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 is the morning sun on the Maici River, a tributary of the Madeira River located in Northwest Brazil.  The Piraha live along the Maici River.  They are a semi nomadic tribe, moving up and down the Maici in small groups or as single family units.  It was reported that the Piraha were first contacted in 1741, at which time their population was estimated to be approximately 50,000.   The Piraha now number between 200 and 250.


amzp20.JPG (280196 bytes) The village on the left depicts a Piraha settlement built high on the bank of the river which will be used during the rainy season.   The settlement on the right was constructed during the dry season on an  exposed sandy beach of the Maici when the water level of the river was much lower. amzp12.JPG (182046 bytes)
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amzp14.JPG (238782 bytes) The Piraha use the bow and arrow to hunt small game and to fish.   Both men and women help in making  the bows and the arrows. On the   right is a Piraha woman fashioning fibrous bark materials into string for the bow. amzp5.JPG (139466 bytes)
amzp9.JPG (99909 bytes) During the full moon cycle, the Piraha participate in a ritual.  Tribal members will walk in a circle, chanting the entire night.   Some participants believe they are possessed by spirits and will assume the spirit's identity.  The man on the far left is possessed by a female spirit; during the all-night ritual he spoke and chanted in a falsetto voice.   He will not remember his own behavior after  the   ritual, nor will he be held accountable for his behavior while  possessed by the spirit.
amzp16.JPG (225016 bytes) These are examples of individual family homes built on the edge of the river. These structures have no walls, a platform made of  cut branches to sit and sleep on, and large palm fronds form the roof. amzp17.JPG (221835 bytes)
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Pictured to the left are Piraha children playing in a cleared field near the village.  To the right is a young boy on his way to sharpen his skills with the bow and arrow.

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