Indigenous of Brazil

Latest update February 27, 2019 Started on November 28, 2018
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In Brazil, there are about 305 ethnic groups, of which 16 belong to the Xingú National Park. The Park, now considered an Indigenous Land by a demarcated protection area, has more than 6 million indigenous people living in numerous villages. Each village has its particularities, format, organization, art, and culture.

We invite you to travel with our team of specialists to this unique world in the heart of Brazil. Discover through our photos, videos and texts the routine of these peoples who have resisted and struggled to preserve their ancestral values, traditions and environment.

Project Leader: Natália Branco

Production: Roberto Benatti

Project Manager: Felipe Martins

Photographer: Carol Brenck

November 28, 2018
Expedition's summary cannot exceed 240 characters


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Debriefing

Day 5: Aingo Hegei
By Luiza Vieira - Expedition Journalist Portuguese version bellow

The day dawned a little differently that Friday. The sun, which was usually already up and bright in the morning, laid behind the heavy fog. The dirt, before hot and vibrant, was cold and dull.

alt Credit: Luiza Vieira

As we packed our suitcases inside the oca, the thought of returning to the city suddenly sank in. "Hurry up, guys! The boat is waiting for us," Carol warned us. It's funny how the conception of time did not seem important during our time spent there, until that moment. "Yep... back to reality," I thought.

The movements, the looks, the conversations; everything seemed to be happening in slow motion, as if happiness were trying to record every image, every scene. As if it was trying to cling to any detail that could ease the feeling of leaving.

alt Credit: Carol Brenck

To our surprise, the entire village came to meet us to say goodbye. The half-hearted smile in everyone's face did not hide the true feeling that hung in the air; sadness.

alt Credit: Carol Brenck

Amid tears and smiles, we were presented with hugs, souvenirs and several invitations to return. A gest that symbolizes all the love, warmth and gratitude we felt during our expedition.

alt Credit: Carol Brenck

Living with Afukuri tribe for four days, was like entering a parallel world within our own country. We had the opportunity to discover and understand the beauties and peculiarities of a people who suffers the reflexes of a past marked by exploitation and enslavement and the judgements of a present that believes culture is a synonym of poverty. That believes native people are only considered native when access to technology, basic needs and the right of prosperity are shut down.

alt Credit: Carol Brenck

Thank you for the amazing days, Afukuri tribe. Aingo Hegei.

O dia amanheceu um pouco diferente naquela sexta-feira. O sol, que geralmente já estava alto e brilhante pela manhã, se escondia por detrás da névoa pesada. A terra, antes quente e vibrante, era fria e opaca.

Enquanto arrumávamos nossas malas dentro da oca, o pensamento de retornar a cidade resolveu dar as caras. "Pessoal, vamos logo! O barco está esperando por nós", Natalia nos avisou. É engraçado como a concepção de tempo não parecia importante durante o tempo que passamos lá, até aquele momento. "É...de volta para realidade", pensei.

Os movimentos, os olhares, as conversas; tudo parecia estar acontecendo em câmera lenta, como se a felicidade estivesse tentando gravar cada imagem, cada cenário. Como se ela estivesse tentando se agarrar a qualquer detalhe que pudesse aliviar a sensação de ir embora.

Para nossa surpresa, a aldeia inteira veio ao nosso encontro para se despedir de nós. O sorriso amarelo estampado no rosto de todos ali, não escondia o verdadeiro sentimento que pairava no ar; tristeza.

Em meio a choros e sorrisos, fomos presenteados com abraços, lembranças e diversos convites para quando quisermos retornar. Gestos como esse, simbolizam todo o amor, receptividade e gratidão que sentimos durante o tempo que passamos com eles.

Conviver com a aldeia Afukuri por quatro dias foi como adentrar em um mundo paralelo dentro do nosso próprio país. Foi descobrir as belezas e particularidades de um povo que sofre com os reflexos causados pela exploração e escravidão do passado e com os olhos julgadores do presente que acreditam que cultura é sinônimo de pobreza, que povos originários só o são quando não há direito à tecnologia, a estruturas básicas de vivência e à prosperidade.

Aos amigos da aldeia Afukuri, obrigada pelos dias incríveis. Aingo Hegei.

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Queremos dedicar essa matéria para retratar a situação crítica que a comunidade Naô Xohâ está vivendo causada pelo impacto da tragédia em Brumadinho - Minas Gerais.


O rompimento da barragem 1 da Mina Feijão, em Brumadinho, nesta sexta-feira, 25 de janeiro, gerou sérias consequências para populações ribeirinhas e cidades próximas. Os rejeitos de minério, que acumulam aproximadamente 13 milhões de metros cúbicos, adentraram no rio Paraopeba, o primeiro a ser atingido pela lama.

alt Foto: Lucas Hallel

Cacique da reserva indígena Naô Xohâ, Pataxó HãHãHãe lamenta a situação do rio que serve como principal fonte de sobrevivência das tribos que ali vivem. A aldeia está localizada a 26km de distância do local do rompimento no município de São Joaquim de Bicas, e já sofre com os remanescentes da tragédia.

alt Foto: Lucas Hallel

"O rio está com cheiro de podridão e já temos muitos peixes chegando à margem pedindo socorro"

Apesar de não haver feridos entre os pataxós, o lamaçal assombra e preocupa as 20 famílias que moram na aldeia.

alt Foto: Lucas Hallel

Além de servirem como principal fonte de alimento para a tribo, as águas do Paraopeba são usadas também para lavar roupas e banhar.

A pedido da defesa civil e dos bombeiros, a aldeia Naô Xohã chegou a ser evacuada no sábado, 26 de janeiro, devido ao risco de inundação. Na segunda-feira, os indígenas retornaram à aldeia e seguem no local na esperança de conseguirem salvar sua terra.

alt Foto: Lucas Hallel

“A Terré está caindo é Tupã que está mandando, a terré está caindo é Tupã que está mandando, vou voltar pra minha aldeia meus irmãos tão guerreando.”

Tupã tá mandando a chuva no meio da mata para alimentar os animais, pois os que estão aqui já morreram.

Clamam os Naô Xohã.

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Mais um crime com danos irreparáveis às pessoas e ao ambiente

Day 4: When a Girl Becomes a Woman: Taquara Ritual
By Luiza Vieira - Expedition Journalist

  • Portuguese version bellow

Our last day in the Afukuri village was also the one we were more excited for. From the moment we arrived at the tribe, it was possible to feel a suspense in the air whenever the Taquara ritual was mentioned. Natalia, the leader of the expedition, said several times: "You have no idea how privileged you are to witness this moment."

Although the name Taquara refers to the musical instrument that is played during the ceremony, the rite represents the transition from girlhood to womanhood. It's like a Sweet Sixteen, but it holds a way more deep meaning and consequences.

alt Photo: Carol Brenck

Rewinding a bit, the indigenous culture recognizes only two phases in an individual's life; childhood and adulthood. Adolescence, in turn, is considered a period of development and preparation. For girls, this change is determined by their first period. Both sexes are secluded inside their "ocas", learning the skills necessary to play the role they have within the indigenous society.

Fishing, fighting, singing and storytelling are some of the activities destined for guys. The girls learn handcraft skills, learn to harvest cassava, and how to care for their families.

The period of isolation varies from two months to two years, and is determined by the parents. No one is obligated to do it, but girls who opt for "freedom" are frowned upon by the rest of the village and can have trouble finding a partner and getting married.

We had the opportunity to watch the Taquara of Rica Kawaguchi, who was secluded for seven months. Soon after breakfast, the movement around the village begins . The men go toward the central "oca", and the women gather to paint each other.

alt Photo: Roberto Benatti

Rica, who wears a long polka dot dress, is sitting on a wooden stool right at the doorway. Her body painting is almost finished, and her expression does not hide the pain when the cotton brush with black ink touches her scratched shin.

alt Photo: Carol Brenck

alt Photo: Carol Brenck

The "Arranhadeira" is a healing ritual performed to heal, break spells, give strength and take away laziness. It is used by men, women, children and adults.

alt Photo: Carol Brenck

A triangular-shaped wooden gourd with small sharp teeth of a dogfish is used to scratch the persons' skin. After, a strong root is rubbed above the inflamed area.

As the moment approaches, Rica hides behind the sheets that work as room dividers inside the "ocas". Her mother follows her, combing her long black hair with a brush, making sure she looks beautiful.

alt Photo: Roberto Benatti

alt Photo: Roberto Benatti

The mood of anxiety and tension hangs over the air as we await. Over time, the sound of the Taquaras, the steady thumping of the feet and the voices resound inside the oca as an avalanche.

alt Photo: Carol Brenck

A few minutes later, the men and women arrive. Upon exiting the curtain, her pale skin, uneven bands and her weight gain are evident from her months in isolation.

alt Photo: Carol Brenck

With her left hand resting on the shoulder of the indigenous man, they guide the line of seven people and start the ritual. From "oca" to "oca", they dance incessantly under the blazing sun until dusk.

alt Photo: Carol Brenck

At the end of the day, for us, visitors, many questions remains about cultural differences. For Rica, it is the milestone of a new cycle and the possibility of choosing a partner and forming her family.

Nosso último dia na aldeia Afukuri foi o mais esperado. Desde que chegamos na tribo, era possível sentir um suspense no ar quando o ritual da Taquara era mencionado. A Natália, líder da expedição, disse diversas vezes: "Vocês não tem ideia do quão privilegiados são por presenciarem esse momento."

Apesar do nome Taquara se referir ao instrumento musical que é tocado durante a cerimônia, o ritual marca a transição da menina que se torna mulher. É como se fosse uma Festa de 15 Anos, mas com um significado e consequências bem diferentes.

Voltando um pouco, a cultura indígena reconhece apenas duas fases na vida da pessoa; a infância e a fase adulta. A adolescência, por sua vez, é considerada como um período de amadurecimento e preparação que para as meninas é determinada pela primeira menstruação Ambos os sexos ficam reclusos em suas ocas, aprendendo e desenvolverem habilidades necessárias para exercerem o papel que possuem dentro da sociedade indígena.

Pesca, luta, oratória e canto são algumas das atividades masculinas. Já as meninas aprendem artesanato, a colheita da mandioca e a cuidarem de suas famílias.

O período de reclusão varia de dois meses a dois anos, e é determinado pelos pais. Nada é forçado, mas as meninas que optam pela “liberdade”, ficam mal vistas pelo restante da aldeia e acabam tendo dificuldades para encontrarem um parceiro e se casarem.

Tivemos a oportunidade de acompanhar a Taquara da Rica Kawaguchi, que ficou reclusa por sete meses. Logo após o café da manhã, a movimentação começa. Os homens seguem em direção a oca central, e as mulheres se reúnem para pintarem umas às outras.

Rica, que traja um vestido poá longo, está sentada em um banquinho de madeira bem na entrada da oca. A sua pintura corporal está quase finalizada e a sua expressão não esconde a dor quando o pincel de algodão com tinta nanquim encosta em sua canela arranhada.

A arranhadeira é um ritual clássico da aldeia e funciona como uma espécie de cura para quebrar feitiços, dar força e tirar a preguiça. É utilizado para homens, mulheres, crianças e adultos. Uma cabaça de madeira em formato triangular, com pequenos e afiados dentes de peixe-cachorra, arranhando a pessoa e uma raiz forte é esfregada logo a seguir.

Ao passo que o momento se aproxima, Rica segue pra trás dos lençóis que funcionam como divisores dos cômodos da oca. Sua mãe a segue, e penteia seus cabelos pretos e longos com uma escova, deixando-a radiante.

O clima de ansiedade e tensão paira sobre o ar enquanto aguardamos a chegada dos demais. Ao longe, o sopro grave das Taquaras, as batidas firmes dos pés, os urros e vozes ressoam dentro da oca como uma avalanche. São os índios e índias que vieram buscar Rica. Ao sair da cortina, sua pele pálida, franjas sem corte e seu ganho de peso entregam os meses de reclusão. Rica apoia sua mão esquerda no ombro do índio que guia a fila de sete pessoas e dá início à festa. De oca em oca, eles seguem dançando incessantemente embaixo do sol ardente até o entardecer.

No fim do dia, para nós, espectadores, fica o questionamento sobre as diferenças culturais. Para Rica, fica o marco de um novo ciclo de responsabilidades perante a aldeia e a possibilidade de escolher um parceiro e formar sua família.

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In The Field

Day 3: Getting Our Hands Dirty
By Luiza Vieira - Expedition Journalist

Portuguese version bellow

Food always plays an important role in the culture and lifestyle of a society. It can represent survival, hospitality, comfort and religion. The food that we eat, how we prepare, serve, and eat it, can influence relationships and develop identities. For the Kuikuro people, cassava, or yucca, is the main character.

Cassava is a tuberous root with a great source of carbohydrates that is extensively produced in tropical and subtropical regions. There are two types of cassava, the sweet and the bitter, with the former one being poisonous. The root can be consumed as a food and can also be used to make alcoholic drinks. In the Afukuri tribe, the bitter cassava is the only type available and is the primary ingredient of their diet. They normally eat it in the form of a tapioca crepe, known as "beiju.”

alt Credit: Carol Brenck

There's a long and arduous process to prepare the cassava after it's found. Our experience working with women from the Afukuri tribe showed us just how toilsome harvesting cassava can be. Harvesting normally starts at five in the morning but we are delayed because of a rain storm. Two hours later, we all get together and walk to the cassava plantation located in the back part of the village.

With an aluminum bowl in one hand, and a machete in the other, we walk about 200 meters along the path covered with trees, followed by small yellow butterflies and mosquitoes.

alt Credit: Carol Brenck

The plantation is about 400 square meters and we soon divide ourselves into three groups of three. With determined eyes balanced by an easy smile, Sahati, the chief's wife, shows us the way.

alt Credit: Carol Brenck

With the machete, she cuts the branches of the tree until tiny stubs are left above the soil. To release the soil compression and find the cassava, we start digging into the cold dirt. It takes two people to pull out the sturdy tuber. The cut branches are separated from the root and replanted.

alt Credit: Carol Brenck

The way back to the village is not as easy; the bowls, before empty, are now full of cassava weighing about 35 kilos each. To carry it, we have to place it on the top of our head and use our hands to keep it steady. A sort of pillow made out of fabric helps to cushion the pressure of the bowl. The total amount of cassava harvested lasts for about 13 days and the harvest is done weekly.

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As we get back to the village, it is time to start peeling, washing and grating the cassava. The most important part is the squeezing; this is the step where the poison is removed from the juice.

alt Credit: Carol Brenck

alt Credit: Carol Brenck

Then, balls of manioc are made and put to dry under the sun. The balls are then crushed and sifted, making the cassava flour that is spread on an iron skillet pan over the fire. We wait for about five minutes and, voilá, the beiju is finally ready.

alt Credit: Carol Brenck

alt Credit: Carol Brenck

alt Credit: Carol Brenck

The beiju is gooey and plain, but it's an excellent source of energy for the Afukuri tribe, who has to face high temperatures and suffers from a limited access to food.

alt Credit: Carol Brenck

The entire process, from harvesting to the final product, is done by indigenous women of the tribe. From a very young age, the girls follow their mothers, sisters, aunts and cousins and learn the tricks and techniques to make the perfect beiju.

alt Credit: Carol Brenck

The best part is not the beiju itself, but the relationships developed and experiences shared through food. I don't know...But there is something magical about eating beiju at 7 a.m., barefoot, feeling the earth and having a cup of coffee in your hands.

alt Credit: Carol Brenck

alt Credit: Carol Brenck

alt Credit: Carol Brenck

A comida é um elemento fundamental para compreender a cultura, os costumes e a identidade de uma sociedade. Ela pode representar sobrevivência, hospitalidade, conforto e religião. Para o povo Kuikuro, a mandioca é o ingrediente principal dessa história.

A mandioca é uma raiz tuberosa com uma grande fonte de carboidratos e é amplamente produzida em regiões tropicais e subtropicais. Existem dois tipos de mandioca, a mansa e a brava, a qual é venenosa. A raiz pode ser consumida como alimento e também usada para fazer bebidas alcoólicas. Na tribo Afukuri, a mandioca brava é a única espécie disponível na região e é preparada na forma de "Beiju", uma tapioca local.

Antes que ela esteja pronta para consumo, um longo processo deve ser seguido. A nossa experiência com as mulheres da tribo Afukuri comprova isso. A colheita, que normalmente começa às cinco horas da manhã, teve que ser adiada por conta da tempestade. Esperamos, e duas horas depois, nos reunimos e vamos para a plantação de mandioca localizada nos arredores da aldeia.

Com uma bacia de alumínio em uma mão e um facão na outra, caminhamos cerca de 200 metros pelo caminho de terra coberto por vegetação nativas.

A plantação tem cerca de 400m², e assim que chegamos nos dividimos em trios. Com seus traços fortes e sorriso fácil, Sahati, a esposa do Cacique, nos ensina os truques da colheita. Usando o facão, ela corta os galhos da árvore até restarem pequenos tocos acima do solo. Com as nossas mãos, começamos a cavar a terra fria para facilitar a retirada da mandioca, que demanda um trabalho em equipe. Separamos os ramos cortados e os replantamos no local onde a mandioca foi retirada.

O caminho de volta para a aldeia não é fácil; as bacias, antes vazias, estão cheias de mandioca e pesam cerca de 35 quilos cada. A rodilha, também utilizada pelas baianas, ajuda a amortecer e equilibrar o peso da bacia sobre nossas cabeças. Os 140 kilos colhidos suprem a tribo por cerca de 13 dias, e a atividade é realizada semanalmente.

Chegando na aldeia, descascamos, lavamos, ralamos e esprememos a mandioca numa esteira de madeira, retirando todo o sumo e por sua vez, o veneno da mesma. Após retirarmos o suco, formamos bolos com a polpa da mandioca e os colocamos para secar ao sol. Para finalizar, trituramos, peneiramos e misturamos a farinha com o polvilho para formar o beiju que comemos.

O processo inteiro, desde a colheita até o beiju, é feito pelas mulheres da aldeia. Desde muito novas, elas já acompanham as mães, irmãs, primas e tias e aprendem as técnicas para cozinhar a tapioca perfeita.

A melhor parte não é o beiju em si, mas as relações criadas e experiências compartilhadas através da comida. Não sei, mas tem algo mágico em comer um beiju às sete horas da manhã, com os pés descalços, sentindo a terra firme e com uma xícara de café nas mãos.

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Day 2: The Arrival
By Luiza Vieira - Expedition Journalist

Music, dance, colors, and smiles. That sums up our first day at the Afukuri tribe. The experience was incredible from the moment we arrived at the Culuene tribe, the first one of the Upper Xingu.

We navigated for two hours on the Culuene River where water and forest composed a breathtaking scenery.

As we got closer to the tribe, excitement and anxiety overwhelmed us. When we arrived at the shore, no one was there to welcome us, which is uncommon. But as we were walking up a dirt path to the village, a loud sound could be heard.

alt Credit: Roberto Benatti

Twenty men painted in black and red, were dancing and singing in a circle. They were all using a colorful bracelet with red and yellow plums. Underneath it, a branch of leaves went from their triceps, all the way down to their fingers. One could think they were birds.

alt Credit: Carol Brenck

The sounds don't necessarily mean anything, they're just a way of expressing themselves. In the middle, two men dictate the rhythm of the dance. One holds a shaker and the other gives the beat with a bamboo.

alt Credit: Roberto Benatti

As the dance goes on, the women fastly leave their houses known as "Ocas", and join the men in the center of the village, holding their skirts and following their steps.

While some dance, the others rest, eat and drink at the central "Oca", place where important rituals and meetings are held.

alt Credit: Carol Brenck

One of the typical drinks of the Afukuri village is the "Mingau of Pequi", a thick and yellow porridge. The liquid stays inside a huge pan and everyone shared a gourd to drink it.

alt Credit: Felipe Martins

This party - called the Duhe (Fish Dance) - it's a rare ritual of the tribe that can last for hours and even days.

Our day finished off the best way it could be: with a bath by the river, a beautiful sunset, and splendid nature.

alt Credit: Carol Brenck

alt Credit: Carol Brenck

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Day 1: Travel from Goiania to Xingu



Today we start off our 600 mile journey to Xingu.Our trip begins Goiania, the capital of Goias,where we’ll hop in a bus and drive 12 hours up north to Canarana, MT. That will be our last stop before entering the park. To get to the Afukuri village, we’ll have to take a dirt road for approximately 150 miles and finally, we’ll travel for two hours along the waters of the Culuene River, the major tributary to the Xingu River.

alt Credit: ISA - Institute

During the morning, we had a meeting to go over the logistics and talk about how to secure all our equipment for the boat ride.

Since we had a few hours to spare before we catch the bus, we decided to explore the city of Goiania. Our hotel was located two blocks from a huge street market with lots of blue tents, one next to other. Every weekend, hundreds of people go there to buy clothes, and many resell them for a higher price in other cities.

alt Credit: Felipe Martins

We went to a local restaurant called “Carne de Sol 1008”. We ordered steak, cassava, rice, beans and a local dish called “Paçoca de Carne”. Made of cassava flour and dried meat, this typical food was created by the indigenous tribes before Brazil was colonized and it’s consumed in many regions of the country to this day.

alt Credit: Carol Brenck

We went back to the hotel, showered, packed our bags and now we off to the bus station to catch our bus. alt alt alt alt alt Credit: Roberto Benatti

If you would like to follow our adventure more closely, follow our team on Instagram: @lvieira92, @fezaomartins, @carolbrenck, @benatti.x e @natalia_branco.

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A Peek at Kuikuro's Culture
by Luiza Vieira - Journalist

The Xingu Indigenous Park is the first indigenous territory to ever be homologated by the federal government in Brazil. The 2,700 hectares reservation can be divided into three areas starting from north to south: Lower Xingu, Medium Xingu and Upper Xingu – which is the most populated part of the park.

alt Credit: Natalia Branco

The Upper Xingu is formed by the following tribes: Aweti, Kalapalo, Kamaiura, Kuikuro, Matipu, Mehinako, Nahukuá, Naruvotu, Trumai, Wauja and Yawalapiti. Despite their linguistic variety, they share great similarities in their way of living, their culture and beliefs. On our five-day-expedition, we will be living with the Kuikuro, one of the first to arrive in the region.

Based on a crop-rotation agricultural model, their main source of food is cassava, a highly energetic tuberous root. From the flour and starch, the Kuikuro can make tapioca, beiju and other different types of drinks.

Another important element of their diet is “Pequi”, a native fruit of the central-west region of Brazil. It can be consumed raw, cooked or mixed with rice and chicken. An oil can also be extracted from the pulp which can be used as a condiment or even as a beauty product.

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Extreme caution is required when eating Pequi. There are numerous very tiny spines beneath the pulp in its seed that can cause serious injuries around the tongue, lips and mouth. Instead of biting it, locals suggest to slowly gnaw the fruit.

Follow us on this journey to the heart of Brazil.

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Preparation

By Felipe Martins - Executive Director
alt Photo: Rodrigo Kugnharsk

During my life I had the opportunity to travel and live in many countries, experiencing diverse cultures. I have always liked planning and efficient logistics. alt Photo: Spencer Watson

I worked for years in a big tourism agency in Brazil, where my job was to organize the trip, from beginning to end, so that all our clients had an incredible experience. All of this travel baggage and logistics experiences have helped me a lot with Open Explorer Expeditions. I know we have to always have a plan B, a reserve of money because we are always going to spend more than planned. We have to follow the weather forecast and have the ability to adapt our trips and recordings. I always had the confidence that I was capable of planning. But this expedition of the Indigenous is really taking away my sleep ... alt Photo: Theodore Moore

Much more than the weather conditions, we will have to negotiate with Natives, we will not be able to use bank transfers or even credit cards, in addition, our team will face a long journey: Flight: 2h + Bus: 12h + Car: 3h + Boat: 4h

At this time of year, it rains a lot and even using specialized vehicles we can have great problems with transportation. We will depend on solar energy and our internet connection will be greatly reduced.

alt Photo: Omar Mena / Jaguars are common in the region

I feel that this will be a unique life experience and that will challenge me from the first to the last day ...

And I love challenges.

Felipe Martins

Photos supported by unsplash.com and Omama / Natália Branco

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Art or artefact?


Some handmade indigenous pieces can be considered works of art in a museum or gallery. However, the same piece can have different meanings in indigenous villages.

A good example of that is the hatchet from the Krahô people, the Kyiré. This piece is an important element in the Krahô culture and it contains songs and stories from its people, and protection for all indigenous people. There is a guardian that not only takes cares of it, but also raises it, making sure it is alive and active.

The anthropologist Harald Schultz had the possession of the hatchet for a while, later the Museu Paulista of Universidade de São Paulo (Paulista Museum of the University of São Paulo) kept it in a sealed glass furniture with a special light. Unlike the way it is handle in the village, by children, hunters, elders and in rituals.

There was a great action by historians, lawyers, anthropologists and Indians to retrieve the hatchet and put it back in the indigenous village, its true home. Months of debates and reflections later, the Kyiré was rescued and brought back to the village, thus coming back to life.

Access the link and watch the full story https://documentacao.socioambiental.org/noticias/anexonoticia/2061720110711143531.pdf

Algumas peças do artesanato indígena podem ser consideradas obras de arte dentro de um museu ou galeria. Entretanto, a mesma peça pode ter outro significado em uma aldeia indígena.

Um bom exemplo disso é o machadinho da etnia Krahô, o “Kyiré”. Essa peça é um elemento importante na cultura Krahô e guarda canções, história e proteção para todo o povo indígena. Existe um guardião que não só cuida, mas “cria” esse objeto para que ele sempre se mantenha vivo e ativo.

O machadinho ficou sob o poder do antropólogo Harald Schultz por um tempo e depois no Museu Paulista da Universidade de São Paulo guardado em um móvel lacrado com vidro e luz especial. Totalmente contrário de como ele é manuseado na aldeia: por crianças, caçadores, idosos e em rituais.

Houve uma grande ação entre historiadores, advogados, antroppólogos e indígenas para se resgatar esse machado de volta e colocá-lo na aldeia, onde seria o seu verdadeiro lugar. Foram meses de debate e reflexões até que por fim, o “Kyiré” foi resgato e levado de volta para a aldeia e voltou “a vida”.

Acesse o link para ler a reportagem na íntegra https://documentacao.socioambiental.org/noticias/anexonoticia/2061720110711143531.pdf

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Expedition Background

“Every Brazilian has Indigenous blood, we are one single people."


Under this motto that Natalia, teacher, and artist, initiated a project in which she spread the indigenous culture through art and education.

She organized events in which it opened space for the indigenous to be protagonists of their own history. To make this possible, Natália visited more than 30 villages. It was an incredible journey!

In this Open Explorer expedition she opened her travel diary so you can get to know the Brazilian indigenous life in Xingu Park.

The project aims to learn about the reality of the indigenous people who live in the Xingu Park and explore all its existing biodiversity.   The natives will welcome us to their ocas (huts) and allow us to enter and live their routine by awakening our ancestry and raising questions so that we can reflect on their way of life, advances, setbacks, and difficulties.  

The Xingu Indigenous Park ( Parque Indígena do Xingu – PIX) is located in the northeast region of the state of Mato Grosso, more precisely, in the southern portion of the Brazilian Amazon. Establishing the park was not an easy task. It was a path full of wars, political agreements, epidemics, homicides, and a lot of battles.   Officially created on April 14, 1961, the park currently houses more than 5,500 Indians from 16 different ethnic groups. It comprises an area of 2,642 hectares, in an ecological transition region, with semideciduous dry rainforests to the south, and savannas. It also contains fields, cerrados, dry land woods, flood plain forests, and forests in the Terras Pretas Arqueológicas (Archaeological Black Lands). Due to the great advance of agribusiness, the preservation of the area by the native peoples who live there has been increasingly threatened. They also suffer invasions of fishermen, farmers, and miners.

With all these difficulties being part of the reality of the villages, the indigenous people organized themselves in different associations, public and private projects, and NGOs, all of which aim to develop autonomy to make decisions about their land.

Currently, the vast majority of villages have access to the Internet, electricity, health, and education. Neither of these factors negatively altered the traditional customs of not even one village. Leaders often come together to measure the impact of these resources on the community and reflect on the best way to use them.

Come with us, in search of adventure in an unknown world.

By Natalia Branco

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