Girl's Celebration (A Festa da Moça)

Vincent Carelli

1987, 18:00 minutes, colour, French


Directed by Vincent Carelli

"Without these lip, nose and ear adornments, you won't be able to prove you're an Indian. An Indian must be an Indian forever." Kitanlu Chief Pedro Mamainde, who conducts both the ritual proceedings and the video shoot itself, describes the necessity of strengthening the girls of his village by secluding them after their first menses in darkness and silence. After several months, the village throws a party, with singing, feasting and the symbolic abduction of the girl by an allied village.

The tape shows the preparations for the party, accompanied by Nambiquara flute music, as well as the festivities that take place at dawn in front of the stunning panorama in Mato Grosso the Mamainde recovered from farmers in the 60s. When these Nambiquara see images of themselves performing the girl's celebration, the excess of Western clothing makes them uncomfortable. The ritual takes place subsequently with traditional body painting and adornment. Euphoric, they take up the lip and nose piercing of the boys in front of the camera, re-establishing a tradition that had been abandoned for over twenty years.

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