The Warã Association works to conserve the 'ró [savannah], which is the source of Xavante power. Dañimite and Simihöpãr¢, spirits that give us power, inhabit the 'ró. Without the Dañimite and Simihöpãr¢, we young Xavante will not have the same strength that our fathers possessed. Our beliefs, our ceremonies depend on the savannah, so it is important for us to let others know [what is happening to the 'ró] and try to conserve it. Many young people who no longer hunt, who don't seek contact with the Dañimite and Simihöpãr¢, are losing their way.
It is important for others to know about our struggle [to preserve the 'ró]. This enables us to be alive and to be strong. We need the 'ró in order to continue dreaming, to continue singing, dancing and giving names to our children.
Sometimes it is difficult to speak about these things to others [non-Xavante]. "How is it that names come from the 'ró? How is it that dreams comes from the 'ró?"
Music, dance, all sorts of things, healing powers, the power to procreate [come from the 'ró]. It is difficult to explain to others because these appear to be so distant. But for us they are very close. Without the 'ro, our children will no longer be beautiful, they will no longer be strong. They won't be powerful dreamers. They will not be the same as we once were, as our parents raised us to be.
We hope that those who are sensitive will join with us. We invite anyone who wants to know more to seek us out so that we can sit down together and understand this 'ró. It is important for us to struggle in this way. And we will continue our battle.
This year is important for us because we want to conserve and enlarge our territory in the name of the 'ró, in the name of the powers Dañimite and Simihöpãr¢. I already have children, and I want my children to continue having children. For this, we need the 'ró.
Since 1972 Cultural Survival has been advocating for Indigenous Peoples' rights and supporting Indigenous communities’ self-determination, cultures and political resilience.
To read about Cultural Survival’s work around the world, click here. To read more articles on the subject use our Search function and explore 40 years of information on Indigenous issues.
For ways to take action to help Indigenous communities, click here.
We take on governments and multinational corporations—and they always have more resources than we do—but with the help of people like you, we do win. Your contribution is crucial to that effort. Click here to do your part.
Cultural Survival is not a disaster relief organization. We work towards a world in which the rights of Indigenous Peoples are respected, protected, and fulfilled.
Bikalpa Gyan Kedra, an organization in Nepal founded by our Board Member Stella Tamang offers alternative educational opportunities to Indigenous girls and is not a disaster relief organization either, but since the earthquake they have been acting as a shelter to 300 local families. They need basic items like drinking water and food.
Radio Kairan in Kubu-Kasthali is asking for help with purchasing a power generator to get his community radio station back up and running to provide an essential means of communication for villagers on relief efforts as well as to power his community. Cost for this generator would be about $2,500