Monday, December 31, 2012

How would Brazil be different if the culture of the Indians outperformed that of the Portuguese

That's a rhetorical wondering, aim to question the essential return to the Brazilian culture origins. It is difficult to extrapolate such a culture but it would sure be a country with more respect for nature, less wear between cultures that came later.
The idea here is not to take the Indians out of their values, their land or their essence - On the contrary - as happened with many other prosper cultures (such as Japanese, Chinese, etc.). The Idea is to extrapolate how two hundred years (or more) of evolution would mature this culture and to show its importance the rest of the world.

I really admire how the Japanese have made survive many cultural aspects of their tribal ancestors, the Ainos, and these did make survive much of its ancient tribes of the Satsumon and the Okhotsk, and the events that took place from the unification of Shogunates 1590. Historical factors that made each member of their culture share social maturity and survived the whole cultural interference until the present day. "We have to aggregate the best of social evolution, technological, etc., but keep and respect our very own essence," once said my good, Japanese descendant friend, Pedro Takaki. I believe this would have been more appropriate cultural evolution here in Brazil with our local ethnicities.

Brazilian Indigenous people gave significant contributions to world culture, such as the domestication of (mandioca) cassava and utilization of various native plants, such as corn, tobacco, guarana, yerba mate, sweet potato, pepper, cashew, pineapple, yam, pine nuts, acai, pitanga, jabuticaba, mangaba, the hog plum (cajá), the umbu, annatto (urucum), genipap, passion fruit, guava, pequi, jambu, the jatoba, buriti , the carnauba (palm heart) juçara, pejibaye the jerivá, copaiba, andiroba, tucum, etc.. Also, spread the use of hammock and practice of the peteca (shuttle).

The brasilíndios had as a basic organization or taba village, formed by the ocas or huts, arranged in circles where families lived. The government was exercised by a council - nheengaba - formed by elders, and only in wartime chose a chief, or cacique morubixaba.

Like the Japanese culture, the various ethnic groups have preserved their culture and evolved a lot in all other respects. In this idealized Brazil under previous precepts, large ocas would be deemed as community cultural centers, where anyone could stay and perform researches or works.

Just as the Japanese that associate tradition to innovation the 'Technological Ocas' are the proof that the Brazilian ethnic groups are evolved without losing the essence.

For this alternative story would run its course in the way that I speculate, many things would have been changed in the past. I believe the most important deviation would be - the no promulgation - the law that prohibits the use of indigenous languages ​​throughout the country passed by the Marquis of Pombal.

The Tupi Idiom was the language originally spoken by the Tupi people of South America (tupinambás, tupiniquins, Caeté, tamoios, potiguaras, temiminós, tabajaras etc.). It was learned by Portuguese settlers and, through them and their descendants, became the most used language in Brazil during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

300 years ago, living in the village of ‘São Paulo de Piratininga’ (dried fish in Tupi-Old "xe pe Piratining Cui" - "going to where the fish are dried") was almost synonymous to speak Indian language. Only one in five people knew the Portuguese Idiom. Therefore in 1698, the provincial governor, Artur de Sá e Meneses, pleaded Portugal to send priests who knew only "the general language of the Indians", because "these people can not be addressed in another language."

The ending point of this Indianist culture happened with Angry Marquis of Pombal (1699-1782), who then ruled Portugal and its colonies. Tired of the problems he had with a lack of uniformity of language in Sao Paulo, he decided to impose the Portuguese Idiom by decree in 1758. The Directory of Indians, banned the use of all indigenous languages ​​and the teaching of the so called ‘nheengatu’, "diabolical invention" of the Jesuits.

Today, the use of the Old Tupi, or the called ‘lingua geral’ (general language) the foundation of all Brazilian ethnic languages​​, is restricted only to the region of the upper Rio Negro and part of Venezuela.

Eduardo Navarro, founder of 'Tupi Aqui' (Tupi here), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) which aims to fight for the inclusion of Tupi language as an optional subject in the curriculum of schools in São Paulo, as well as our beloved Policarpo Quaresma, sees the importance of our cultural heritage prohibited by decree "The Old Tupi” was the language spoken by Tibiriçá, Coiobi, Araribóia, Felipe Camarão, Cunhambebe, Bartira, João Ramalho, Caramuru, Soares Moreno, Martim Afonso Leão, all familiar names from the Brazilian primary school, the language that was described spoken by Anchieta, Luis Figueira, spoken by Antonio Vieira, a language that evolved in shape, Fernão Dias Paes, Borba Gato, Bartolomeu Bueno da Silva (the Anhangüera), Raposo Tavares spoke with their 'bandeiras' and led to the interior regions of Brazil, language that Gonçalves Dias and José de Alencar tried to learn to compose their works and affirm a national literature, as opposed to Lusitanian literature".

The term "Indian" is a European invention. The original inhabitants of the Americas never saw themselves as an uno people. Rather, different indigenous groups nourished great animosity and fought each other constantly. In Brazil, the Tupi lived along the coast when the Portuguese arrived, being derived, however, from Amazon. An "Indian identity" was only created centuries later, with the arrival of Europeans.

In the town that evolved from the indigenous culture nature is always respected and houses still holds the shape of ‘ocas’ (dome shaped Brazilian indigenous residence).

The Brazilian indigenous population is formed by 238 completely different ethnicities. This diversity becomes clear when we consider the number of languages ​​spoken in Brazil. Research Linguist Aryon Rodrigues, UNB, show that there are 180 Indian languages in Brazil. From this set, some are practically extinct, such as Karipuna known by only a single Indian.


The Jesuits, based on the language and location, made the first classification of the Indians. Those who inhabited the coast (the Tupi), were called Indians of the general language and those who lived inside (Tapuias), tongue-tied Indians. In the nineteenth century, the German scholar Karl von den Steinen, presented the first scientific classification of Brazilians indigenous, dividing them into four basic groups or large nations:

2)Jês ou Tapuias;
3)Nuaruaques ou Maipurés e
4)Caraíbas ou Caribas.

And four smaller groups:

7)Miranhas; e

Until the mid-'70s, it was believed that the disappearance of indigenous peoples would be inevitable, however something amazing happened. In the 80s, there has been a reversion of the demographic curve and, since then, the indigenous population in the country has grown homogeneously, indicating a demographic recovery from most of these people, although demographically specific people have fallen and some are even threatened extinction. In the list of indigenous peoples in Brazil prepared by ISA (Socio-Environmental Institute), seven of them have populations between 5 and 40 individuals.

43 out of the 238 people listed have part of its population residing in other countries. According to the IBGE Census of 2010, 896,917 people declared themselves belonging to some ethnic group. From these, 324,834 live in cities and 572,083 in rural areas, representing approximately 0.47% of the total population of the country.

The General Coordination of Isolated and Newly Contacted Indians (CGIIRC) confirms the existence of 28 such groups. In Latin America, Brazil is the only country to have a specific body to develop policies to protect isolated Indians.

The cities that are more concentrated indigenous populations:

1) São Gabriel da Cachoeira (AM) – 76,31%
2) Uiramutã (RR) – 74,41%
3) Normandia (RR) – 57,21%
4) Santa Rosa do Purus (AC) – 48,29%
5) Ipuaçu (SC) – 47,87%
6) Baía da Traição (PB) – 47,70%
7) Pacaraima (RR) – 47,36%
8) Benjamin Constant do Sul (RS) – 40,73%
9) São João das Missões (MG) – 40,21%
10) Japorã (MS) – 39,24%


Paining of José Maria de Medeiros, Iracema character of Romance of José de Alencar, National Museum of Fine Arts in Rio de January 1881

Brazilian Romanticism became an official project, having the support of D. Pedro II to intellectuals and artists; it had direct connection to the politics. The Indians were chosen as character in order to appreciate the origins of nationality, seen as an integral element and founder of the Brazilian nation. In 1856, when Gonçalves de Magalhães published the epic poem ‘The Confederation of Tamoios’, work financed by the Emperor, the Indian came to be considered the national symbol. Conceived, courageous, pure and honorable, became the very embodiment of young, independent Brazilian nation, now led by D. Pedro II.

"Oswald de Andrade, on a trip to Paris from atop of a workshop from Place Clichy - navel of the world - discovered, dazzled his own country. Returning to the motherland, involved in enchantmentof the findings of Manueline, he confirms the startling revelation that ‘Brazil existed’. This fact, that some have suspected, opened his eyes to the radiant vision of a new world, unexplored and mysterious. The ‘Pau-Brasil’ poetry was then created" – (Pau-Brasil - The brazilwood tree, which gives Brazil its name - Caesalpinia echinata, is a species of Brazilian timber tree in the pea family).

Oswald de Andrade in Anthropophagic Manifesto, sought to transform the "noble savage" of Rousseau in embattled wild hog, which digests and transforms the European culture of the colonizer, making it part of their own culture. Considering the issue of the "noble savage" in Rousseau's thought, is it true.

I had the same insight of Oswald de Andrade in a dream I had in 1983 when, when looking through the telescope of Professor Lanzza the true essence of things mingle with your state of mind and then, something surprisingly new arises.

The canvas that Tarsila do Amaral painted in 1928, The Apapuru is considered the most valuable painting by a Brazilian artist, having reached the value of $1.4 million, paid by the Argentine collector Eduardo Costantini in an auction in 1995. exposed at the Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires (MALBA).

Abaporu comes in terms of Tupi aba (man), pora (people) and ú (eat), meaning "man who eats people."

The Indianism gew in some isolated currents such as Baroque Indianism of Father José de Anchieta; arcadian Indianism of Basilio da Gama, author of the epic poem The Uraguai; the romantic Indianism of José de Alencar, in prose, with the novels The Guarani, Iracema, and Ubirajara, among others, the arts, the painting Moema by Victor Meirelles, Maraba and the Last Tamoio by Rodolfo Amoedo are great examples.

Indianism gonçalvino - Gonçalves Dias, on poetry, with poems scattered throughout various books, especially I-Juca Pirama, which recounts the death of the last remaining tribe of Tupi, eaten by the tribe of Indians Timbiras; Maraba, and the unfinished ‘the Timbiras.

Thus the movement Indianist joins modernism in anthropophagic new trend – THE NEW INDIANISM

The Cauim

A traditional alcoholic drink brewed by indigenous people of Brazil, obtained from the fermentation of cassava is found today only in indigenous reserves. However, in my Brazil with an alternative history the Cauim is as popular as beer, manufactured by the Tribal Cooperative Limited (CTL) - a form cooperative with commercial purposes whose philosophy is the sustainability and commitment to society. The Cauim market in Brazil is estimated at nearly one billion dollars, five times smaller than the beer market, but finds great expansion in the rest of the world.

Several brands of Cauim (typical native alcoholic beverage of the indigenous peoples in Brazil since pre-Columbian times. It is made of fermented manioc or cassava.) Compete in this fierce drinks market

The 'New Tupi' economy and society

The days of Today, agriculture is the main economic activity of indigenous people, but they also enjoy hunting and fishing, whenever possible. They perform subsistence economy, marked by the distribution and redistribution of goods produced and in which economic relations of production, whatever the activity, are guided by social ties defined by kinship. The "property" (exclusive use) of gardens and consumption of products is the elementary familiar, after the birth of the couple's children, which does not exclude the distribution of goods, produced or acquired services in the fields of the father and the realization of joint efforts within group’s macro family. The economy in alternative 'New Tupi' Brazil has the same roots. Despite being an economic system very similar to the socialist model it is completely capitalist. The Indians learned early what Darwin cited as 'Adaptability'. The Indians know better than anyone how to adapt to the needs of nature and mankind, and learned to profit from observing in detail the consumption habits of its economy.

Huge investment in research to verify knowledge acquired by several generations have made the 'New Economy Tupi' world leader in biotechnology, one of the most prosperous economic drivers of Brazilian Indians.

They also has an empirical knowledge on natural resources, which combined to research and high investments in the last 100 years, has led to extremely high level of excellence. This alternate Brazil divides the first position with the United States the status of world's largest economy.

In the alternative 'New Tupi' economy, Brazilian ethnic food not only has big investments but also brings our culture to all major capitals of the world.

As in any civilization, the standards of beauty and aesthetics are greatly radicalized when teenagers exploit them. In the case of indigenous Brazilians lip discs worn by Kayapos gave rise to many other forms of body piercing and adornments. The "window piercing" is a a plexiglas disk embedded in the lower lip and in the cheek so you could see inside gumline. The concept has taken-on a new life with young people!

The "window piercing" is a a plexiglas disk embedded in the lower lip and in the cheek so you could see inside gumline


The lesson that we learn when philosophize about such considerations is that 'it is not too late'. We can and should be proud of our origins, values ​​and them make them survive, thrive and live happily. Perhaps in coming days we see scenes like these without associating them with science fiction.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Toy Art - Orishas of Candonblé

Toy Art of Oxalá, Oxum, Iansã, Exu Ogum, Xangô and Oxossi 


Candomblé is a religion derived from the African animism based on the worship of the Orishas (viz.), Voduns (of the Bantus is the same voodoo cult in Haiti), and Nkisis (Kimbundu people from northern Angola) depending on the nation.

leia este artigo em Português

Cult of totemic and family origin is one of the African-Brazilian religions practiced in Brazil, by the ‘Povo Santo’ – (holy people in Portuguese), and also in other countries such as Uruguay, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Mexico, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Different from as it happened in Africa, where these deities were worshiped in every nation independently; in Brazil the cult suffered a junction due to the importation of slaves. As they where grouped in the slave quarters called ‘Senzalas’ each man could be the janitor of a particular saint and they became known as ‘Babalorixá’ or ‘Pai de Santos’.

Do you want your exclusive ORIXÁ, please send us an e-mail to and know more...

As in horoscopes, all people have orishas that govern their lives; Órixás de cabeça’ the fundamental individual orisha, the basic energy, and Orisha 'Ajuntó' with more subtle features, which softens the character of the head orisha.

To understand more how Candomblé is seen in Brazil get to know the Yoruba legend (Nigério-Congolese people) that explains the birth of the orishas and Candomblé itself:

In the beginning there was no separation between Orum, Heaven of deities, and the Aiê, the Earth of humans.

Men and gods came and went, cohabiting and sharing their lives and adventures.

It is said that when they were separating Orum from Aiê, a human touched Orum with his dirty hands.

The sky's immaculate Orisha out soiled.

The pristine white of Obatala was lost.

Oxala went to complain about it to Olorun.

Toy Art - Olorum Orisha Suprime God

Olorum, also known as Olodumaré, Lord of Heaven, Supreme God, angry at the dirt, waste and carelessness of mortals, enraged his divine breath and forever separated Heaven from Earth blew.

Thus, Orum separated from the world of men, and no man could go to Orum and return from there alive. And the deities also could not come to earth with their bodies. Now there was the world of men and the the world of the orishas, separated. Isolated from the human inhabitants of the Aiê, the deities saddened.

Deities missed the adventures among humans and became sad and grumpy.

They went to complain about it to Olorum, who consented to the deities the right to occasionally return to Earth.

To do so, however, the deities would have to take the material body of his devotees.

It was the condition imposed by Olorum.

Oshun, who used to like to come to earth to play with women, sharing with them his beauty and vanity by teaching them spells seduction adorable and irresistible charm, received from Olorum a new commission:

Mortals was prepared to receive the orishas in their bodies.

Oshun made ​​offerings to Eshu in order to appropriate its delicate mission.

Her success depended only on the happiness of their brothers and friends orishas.

The ori, or the head, she adorned with feather of ecodidé, a rare and mysterious red plume of the parrot-the-coast. At the hands she wore abebés, swords, scepters, and on wrists, she put dozens of golden Indes.

The neck was covered with twists and turns of colorful beads and multiple strings of shells, corals and ceramics.

On her head she put a cone made ​​of butter of Ori, fine herbs and obi chewed, with all the condiment needed to please the orishas.

This oxo would attract the orisha to the initiate’s ori and had no way fool himself into his return to the Aiê.

Finally small wives were made, were ready, and were Odara.

The iaôs were the most beautiful brides, far better than the all vanity of Oshun could imagine. They were ready for the gods.

The orishas now had theirs so called ‘horses’, they could safely return to the Aiê, and are now able to ride the body of the devotes.

Humans made ​​offerings to orishas, inviting them to Earth, to the bodies of the iaôs.

Then the orishas came and took their horses.

And while men played their drums, vibrate their batás and agogôs, sounded their xequerês and adjás, while the men chanted and cheered and clapped, inviting all humans initiated to wheel of xirê, the orishas danced and danced and danced.

The orishas are now able to live with mortals.

The orishas are happy happy.

At the wheel, and ​​in the body of the iaôs,

They danced and danced and danced.

Candomblé was then invented.

Candomblé ritual - Pai de Santo or 'Father of sants' at the center in front of the altar, musicians from left to right Agogo, Shekere, Rum, Rumpi, and Lé. Attendees at the left and orishas in the wheel of Candomblé: -Exú, Ogun, Oxossi, Shango, Oshun, Iansã, Oxalá.

In Yoruba mythology, is mention more than 600 primary orishas, divided into two different classes, approximately 400 of the Irun from Orun Imolé ("Heaven") and 200 Igbá Imole of Aiye ("Earth").

These groups are also divided into the Orishas funfun (Orishas tha wears white as Orunmila and Oxalá), and the Orishas Dudu (black or other colors wearing Orishas, sucha as Obaluayê and Shango).

Learn a bit more of the best-known orishas:

Toy Art - Exu Orisha

It is the orisha of communication. It is the guardian of the villages, cities, homes and axé. The ESU in Yoruba word meaning "sphere" and, indeed, Eshu is the Orisha of movement (associated with the figure of Mercury or Hermes)
It is he who should receive the first offerings to ensure that everything runs smoothly and to ensure that their messenger function between Aiye and Orun, is fully realized.
The greetings are Exu - Exu LAROYE! (Yoruba) or even Exú is mojuba!
"Salutation to friend Exú "; Moju (night living) bah (arm ambush) - "Exú enjoy night life, always able to lay ambushes.";

Toy Art - Ogun Orisha

The Lord of the metals, Ogun forged his own tools, both for hunting and for agriculture, and for war.
He was the eldest son of Oduduwa and Obatala , the primordial couple and the propellant of creation, the founders of Ife, the ancient Yoruba city in southwest Nigeria where it is attributed the birth of the legend of Candomblé.
Associated with St. George and the Ares or Mars
Salutation to Ogun are - Ogun Patakori! (Yoruba) or even Ogunhê! (cry that represents the strength of Ogun) Pataki (main), ori (head) - Much honor of having the most important dignitary of the Supreme Being in my head!;
Toy Art - Oxalá Orisha

It is the Orisha associated with the creation of the world and mankind. It is presented in two ways: the young (called Oxaguian identified in the odu game merindilogun ejionile) and the elder (Oxalufan called and identified by odu Òfún and ejiokô).
Oxaguiam color is white lightly mixed with blue; Oxalufam is only white. Friday is the day devoted to both.
His greeting is EPA Baba!
Oxalá is worshiped and is considered the biggest and most respected of all Orishas of African pantheon. He symbolizes peace, He is the biggest father of the nations of African tradition. He is quiet, serene, peacemaker, the creator and therefore is respected by all Orishas and all nations. Oxalá is the one that has the eyes that see everything;
Toy Art - Oshun Orisha
In Yoruba religion, is a female Orisha who reigns over the freshwater rivers, love, intimacy, beauty, wealth and diplomacy. In Candomblé. Oshun owns gold and ijexá nation.
Her name derives from the Osun River, which flows in Yorubaland, Nigerian region ijexá and Ijebu.
In african-Brazilian religions is syncretized with various Madonnas. In Bahiashe is regarded as Nossa Senhora das Candeias or Our Lady of Joy. In Southern Brazil, is often syncretized with Our Lady of Conception, while the Brazilian Midwest and Southeast is associated either to the name of Our Lady of Concieção from Aparecida;

Toy Art - Oxossi Orisha

It is the orisha of hunting and plenty. Pierre Verger, in his book Orishas, says the cult of Oxóssi was virtually extinct in the region of Ketu, in Yorubaland, since most of its priests were enslaved and were forcibly sent to the New World or killed.
Those who remained in Ketu stopped worshiping him for not remembering how to perform the rites more appropriate or pass to worship other deities.
Greetings from Oxossi are - Okê rim! (Yoruba)
Okê (lot); Aro (honorable title given to hunters) - Save the great hunter!;
Toy Art - Shangô Orisha
In his divine aspect, remains Oranian son, deified but having Yemanjá as a mother and three deities as wives: Oya, Oshun and Oba.
It was he who created the cult of Egungun, whereupon he the only Orisha who exercises power over the dead.
Xango is virile and righteous; punishes liars, thieves and criminals. His tool is oxe: the double-edged ax. Shango is the Orisha of power, it is the representation of the maximum power Olorun
To greet Shango one should say - Kawo Kabiecile! (Yoruba)
Ka (let us) WO (look); Biye Ka itself (His Royal Highness), le (the complement of a chief compliance) - Let us look to Your Royal Highness!;
Toy Art - Iansã Orisha

Devotees usually offer her favorite food, the Akara (acarajé), and ekuru abará.
In Candomblé the color used to represent it is brown, although it is more identified with the pink color or the golden. In Brazil there was a major distortion about their origins and regencies.
Inhansã or Oiá, as she is also known in Brazil, is a deity of the Yoruba mythology associated with wind and water, being the wife of Shango, lord of lightning and thunderstorms.
She is hailed as "Iya Mesan lorun" title on the commission received as guide of the dead.
In Salvador, Oya or Iansã is syncretized with Santa Barbara;

Toy Art - Obaluayê Orisha

Obaluayê in Yoruba Obaluayê is translated as (king or lord of the Earth), Oba (king) Aiye (Earth), Obaluaiyê, Obaluaê, Xapanã, is also known as (Baba Igbona = father of warmth) god of smallpox and contagious diseases, he is symbolically linked to the world of the dead.
His emblem is the Xaxará (Sasara), sort of handmade scepter of ribs of palm straw, decorated with shells and beads, in which he captures people's houses negative energies, as well as "sweeps" diseases, impurities and supernatural evils.
To greet Obaluayê - Atoto! (Yoruba)
Atoto (Silence) - Silence! He is among us!
Toy Art - Yemanjá Orisha

Iyemanjá, Yemanja, Yemaya, Iemoja, Yemanja or Yemoja is a female African orisha, whose name derives from the Yoruba expression Yeye omo Eja ("Mother whose children are fishes"), in Brazil, the orisha has a high popularity among followers of African-Brazilian religions and even by members of different religions.
On February 2nd in Salvador, occurs annually, the biggest party in the country in tribute to the "Queen of the Sea."
Yemanja is hailed as - Odô-fe-iaba! (Yoruba) or even Odô IA!
Odô (river), fe (beloved); iyàagba (lady) - Beloved Lady of the River (water)!
Toy Art - Oxumare Orisha

His name means ‘rainbow snake’ in Nago, this Orisha represents the mobility and activity, and one of his functions is to direct the forces of the movement. He is the lord of everything that is elongated, the umbilical cord, snake, etc. Also represents wealth and fortune.
In Brazil his initiates wear Braja - long necklaces of shells, stuffed in a way to look like snake scales.
Salutation: Arroboboi Oxumarê!;
Toy Art - Omulu Orisha

In Africa, he is considered with the his mother Nana, the Orisha of death.
Popcorn are popped in pots with beach sand heated to celebrate their relationship with Yemanja. The legend says that his mother Nana abandoned Omolu, very sick, in a river near the beach, because he was born with major deformities in the skin. Yemanja had a huge love for him, adopted him as a son and healed him of his diseases. Therefore, offerings are made to Omolu on the sandy beaches of the Brazilian coast.
Salutation: Atoto ajuberú, Omolú ke;
Toy Art - Ibejis Children Orixas

Ibeji or Ìgbejì - are the children twin deity of life, protectors of twins in Yoruba mythology, in the game merindilogun they are identified by odu ejioko and Ika.
In Brazil there is a recurrent confusion between Ibeji and Erês, the word Erê (not to be confused with a child who is in Yoruba omodé) comes from the Yoruba, iré, which means "fun, amusement." Hence the expression Siré which means "play games".  Clearly there is a relationship, but they are not the same entity. Twins are syncretized with the Catholic saints Cosmes and Damian.
They are known as Ibeji in the nation Ketu, or Nvunji in Angola and Congo, his conducting is linked to childhood.
Salutationis ‘Omi Beijada!’;

Blemya Search