Change in Attitudes Beliefs and Practices Regarding Gender

I believe that in pre-pacification times, when a warrior's strength was vital, the Canela woman's position was considerably lower.

Nimuendaju writes only of men being made ceremonial chiefs. However, in 1966 I saw a husband and his wife made ceremonial chiefs together, and this has occurred regularly in later years.

The Festival of Oranges gives women a temporary leadership role. After the performance of one of these festivals during the mid-1990s, the first chief appointed the female leader to "permanent" status as a chief, but this position was not maintained by later chiefs.

These days the Canela even allow a talented female singer to chant around the village circle in the same style as men. I think that the elders would not have tolerated such behavior during the late 1950s.

The most conspicuous and significant general change over the decades is the loss of the control of the older generations over the younger ones. Thus the elders of today cannot, and do not, challenge the new initiatives of women, so women are succeeding in improving their status in relation to men.

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