Foto: Thomas Gregor, 1983

Mehinako

  • Other names
    Meinaco, Meinacu, Meinaku
  • Where they are How many

    MT286 (Siasi/Sesai, 2014)
  • Linguistic family
    Aruak

Intermarriages

mehinako_7

The flow of merchandise and cerimonial services among the different peoples is part of a wider system of exchange, the principal component of which is people. Visits to other groups are motivated by a desire to establish commerce, to get away from the same old social pressures at home, to watch rituals in other villages and, even, to look for spouses in another group. The Mehinako, however, prefer to marry close by, but at times they don't find spouses of satisfactory age or kinship category. The solution is to obtain a spouse through the activation of ties already made firm with other communities. At present, there are kinship connections with all Xinguan groups, which serve as a basis for intertribal marriages.

The Mehinako marry with people of other Xinguan groups only as a last alternative, because they don't like the idea of losing the presence and support of children. Since there is no rule of post-marital residence that binds the children to the communities of their parents, there is always the risk that, with marriage, they will leave their group of origin.