The Hyper Women of the Alta Xingu

A quick note on this. Every once in a while I’m reminded of why I fell in love with Brazil (no, it’s not because of naked indigenous women). This country is endlessly full of interesting stuff. Hopefully I can get my hands on this documentary at some point.

“Deep in the rain forest of Mato Grosso, on the upper reaches of Xingu river, the Kuikuro Indians make preparations for an age-old singing and dancing ritual: the Jamurikumálu, the most powerful ritual that Indian women can celebrate. “Jamurikumálu” means “superwomen”. One of the older women of the village feels that she doesn’t have long to live and desires nothing more than to be part of the ritual one last time. The problem is that the only woman in the village who knows all the songs is also seriously ill. The other women nevertheless start reconstructing and rehearsing the songs, with lyrics that are often humoristic as well as explicit as regards love and sex. After all the battle of the sexes is the driving force in the universe.

The three directors, Carlos Fausto, Leonardo Sette, Takumã Kuikuro, including an Indian who lives in this area, have captured the beauty of the Jamurikumálu with a great eye for detail. In many breathtakingly spectacular shots the viewer is drawn into the ritual and follows the participants as they fall into a magical trance. This remarkable documentary is far more than an ethnographic report, it is a brilliant immersion in Kuikuro culture.”

Premiado o Melhor Filme em Festival Internacional de Curitiba 2011

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