The Yawalapiti Tribe

The Yawalapiti Tribe

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The Yawalapiti tribe live deep in the Brazilian heartland, where the upper reaches of the Amazon Basin dissolve into the central plateau.

This year the tribe held a "quarup" - a ritual held over several days to honor in death, a person of great importance to them.

. Xingu National Park, Brazil. Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino

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. From the very oldest to the very youngest, all the members of the Yawalapiti tribe participate in the preparations.

. XINGU NATIONAL PARK, Brazil. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

This year the quarup will pay tribute to two people - a Yawalapiti Indian who they consider a great leader - and Darcy Ribeiro, a well-known author, anthropologist and politician known for focusing on the relationship between native peoples and education in Brazil.

. XINGU NATIONAL PARK, Brazil. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

Yawalapiti warriors hold wrestling matches in qualifying rounds to select the best team to confront warriors from other tribes.

. XINGU NATIONAL PARK, Brazil. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

The winner of the inter-tribal event will be crowned 'Great Champion'.

. XINGU NATIONAL PARK, Brazil. Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino

The Xingu River is the children of the tribe's main playground.

. XINGU NATIONAL PARK, Brazil. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

It is also a source of food.

. XINGU NATIONAL PARK, Brazil. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

This cachorra, or vampire fish, was caught by the men of the tribe and will be eaten by guests.

. XINGU NATIONAL PARK, Brazil. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

The Yawalapiti have a saying: A man should be like a good, old tree; he should give fruit throughout his lifetime, and towards the end produce a huge shadow to shelter others.