Birahi — a tribe that does not sleep. And why after talking with them a missionary became an atheistBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/birahi-a-tribe-that-does-not-sleep-and-why-after-talking-with-them-a-missionary-became-an-atheist
In the Amazon jungle lives a tribe of Pirogov, the size of which is only 400 people. These people do not sleep, do not know the stress and live in simple truths. Birahi sure that they are the happiest people on earth, and all the rest of the head on one side. They do not know wealth, of envy, of the day and night, refuse to believe in God, because it is not seen even by the missionaries.
Birahi sure that sleep is bad, because sleep weakens and is short by death. Once asleep may Wake up a different person, so to abuse the sleep is not worth it. Another argument against night's rest is associated with the living conditions of aboriginal people. In the dream the snake may sting, so sleep is harmful.
Night pirahy not sleep, and go about their business. Instead of a dream they several times a day, Napping for 20-30 minutes. Because of the peculiarities of life piraha don't know calendar, night, morning, day. The Indians no past and future, they just live one day and feel happy.
They are deprived of normal for Western society's collective memory: it is limited to the life experience of the oldest member of the tribe. They don't remember a time when there was white, do not know the ancestors, of the myths of the past, power of the leader, shamans and other elements of the primitive system.
Interest and unique language of Pirogov, in which three vowels and seven consonants. There are no pronouns "I", "you", "they", the concept of "right" and "left" and any complex sentences. Pirahy not perceive the word "one". From the accounts they have their own analogue of the concepts of "few" and "many".
Mothers do not know exactly how many children they have, but I remember their names and faces. This is less than they don't like them. Of flowers there are only two shades — "light" and "dark". But every tribe knows hundreds of plants and animals and remember their properties.
Phenomenon is a complete lack of Pirogov the idea of stockpiling food. On the hunt they go when hungry and will never think about food in advance. The Indians are confident that many is almost as bad as a lot of sleep. Most of the things the tribe in common, from the personal — only weapons and clothing.
Piraha themselves call themselves Hi'aiti'ihi, which translates as "straight", and all who surround their tribe — "krivohlavy". Degrees of relationship they are only three: "parent", "child" and "brother/sister". Prohibits a sexual relationship only among these people, all other relationships are allowed. Encouraged Pirogov and sex with representatives of neighbouring tribes. The people do not know what is shame, guilt or resentment. All of the events they take for granted.
Peculiarities of perception of the surrounding world pirami complicates the dissemination among them of Christianity. How to explain to them the concept of one God, if the word "one" the Indians are not familiar with. The speech of the missionaries that someone had created, perceived pergami as nonsense. Do white people have not seen, how are people.
The men of the tribe of piraha
The word "age", "time", "history" for them is an empty phrase which explains nothing. All life on earth — the children of the forest and they. The jungle is filled with spirits, in the shadow of the foliage gone and the souls of the dead of Pirogov. The forest is a scary place, but even the fear of this tribe your. From it they enjoy.
In 1977, the Indians went to the missionary Daniel Everett. He brought with him his entire family. Good American quickly made friends with the natives, but to sow Christianity in their hearts was impossible.
Missionary Daniel Everett and his family
They asked, did "white man" of Christ and how he was nailed to the cross? If not, what he says and how he may know what the Bible says is true? And every neighbor knows where the jungle and hears in the thousands of spirits.
Simple insights and arguments of the Indians forced Daniel to ask yourself eternal questions. After 25 years of missionary work, and communication with pergami Everett became an atheist and a scientist-linguist who devoted the rest of his life to studying the tribe.
Daniel Everett wrote that Pirogov no prejudice, hypocrisy and they are the most free people on earth. They have no fake politeness and the words "thank you", "sorry" or "please". Indians are always glad to see each other. It is impossible to imagine that the neighbor stole or killed another person. Former missionary Daniel Everett recalled:
Clothing the only benefit of civilization, which pirahy reluctantly accepted. As a gift they are willing to take only small items — a machete, utensils, thread, hooks. Indians are happy because they are not worried about the future and not remember the past.