The Kayapo people are one of the Amerindian native tribe that has remained in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. The Kayapo people resisted assimilation to the dominant culture, and they were traditional fierce warriors. They used to fight themselves, and they raided their enemies.
The Kayapo people speak the Kayapo language. They believe that there is a tribe legend that lives along the lagoon and usually appears as a ghost of a white man fully dressed in a suit of armor on the river shows. The Kayapos believe that their ancestors’ were wise and learned to live in a communal way from the social insects such as bees. This is the reason why mothers and children work on painting each other with the body patterns that resembles insects and animal markings, including the bees. They Kayapos wear a flamboyant headdress decorated with feathers radiating outward to represent the whole universe. The headdress shaft represents a cotton rope by which the Kayapo first man descended with from heaven. The Kayapo villages and fields are built in a circle to represent the Kayapo believe of around universe.
Religion and rites of passage:
The Kayapo people believe that when a person dies, he goes to another village of the dead where they sleep during the daytime and hunt at night. In death, old people become children and children become older. In the afterlife villages, the dead observes the traditional assembly building, and their women are believed only to pay a short visit to deliver food for their men.
The rites of passage are common ceremonies among the Kayapo people. The marriage tie is formalized when the couple gives birth to a child. The man is traditionally allowed to have more than one wife. Children receive naming ceremonies where they are given ancestral names that are believed to help them develop strong social ties and identity. The naming and boys circumcisions’ ceremonies are held in every rainy or dry season.
The Kayapo art, living conditions and dressing:
The Kayapo people are hospitable people, and they welcome guests from any part of the world. The practice occasional body paints that have geometrical designs and they are either in black or red. They wear adornments such as brightly coloured feathers decoration on their heads or shell earrings.
The Kayapo people live in thatched-roof huts that are not partitioned. They depend on medicinal root herb for treatment of diseases from medicine men. Their main mode of transport is through canoes.
The Kayapo men only cover their lower abdomen using sheaths, and they also have a wooden lip disk that is used to stretch their lip out which gives them an extraordinary and distinctive appearance.
Kayapo is ruled by chiefs who wear ceremonial feather a part of the headdress. The young girls and boys are usually wearing colored bands with different bright colors.
The Kayapo main dishes are fish, wild fruits, and the Brazil nuts. They harvest vegetables, hunt for monkeys and turtles for food. Kayapo male is skilled hunters, and they use blowguns and darts.
Kayapo contacts with outsiders:
Kayapo people came into contact with Europeans in the 1950s and since then they have become squatters with no rights to land. They lost their land rights to miners, loggers, and Brazilian government officials. Logging and gold mining have threatened the Kayapo traditional way of life. Cattle-ranching and agricultural activities in the Amazon rainforest have lead to the destruction of the rainforest posing a great threat to a delicate balance between animals, plants, and human. The rain forest had been under the care of Kayapo people for thousands of years.