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Wrestling "Huka-Huka" in the Amazon rainforest

Huka-Huka


Русская версия


Mass wrestling of Amazonian girls Хука-Хука


Huka-huka. Videoclips

Хука-Хука


Amazon aborigine girls entertain western tourists by wretling them
Huka with tourists

Huka with tourists

Huka with tourists

Traditional culture of the native people living in Brazil Amazon region includes ritual athletic games where people compete in variety of sports – from "tug-of-war" to wrestling. The both, men and women participate in them. The games give the Brazilian indigenous people an opportunity to congregate, re-affirming and in some cases rediscovering their traditional skills and values.

The "Xinguano" tribes living on the banks of Xingu river (right inflow of the Amazon river) like to keep fit and to practice various traditional sports including famous "Huka-Huka" (or Huca-Huca) wrestling in which the Xinguano are unsurpassed.

In the men dominated society women invert the situation in the ritual of "Yamurikuma" held in the dry season, in which they wear feather ornaments and ankle rattles which are normally used by the men, perform with weapons making typically male movements. Besides many other activities, they wrestle Huka-Huka as men do.

Huka-Huka is named after the sound wrestlers make as they circle around opponents before wrestling begins: they expel air from their lungs, which better prepares them to the bout, and gives them additional strength. Both strength and agility are required, the object being to grasp the opponent by his or her upper leg or to throw him or her on the ground. Although people in some tribes wrestle standing, others start the contest kneeling on the ground (true Huka-Huka stipulates that starting position). If wrestlers start a bout on the knees they try to stand up to perform a throw from the standing. These rules and traditions, however, are strict just for men - women wrestle in more freestyle manner often leaning heavily on the opponent from kneeling without standing up (see the video clip at left bottom).

During the events men and women compete in archery, carrying logs, running, swimming and pulling ropes in the "tug-of-war". The competitions alternate with ritual dancing. The Yamurikuma ritual culminates with wrestling of the Huka-Huka. Women usually don't hesitate to act bare breasted but for wrestling they usually wear simple decorated bras.

A chief of the ritual sits on a small cot on the area and calls each wrestler by name inviting pairs to the playground. Usually, individual pairs of experienced wrestlers begin. Then several pairs of young wrestlers come out into the playground and compete simultaneously: young boys, then - girls and women.

Wrestlers stand face to face, hit by right feet against the ground, circle around, make ritual moves and deliver sounds, "hu! ha! hu! ha!". A match usually lasts just for seconds and finishes when one of the opponents is thrown down. This fall doesn't have to occur literally though; sometimes seizing the both opponent's knees (which would lead to a throw) is enough to designate the victory. The winning athlete opens arms and dances while the loser is singing and imitating a bird.

Actually, villagers like to test their strength against people from other villages. According the tradition, male visitors are expected to wrestle with anyone in the village when they arrive. Actually, wrestling contests have replaced intertribal wars of the past. Having guests from other villages, local women chant songs that refer to male sexuality.

The athletic rituals not just help the rainforest inhabitants to be in a good physical shape but also represent another way to rouse sexuality; wrestling particularly seems to be the most powerful aphrodisiac for the both genders.
Ямуникума

Drawing from the web resource "LH Art/Valkirie"



The following main sources have been used for this article:


Jogos dos Povos Indigenas (Games of Indians).



Povos Indigenas (Indians).



Povos Indigenas (Indians)



Cost Net (Survivor).

Females participates in the "Yamurikuma" games


Yamurikuma
Bowers
Run and carry
Run and carry
Tug-of-war


Ethnic forms of wrestling

>> Combative Activities

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Last updated: October 10, 2004ã.


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