Athletes Share Cultural Knowledge During First World Indigenous Games In Brazil

RED POWER MEDIA

New Zealand Maori in a tug of war competition. (Getty.) New Zealand Maori in a tug of war competition. (Getty.)

The Associated Press | Published, Oct 27, 2015

PALMAS, Brazil — Supersized Maori from New Zealand, diminutive Aeta from the Philippines and native peoples of all shapes and sizes in between tested their mettle at the first World Indigenous Games, a chaotic, kaleidoscopic celebration of first peoples from around the globe.

Organizers billed the nine-day event as a sort of indigenous Olympics.

But for many of the nearly 2,000 participants from some 20 countries who converged last week on host city Palmas, a remote agricultural outpost in Brazil’s scorched heartland, the sports themselves took a back seat to what they said really matters — cross-cultural sharing and learning.

“This restores your faith in humanity,” said Lamarr Oksasikewiyin, a 46-year-old schoolteacher from the Nehiyaw people of Canada’s Saskatchewan province, as he followed round one of the spear-throwing competition. “An elder once…

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