Tribes of the world part 5


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Tribes of the world part 5

  1. 1. Tribes of the World-Part 4
  2. 2. Huaorani Ecuador For at least a thousand years, the Amazonian rainforest of Ecuador, the Oriente, has been home to the Huaorani (meaning ‘human beings’ or ‘the people’). They consider themselves to be the bravest tribe in the Amazon. Until 1956, they had never had any contact with the outside world. Huaorani are outstanding hunters and feared warriors. Threatened by oil exploration and illegal logging practices, their hunter-gatherer society shifted to mostly living in settlements. They have a vast knowledge of animals, plants and trees, which stems from a total reliance on the natural world.
  3. 3. ‚As our ancestors live, so will we live; as our ancestors died, so will we die‛ „Wie unsere Vorfahren lebten, so werden wir leben, wie unsere Vorfahren gestorben sind, so werden wir sterben‚
  4. 4. The Huaorani have many traditional hunting and eating taboos. They will not eat deer, as deer eyes look like human eyes. While a joyful activity, hunting has ethical implications. The Huaorani must kill animals to live, but they believe that animal spirits live on and must be placated or else they will take revenge. Therefore, a shaman shows respect during the ritual preparation of the poison (curare) on darts. Hunting with such darts is not seen as killing, but as a kind of harvesting from the trees.
  5. 5. For at least a thousand years, the Amazonian rainforest of Ecuador, the Oriente, has been home to the Huaorani. They currently number around 2,000 and they are also known as Waorani or Waodani (meaning ‘human beings’ or ‘the people’). The Huaorani consider themselves to be the bravest tribe in the Amazon. They are outstanding hunters and feared warriors who live in a world that is green, wet, and filled with the sounds of the forest. Until 1956, they had never had any contact with the outside world. They have fought hard to protect their land and culture and have shown no mercy to unwelcome intruders.
  6. 6. Usually, the men provide for the family by hunting. Their main hunting weapon is the blowpipe. These are typically 3 to 4 metres long. The men make and fashion all weapons. Huaorani spears are most often made from the wood of the peach-palm tree and have sharpened barbs on both ends. Blow darts are dipped with poison from the curare plant, which paralyses its victims. Blow guns enable tribes to hunt prey such as birds and monkeys from a distance.
  7. 7. The Huaorani typically wear their hair long. Face and body painting is done for a vast number of reasons, from religious ceremonies to scaring off evil spirits, or simply for aesthetic purposes. The paints come from trees and plants that grow in the area. Traditional dancing is an important part of life. Children are included in most dances to make sure that the dances are passed on to the next generation. In many situations, these dances involve the entire village. The polygamous Waodani traditionally marry within the tribe, through marriages between cousins.
  8. 8. Himba Namibia The Himba are an ancient tribe of tall, slender and statuesque herders. Since the 16th century they have lived in scattered settlements, leading a life that has remained unchanged, surviving war and droughts. The tribal structure helps them live in one of the most extreme environments on earth. Each member belongs to two clans, through the father and the mother. Marriages are arranged with a view to spreading wealth. Looks are vital, it tells everything about one’s place within the group and phase of life. The headman, normally a grandfather, is responsible for the rules of the tribe.
  9. 9. Though scarcely clad, looks are vital to the Himba. It tells everything about one’s place within the group and phase of life. The characteristic ‘look’ of the Himba comes from intricate hairstyles, traditional clothing, personal adornments in the form of jewellery and the use of a mixture of goat fat, herbs and red ochre. This paste, known as otjize, is not only rubbed on the skin, but also into hair and on traditional clothing. There has been much speculation about the origins of this practice, with some claiming it is to protect their skin from the sun or repel insects. But the Himba say it is an aesthetic consideration, a sort of traditional make-up that women apply every morning when they wake. Men do not use otjize.
  10. 10. Rabari India For almost 1,000 years, the Rabari have roamed the deserts and plains of what is today western India. It is believed that this tribe, with a peculiar Persian physiognomy, migrated from the Iranian plateau more than a millennium ago. The Rabari are now found largely in Gujarat and Rajasthan. The Rabari women dedicate long hours to embroidery, a vital and evolving expression of their crafted textile tradition. They also manage the hamlets and all money matters while the men are on the move with the herds. The livestock, wool, milk and leather, is their main source of income.
  11. 11. While the men are on the move in search of grazing pastures for their livestock, the women and children remain in the villages. The villages are usually small, featuring no more than the most basic amenities, and they are almost always set in bleak, barren surroundings. In a typical village, two-room rectangular houses (vandhas) with whitewashed mud walls and tiled roofs may look stark, but the interior decoration of these houses reflect the Rabari’s fondness for adornments of all sorts.
  12. 12. For hundreds of years, the tribal women have practiced tattooing for decorative, religious and therapeutic purposes. Traditional patterns (trajuva) are passed down through the generations. The female elders of the tribe women still work as tattoo artists at fairs, festivals and markets where the Rabari gather to trade their goods. Nearly all surfaces of the body are tattooed.
  13. 13. Rabaris can be easily identified by looking at their womenfolk, who usually wear long black headscarves (lobadi) and distinctive heavy brass earrings. They tattoo magical symbols on their necks, breasts and arms.
  14. 14. Rabari are devout Hindus. According to their myths, they were created by Parvati, the consort of Shiva. As Shiva was meditating, Parvati wiped the dust and sweat from his body and modelled the very first camel from the dust balls she collected. Once Shiva had breathed life into the camel, it kept running away. So, Parvati fashioned and gave life to a man – the first Rabari – to look after the camel. Keeping animals has thus always been a devout occupation and the Rabari people see themselves primarily as custodians, rather than owners, of animals. It is also their belief that Parvati is their guardian. Her advice is taken on many occasions and animals are commended to her care.
  15. 15. Marriage, which celebrates the vitality of life and ensures its continuity, is considered of utmost importance. Traditionally, weddings ca n be extravagant events, and they take place on a particular day of the year: the feast of Gokulashtami, Krishna’s birthday. Childhood marriage is still very much in vogue with the tribe. Rabaris marry only within the tribe and often into families that are closely related.
  16. 16. The women are shrewd and intelligent and manage the hamlets and all money matters. Going to the local village or town markets is an important part of daily life. There, the Rabari women trade milk and milk products from their livestock. Wool and leather are sold in order to purchase commodities they do not produce themselves. Rabari women dedicate long hours to sewing, traditional embroidery and bead work.
  17. 17. A Rabari man commonly appears in white dress, sporting golden earrings. Although only about one to two percent of the Rabari still practise an entirely nomadic lifestyle, the main sources of Rabari income remain livestock and related products such as milk, wool, leather and dung. Shepherds are often hired to herd the combined livestock of entire villages, with flocks sometimes numbering more than 500.
  18. 18. It is believed that this tribe, with a peculiar Persian physiognomy, migrated from the Iranian plateau more than a millennium ago. Their name, meaning ‘outsider’, refers to the fact that as nomadic herders, they would be found not within town walls, but in the periphery and further, where there was enough land for their grazing herds.
  19. 19. Ladakhi India Ladakh (meaning ‘land of the passes’) is a cold desert in the Northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is divided into the mainly Muslim Kargil district and the primarily Buddhist Leh district. The people of Ladakh have a rich folklore, some of which date back to the pre- Buddhist era. As the Himalayan farming season is short, Ladakhi only work for 4 months of the year. All ages can join in and help. During the 8 winter months work is minimal and festivals and celebrations are almost a continuous affair, giving them the opportunity to display Goncha, the traditional dress.
  20. 20. Festivals and celebrations are unmissable opportunities for the Ladakh to display goncha, the traditional dress. Typical costumes include gonchas of velvet, elaborately embroidered waistcoats and boots and hats. Wellto-do Ladakhi women have a striking and opulent appearance.
  21. 21. The people of Ladakh are conservative and traditional, and their lifestyle is much the same as it was 2,000 years ago. They have a rich folklore, remarkable for its songs and legends, some of which date back to the pre- Buddhist era.
  22. 22. Because of the harsh mountain environment of Ladakh, helpfulness and cooperation are essential for survival. Ladakhi society is structured in phasphuns, a cooperative group of several unrelated families maintaining alliances of friendship, cooperation, and helpf ulness. The six to ten families in the phasphun usually live in the same village, participate in group religious ceremonies and worship a common god. Neighbours help each other, especially during harvest season, when workdays begin at dawn and end at dusk. Even then, the work is done at a relaxed pace, so all ages can join in and help. There is laughter and song, and the distinction between work and play is not rigidly defined.
  23. 23. Newborn children are given a warm welcome, with celebrations on their 15th and 30th day in the world, as well as on their first birthdays. The family invites friends, relatives and neighbours and serves tsampa (roasted barley flour) mixed with butter tea.
  24. 24. Weaving is an important part of traditional life in eastern Ladakh. Both women and men weave, although they use different looms. The nomadic tribes of the Changpa rear longhaired goats and sheep, whose under-fleece is used for the famous Kashmiri Pashmina shawls. They are keenly interested in trade. Raw wool is their chief commercial product
  25. 25. Weddings in Ladakh are occasions for music, dance and feasting. Boys are generally promised or married by the age of 16 and girls by the age of 12. The relatives of the groom bring gifts to the bride’s home. If accepted, the wedding takes place within a few months. New wives move in with their husbands and depending on their status and wealth her parents offer clothes, animals and land to the couple as a dowry or
  26. 26. Men are the head of the family and the eldest son inherits the property of his father, which passes to the next brother after him. If there are no sons in the family, the father brings in the husband of the eldest daughter and property gets transferred in the daughter’s name and then passes on to her first son.
  27. 27. Their gonchas are made of heavy Chinese silk and they wear impressive jewellery, with baroque pearls, turquoises, co ral and amber bedecking their necks and ears. The gonchas of the less fortunate are made of coarse, home-spun, woollen cloth in a dark shade of maroon.
  28. 28. Photos: Jimmy Nelson