Macushi people

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"Macushi" redirects here. For the language, see Macushi language.
Macushi
Total population
29,931 (2010)[1]
Regions with significant populations
 Brazil 19,000 (2001)[2][2]
 Guyana 9,500 (2001)[2]
 Venezuela 83 (2001)[1]
Languages
Macushi, Portuguese, and Spanish[2]
Religion
traditional tribal religion, Roman Catholicism

The Macushi (Portuguese: Macuxi) are an indigenous people living in the borderlands of southern Guyana, northern Brazil in the state of Roraima, and in an eastern part of Venezuela.[2]

Name[edit]

The Macushi are also known as the Macusi, Macussi, Makushi, Makusi, Makuxi, Teueia, and Teweya people.[2]

Language[edit]

Macushi people speak the Macushi language, a Macushi-Kapon language, which is part of the Carib language family. Some in Brazil also speak Portuguese, while some in Venezuela speak Spanish, and some in Guyana speak English. The Macushi language is written in the Latin script, and the New Testament was translated into the language in 1996.[2]

Lifestyle[edit]

They live in villages linked together by tracks and paths, with houses built round a central courtyard. When married, the Macushi couple lives in the wife's family's village and the father-in-law is of great importance in Macushi kinship.

History[edit]

Macushi oral history describes them as descendants of the sun's children, who created fire, as well as diseases, and they also believe they discovered Washacá, the Tree of Life. The Macushi believe in the life principle – stkaton – and they believe it comes from the sun.[citation needed]

Cuthbert Cary-Elwes, a Jesuit missionary settled among the Macushi of the Rupununi Region (Guyana) in 1909, learned the language and stayed with them for more than 23 years.[3]

During the 18th century, non-native people occupied Macushi territory, establishing mission villages and farms and forcing Macushi people to relocate.[1]

The Brazilian Government have set up schools, as well as hospitals for the Macushi and since 2005 they are campaigning for land rights to be recognized throughout Brazil. Some individuals from the Macushi tribe are very well educated. In the trial for the land rights, Joênia Batista de Carvalho Wapichna was the first lawyer with Indian roots to give a speech in the STF (Superior Tribunal Federal).

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Macuxi: Introduction." Instituto Socioambiental: Povos Indígenas no Brasil. Retrieved 30 July 2012
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Macushi." Ethnologue. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  3. ^ "The Interior." The Jesuits in Guyana. Retrieved 30 July 2012.

References[edit]

  • Cuthbert, Cary-Elwes. Bridges, John, ed. Rupununi Mission: the story of Cuthbert Cary-Elwes. London: Jesuit Missionsstka, 1985.

External links[edit]