National Geographic : 1966 Jan
The Waura: Brazilian Indians of the Hidden Xingu in a pot. Coarse pulp left on the sieve is formed into balls and dried as beiju. The liquid, boiled to rid it of prussic acid, be comes nutritious soup. Starchy residue in the pot is dried to make fine flat cakes. The large pots used for preparing manioc, and the smaller gray ones adorned with images of forest animals, confer upon the Waura great prestige: Of all the tribes living in the upper Xingu, only the Waura have the secret of ceramics, learned in an unremem bered past (page 150). This skill is also the cause of personal grief. While nearby tribes acquire their pottery by trading with the Waura, the wild hunters of the distant forests, like the Tshikao, prefer to "steal the factory"-attacking before dawn to carry off Waura women. The raids are an ever-present danger, even though the steady approach of civilization and the diplomacy of the Villas Boas brothers make their occur rence less and less frequent. Dusk gathers. The village square is now quiet. Children and women sit in the door ways of the huts. Vatuku, the best fisherman of the village, carries a glowing ember, a wooden stool, and some large cigars to a place near the mask house, where the masks and sacred flutes are kept. He is joined by Praguai, the storyteller, and Ayuma with the kind eyes, then by Krapta, the brother of Chief Malakiyaua. Other men gather. Finally comes the chief. In the evening they sit on stools in a circle and smoke long cigars. "Come sit with us, Kukoi." The Waura have difficulty with Vuvu, the name given to me by the Kraho Indians. The closest they can come to pronouncing it is "Kukoi." Now there is deep concern.