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KAYAPO THE GARDENERS OF AMAZON (41 photos) Send this reportage Send this reportage
The history of the Kayapo is a long series of wars against foreign or non-Indians, and infighting that led to the breakup of villages and the fighting factions. The perfect knowledge of the forest has allowed the Kayapo to adapt to an environment of wilderness.
© S. Guiraud./
Categories: Environment, Human & Ethnology, Hunting, Medicine, Sciences & nature, Social life, Men Interest
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They practice slash agriculture to overcome the shortcomings of poor soil nutrients. Plantations of course reserve a large place in cassava and unlike other Native American groups are characterized by the diversity of cultures. At first glance, the Kayapo garden has a disorder in which intermingles charred tree trunks, vines and young shoots. In reality, it is not. A parcel of forest is not completely cleared. Fruit trees are left standing to attract birds. The shade necessary for certain species is provided by fast-growing plants equipped with large leaves. The garden is abandoned before the exhaustion of the soil to allow the forest to regenerate.
The Kayapo use a rich pharmacopoeia end of the forest. They know about contraception and abortion plants and pulls Copaiba oil with antiseptic and anti-inflammatory drugs are now used in the composition of many drugs industrialized.
The villages are spread over a territory fragmented as large as Austria, extending from north of Mato Grosso in southeastern Para.
For two decades the population increased by 5% per year, which corresponds to double the number in 14 years.
The Kayapo belong to the 15 largest groups in the Brazilian Amazon.
The lives of humans are characterized by high mobility. Much of their work is done out of house hunting, fishing, hiking, making articles, conversations and travel outside the boundaries of their reservation.
The traditional village consists of houses arranged in a circle around a central square on which stands the house of men, and the symbolic heart of the social organization and ritual.
The Kayapo are monogamous. When a man marries he leaves the men's house where he has lived since the age of 8 years to live under the roof of his wife.
Ge tribes are based on complex social structures: classes, societies of men, women's societies, many chiefs and ceremonial life rich and varied.
The body paint and the use of specific ornaments are one of the main cultural expressions of Kayapo.
Of all the commodities which the Indians have used for the manufacture of their objects, feathers occupy a privileged place. The plumassier them together in a multitude of combinations of colors and shapes corresponding to the group membership and personal privileges.
The use of plumasserie is determined by sex, age and the position of the user during rituals. These limitations have encouraged the diversification of jewelry worn, either daily or for exclusive use during certain ceremonies, in particular during the celebration tax name when women and men lay on the great occipital krôkrôti tiara.
The ease with which the Kayapo incorporate new elements (mirrors, glass beads, rituals, caps) shows some flexibility and vitality of the society to other cultures.

The balance between the Kayapo and nature is likely to be broken by the new construction of dams.