Tribe Details• Kayapo Tribe: Indigenous people of Brazil• Kayapo (meaning): “those who look like monkeys”• Sub-groups: Xikrin, Gorotire, Mekranoti, Metyktire• Population: 8638 as of 2010• Location: Amazon Jungle• Language: Kayapo
Land & Location• When the Portuguese first came to Brazil, there were about five million native Brazilian Indians.• Today in the world, there are only 200,000 Brazilian Indians, of which a few thousand are Kayapos• They live next to the Xingu River in the eastern part of the Amazon rain forest, in several villages• Their land consists of rain forest and savanna (grassland)
Plants & Animals• The land in Kayapo is mostly forest• Fish is a main source of protein in the Kayapos diet• Wild fruits and Brazilian nuts are eaten mostly like a snack• Vegetables are harvested, and animals such as monkey and turtle are hunted, so they could eat• Kayapos are skilled hunters. They use darts dipped in a poison called curare,which instantly paralyzes an animal• They purchase their basic necessities like milk and sugar from other village stores.• Kayapo people get medicine from 650 different local plants
Climate & Seasons• The climate is moist because they live in the rain forest. It is warm most of the time. Over 100 degrees or more, annual rainfall is 1” to 5”• The seasons in the Kayapo are two seasons. The dry season, and the wet season• The huts they live in are very big. It is enough to fit a whole family. Instead of using mattresses like we do for our beds, the Kayapos usually use hammocks. The hammocks are much cooler and more comfortable in a jungle environment.
Water • In the Amazon Jungle there is a river called “ The Xingu River.” • Brazil is going to make the third largest dam in the world and it will be on the Xingu river. It is a major tributary of the Amazon. This dam will pose many problems to the Kayapo tribe: • It will harm about more than 3,000 people that live along the Xingu river. • It will flood more than 1,600 square kilometers, 85% of indigenous land • It would be the world’s largest man made river! • Kayapo tribe gets the water from the Xingu river for drinking and washing
Culture 1 of 4Language:• The big differences of Brazilian Indian languages are from the distances ofother tribes• Because of their relationship with other tribes, they makestories, customs, languages and many more• Even really small tribes like the Kayapos are divided into smaller tribes withtheir own chiefs, although they all speak the Kayapo language• The language has the same meaning as the tribe’s name," those who look likemonkeys.”•The dialect is the same for all the other smaller tribe even though it is namedafter this one tribe
Culture 2 of 4 Folklore: “There is an interesting legend among the Kayapos who live along a lagoon. They say that if one rises at dawn and looks across the lagoon, one can see the ghost of a white man on a horseback galloping along the shore. This ghostly rider is said to wear a full suit of armor, rather like a European knight, or perhaps a Portuguese conqueror.” From www.everyculture.com
Culture 2 of 4 continued“The Kayapos believe their ancestors learned how to live happily from socialinsects like bees. This is why mothers and children paint each others bodieswith patterns that look like animal or insect markings, including those of bees.The beautiful Kayapo headdress with feathers coming outward represents theuniverse. Its shaft is a symbol for the cotton rope by which the first Kayapo, itis said, descended from the sky. Kayapo fields and villages are built in a circleto reflect the Kayapo belief in a round universe.”From everyculture.com
Culture 3 of 4Religion:“The Kayapos believe that at death a person goes to the village of thedead, where people sleep during the day and hunt at night. There, old peoplebecome younger and children become older. In that village in theafterlife, Kayapos believe they have their own traditional assembly building.Kayapo women, it is thought, are permitted only short visits to deliver food totheir male relatives.”From everyculture.com
Culture 4 of 4Major Holidays•Special days like ceremonies for the Kayapos revolve around the seasons• In the Amazon, the seasons are the dry season and the wet season and sothe holidays revolve around that• Kayapo ceremonies are also connected to their holidays like rite of passage isheld when a boy reaches puberty• Also when a small boy gets his special ancestral name• The important dry-season celebration called Bemp (after a local fish) alsoincludes marriage rites as well as initiation and naming
Elements of CultureLanguage: KayapoDiet of Food: Mostly meat but also vegetable sometimesReligion: The Kayapo people believe in spirits like gods sort of. They believe that all the people, after they die, they are still alive in spirit form some where.Recreation: Playing outside with wooden toys or hunt with older men but also storytelling is a huge, fun thing to do.Respect: Most of all the respect goes to the chief since he makes all the big decisions.Attitude toward Animals: “ Hey, they are just animals. Lets eat them.”Education: Education is not a big thing in a Kayapo person’s life. Their education is knowing how to hunt, cook, etc.Currency/Money: They earn money by mining for gold and that’s how they get the necessities they need. They also bargain
Intermission…Now, we will start talking aboutartifacts and how it shapes theirculture
Body paint and Mouth DiscsMost of the body paint is shaped by insects because they think that the insects live happily togetherand so they want to live like that. They usually try to copy bee’s body paint. The body paint is usuallywore by women and also men.Mouth discs are made out of wood. They are circular and they wear them in their mouths. The mouthdiscs are usually worn by people that are really important in the tribe like the chief. Theyeat, drink, and sleep with it in their mouth all day.
Hunting•Hunting is mostly done by the men while the women cook the food. The menusually use daggers, bow and arrows, and spears. The bow and arrows are usuallyused for flying animals like birds. The spears are used for hunting wildlifeanimals like rabbits. The daggers are used for hunting fish. They would poke thedagger in the fish and cook them. Hunting is a really great activity in theKayapo tribe. The young adults really like to hunt with the men.
Cooking•The cooking is usually made by the women. The cooking is cooked in pots orcookers. They mainly cook fish as I said. They usually cook a huge amount offood on ceremonies or festivals. Usually on rites of passages or marriages. Thecooking is a big thing in a Kayapo’s life because it is connected to hunting andthat’s a big thing in the Kayapo.
Toys The Kayapo kids love to play with toys. They make their own toys like miniature bow and arrows. The wood they usually use is Croatian wood. The toys are a big thing in the Kayapo’s children life. They do not have iPods, Legos, video games like we do. They like to be active and not sit in the hut all day and do nothing.
Cargo Basket This is a cargo basket. It is used when hunting animals. They put all the food that they hunt in this basket so it is safe in there. This basket can hold many parts of many different animals such as fish, tortoise, monkeys, bird and much more. It also holds berries, other fruits and vegetables.
Kayapo Headdress The Kayapo Headdress is sort of like a crown and worn on women on cultural ceremonies or festivals. This headdress is supposed to imitate the universe and the feathers coming outward represent the sun. This headdress is a very important artifact in the Kayapo tribe.
The Village of the Dead This place is located in the Kayapo village, but nobody knows it. They believe that the dead live here. They say that the Kayapo people are scared to go outside in the night because they think that the dead come out at night and hide in the day.
Threats to Kayapo• The Kayapo people had threats way back in history when some mining companies were about to mine in the Kayapo land, but the tribe fought hard and used economic force and banished the mining company from their land• Another threat to the Kayapo tribe is the Hydro-electric dam. The Kayapo are still working on stopping this dam like I said before. The Kayapo tribe always work together in any situation. Everybody in the Kayapo is trustworthy and are nice to each other
THE END but wait……..Overall,• Kayapo was a great tribe to study. This was an excellent project to take on to study culture. We really loved doing this project• After doing this project we actually felt like we were there because we studied so hard on it and now it feels like we know so much about it