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Ticuna people in Amazonas, Brazil, ca. 1865
|Regions with significant populations|
Ticuna is a Brazilian tribe which faced violence from loggers, fishermen, and rubber-tappers entering their lands around the Solimões River. Four Ticuna people were murdered, 19 were wounded, and ten had disappeared in the 1988 Helmet Massacre. By the 1990s, Brazil formally recognized the Ticunas' right to their lands.
Ticuna people speak the Ticuna language, which is usually identified as a language isolate, although it might possibly be related to the extinct Yuri language thus forming the hypothetical Ticuna–Yuri grouping. It is written in the Latin script.
Religion and rituals
Ticuna people historically practiced Shamanism, although with the influence of Christian missionaries since contact Shamans have becaome rare in all but the most isolated communities. Ta'e was the Ticuna creator god who guarded the earth, while Yo'i and Ip were mythical heroes in Ticuna folklore which helped fight off demons. Depending on different estimates some say that the Ticuana primarily practice ethnic religion, while other estimates say that 30% to 90% are Christian.
The Ticuna practice a coming-of-age ceremony for girls when they reach puberty called a Pelazon. After the girl's first menstruation her whole body is painted black with he clan symbol drawn on her head. All their hair is shaved off and dress in a costum made from eagle feathers and snail shells. The girl then must continuously jump over a fire. After four days the girl is considered a woman and is eligible for marriage. Ticuana men and women must marry outside their own clans according to customs. Nowadays the ritual is shorter and less intense as it was historically.
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