The waters of the Kamayuras

The Kamayurás Indians begin walking towards Ypawu Lake for their first bathe before sunrise. The lake is in Xingu, mid-west Brazil. It is also the largest indigenous reserve in the world. Several bathing sessions are going to be repeated daily until sunset. These waters are a link to their ancestors and keeping them pure is a sacred ritual. The lake is their most important source of food, and also the essence of their culture.

The Kamayurás creation myth tells about a magic bird that, in a dispute with a tribesman, threw up the water that formed the lake and also buried the residents. Since then, it has become an enchanted place, and its water and plants a source of strength for the Kamayurás.