i-juca piranha

piranha (etim. - peixe dentado) (s.) – PIRANHA,
o mesmo que pirãîa (v.) (Lisboa, Hist.
Anim. e Árv. Do Maranhão, fl. 173)
PIRANHA, tisoura; peixe de dentes muito
PIR-ANHA. Ictiologia: piranha, peixe da
família dos caracídeos, gênero Pygocentrus.
= pir-ãia. Substantivo (peixe-dentes afiados,
por analogia): + tesoura
i remember a teacher of mine
a french teacher ticiana melo
a very sweet teacher
many years ago this
back when we were interns
me and mirna juliana
my placement colleague
or maybe it was a different subject
before the placement
when we were getting ready
to start teaching french
as a foreign language
in order to be certified to teach french
as a foreign language
– one of the branches of my training
in letters that i have fortunately set aside –
i remember her saying that
the methods for teaching a foreign
carry a certain historicity
and the audiolingual method for example
also known as
which was first developed
before the second world war
had been developed
as a war technology
it also became known as
army specialized training program
based on behaviourist theories
and repetitions elaborated in laboratories
i also remember her talking
about the vietnam war
and how before it was ever used in a classroom
as a didactic tool
to improve or potentialise
the learning process
of a certain foreign language
it had been used
– this she explained –
to train american soldiers
so that they would learn
in the most efficient and efficacious way
the language of those
they were about to kill
that year – in truth 2019
the year i began writing
this text – i began studying
tupi using navarro’s method
modern method of ancient tupi
together with a study group from ufc
taught in self-managed mode
by teacher suene honorato
and other interested
i am really very behind
compared to the rest of the group
it looks like centuries
that i am spending
on the same lesson four
because of course
it has been kinda complicated
for me
to be able to reconcile
the learning
of an ancient language
with the unresolved
of my life
but life is really funny
and it all ends getting mixed up
without us even noticing
ever since i’ve moved back to brazil that
i’ve been living in a street called
father luís figueira
– i’m not staying there any more
just need to close the contract
and hand over the flat
i lived there for little over a year
and then decided to move here to aquiraz
during the pandemic –
and father luís figueira
i did some research back then
just for the sake of it
mere curiosity really
and i found that he
just like josé de anchieta
they wrote works about tupi
they were the first ones to write
grammatical arts of the language of brazil
i went to look for those works
the pdfs of those works on the internet
i found and downloaded
facsimile editions of those works
and i started reading the pdfs:
grammatical art of the language most
used on the coast of brazil, of 1595,
executed by the priest joseph of anchieta
of the company of jesus
and the grammatical art of the language
of brazil, of 1815, composed by
f. luiz figueira
given that i was studying tupi
i was interested in understanding especially
how that language was systematised by them
during that period of colonisation
at the beginning it’s a little hard to read
because the portuguese is old
with that 1500 calligraphy and little circles
that also mixes many
expressions in latin
and it takes some time
to get accustomed to the stylus because of course
we are much more used
to more communicative and dynamic
methods of learning languages
it’s just that when we begin reading
these books
we find other things
other causes causalities
in these books
we don’t find dialogue
like this hypothetical
that might perhaps feature
in some ospb textbook
commemorating the day of the indigenous people
A: Hello! How are you?
My name is Tupi.
What is your name?
B: Guaraná!
Pleasure to meet you, Tupi!
A: The pleasure is mine, Guaraná!
B: Shall we play tapir and capybara?
A: Great idea! Let’s do it!
I’ll fetch my bow and arrow.
Whoever catches one first, wins.
B: Deal!
both anchieta’s grammatical art
and luiz figueira’s
present an overview of the language
in a very descriptive way
as if it were a linguistic treatise
that treats the letters the nouns the pronouns
the rules of pronunciation and accentuation
and the first time that both present us with
the verbs in tupi
the first time they show us
how to conjugate the verbs
the verbs of the first conjugation in tupi
they don’t use verbs
like the ones in the aforementioned hypothetical exam-
verbs we expect to learn
on a first lesson in any course
of any foreign language today
they use the verb to kill // jucâ / jucà
and they conjugate the verb to kill // jucâ / jucà
in every modality tense and person
corresponding to the portuguese of that time
with its respective translation in tupi
that choice of the verb to kill // jucâ / jucà
repeated in both grammatical arts
and in their reprints
inocente does not appear to be therefore an innocent choice
an incoherent equivocation
or a simple road accident
of someone who is writing a book and distractedly
in the lapse of a second
turns away from explaining something
on the contrary that choice they both made
for the verb to kill // jucâ / jucà
appears to want to illustrate
what actually is evidenced
immediately in the two grammatical arts
by writing those grammatical arts
which certainly contributed
to teach other people to learn tupi
portuguese people in this case
because if we imagine that indigenous people
already spoke tupi
they didn’t need to consult
those manuals
to learn to speak
their own language
the choice of the verb to kill // jucâ / jucà
really appears to reiterate
what has been proven
by the undeniable facts of history:
an ample extermination programme
genocide ever since the colonial era
this way at the same time
those two grammatical arts operate
on two fronts
1) they work as textbooks
war manuals
to teach how to kill the other
in the other’s language
a-jucâ / a-jucà: i kill, killed, killed
have killed, or had killed (would have killed)
where you are from mister understand that y-jucà-piráma
means: to be killed; thing that will have to be
killed; worthy of being killed
2) they work as testament
where we hear a mea-culpa confession
a-jucâ / a-jucà: i kill, i killed, i killed
have killed, or had killed (would have killed)
where one can also hear gonçalves dias
himself killing y-jucà-piráma
in both cases these two documents
invariably historical
are eyewitnesses
of the killing
after reading these grammatical
arts i only know that jucá arts
the jucá tree caesalpinia ferrea libidibia ferrea
caesalpinia leiostachya
pau-ferro etc. native of the mata atlântica
brazilian ironwood extremely hard
raw material of tacapes clubs
batons ibirapemas iverapemes
of the indigenous
that tree also known as
brazilian ebony
was never the same again
at least for me