Friday, November 15, 2013


Early this year, when Max mentioned his idea to record with a tribe, I knew I had to take the idea seriously.  I knew him too well.  Ten months later we sat in the sweltering heat outside the Xavaante's kitchen, and awaited our airplane with supplies.

Since the previous day we had been without our airplane with supplies containing recording and camera equipment, along with our food and water rations.  Apparently, it had become too late to arrange for the fourth plane; landing at night on the tiny airstrip with no lights was not a possible task.  The generous Xavante hosts shared their food with us - rice, beans, and spaghetti, which I found out later had a tapir-meat sauce.

Yesterday, we had arrived in Sao Paulo and met with the various people accompanying us:  Max Cavalera, Andreas Kisser, Igor Cavalera, and Paulo Pinto Jr.; Ross Robinson (the producer); Igor's wife, Monika; Christina Newport with baby Igor; Michael Grecco, our photographer; and myself, the band's manager.  The next morning we were joined by Roadrunner Records Brazilian staff, Junior and Luciano, the Indian affairs spokeswomen, Angela Pappiani, sound engineer Evandro Lopes, and video producer Silvestre Campe.  Our party now complete, we left for the city Goiania, the capital city of the state of Goias, in the north.

In Goiania, it was discovered that the tape was on the wrong size reels.  A radio station was found where the tape was rewound onto smaller reels.  Some last minute shopping was done for supplies.  The baby and Christina left securely to the Castro Hotel.  Then we were all off to the airport for a 1:00 p.m. flight.   It was raining heavily so we waited in the airport for the weather to clear.  We were granted our wishes and departed before long, dividing up between 3 airplanes.  

The flight from Goiania was unequalled by any previous flights we had been on.  The tiny, six seater, twin engine Cessna, battled turbulence and rain for nearly two hours.  The Earth below never seemed to far away, or so vast, seeming to go on forever.  

We slowly circled over the tribe during our descent.  We were all craning our necks to see what was out there.  To our amazement, we saw majestic huts of bamboo, with children running to greet the plane.  We could see their strong faces filled with anticipation - like our own.  It was around 4:00 p.m.  

We were led to our quarters: a two room school house.  We were welcomed by the Xavante spokeswomen Cepasse, the Chief Isupto, some elders and various members of the tribe.  They shared their feelings of waiting for Sepultura, for their two musics to be joined as one. Everything we found was like a ceremony, a wonderful ritual in which everyone understood when they walked away.  
Me and the Tribe

We were led through the village to the area they call "Wara," or parliament.  It is here the tribe gathers for their discussions - everything being discussed.  On this day, it was the site of our formal introduction to the Xavante community.  We were lined up and they proceeded to file past us one by one - elders; young warriors; and lastly the women - shaking our hands and welcoming us.  Their warm expressions told us they were happy and sincere.  The Indians then went under the mango trees and the eldest told us a story of their prior experience.  We each, one by one, introduced ourselves to the tribe.  Max and all the band members spoke to the tribe, the mutual respect was overwhelming.  Throughout this ceremony, several children and women lingered nearby.  Each was a masterpiece of it's own, from the smallest child to the eldest.  Their typical Indian features were accented by their haircuts, bracelets around their ankles and wrists, rope and feather necklaces, red and black paint appropriately garnished.  

To Be Continued...

Class dismissed...