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Master of Scaremonies
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"Chants of a lifetime" deal for Indians
Thu Nov 30, 8:14 AM ET

Xavante Indians living on the southern edge of Brazil's Amazon rainforest plan to start selling ringtones of traditional chants like "the hunt song" and "the healing dance" to cell phone users in China and Europe.

Brazilian cell phone users can already download the tones for about $1.40 each and 100 Xavante in the remote Sao Pedro village in Mato Grosso state have been profiting from the sales for the past few months, said Gilson Schwartz, coordinator of an aide group called Cidade Movel.

His group helps riverside communities in the Amazon find alternative sources of income in a region where most people live without modern conveniences and economic growth usually depends on mining or logging the forest.

"We want to create a business model of social content for the wireless phone industry," he said.

Brazil's four leading cell phones companies offer the ringtones. Cell phone operators and companies that distribute content to them take a portion of the sales.

The project has generated tens of thousands of dollars for the Xavante and several other impoverished rural communities, Schwartz said.
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