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.
Gênesis 12:1-3

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UI'WEDE

BRAZIL, 2018

Women, men, children: demonstrations of power and resistance are constantly present amidst Xavante's life.

The Xavante people, also known as a’uwe uptabi (“gente de verdade"), live in the state of Mato Grosso in Brazil.

​Body fights such as 'wa’i' and relay races with buriti trunks called 'ui'wede' are the main demonstrators of  rivalry between Xavante's clans. During Ui'Wede, both clans head off to swamps to find the 'perfect buriti trunk' which weight may vary between 60 to 80 kilos. Then, they will cut the tree using a little ax and divide the trunk in logs, that will be carried in this relay race for disntaces of up to 10 kilometers. Even though only adults can take part on the race, everyone in the tribe is welcomed to watch, turining Ui'Wede one of the favorite sports activities of the Xavantes.

 

"Wa´i" it's a body wrestling usually performed by women, that gather to fight collectively against only one man. They say this is an opportunity to 'wash dirty linen in public' while observed by a very excited crowd.

Given this glampses of Xavante's culture, you can see how important group activities are. Everything is shared, from houses to everyday chores. This was one of the reasons that lead a Xavante's child to be the first official case of death amonst indigenous peoples from Mato Grosso state, in May. A strong community culture added to the lack of public health access puts the Xavante's power into threat due to the Coronavirus.

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Copyright © 2020 Ana Caroline de Lima

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