Life with the Yawalapiti Tribe in Brazil

“Deep in the Brazilian heartland, where the upper reaches of the Amazon Basin dissolve into the central plateau, I had the opportunity to spend a few days in the village of joy. The mood was one of celebration. The Yawalapiti, one of the 14 tribes living inside the Xingu National Park, were preparing a new “quarup”, a ritual held over several days to honor in death a person of great importance to them. In its original form, the quarup was a funeral ritual intended to bring the dead back to life. Today, it is a celebration of life, death and rebirth”. – Ueslei Marcelino via Reuters

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A bird perches on a tree in front of the full moon in the Yawalapiti village in Xingu National Park, Mato Grosso State, May 5, 2012. The Yawalapiti, one of the 14 tribes living in the Xingu Park, are preparing to hold in August a new quarup to honor one of their late caciques as well as Darcy Ribeiro, a late Brazilian author, anthropologist and politician. (Photo by Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

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Yawalapiti children play during the preparations for the celebration of “quarup”, a ritual held to honor in death a person of great importance to them, in the Xingu National Park, Mato Grosso State, May 7, 2012. (Photo by Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

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Yawalapiti men wrestle during the preparations for the celebration of “quarup”, a ritual held to honor in death a person of great importance to them, in the Xingu National Park, Mato Grosso State, May 8, 2012. (Photo by Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

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Yawalapiti youth chief Anuia (near) leads a dance during the preparations for the celebration of “quarup”, a ritual held to honor in death a person of great importance to them, in the Xingu National Park, Mato Grosso State, May 7, 2012. (Photo by Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

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Yawalapiti men play the urua bamboo flute during the preparations for the celebration of “quarup”, a ritual held to honor in death a person of great importance to them, in the Xingu National Park, Mato Grosso State, May 9, 2012. (Photo by Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

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A Yawalapiti man has his body painted with a mix of annatto or achiote seeds during the preparations for the celebration of “quarup”, a ritual held to honor in death a person of great importance to them, in the Xingu National Park, Mato Grosso State, May 7, 2012. (Photo by Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

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Yawalapiti tribe members catch fish to dry and save for the future celebration of “quarup”, a ritual held to honor in death a person of great importance to them, in the Xingu National Park, Mato Grosso State, May 7, 2012. (Photo by Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

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Yawalapiti children play over the Xingu River in the Xingu National Park, Mato Grosso State, May 7, 2012. (Photo by Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

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A Yawalapiti boy dips his head into the Xingu River during the preparations for the celebration of “quarup”, a ritual held to honor in death a person of great importance to them, in the Xingu National Park, Mato Grosso State, May 9, 2012. (Photo by Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

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Yawalapiti chief Aritana oversees the preparations for the celebration of “quarup”, a ritual held to honor in death a person of great importance to them, in the Xingu National Park, Mato Grosso State, May 9, 2012. (Photo by Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

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Yawalapiti children climb a tree to jump into the Xingu River during the preparations for the celebration of “quarup”, a ritual held to honor in death a person of great importance to them, in the Xingu National Park, Mato Grosso State, May 7, 2012. (Photo by Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

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