That tribal chant you're hearing, it's only my cellphone
Having an ordinary ringtone for your cellphone just doesn't cut it these days. Many people want something distinctive – perhaps a snippet from a favorite piece of classical or rock music. But for those willing to really go out on a limb, how about something from Brazil's Amazon rain forest? Yes, that's right, Brazilian customers can pay about $1.40 each to have traditional chants from the Xavante Indians, who live in the rain forest, programmed into their phones. But Cidade Movel, an aide group that helps Amazonian communities, has now begun to market chants like "the hunt song" and "the healing dance" to cellphone users in China and Europe. The arrangement, made in partnership with Brazil's four leading cellphone companies, allows the organization to get a cut of the profits the ringtones bring in. The irony, of course, is that native peoples who benefit from this profit-sharing arrangement live simple lives with no modern conveniences.