ERIC Number: ED252076
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Jul
Reference Count: 0
Greeting, Hospitality, and Naming among the Bororo of Central Brazil. Working Papers in Sociolinguistics Number 37.
Viertler, Renate B.
Hospitality patterns of the Bororo Indians are illustrated in two examples: the etiquette due to a visiting chief from another Bororo village, and the etiquette due any common visitor from another Bororo village. Formal hospitality differs greatly from the usual etiquette. At a visiting chief's arrival, he enters as the last of his group and waits in a central location until the village chief arrives to have an oral duel with him, which establishes their wisdom and rights; the last to speak is the winner. In this duel the importance of names, titles, ornaments, and other social codes of ownership symbolic of survival is expressed. A common visitor goes to the central plaza and shouts out all his personal names and waits to be invited into the meetingplace of the men's council for a long and detailed interview, focusing on his family's names, in order to be placed properly for eating and sleeping in a home of his name-category ("mother,""father,""godmother,""godfather"). Name categories also determine seating. Every person a Bororo may call by a kinship term is inserted into a system of food, shelter, and gift reciprocity. The origin of the kinship ties is in the tradition that a Bororo is not just a descendant of an ancestor but a representative of a mythological hero associated with the name-category. In naming a child the Bororo attempt not to "lose names." A hierarchy of social prestige is expressed in kin terms. However, naming practices do not reflect any formal kinship system--kinship is a secondary effect of naming practices. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Social Science Research Council, New York, NY. Committee on Sociolinguistics.; National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Southwest Educational Development Lab., Austin, TX.
Identifiers: Bororo Indians; Brazil; Etiquette; Names