Anambé - Religion and Expressive Culture

Religious Beliefs. Traditional religious ideology and mythology have been totally lost. Christian concepts were initially incorporated through the influence of the Catholic church. In the 1940s a Protestant minister tried to convert the Anambé but was unsuccessful. At present they are influenced both by Catholic priests and by members of the Pentecostal community (Vila Erlim) located in the vicinity of the village.

Religious Practitioners. In 1948 the Anambé had two shamans. In 1968, after both had died, there was no one else to take on this role, and the group leader, Aypan, refused to assume the office. In 1990, there were neither shamans nor other religious practictioners in the village.

Ceremonies. The Anambé long ago stopped conducting puberty rites or any other rituals.

Arts. As traditional rites were abandoned, related songs and dances were also forgotten. Moreover, as the Anambé abandoned these practices, they stopped making musical instruments as well as body ornaments and other typical native artifacts. According to the Anambé, several of their songs were known only to Aypan.

Medicine. Once the Anambé no longer had shamans, adult Indians generally continued to employ herbal medicaments in treating illness. For more serious illnesses, they try to obtain treatment in the city of Mocajuba, sometimes using an intermediary to take them to the hospital; they also go to Belém do Pará, where they are treated by FUNAI's regional delegation.

Death and Afterlife. The Anambé practice direct burials in rectangular graves, using wooden coffins just like those used by the Brazilians in the area. Whereas in former times they buried their dead in the vicinity of the village, nowadays they are taken to the nearest village cemetery. The Anambé now adhere to Christian concepts regarding an afterlife.

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