A short post to introduce our newly-arrived visiting researcher, Rogério Link.
Hello! My name is Rogério Sávio Link. I know, it’s a difficult name to pronounce—you can call me Roger, or something like that. I’m from Brazil, and I will stay here in Birmingham for one year conducting historical research about an Anglican mission among the Apurinã people in the Amazon, in the 1870s and 1880s. This mission was maintained by the South American Missionary Society, based in Oxford. Some articles written by missionaries who worked in the region were published in The South American Missionary Magazine. The archives of the mission, as well as the copies of the magazine, can be found in the Cadbury Research Library – Special Collections at the University of Birmingham, and at the Crowther Centre for Mission Education at the Church Mission Society in Oxford.
The Apurinã people belong to the Arawakan linguistic family and call themselves Pupỹkary. Their population is estimated to be between seven and eight thousand: the National Health Foundation in Brazil gave the number as 7,718 individuals in July 2010. The Apurinã people divide themselves into two exogamous patrilineal clans: Xuapurynyry and Miutymãnety. That is, the lineage is passed from father to son and the correct matching occurs between these two clans. First names in Apurinã indicate to which clan the individual belongs.
Feared as a warrior people, the Apurinã traditionally occupied the margins of the Lower and Middle Purus River and its tributaries, from the Sepatini to the Hyacu (Iaco), and also the margins of the Aquiri (Acre) and Ituxi rivers. Currently, they are dispersed in 36 Indigenous Lands (petitioned by the Indians, identified, demarcated or homologated), along the Purus River and its tributaries, in the Madeira River basin: this is the case of the Apurinã people living in the Torá Indigenous Land, in the municipalities of Manicoré and Humaitá, or also in Solimões, in the municipalities of Manaquiri, Manacapuru, Beruri and Anori. In the Upper Solimões, in Santo Antônio do Içá, they can still be found in the San Francisco Indigenous Land. In addition to these municipalities, the Apurinã people are also located in the municipalities of Tapauá, Lábrea, Pauini and Boca do Acre, in the Purus River basin. Approximately 400 individuals can also be found living in the city of Rio Branco, in Acre. There are still about 60 people in the Mawanat village, in the Roosevelt Indigenous Land in Rondônia, who migrated there in 1983 when an Indian called Munduruku and his Apurinã wife, FUNAI officials, were transferred to Cacoal, Rondônia.
Editor’s note: Rogério’s blog, in Portuguese, can be found here.
I wish Samuel Beckett had written a play called Xuapurynyry and Miutymãnety.