segunda-feira, 15 de fevereiro de 2016


Toy Art Kamayurá

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Brazilian Estate/
MT467Ipeax 2011

The kamayurá people (also Camaiurás or Kamayuras) are a Brazilian indigenous group. Inhabitants of the Xingu Indigenous Park, on the banks of the dividing line between two major rivers of the Xingu watershed, the kamayurá people belong to the Tupi-Guarani ethnic and linguistic group, being inserted in the cultural district of the Upper Xingu.

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The kamayurá people have a traditional system characterized by heterogeneity, due to the intense intertribal marriage process and energetic cohesion ties they have with other Indian companies in the same geographic space.

Among the indigenous group, there exists a peculiar civil organization system, characterized by a unique complex of immense Community hollow circularly arranged around a public yard. This space, formed from the convergence of four major roads, intended for the celebration of the rites and traditions relating to the cosmology of the people. The housing, primarily made up of bamboo and straw, can reach thirty meters long and accommodate several families, according to ancestry held.

The society, though rigidly patriarchal, do not overlook the female role, charging the women of the protection of children, maintenance of domestic order, planting and harvesting of root crops and preparing food, while the responsibility of the man protein obtaining and the plantation cleaning in which will be planted cassava.


At the time of the first non-Indian contact, led by the German ethnologist Karl von den Steinen, in 1886, the kamayurá people were in late stage sedentary, sitting near the Ipavu pond, where they remain to this day. According to traditional accounts, widely accepted among the indigenous, people would come from Wawitsa, located in the northern part of the park. The region, which flow into the main tributaries of the Xingu basin, has a prominent space in the cosmology of the ethnic group.

Physical organization

The Kamaiurá housing structures have distinguished influences of the high Xingu architectural style and can reach up to thirty meters long and ten meters high. With a wooden structure and mostly covered bamboo thatched or palm leaves, hollow enjoy collective status, showing no type of internal divisions. Marginally to the center of the room, from which protrudes a single wooden pillar, crowding the families of the clan, while the most internal environments are intended for food storage and maintenance of fire.

The village, in turn, is a single core settlement, consisting of a square (camaiurá language: hoka'yterip) plant in whose surroundings rise the huts, a circular distribution. Nuclear to hoka'yterip, stands the house of the flutes where acondicionam flutes used in shamanic rituals. Access to such a structure, and the use of flutes, is restricted to village men, blaming women who violate the ban worth of gang rape.

Anthropomorphic House of Kamayurá

The house is typical of the ethnic group that lives in the Xingu. It consists of an oval structure of 8 meters wide, 12 long and 6 high, with three central pillars. The hollow was already built many decades ago as part of the tradition of Kamayura and Yawalapitis, but to build this hollow, in particular, a project was created by Aiupu Kamayurá, who is an architect and teaches a few lessons of discipline "Construction of Knowledge" at the University of Brasilia, UnB.

Anthropomorphic House of Kamayurá - parts of the house are directly related to body parts

Anuiá, the son of Aiupu says that to make a hollow of this size are needed 13 men, who will work for about 15 days. "Even with the delay of three days because of the material, I think we'll be able to finish the hollow in time," says Anuiá. In Yawalapiti village in Xingu there is a main hollow call for them in the big house. This space is used for sleeping, eating and socializing. This hollow is 12 meters wide, 30 meters long and 10 meters high and holds about eight families.

According Anuiá are being used bamboo, nails, eucalyptus wood, straw and wire in building this hollow. They are about 48 eucalyptus stumps, three major trunks, plus more than 13,000 straws for coverage. In houses made in the village of Xingu, the Yawalapiti use other materials such as imbira (a kind of ties) and sapé (a specific straw found there).

The brother Anuiá, Wally, is learning from his father a little about architecture and explained how the structure of the hollow and the stages of construction. He said the foundation began to be made on Saturday and consists of three main pillars, the 48 stumps around and the finest trunks of eucalyptus, going to the top. With the arrival of materials, women helped peel the woods to continue building.

After this base, the finest trunks are tied to so-called "ribs" of the hollow, who hold the straw and also serve to tie the networks when it is ready. Are total four or five horizontal ribs which unite all the eucalyptus trees, giving the hollow oval. The higher the rib, it is lower. In the end, it made the finish of the frame and then the straws are woven, from the bottom up.

The labor

The work starts early, at 7:30 am. They stop for lunch and a little rest and in the afternoon, return to work. The construction of hollow, women's work is different from that done by men. They help peeling trunks and making the food. The men work directly with the construction, lifting the entire structure of the house.

At dusk, when the sun goes down, they conclude the work and prepare for the evening activities. Around eight hours, Kamayura dine and under the starry sky, perform their songs and rituals.

Cultural Habits

Admission of Indian young adult atmosphere requires a period of assisted closure, which usually starts by virtue of the first characters of puberty. During the cycle, teenagers are isolated in specific housing structure, where they have limited social contact to the presence of parents and grandparents. Those who keep such relationship, then commit themselves for productive education of indigenous, with particular emphasis on activities related to teen sex and how to perform them. On the occasion, the boys are educated about the practice of huka-huka, a ritual martial art often associated with cosmological festivities of the people.

Huka - Huka 

Although, for teenagers, early seclusion is tightly related to the menstruation, for male ones require the mutual consent of their parents. The education process extends indefinitely, and yet the female permanence rarely extends for more than a year, the boys can espaçarem-enclosed for up to five times, interspersed with brief access freedom. During the occasion, the girls have their knees tied together by fibrous cords, so that the calf will become more robust by fluid buildup. Similarly, they are deprived of a haircut, so that at the end of the rite, the long strands of fringe obscure part of their faces. Once the capillary extension of adolescents reaches chin height, they are released from confinement.

he average duration of the rite is related to hereditary status that accompanies the young, so that more reclusive space implies proportionately greater power and importance among the Indians of the village. At the end of the cloister, it is given a final name to the young man who comes to replace the name given by virtue of his birth. The time mark, similarly, the ability to double rites.

Completing a remarkable cultural space, infanticide is often associated with cultural people's system, although they have no exclusivity in carrying out the practice. The children of a single mother, congenital malformation holders and twins, are the main targets of this ritual, which, although it is quite rooted in the context of people's traditions, generates differences between the village members themselves. Newborns indigenous when they fall into any of the aforementioned reasons, are usually buried still alive, but may also be executed by drowning. Currently, kamayurá people every year, despite the FUNAI offer adoption services for children rejected kill approximately thirty indigenous children.

Recreational games and activities

The playful repertoire of indigenous Kamayura, characterized by an outstanding diversity of performative expressions, presents itself in the form of jokes and games to enjoy remarkable popularity among the members of the group. Such activities, especially practiced by children and men of the tribe, make up an important part of everyday life of the people and can, incidentally, involve specific instruments to an end. Some of these tools have unique mechanisms, like a curious child's toy, which made from bamboo and jute yarn, throws a weak jet of water under pressure.

Mojarutap Myrytsiowit: cat bed of play, as it is known in Portuguese, is the production of several figures using two fibrous cords rolled between the fingers. The resulting forms, usually geometric or anthropomorphic, constitute one of the most outstanding examples of creative production of kamayurá people having clear influence of traditional folk cosmology.

Jawari: using a kind of blowgun, produced especially for this purpose, a group of competitors launch artifacts pointed toward a fence previously organized sticks. Behind the fence, line up the other revelers, so that it works as a shield against the spears hurled by competitors. As the spears reach the sticks forming a wobbly wall, the Indians who were originally behind this wall must deviate from the arrows, without, however, move their feet.


The Kamayura society is organized into well-defined hierarchies estamentárias, characterized by strong patriarchy and usually transmitted by heredity. The tribal chief, the chief, is the maximum attainable status within the village limits, serving mediator roles and regulatory conflicts among the other Indians. The Shaman charge of shamanic rites, in turn, focuses minimized political powers, nevertheless brings with it great prestige and appreciation among the members of the tribe. In some cases, an indigenous one can concentrate mystical and political powers, which further increases the individual's reputation.

Feminine attire Kamayurá

They live in burrows family, which usually revolve around a group of brothers who may or may not be accompanied by parallel cousins and ancestors. The leader of the domestic space, known as the master of the house (camaiurá: morerekwat), is in charge of the distribution of daily tasks between satellites clans. There, among the village members, a strong polygamous tradition, so that a large number of wives indicates proportionately greater social status. Her husband, the acquisition of a new wife calls and the possibility of keeping them in comfortable conditions, permission of existing ones.

Traditionally, young newlyweds must reside for a predetermined period of time with the in-laws, performing favors in thanks to the transfer of her daughter. Fulfilled the agreement, the couple can choose which residence is established, which is usually the husband's house of origin.

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