Geography Reference
In-Depth Information
Xavante Mathematics in Central Brazil Today 1
The Xavante depend on the cerrado [savannah in Portuguese] and the cerrado
depends on the Xavante. The animals depend on the cerrado and the cerrado
depends on the animals. The animals depend on the Xavante and the Xavante
depend on the animals. This is the [cerrado in Xavante]. Ró means everything
for the Xavante hunters: the cerrado, the animals, the fruits, the flowers, the
herbs, the river and everything else. We want to preserve the Ró. The future of
our next generations depend on the Ró: the food, the marriages, the rituals, and
the strength to be Xavante. If everything is fine with the Ró, we will continue
to be Xavante. The hunter walks in the Ró and learns to love it. Women learn to
love it because marriage depends on the Ró, and also because that's where they
fetch fruit.
A long time ago the Ró was like this: there was the village, surrounded by the
garden, surrounded by the animals, connected with the spirits, surrounded by
more and more animals always connected with the spirits. The spirits helped
discover the secrets that the Ró would hide: where the hunter's strength resided,
the location of the game, where the snakes would hide and other secrets. The
hunters would go hunting far from the village in order to push the animals
towards the village. Then the hunters would go hunting elsewhere, far away.
Thus the animal cubs could grow and forget the tragedy of the hunting season.
Only the sky and the village of the dead were further away.
But today the young men are no longer learning to love the Ró. They have never
walked, hunted or taken care of it; all they want is to plant rice and soybeans. The
new generations today want to buy outside food. They have forgotten that food
comes from the Ró, not from the city. Xavante women continue loving the Ró
because they know that only if it exists they can get married, and marry their sons
and daughters. (Adão Top'tiro and Thiago Tseretsu, Warã Xavante Association,
2002,; my translation.)
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