Krikati/Pukobye - Sociopolitical Organization



Social Organization. The integrating feature of these societies is the elaborate ceremonial order, which is derived in part from kinship, in part from a system of naming, and to some degree from personal choice. It is believed that the disappearance of age classes promoted the use of naming as an organizing device. Factions, which among other Gê are associated with the age-set system, here arise from the domestic clusters and are countered by the myriad ceremonial groupings. Dualism characterizes the ceremonial order in both social and symbolic forms.

Political Organization. Individual ties of kinship and honorary relationships provide visitors with hosts in other tribal villages. Indications since the 1980s of increasing ties to the national bureaucracy include the designation of "head of household" (only in one case a woman), documents confirming birth date, driver's licenses, and recognition of status for retirement benefits. Fundação Nacional do Indio (National Indian Foundation, FUNAI) post personnel increasingly assume the role of intermediary with the outside world, and a "second chief is named and paid by FUNAI.

Social Control. Ceremonial chiefs harangue the village as a whole, from the center plaza. Elder women can lecture their younger male kin. People who feel they have been wronged will avoid the offending party. Stealing occurs, but confrontations are avoided because of the victims' shame about calling the act to public attention. The externally appointed political chiefs mediate disputes between domestic clusters, and their decisions usually involve "payments." Accusations of witchcraft can be made against both men and women within the tribe and from other tribes; the last killing of a witch was in the 1930s.

Conflict. Krikati have not had organized warfare with Brazilians or other Indians for over a century. One of the ceremonial moieties that has become moribund is believed to be the one that organized the age grades from which a warrior age set would have been recruited.


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