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Ceremony of the wild peccary or queixada

Matis Indian Tribe

The Jaguar People - Page 3 of 5

While less colorful than Mariwin, the Ritual of Capybara is more musical. During this ceremony, the participants are also unclothed, but do not paint their bodies. Instead they apply wet clay to their bodies and make sounds like the capybaras (Hydrochoeris hydrochaeris), the world's largest rodent, creating an atmosphere that is not only visually stimulating but auditory as well. During the Dance of Queixada, the participants paint themselves red with urucum (annatto) and dance in a line while imitating sounds of the queixada (Tayassu pecari, a wild boar that is native to the Amazon).

The Poison Frog Ceremony involves the use of a toxin secreted by the skin of a poisonous frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor). First several points are burned on the skin (arms of men and abdomens of women). The outer layer of the skin is removed and the frog toxin mixed with human saliva (to activate it) is applied to the wound. Although not hallucinogenic, the physiological response is very intense and the Matis natives believe the frog poison increases ones strength and endurance, making them better hunters. The poison frog ceremony is similar to the Mariwin ceremony in that there is a transfer of energy from the donor (in this case, typically an older female) to the receiver (often a younger and less experienced male).  This is in contrast to the poison frog ceremony of the Matsés tribe where the donor (the person applying the frog poison) is typically an older, more experienced male, rather than female. 


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