Yãkwá - The Banquet of the Spirits

Virginia Valadão, Video in the Villages

1995 | 00:54:00 | Brazil | English | Color | Mono | 4:3 | Video

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Documentary, Indigenous, Religion/Spirituality

A four-part documentary, Yãkwá shows the most important ritual of the Enauênê-Nauê Indians (Brazil). For seven months every year, the spirits are venerated with offerings of food, song, and dance so that they will protect the community. In The World Outside the Rock, the Yaõkwá festivities open with the Enauênê-Nauê preparing for the big fish-catch by making salt, canoes, and fish traps. In Dataware’s Revenge, groups of men leave the villages for two months and build dams on forest waterways to catch fish as they return from spawning. In Harikare, the Spirit’s Host, everyone returns after the fish-catch with smoked fish that will be offered to the spirits and eaten by the villagers until the end of the ritual. In the most spectacular phase of the ceremony, the spirits make their stormy entrance into the village. In The Little Cassava Girl, the Indians cut down and plant cassava root on the collective fields, the field of the Yãkwá spirit. The Indians relive the myth of the girl who was buried by her mother and who transformed herself into the first cassava root.

Directed by Virginia Valadão; edited by Tutu Nunes.

In Enawenê-Nauê with English subtitles.

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Prizes + Awards

Best documentary, 12th Rio Cine Festival, Brazil, July 1996

Public's Award, 12th Rio Cine Festival, Brazil, July 1996

Best Video, XXIII Jornada de Cinema da Bahia: Salvador, Brazil, October 1996

Pierre Verger Award, by the Brazilian Anthropologist's Association, Brazil, April 1996

Exhibitions + Festivals

18th Tokyo Video Festival, Japan, January 1996