Segments in this Video

Nambiquara Puberty Ritual Overview (04:30)


See a description of the origins of a Nambiquara tradition in which a young girl is held in seclusion after menstruation. After a time, her village celebrates her transition to adulthood and marriageability. See a description of shamanic initiation.

Preparing for the Festa da Moca Ritual (05:06)

See photos of the urucum fruit and a buriti leaf ritual hut. Nambiquara villagers paint themselves with urucum powder and fashion headbands from grasses. During the young girl's confinement, only female relatives may visit her and teach her about puberty.

Festa da Moca Procession (03:37)

Shaman Lourenco Kithaulhu leads Nambiquara villagers on a walk to the confinement hut. They chant and circle the hut.

Puberty Ritual Beginning (07:52)

Nambiquara villagers chant and walk in a circle with the young girl; young male "godfathers" are at her side. Hear explanations of the symbolism of her necklace, headdress, and face paint. See a translation of sacred songs.

Resting During a Puberty Ritual (09:41)

Nambiquara villagers take breaks while chanting and walking in a circle with the young girl; children play nearby. She retreats into her confinement hut; villagers talk and laugh.

Puberty Ritual Ending (05:29)

Nambiquara villagers resume chanting while walking in a circle with the young girl. Lourenco places cloth bundles in her hands and stands in the middle. He ends the ceremony.

Becoming Marriageable (04:13)

The young girl presents her "godfathers" with meat and beiju. Traditionally, one would become her husband after the Festa da Moca. Today, Nambiquara girls choose their husbands.

Nambiquara Puberty Ritual Significance (01:55)

Lourenco says his tribe performs the Festa da Moca to please the spirits of ancestors and bring good fortune to young girls.

Choosing Nambiquara Names (02:32)

The shaman names babies; if they cry continuously, he changes their name to one they will accept. Widowed women may change their name when they remarry.

Tuassun Nussu (04:01)

Lourenco explains the Nambiquara concept of God as a big explosion. He created the world, people, and spirits with his imagination.

Aging and Death (02:44)

A man's wife died; he revived her but she died again. He became angry and destroyed his village. An elderly woman shed her skin and became young again; children cut her skin into pieces—rendering the aging process irreversible.

Nambiquara Afterlife (02:15)

Kithaulhu explains that people go to Tuassun Nussu after death. He returns them to Earth, where they live as spirits among their relatives.

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Nambiquara Puberty Ritual

Part of the Series : The Nambiquara
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



This program with anthropologist Barrie Machin shows a traditional Nambiquaran puberty ritual.

Length: 55 minutes

Item#: FPT192049

ISBN: 978-1-64623-774-6

Copyright date: ©1989

Closed Captioned

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Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.