Kuarup- Remembrance and Wrestling

14-Sep-21
Bob Carneiro
KUARUP –Remembrance and Wrestling

Here’s a program from our archives.

Kuarup mourning songs
In a ceremony which is a blend of remembrance and athletic competition, villagers in the Xingu region of the Brazilian Amazon will come together this month to take part in the Kuarup festival. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

While the first day of the Kuarup festival is filled with elaborate rituals in honor of ancestors, the second day is devoted to wrestling matches.

Robert Carneiro is a curator at the American Museum of Natural History.

Carneiro: “Two men are circling each other. One says “hoo,” the other says “ha,” rapidly. Imitating the sound of a jaguar. And they sort of close in on each other; they’re bending down close to the ground and they’ll clasp right hands and the left hand goes around the neck of the opponent and then they begin wrestling. And they try to grasp the back of the thigh of the opponent. If they could succeed in this, it’s considered that that’s enough of a hold to be able to throw him on his back which would defeat him. But it’s very seldom done because it’s demeaning to an opponent to do this to him. It’s humiliating. Now, ordinarily, when two men wrestle, even though they wrestle hard, they wrestle to win, the loser and the winner are friends. They’ll pat each other on the back. There’s no ill feeling after it’s over.”

The villages of the Xingu region have long avoided violent conflict. And the relative peace that prevails may be due in part to the annual Kuarup festival as an arena where ritual conflict and reconciliation can take place.

“It brings nine villages together. It integrates them because not only do the jointly hold the ceremony but they wrestle together; friendships are reestablished; after the wrestling there’s trade. Everything that happens at the Kuarup heightens good feeling among the villages there.”

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

Kuarup- Remembrance and Wrestling

The highlight of the 2-day Kuarup festival is a much anticipated but surprisingly non-competitive wrestling match.
Air Date:09/14/2021
Scientist:Bob Carneiro
Transcript:

14-Sep-21 Bob Carneiro KUARUP --Remembrance and Wrestling Here's a program from our archives. Kuarup mourning songs In a ceremony which is a blend of remembrance and athletic competition, villagers in the Xingu region of the Brazilian Amazon will come together this month to take part in the Kuarup festival. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. While the first day of the Kuarup festival is filled with elaborate rituals in honor of ancestors, the second day is devoted to wrestling matches. Robert Carneiro is a curator at the American Museum of Natural History. Carneiro: "Two men are circling each other. One says "hoo," the other says "ha," rapidly. Imitating the sound of a jaguar. And they sort of close in on each other; they're bending down close to the ground and they'll clasp right hands and the left hand goes around the neck of the opponent and then they begin wrestling. And they try to grasp the back of the thigh of the opponent. If they could succeed in this, it's considered that that's enough of a hold to be able to throw him on his back which would defeat him. But it's very seldom done because it's demeaning to an opponent to do this to him. It's humiliating. Now, ordinarily, when two men wrestle, even though they wrestle hard, they wrestle to win, the loser and the winner are friends. They'll pat each other on the back. There's no ill feeling after it's over." The villages of the Xingu region have long avoided violent conflict. And the relative peace that prevails may be due in part to the annual Kuarup festival as an arena where ritual conflict and reconciliation can take place. "It brings nine villages together. It integrates them because not only do the jointly hold the ceremony but they wrestle together; friendships are reestablished; after the wrestling there's trade. Everything that happens at the Kuarup heightens good feeling among the villages there." Additional funding for this series has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner. music