The Mekranoti tribe is a community of Brazilian Indians who live in the forests of southern Pará (a state in northern Brazil). The traditional lifestyle of these Indians was based on farming, hunting, and fishing, much as it was before contact. However, this tribe is unique in that they have a tradition in which a man can only “live” with a woman after giving her a specific gift.
The Mekranoti tribe hunts ants, scorpions, snakes, and poisonous caterpillars. Sweet potatoes, grown only by women, are the staple food of Indians. However, Indians also practice hunting and fishing in their daily lives. The Makranoti tribe usually hunts small creatures such as monkeys, turtles, and armadillos. Hunters sometimes encounter herds of peccaries (wild boar) or tapirs.
matriarchal Sexual barter tradition
The Mekranoti Indians are unique in that they have an existing practice of sexual barter, in which unmarried women are forced to provide sexual services to men in the community in exchange for gifts of beads, meat, animal skins, and other valuable items.
The younger and more attractive the woman is, the more valuable things she demands from the boy in exchange for marriage or the privilege of spending the night with her on a unique trunk bed far from the village. As a result, many young men actually have to provide meat and fish to the women, and the more meat he gives, the better.
And, in order to be able to marry, many young men are willing to risk their lives by going on a jaguar hunt to present their skin to their beloved, thereby proving their courage and readiness to produce a powerful child. Despite this, such women enjoy a different social rank in the community, as they expect gifts, food, and jewellery from men in exchange for their bodies. This matriarchal characteristic of tribes is also found in many other tribes around the world.