The Mehinacu

Carlos Pasini
Thomas Gregor
52 minutes


A film about the substantial piqui ritual of the Mehinacu and about their inter-sexual relations of cooperation, conflict and separation.

But conflict and separation of the sexes is an everyday fact of life with men and women performing distinctly different roles and tasks in order to thrive together. The Mechinacu live near the headwaters of the River Xingu in Central Brazil, in a single village within the protective confines of the Zingu National Park.

The men and women of the Mehinacu live harmoniously in the five family houses of their small village. The mixture of antagonism and affection between the sexes surfaces during the piqui rituals. The Mehinacu believe that the spirits who keep the orchards fertile in return for food and entertainment own the sacred piqui trees. This film is a record of the elaborate rituals that take a month to complete and are central to the Mehinacu way of life - a unique and colourful system of custom and taboo.

South America: