Foto: Gustaaf Verswijver, 1991

Mebêngôkre (Kayapó)

  • Autodenominação
  • Where they are How many

    MT, PA11.675 (Siasi/Sesai, 2014)
  • Linguistic family



The term Kayapó (sometimes written ‘Kaiapó’ or ‘Caiapó’) was first used at the start of the 19th century. The people do not call themselves by this term, a name coined by neighbouring groups and meaning “those who look like monkeys”, which probably derives from a ritual lasting many weeks during which Kayapó men, adorned with monkey masks, execute short dances. Although aware that this is how others name them, the Kayapó refer to themselves as Mebêngôkre, “the men from the water hole/place.”