Indigenous shooting game | Brazil

Name in Original Language

Ywa Ywa

Area Where Played



The ywa ywa has no register about their history. It is a traditional game, played by the indigenous from the Xingu region, and for being a traditional modality the history known is the one told by the elders, passing the knowledge orally.

Detailed Description

The seven indigenous group, Kuikuro, Kalapalo, Kamayurá, Waurá, Mehinako, Nahukwá and Matipu, from the region of Upper Xingu, in Mato Grosso, Brazil, have the traditional of playing Ywa Ywa (in Kamayurá language), game of shooting. Using archery, the players need to hit the small circle using archery. It is a game to put in test the focus and the ability of the players with the weapons that they use as a basic item in their culture life.

These groups are kwon for having a similar culture, even due they speak different languages. For many years, even before the contact they used to get together to celebrate, with ceremonies, rituals, parties or just to play games like Ywa ywa

In their culture this game has no purpose of winning, only the idea of gather distant friends, celebrate and having fun. Normally it happens during the rainy season, because is a time that normally do not occur any other ritual.  


The players are dived in two groups. Men and boys can play this game. Standing in two lines facing each other, the best players stay in the front and the boys go in the end. The lines keeps a distance of almost 6m between each other. To start the game one group throws the circle to the other and these groups that receive the circle needs to hit it with the arrow. The game goes until the circles ends, but there is not a cert number of how many circles the game can have.

As they play only with the purpose of having fun they do not have the idea of losing, winning, winners and losers.