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The Sahu-Apé is a Sateré-Mawé community is located at Manacapuru, 79 km from Manaus, in Amazon. The community has fourteen families that are led by chief Baku, who came from Barreirinha (lower Amazon) with her husband, Acey, and four children.

Baku promotes annual meetings at Sahu-Apé in which boys have their hands stung by over 100 native bullet-ants, called tucandeiras. This is known as the Tucandeira rite to adulthood. They boy has to go through twenty sessions at least. When the boy is submitted to the Tucandeira ritual, he gains respect, admiration, and the certainty that he is “vaccinated” against several diseases. The tucandeira venom causes a strong pain that lasts 24 hours.

The families at the Sahu-Apé community preserve their culture, but they also have incorporated part of the white man’s culture and technology, especially the craft trade and home electricity. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and it does not make them less Sateré-Mawé.

*These photos were made on July 2014.

Release Date: August 01, 2015
Album: B&W, Culture, People
Essay date: July 2014
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