Journalism from the center of the world

Before the Salgueiro samba school entered the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, leader and shaman Davi Kopenawa wanted to demonstrate what he called an alliance based on respect between his people and Black people. He and 12 other Indigenous people from the territory between Amazonas and Roraima visited the school’s staging area, to applause, to show how happy they were with the reception they received. As Davi had requested, the theme of Hutukara talked about Yanomami wisdom, and not about the violence against them. Salgueiro added green to its traditional red and used golden tones to talk about death. Walking alongside soldiers with skull-embellished hats, bulldozers gobbling up trees, and Indigenous peoples on respirators connected to the forest – which represented everything from the destruction caused by governments and by illegal mining to the health crisis that continues to kill many Yanomamis – were Omama and Thuëyoma, the father and mother of the Yanomami, and the xapiri, the beings who help them to care for the forest.

Text: Claudia Antunes
Photos: Lela Beltrão, Carlos Elias Junior/Fotoarena/Folhapress (10 e 18), and Ricardo Moraes/Reuters (15)
Spanish translation: Meritxell Almarza
English translation: Sarah J. Johnson
Layout and finishing: Érica Saboya
Editors: Viviane Zandonadi (editorial workflow and copy editing), and Talita Bedinelli (coordination)
Director: Eliane Brum

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