Head Football | Brazil

Name in Original Language


Area Where Played



Jikunahatí is a traditional game played by the Paresi Haliti people, an indigenous group from Mato Grosso. 

Being a traditional game, there is no creating data, the modality have always been practice by the Paresi Haliti, even before the contact with non-indigenous. They believe that they practice this modality their existence, because in their creation myth already says about the jikunahatí.

Detailed Description

In the history of the Paresi Haliti people, the Jikunahatí is a game that unites the body with the spiritual world. In their myth they say that the son of the creator, Wazaré, left the stone where they lived and start to teach the humans how to play the game and since then the rules and the history is passed for generations.
When any celebration happens in their communities they play the game, with two teams, sometimes being one of them from outside the village. The boys use to learn when they are still kids, but when the official game take place only men can play. Each team has to put one craftwork to represent each player, so by the end the winners can have a gift from the other team. During the game is not allow to use their hands, only to start the game, they can only use the head.


By the traditional rule of the game, Jikunahati is divided in two teams, each team can have 3 to 5 players. Before starting the game each player has to put your craftwork in the middle to present to the opponent team what they are offering. The ball is thrown into the opponent's field, thus starting the game. Is not allow to use any other part of the body unless the head. There is no goal, the points are scored every time a team fails to throw the ball back to the opponent. In the end wins the team that has more point, however the important thing about this game is not to win, but to celebrate with their brothers the party or the ceremony that they are having.