Thursday, January 18, 2007

Pankarú and Pataxó

I spent the weekend in the village of people from the Pankarú and Pataxó indigenous tribes and went swimming in the river.

I had good eye-opening moment when I was walking with a group of children and I came across a curious pair of rocks. One rock was painted with strange red and yellow designs. The other was covered with a piece of cloth with floral patterns. There was also a cup with flowers and water, an empty plate, a peal of a passion fruit, and bottle cap. Earlier that day, someone mentioned that carrying and saving a heavy rock was a part of the tribe’s marriage ceremony. I thought that these rocks might be associated with this ritual or some other ritual. So I asked one of the children, “What is the significance of these rocks?” She looked at me like I was crazy. I thought she misunderstood me so I asked again. “Are these objects associated with any of your rituals?” She laughed and said, “Well, actually we were playing make believe house here yesterday. And this is our kitchen.”
Now I am wondering what else am I misinterpreting.