Avatar arrives to the Amazonas

Construction projects are threatening the sacred places and Munduruku culture.

Valmira Krixi Munduruku, as it has been baptized, is an indigenous Munduruku warrior who lives in the village of Teles Pires, by the river of the same name, on the border between the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Pará. As a leader and woman he knew, he spoke with great confidence on a variety of subjects, from ancient stories of his people to men a plant base in which young men should bathe to become warriors.

The sacred place to which it refers is a series of rapids known as Sete Quedas, in the river Teles Pires. In 2013, the consortium responsible for the construction of a large hydroelectric plant obtained a judicial authorization to dynamite the rapids in order to open the way for the Teles Pires dam.

In 2013, the participating companies exploded Sete Quedas and, in so doing, destroyed (according to the cosmology of the indigenous peoples of the region) the equivalent of Christian heaven, the sacred sanctuary inhabited by spirits after death. Known as Paribixexe, Sete Quedas is a sacred place for all Munduruku.

The reconstruction of rubber exploitation throughout the Amazon during the second half of the 19th century destroyed the power of "Mundurukânia" and abandoned most of the territories in the Munduruku. "They only kept fragments in the lower part of the Tapajós and a more extensive area in the upper river basin but, even so, it was only a fraction of what they had occupied in the past," said Rocha.

Now, even those fragments are seriously affected by the hydroelectric plant that is built around them. Of the 40 dams proposed for the Tapajós Basin, four are already under way and have ended up on the Teles Pires river. These representations are essential for an industrial navigation that transport the soybean from the state of Mato Grosso to the north by the rivers Teles Pires and Tapajós, and then to the east by the Amazon to the coast for export.

The destruction of the sacred rapids Sete Quedas was not the only blow dealt to the Munduruku by the part of the consortium that builds the dam Sao Manoel. The workers also removed 12 funeral urns and archaeological objects from a nearby place, a direct violation of the sacred tradition, which caused more spiritual damage. The chief or Munduruku, Disma Mou, who is also the shaman, explains: "There we kept arrows, clubs, pottery, all buried in urns, all sacred." Many were trophies of war, placed there when we were at war and we traveled from the Region in the region.Our ancestors chose this place for the sacred sea and now destroy by the dam.

"Ethnocide continues in the way people look at us, the way they want us to be like them (dominating our organizations), the way they tell us that our religion is worthless. It matters. That they tell us that our behavior is wrong. They are destroying the identity of humanity as a human being. "

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