Xavante


Xavante

Infobox Ethnic group


group = Xavante
population = 9,600
popplace = Brazil
languages = Xavante language
religions =
related =
The Xavante (also Shavante, Chavante, Akuen, A'uwe, Akwe, Awen, or Akwen) are an indigenous people, comprised of some 9,600 individuals (2000 est.) within the territory of eastern Mato Grosso state in Brazil. They speak the Xavante language, part of the Jé language family.

They were enslaved in the 17th century, after which they have tried to avoid contact. A temporary coexistence with westernized society in the 19th century in the state of Goiás, was followed by withdrawal to Mato Grosso. They were re-"discovered" during the 1930s. From 1946 to 1957, they were brought under dictator Getúlio Vargas’s National Integration Program, and experienced massacres and disease. Due to this history, they have a distrust of White or Portuguese men. Today they are still wary of any approach of non-Xavante, called "waradzu".

The people are renowned as aggressive and prideful. They may be most famous for their dualistic societal structure. Two clans, the Âwawẽ and Po'reza'õno comprise the culture, and marriage is not allowed between members of the same clan. An example of inter-clan relationships are the traditional log races, where the two clans compete in a race to carry palm tree trunks weighing as much as 80 kg to a defined point.

The Xavante are also known for their complex initiation rituals for young males, such as when small wooden sticks are inserted in the earlobes at the age of fourteen. As time passes, the size of these adornments is increased for the rest of their lives.

In 1996 a monumental event happened when the Brazilian heavy metal band Sepultura stayed and recorded with the Xavante people, which was featured on their album Roots. A small number of Xavante even travelled to São Paulo to partake in Sepultura's Barulho Contra Fome ("Noise Against Hunger") concert in 1998 that marked the start of their tour for their follow-up album, Against where their presence was featured in the music video for the song 'Choke'.

External links

* [http://www.socioambiental.org/pib/epienglish/xavante/xavante.shtm Instituto Socioambiental Encyclopedia of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil]
* [http://www.sil.org/americas/brasil/LANGPAGE/EnglXVPg.htm Xavante] entry at SIL International
* [http://www.phfawcettsweb.org Great Web of Percy Harrison Fawcett]
* Cultural Survival: [http://209.200.101.189/publications/csq/csq-article.cfm?id=1629 David Maybury-Lewis, Xavante Archive Documents Vital Culture] [http://209.200.101.189/publications/csv/csv-article.cfm?id=34 Laura Graham, Effects of Modernization on the Xavante]


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