The Kalapalo are a Carib-speaking group of Brazilian Indians who live in the Alto (Upper) Xingu region around the headwaters of the Xingu River, a tributary of the Amazon. In this major discourse-centered study of their culture, Ellen Basso transcribes and analyzes nine traditional Kalapalo stories to offer important insights into Kalapalo historical knowledge and the performance of historical narratives within their nonliterate society. The stories focus on the biographies of exceptionally powerful warrior bowmen. Basso uses these stories to explore how the Kalapalo remember and understand their history and what specific linguistic, psychological, and ideological materials they employ to construct their narratives. This inquiry represents the first comprehensive study of Amazonian Indian ethnohistory using indigenous oral documents and the first attempt to understand, though indigenous discourse, the emergence of Upper Xingu society. It will be important reading in anthropology, linguistics, and South American studies.