Pataxó Hã-Ha-Hãe love poem
Yẽ tâypâk m’kahá uĩ m’kahã,
Me’a iõ kaupetõ fahãtö haytxó’xó.
Tapuritú, tometô ãkupa, kepây bâk’ahab’,
Me’a iõ kaupetõ txemãkô “ertõ”!
→ French poem ←
Translation of the love poem into Pataxó (Patoxó, Pataxi, Hã-Ha-Hãe, Patashó, Pataxó-Hãhaãi).
Pataxó Hã-Ha-Hãe is the indigenous language of the Pataxós in the state of Bahia in Brazil; it has some similarities with the maxakalí (patxôhã), which means that it is often placed in the family of languages Maxakalí, Macro-Jê.
We can subdivide the pataxó, in pataxó or (northern pataxó) and the hã-ha-hãe (southern pataxó).
Today all Pataxós speak Portuguese and their language is considered virtually extinct.
It was the creation of their reserve in the 19th century, with the obligation to speak only Portuguese or the Tupi vehicular language invented by the missionaries, which was the beginning of the decline of their language. They began to use it only in family, and little by little to forget it.
Their whole history will have been only a continuation of deculturation via the displacement of different groups. A deculturation causing them to gradually lose their language and their culture.
The Pataxós, in fact, are not a homogeneous group, but rather a multi-ethnic grouping, of several allied clans (Baenã, Pataxo, Kamakã, Kariri-Sapuyá, Tupinambá, Fulni, Maxakalí), come to live together or side by side each other with its own history and its own language (Hãhãhãe meaning group).
The Pataxós, since the 17th century, have lived in the region of Caramuru-Paraguaçu, between the Pardo and Cachoeira rivers. It was with the extension of cocoa cultivation in the 19th century, and the many conflicts that broke out with those who came to their land, that a reserve was created in Caramuru-Paraguaçu.
The Pataxós are now only 4,600 (2,800 Pataxó and 1,800 Hã-Ha-Hãe). At the foot of Mount Pascal, in the extreme south of Bahia, in the "Terra Indígena Barra Velha do Monte Pascoal", currently reside 3,500 Pataxós. Today, those who do not migrate to the big cities often trade their handicrafts.
Despite evangelization, as in other Native American ethnic groups, the myth of underground men retains some traces in their way of seeing things. "The fall of the sky having buried the very first people, it is still possible to come into contact with them thanks to the shamanic trances".
Bahia, the capital of which is Salvador, is one of the 26 states of Brazil and is located on the Atlantic coast in the eastern Brazil. Brazil is a country of excessiveness between uninhabited and overcrowded areas, between modernity and indigenous areas. In the Amazon there are still some groups of Indians not a lot affected by civilization