Ora, o SENHOR disse a Abrão: Sai-te da tua terra, da tua parentela e da casa de teu pai, para a terra que eu te mostrarei.
E far-te-ei uma grande nação, e abençoar-te-ei e engrandecerei o teu nome; e tu serás uma bênção.
E abençoarei os que te abençoarem, e amaldiçoarei os que te amaldiçoarem; e em ti serão benditas todas as famílias da terra.
BRAZIL, WORK IN PROGRESS
"Rikbaktsa" ="the human beings". Their name means 'Rik": person, human being' 'baktsa', a sufix to that indicates plural.
Also known as Canoeiros (Canoe People), in reference to their ability in the use of canoes, or, less commonly, Orelhas de Pau (Wooden Ears), due to their habit of using large plugs made of wood introduced in their enlarged earlobes. experienced a process of depopulation that resulted in the extermination of 75% of their members. Now recovered, they still have the respect of the regional population in recognition for their persistence in the defense of their rights, culture and territory. My first visit to the Rikbaktsa territory was during a seven days long ethno-mapping expeditionby boat through the Juruena river, followed by a few days in one of their many tribes. Come with me to see how it went down.
It's time to get on the boat. Over 60 people spread in thirteen small boats were ready to cross Rikbaktsa territory by water. Men and women, elders, teenagers, babies. Everyone together. We spent the entire day aboard the canoes that were carrying three to four people each. At the end of the day, we looked for a good and safe place to camp in the forest.
Headdresses, bracelets, necklaces... Rikbaktsa art is rich in beauty and meaning.
Before the first contacts with non-indigenous, the Rikbaktsa had a rite of passage where girls used to have her faces tattooed, whilst the boys were tattoes in their chests. They were also recluded during a period that could last over an year. During this time, they couldn't go outside to see the sun, neither talk to anyone who wasn't a close relative. Traditions like those are being abandoned little by little ever since the first contact, but elders still have their earlobes enlarged and their noses pierced. You can see an adult man showing a nose piercing made with parrot feathers in the gallery below, as well as some of the handicrats made by women with seeds, nuts, bones and feathers.
"I'll make a headdress. Wnat to see it?"
It was a sunny morning at the Primavera tribe, when an Rikbaktsa elder started to make a headress. You can check the full process in the gallery below.
Come back over the next weeks to check the second part of the photos, showing the daily life in the tribes.