Foto: Isabelle Vidal Giannini-ISA, 1996

Kayapó Xikrin

  • Autodenominação
  • Where they are How many

    PA1.818 (Funasa, 2010)
  • Linguistic family


The Xikrin, a group of the Kayapó language, emphasize hearing and speech. In order to hone these qualities, the Xikrin perforate the corresponding organs (ears and lips) in early infancy. Hearing is directly related to knowing – to the acquisition of knowledge. Oratory is in turn a highly valorized social practice, a virtue for the Kayapó groups in general, who define themselves as those who speak well – Kaben mei – in contrast to all the other peoples who do not speak their language. The gift of oratory is attributed to men and involves passionate discourses, performed in the centre of the village.