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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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Thus, too, many words, existing in their language, besides many traces in their customs, make it probable that they have been part of the great nation, already for many centuries, subdivided into families, hordes and tribes, which may have spread from the south all over Brazil. For example, the following terms:


Tupi

Mundurucu

sign

tata

tacha

water

hy (ygb),

hii.;

light

iassi,

achiat;

fruit

ia

ia

father

payd,

paipai:

mother

mayu,

maihii;

banana

pacoba,

bacobd;

Bra i,;o:

jud (jubd),

woi - pd;

house

oca,

acka;

blood

t11y (tuguy),

tuii;

turtle

cururu,

goriigord;

milk

camii (camy),

icamutii (agua do seio).

(Many words resemble those of the language of Paraguay's indians, for example: river and sky are expressed in the small language by ogirus and apez, and in the Mundurucus by iguri and capi).

Like the Tupi language, that of the Mundurucus is not difficult, and it is lively; it is also spoken with many modulations. Three of our consonants (f, l, and r) are missing in Tupi, and this gave the Jesuits reason to say that the Tupinambas

were people without faith, without law and without a king; in the Mundurucu language, these consonants too rarely or never appear.

To emphasize the similarity of Mundurucus customs to those of the Tupis, as many historians have reported, the following facts may serve. The Mundurucus still not civilized, opened large ranches inhabited by many families in common. As a measure of his power and prestige, a man takes some women; he hangs up his hammock in the convenient layout of the ranch, near his older wife, who runs the house, not on par with his favorite, but as chief manager, she sometimes brings younger women with her. Arguments and fights, here more fierce than among other tribes, are the result of polygamy against which Father Goncalves had to struggle continually, in preaching the Catholic doctrine to his initiates. Like the Caraibas and the ancient Tupi, the Mundurucu males have the habit of staying in the hammock a few weeks, on the occasion of the birth of a child, and receiving the congratulations due to a new father with the visit of the neighbors; because the child is attributed only to the father; the contribution of the mother is compared to the soil that receives the seed. As soon as the child is born, a name is given to him, taken from plants or animals; this name, however, changes several times in his life, as soon as he performs some heroic feat, in war or hunting. The same person may take five or six names, one after another. The son, coming to manhood, establishes his own family, taking the woman he had been promised in childhood, or he earns a wife, by providing a few years of service to his father-in-law's house. After the head of household’s death, his brother may marry the widow, and the widow's brother may marry her daughters if they do not find a bridegroom. Certain degrees of kinship, for example between paternal uncle and niece, do not prevent marriage. As soon as someone dies, the mourning of the Mundurucu's relatives consists in cutting their hair, which is usually extremely long, painting their faces in black, and stop complaints for a long time. The body is buried with the hammock inside the hut. In honor of the deceased, they make

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