In parts of Brazil, indigenous villages value their traditions and customs.
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Indigenous culture is very rich and full of unique characteristics. Starting with the name “Indian”, which one theory claims was derived from the confusion of navigators, as they arrived in Brazil believing they were in the Indies.
Although there were several different indigenous tribes, before the colonization of Brazil, these communities had some points in common. Their social organization was based on collectivism, everyone had their share in the functioning of the tribe, with an absence of politics, State and government. Beliefs were based on polytheism and elements of nature. And all food was procured manually, through hunting, fishing and agriculture.
Today, there are still tribes with many such customs. And even some of the habits of Brazilian society are indigenous heritages. Such as the use of cassava and its derivatives (cassava flour, cassava starch) and feeding through fish. The Portuguese language also has a lot of influence from the Indigenous people. We can see this, for example, analyzing the name of the famous Tietê River, in São Paulo, which, in Tupi, means “voluminous”.
Another well-known practice is painting. Contrary to what some people think, body painting is not just an ornament, on the contrary, it carries a lot of symbology. It is made with elements from nature and can represent age, gender, which village the person is from and what their role in it is.
To learn more about indigenous culture, there are some villages across Brazil that you can visit:
Villages in Manaus
In Manaus, Amazonas, there are two options for visiting indigenous communities. One of the tours runs along the Rio Negro, passing by beautiful porpoises and a tribe, where you can learn about people’s daily lives.
The other option in Manaus is a 4-hour tour of a community and the Seringal Museum that shows how the production was in an Amazonian rubber plantation during the Rubber Cycle. The entire tour guarantees learning about Brazilian history.
Villages in Porto Seguro
In Porto Seguro, Bahia, you can visit the Pataxó Reserve. There, the Indigenous people will give a lecture about their culture and present their customs, and bring education about the reality of these people.