AJ/Sociology 124 Administration of Justice  106 Anthropology 102 Sociology 101 Sociology 102 HUMANITARIAN AID LADAKH CHANGPAS JAMANAWA PIRAHA SURUWAHA 



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This Arawan language tribe was first contacted in the 1980's.   They are an interfluvial  people who are located in the Amazon region of Northwestern Brazil.  Their current population is approximately 140.   The above picture shows two dwellings (malocas), one inhabited and the other under construction.

This video is of Suruwaha tribesman Quoqua, clearing a portion of the jungle for a macaxeira field.

The maloca is the centerpiece of tribal living.  The entire population of the tribe lives within this structure.  The maloca is approximately 70 feet high and 150 feet wide.  Large timbers form the conical shape which is covered with numerous layers of palm fronds.  The structure provides  cool shade as well as a water tight environment for its inhabitants.  The tribe will move from one maloca to another, depending on food availability and season. amzsur22.JPG (148189 bytes)


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Individual families will hang their hammocks, store possessions, and build their hearths near the outer edge of the maloca.  The center of the maloca is utilized primarily by the children for playing and dancing.

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amzsur9.JPG (254436 bytes) Bows and arrows are used to hunt larger forest game such as peccary, tapir, and  coatmondi  The blowgun is used for smaller game such as monkeys and birds which inhabit the  forest canopy.  The tips of both the arrow and the blowgun darts are covered with a poison.  These hunters are skillful and rarely return without sufficient meat for the family. amzsur44.JPG (244838 bytes)
amzsur7.JPG (230857 bytes) This tribe, which maintains a relatively high reliance on hunting, has also adopted horticulture as a means of subsistence.  Typical of tribes practicing shifting cultivation, the men cut the heavy growth throughout the year and burn  the material at the end of the dry season.  Before the wet season begins, both men and women plant crops such as bananas/plantains, macaxeira and sugar cane.
Inside the maloca, the headman's family gathers for an evening meal.  Just removed from the fire, this particular  meal consists of fish, pineapple and macaxeira.   The fish was speared the previous day by the headman and his sons from a small stream located near the maloca.  The pineapple and macaxeira were gathered by the mother and daughter.


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amzsur11.JPG (91689 bytes) Children at play.  The little girl on the left is looking at her hands covered with urucum, a red paint that is made from seed pods.   The seeds are extracted, crushed and them boiled to a thick paste.  The red paint is then applied over the entire body or in decorative dots about the face.  The two boys on the right are catching large rings made of small branches and vines.  The rings are thrown in the air and the boys compete to catch as many as possible with the long, rigid sticks. amzsur34.JPG (187063 bytes)















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