The "culture" of the Mebengokré-Xikrin of Bacajá River (Amazon, Brazil)
The Mebengokré dress the masks of the Aruanã for the realization of the homonymous festival, which takes place during the dry season.
The kids of the Mrõtidjam village attending a lecture, in the village’s school, which cover from the first to the eight year of schooling.
The Mebengokré recording and looking at the pictures they are used to take of themselves and to share among them via digital devices.
The meprire, kids, start to learn how to do something helping families in the daily activities, here a young girl helping the mother along the river.
The young generations also learn ho to correctly realise activities directly related with the expression of the kukradja, the “culture”, here a young girl is training body painting on a clay doll.
The river is one of the main sources of resources for the Mebengokré, here the menoronyre, the young boys are realising a special fishing with liana thrown into the water.
Fishing is usually a masculine activity, here however, the girls are waiting for the fishes to wallowing out of the water after the vines have been submerged, as they remove oxygen from the water.
Also the forest is a precious resource of food and tools for the Mebengokré, here a mebenghete, an old man is collecting honey from the next native bees without boxers.
When collecting food, everybody helps, here a young girl is helping to bring the manioc from the garden carrying it in a box made of leaves.
Gardening is usually a feminine activity and women plant and collect a variety of diverse crops, trying to constantly expand this variety, through experimentations and circulation of plants’ varieties.
In the gardens, women of the same family work together in planting and collecting, in this way strengthening social relations and sharing knowledges and practices among them.
Preparing the food is a highly valorised social activities, since sharing food is also sharing substances in this way creating the same bodies and reinforcing social relations.
Producing artefacts is a task of the mebenghete, especially when of the ornamental ones used in festivals and parties, here a mebenghete creating a bracelets of macaw red feathers.
The creation of some artefacts is covered by special prescriptions, particular attention, and specific techniques and styles, here a mebenghete creating the head of the Aruanã mask.
During the day by day, people usually create several diversified artefacts, of special uses and of common uses, here a mebenghete creates crown from babassu leaves.
Feeding people is not the only way of “creating” their bodies, in the same way of artefacts, also bodies pass through processes aimed at making them mei, “beautiful”, “perfects”, here a lady painting a relative with genipap dark colour.
During festivals and parties, metoro, the people honoured are carefully prepared and made mei to be “presented to the community, here a mebenghete applying the white colour from the rubber tree on the face of her tabdjuy, granddaughter.
During festivals and parties, metoro, for these being effective in their social power, all the participants should achieve to be mei, beautiful, here a mebenghete covering the hairs of a young boy with rubber for these being fixed.
During the festivals and parties, metoro, the participants dress their ornaments and present their bodies as much beautiful, mei, as possible, and each ornament and painting is associated with a specific family and with the specific personal condition of the person.
During the festivals and parties, metoro, the privileged food is the turtle, kaprã, which is offered by the family of the honoured people to the other participants, here a memy, and adult man brings a turtle ladder to the village for everybody to eat.
During the festivals and parties, metoro, the participants make their social relations stronger, reaffirming their kinship networks and their formal friendships, here two menire, women, who are formal friends.
The effectiveness of festivals and parties, metoro, is not only associated with the participants being mei, beautiful, but also with the participations of everybody from the village, in order to everybody homage the event.
Festivals and parties, metoro, are the events in which people are introduced in the collective, when they acquire a new name, and when they express a new social status, here two young girls are presenting their new names they received from their kwatyi, grandmothers.