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Life with the Yawalapiti Tribe in Brazil

Yawalapiti children climb a tree to jump into the Xingu River in the Xingu National Park.

Life with the Yawalapiti Tribe in Brazil

19 June 2012

Deep in the Brazilian heartland, where the upper reaches of the Amazon Basin dissolve into the central plateau, photographer Ueslei Marcelino had the opportunity to spend several days in the home of the Yawalapiti tribe. The Yawalapiti, one of the 14 tribes living inside the Xingu National Park, were preparing a Quarup, a ritual held over several days to honor in death a person of great importance to them. In its original form, the Quarup was a funeral ritual intended to bring the dead back to life.

tenzin yangdon: Today, it is a celebration of life, death and rebirth. From the very oldest to the very youngest, all the members of the Yawalapiti tribe participate in the preparations. This year the Quarup will pay tribute to two people - a Yawalapiti Indian who they consider a great leader, and Darcy Ribeiro, a well-known author, anthropologist and politician known for focusing on the relationship between native peoples and education in Brazil.