Kuarup- Ritual

13-Sep-21
Bob Carneiro
KUARUP — Ritual

Here’s a program from our archives.

ambience: Kuarup mourning songs
We’re listening to songs of mourning. They’re being performed this month in the Brazilian Amazon by members of different villages who have gathered to take part in an annual ceremony called Kuarup. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.
Robert Carneiro is a curator at the American Museum of Natural History. He tells us that the Kuarup ceremony centers around a group of wooden posts, ritually constructed to represent the spirits of the deceased, high ranking members of the village.

“Well, first of all the Kuarup posts are cut from the Kuarup tree. The Kuarup tree is considered to be the chief of the trees of the forest and therefore fit to represent the actual chief of the village. These posts are then decorated. First of all they cut the bark off about a foot long section near the top. They paint that with certain designs and very colorful feathers. There’s a headdress and so on. And these are set into the ground. So they’re side by side and the souls of the dead ancestors come and inhabit these posts. When the ceremony actually starts, the men of the host village dance around these Kuarup posts and they build a fire right in front of it to keep the souls of the, of the ancestors who have come. Keep them warm.”

These songs and dances are intended not only to honor the spirits of chiefly ancestors, but to appease them.

“No matter how much you may have loved a person during their life, as soon as that person dies his soul is something to be feared because if you catch sight of that soul in the woods somewhere, you’ll certainly get sick and you may very well die.”

Additional funding for this series has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

Kuarup- Ritual

For residents of the upper Xingu region of the Brazilian Amazon, the souls of the dead are at the center of an annual ceremony of dance and song.
Air Date:09/13/2021
Scientist:Bob Carneiro
Transcript:

13-Sep-21 Bob Carneiro KUARUP -- Ritual Here's a program from our archives. ambience: Kuarup mourning songs We're listening to songs of mourning. They're being performed this month in the Brazilian Amazon by members of different villages who have gathered to take part in an annual ceremony called Kuarup. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Robert Carneiro is a curator at the American Museum of Natural History. He tells us that the Kuarup ceremony centers around a group of wooden posts, ritually constructed to represent the spirits of the deceased, high ranking members of the village. "Well, first of all the Kuarup posts are cut from the Kuarup tree. The Kuarup tree is considered to be the chief of the trees of the forest and therefore fit to represent the actual chief of the village. These posts are then decorated. First of all they cut the bark off about a foot long section near the top. They paint that with certain designs and very colorful feathers. There's a headdress and so on. And these are set into the ground. So they're side by side and the souls of the dead ancestors come and inhabit these posts. When the ceremony actually starts, the men of the host village dance around these Kuarup posts and they build a fire right in front of it to keep the souls of the, of the ancestors who have come. Keep them warm." These songs and dances are intended not only to honor the spirits of chiefly ancestors, but to appease them. "No matter how much you may have loved a person during their life, as soon as that person dies his soul is something to be feared because if you catch sight of that soul in the woods somewhere, you'll certainly get sick and you may very well die." Additional funding for this series has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.