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the kayapo

             The Kayapo Indians are a Ge speaking tribe that lives along the upper tributaries of the Xingu River in Brazil. They have 14 villages with a combined population equaling 4,000(http://www.vanderbilt.edu). Each village contains a specialist in soils, plants, animals, crops, medicines, and rituals (http://agroforestry.net/overstory/overstory34). They are well known for their aggressiveness, elaborate body paint, and their scarification ornaments used to pierce their ears, lips, and noses. The Kayapo also use the body paint as a system of age grouping, and as they grow the girls and boys share different gender roles on their way to adulthood. (http://hamp.hampshire.edu). The Kayapo are primarily a horticultural society who are experts on manipulating the land and the ecosystem it contains. .
             When it comes to food producing techniques the Kayapo are experts of the land. They pay close attention to specific plants and animals occurring in a particular ecological zone. They have an acute knowledge of animal behavior and are even aware of which plants are associated with each specific wild animal. They also have a system of associating plant groups with different soil types. .
             The Kayapo recognize ecosystems that lie on a continuum between the poles of the forest and the savanna. They have up to nine different names for savanna, for example; savanna with few trees, savanna with many forest patches, savanna with shrub, and etc. The Kayapo don't pay much attention on the differences on the zones but more on the similarities they share. In the forest are open areas resembling the savanna, which the Kayapo use to their advantage Because of the similarities the Kayapo can exchange and spread valuable species between zones, through cuttings, tubers and saplings, and transplanting seeds. This creates a strong exchange between two separate zones that we tend to see as two distinct ecological systems. .
             The Kayapo also have a technique to create their own forests islands in the middle of a mere open field, this island is known as an Apete.

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