Foto: Beto Ricardo, 2002

Xingu

  • Other names
  • Where they are How many

  • Linguistic family

Notes on the sources

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Actually, there are published Works on the different peoples of the Xingu, which can be found in the bibliographies of the entries for each of these peoples. Here reference will be made only to those works that deal with the region of the Upper Xingu as a whole.

Among the Works by the first ethnologists who were on the Upper Xingu, there is a Portuguese translation of the two books by Karl von den Steinen (the one referring to his second Voyage, Entre os Aborígenes do Brasil Central, [Among the aborigines of Central  Brazil] is the one that contains the most ethnographic information) and the book by Max Schmidt, Estudos de Etnologia Brasileira.[Studies of Brazilian Ethnology]

Among the Works from the mid-XXth Century, there are the articles by Eduardo Galvão and the volume by Kalervo Oberg (whose expedition included his students of the School of Sociology and Politics of São Paulo, such as Fernando Altenfelder da Silva).

The cathedra thesis by Egon Schaden, Aculturação Indígena, [Indigenous Acculturation] defended at the University of São Paulo in 1965, has an interesting chapter based on the bibliography available at that time, which discusses the relations between the Xingu Indians from the end of the XIXth Century to the mid-XXth Century. The book by Pedro Agostinho, Kwarup, published several years later, although focused on the holding of this important ritual among the Kamayurá, offers a very vivid account of their attitudes in relation to the guests, from other ethnic groups. On the  Kwarup, Heinz Forthmann produced a documentary film which illustrates very well the description provided in Agostinho’s book.

The Diário do Xingu, [Diary of the Xingu] by Berta Ribeiro, provides a description of the Park, at the same time it relates the journey of this ethnologist from the south to the north of the Park. An equivalent visual account is offered by the video produced by Washington Novaes, shown years ago in a television series.

Orlando Villas-Bôas dedicated himself to describing his experience as backwoodsman and indigenist in a series of articles and 12 books, among which is  A Marcha para o Oeste – A Epópeia da Expedição Roncador -Xingu.[The March to the West – Epopeia of the Roncador-Xingu Expedition]. In 2002, O Xingu dos Villas Bôas, [The Xingu of the Villas-Bôas] was published, with more than 300 photos, testimonies and informative texts about the Villas-Bôas brothers and the Indigenous Park of the Xingu.

Recently, the volume Os Povos do Alto Xingu: História e Cultura (2001), [The Peoples of the Upper Xingu: History and Culture] was organized by Bruna Franchetto and Michael Heckenberger which brings together articles by the editors and other researchers who have done research in the area, some for many years, studying the peoples of the upper Xingu. The overall goal of the volume is to show that the Upper Xingu has a long past that can be investigated and interpreted, both from the perspective of researchers and from the different points of view of the distinct indigenous peoples.