The Mehinaku village is located approximately four-fifths of a kilometer east of the Rio Kulesau one of the major tributaries of the Rio Xingu in the Xingu National Park in central Brazil. The Mehinaku are similar in their technology and culture
Mehinaku sexuality tribes of the South American tropical forest, but they are located just beyond the southernmost extension of true rain forest in central Brazil. The appearance of the environment is heavily dependent on the season of the year.
During Mehinaku sexuality dry season May to August there is hardly any rain at all. The rivers retreat to narrow channels, which are typically bordered by a narrow band of permanent gallery forest.
Beyond the forest is a hard, sun-baked floodplain extending as much as 1. During the wet season September to April the rivers overflow their banks, cover the floodplain, and inundate portions of the forest. The villagers take advantage of the abundance of water by taking shortcuts in their canoes across the floodplain and through the forest. As of the fall of there were approximately Mehinaku, all but Mehinaku sexuality few of whom were living in the village of Uyaipyuku the Mehinaku name for the "Mehinaku sexuality" tree.
At the time of first recorded contact with Europeans inthe Mehinaku lived in three separate villages with a population that probably exceeded today's by two or three times.
At that time, they were virtually free from epidemic disease. During the following years, waves of illness — including flu, whooping coughand most devastating of all, measles — swept through the Xingu villages. In one measles that occurred a few years prior toat least 15 individuals died. By the early s the Mehinaku population was reduced to approximately 75 persons. Since that time, however, there has been a rapid recovery owing to relatively excellent medical services, vaccination against measles, and, perhaps, newly acquired resistance to outside illnesses.
The Mehinaku participate in a wider cultural system, that of the tribes of the Xingu National Park. At present, there are ten single-village tribes representing four major language groups. Despite the linguistic differences that separate them, the tribes of the region have developed a similar cultural basis: How this system of indigenous acculturation evolved is a matter
Mehinaku sexuality speculation.
It is possible, as proposed by Robert Mehinaku sexuality, that the Xingu tribes are an example of cultural devolution Mehinaku sexuality a more warlike chieftainship that existed prior to Columbus and contact with Western diseases.
In the absence of systematic archaeological evidence, the history of the region will remain somewhat speculative, since the Xingu culture pattern was already well established at the time of the first European contact inand the villagers' oral culture offers only
Mehinaku sexuality explanations. It is likely, however, that the Mehinaku and other Arawakan cultures played a particularly central role in the creation of that culture, since many of the intertribal songs are sung in archaic Mehinaku, even though the singers may be speakers of different languages.
The more recent history of the Mehinaku has been one of avoiding warlike tribes outside the Xingu region and establishing friendly relations with Brazilians.
One of the Mehinaku chiefs still bears a scar from one of their arrows. After a particularly violent assault, the village was moved closer to the Brazilian administrative center, Posto Leonardo Villas Boas. A second factor in Mehinaku history has been Mehinaku sexuality with Brazilians and others. Until the late s and early s, the Xingu region was a protected area beyond the reach of missionaries, ranchers, and plantation owners.
Even in the early s there are no roads through the reservation and neither wage labor nor regular
Mehinaku sexuality. Native culture persists, "Mehinaku sexuality" contact is significant.
The villagers are now increasingly dependent on steel tools, fishhooks, Brazilian medical services, and improbably bicycles. All of these innovations have had a positive impact on village life and have substantially reduced the work required for subsistence. As ofthe Mehinaku had nearly twenty wide-tired bicycles, which are extremely efficient in transporting the villagers across the dried floodplain and along forest paths.
The bicycles have revolutionized transportation and communication between the tribes. Interaction between the tribes has intensified, and the villagers now regularly exploit distant gardens and rivers that were once too difficult to Mehinaku sexuality. Perhaps the most significant trend in relationships with the outside is the villagers' conviction that they must retain their traditions and control of their lives if they are to survive as a people.
Today the Xingu tribes are in charge of the Indian post. They hire and supervise the Brazilian personnel who serve the tribes in the region.
They are militantly opposed to incursions on their land, and they are anxious to acquire the skills needed to deal with the outside world. Far more than in the past, the villagers see themselves as allied with other Indian tribes in a struggle for cultural survival in modern Mehinaku sexuality. Seen from the air, the Mehinaku village is a great circle with paths radiating out to gardens, to boat landings "Mehinaku sexuality" the river and to other tribes.
Around the perimeter of the circle are the villagers' houses. Each house is
Mehinaku sexuality haystack-shaped windowless building, with doors facing onto the central plaza and the backyard.
The well-built house is constructed entirely of native materials, including a timber-and-pole framework and thatch. Undivided in the interior, the house is some 30 meters in length and 9 meters in width and height.
Inside, the villagers live in family groups, suspending their hammocks from a common house pole and having their own water supply hearth. The center of the village is a broad plaza in which all of the public activities of the community take place.
Here the men wrestle the main Xingu sportand the villagers dance, conduct rituals, and organize collective projects. Here, too, is the men's house see "Social Organization". Ideally, all Mehinaku communities follow a similar settlement plan. The trail to the major river, "the path of the sun," extends east and west of the village. The houses of the village chiefs, who are the nominal owners of the jointly maintained trails, are adjacent to these paths.
The men's house faces the rising sun,
Mehinaku sexuality passes across and bisects the village each day. Subsistence and Commercial Activities. The Mehinaku, like the other tribes of the upper Xingu, are slashand-burn horticulturists of manioc and maize. Fish is the major source of protein. The rivers around the village are extraordinarily rich in fish, and it is a rare fisherman who returns empty-handed.
During the months of the dry seasonthe retreating waters strand fish in pools of water isolated from the main channels. The villagers use fish poison to paralyze the fish. A successful expedition may bring home 45 kilograms or more of small fish.
Fish are Mehinaku sexuality among residence mates and distributed to kin in other houses. In contrast, manioc, the staple crop of village is produced by families and close kin and is seldom shared publicly. For the most part, however, the village economy is based on reciprocity. Labor, fish, and even valued possessions are freely given, shared, or easily traded.
The Mehinaku make a remarkable array of material goods that are typical of a tropical-forest tribe: In recent years they have also begun to make ritual masks and
Mehinaku sexuality items for sale to Brazilian entrepreneurs who visit the Xingu reservation by barge to purchase the villagers' trade goods. In the prices for these items were extremely Mehinaku sexuality. The income from these sales was used to purchase fishing equipment, bicycles, beads, and other Brazilian goods.
Each of the Xingu tribes has a trade specialty, such as ceramics, shell belts and necklaces, or hardwood bows. The Mehinaku traditionally make salt from water hyacinth, which they export to neighboring tribes.
The trade monopolies are not based on the variable availability of resources or on secret skills. Rather they are markers of tribal identity and bases for the social relationships that spring from visiting and trade.