ERIC Number: ED252076
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1976-Jul
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 - Location: Brazil