On August 20th and 21st, the Rainforest Organization (AFV) participated in the Kuarup ceremony in the village of Mehinako and financed the flights costs of the leader Raoni and three other Kayapó leaders.
This ritual, practiced by the indigenous peoples of the Upper Xingu, celebrates the memory of the dead to free their souls and allow them passage to the spiritual world.
During this ceremony, all the neighboring indigenous communities are also invited to honor the members of the communities who have passed away the previous year. Each deceased community member celebrated during the ritual is represented by a painted and decorated wooden trunk.
The ceremony is punctuated by food offerings, dances, songs, prayers and, most importantly, periods of lamentation. The ceremony marks the end of the mourning period during with the indigenous people mourn the departure of their loved ones for the last time a farewell, the wooden trunk is thrown into the river.
The rite of passage of girls to adulthood is also part of the celebration. After a period of seclusion they are presented to the village and henceforth authorized to marry.
The ancestral ceremony concludes with duels called Huka-Huka, in which the young warriors of the communities fight each other barehanded. In these fights, the goal is to touch the opponent's leg or to knock him down. The Huka-Huka fight is one of the central pillars of the cultural identity of the peoples of the Upper Xingu.