 hours walk from the house. The hunter may be armed with a rifle or merely a machete, but generally uses dogs.
The worst fate for a hunter is to acquire panema, or bad hunting luck. The animals flee from him and his shots miss their target. He returns home empty-handed and the family’s meal is prepared without the highly valorized meat. To rid himself of panema, he must spread tipi over his entire body (a cultivated plant also used as a fish poison) and drink sanango (another plant, whose leaves are used), an emetic, for ten days running. With each session of vomiting, the hunter’s organism is increasingly purified, expelling whatever was harming him.
Net fishing is another important source of food. People also use hooks and lines, as well as diving and catching fish with a harpoon when the river is low and the water clears. Even if there is no meat to eat (something highly valorized), there is always fish, both in the Iaco river and the creeks and igapós (flooded areas).
The husband works in the swidden when he is not hunting, while his wife spends most of her time there. Women looking after small children do not work in the swidden. As soon as summer begins, around June, it is time to clear the swidden so that by August it will be dry enough to burn. This marks the end of rice harvesting (which began in September). The swidden is burnt in August at the height of summer. After burning, people plant pumpkin, manioc, maize and rice, in that order, followed by papaya and potato (yams). Sometimes people plant sugarcane and peanuts. The look of the crop and the agriculturist’s sensibility determine the time for harvesting. When winter arrives, the old swidden is replanted and weeded.
The current form of agriculture in the IT is extremely similar to that practiced by the inhabitants of the Chico Mendes Reserve. There are just a few small variations in terms of the products.