quinta-feira, 14 de junho de 2012

The “People of the Axe", Yawanawa

The Yawanawa are the indigenous tribe from the Amazon (western) region, spread across Brazil, Peru and Bolivia. They are currently concentrated in Tarauaca region in Acre (Brazil) surrounded by dangerous ranchers/farmers who constantly pour threats to their survival. In Yaminawá language, Yawanawa signifies as "People of the Axe".

The Yawanawa rituals, dances, songs, clothing, art works and body painting are of unique significance and popularity. The Shamans, the masters of holy medicines are known for assembling medicinal and sacramental plants to cure various diseases like insomnia, snake bite, fertility, skin diseases, fever, body pain, diarrhea and a list of diseases.

The tribe had a longing history of struggle for restoring cultural traditions and preserving the Amazonian rain forest from illicit occupation. The Yawanawa had vulnerable and yet nasty "tug of war" against the rubber extractors/loggers and farmers (cattle, soybeans..etc.). During this period Yawanawa were made slaves, and underwent intense suffering, but they managed to get rid of the cradle and had their land demarcated in the Acre state in Brazil.

Apart, for over 3 decades the tribe had invasions by the religious missionaries who destroyed their cultural and religious traditions. The missionaries shunned (banned) the Shamans and were sent exile into the deep forest. Eventually, the Yawanawa was able to tacitly dismiss the missionaries and brought back the exiled shamans  

The Project Yawanawa is an initiative to preserve and demonstrate the cultural essence of Yawanawa tribe and also the Amazon related issues faced by other tribes, flora and fauna. The project consists of a group of people from various backgrounds with similar interest and their objective is to generate a revenue source aiming at the empowerment of Yawanawa by not damaging their rituals, heritage and lifestyle. The project is structured into various phases with clear objectives and the project requires support from individuals or corporates through donations or other sources. Various programs have been installed like exhibitions, presentations and courses which focus on the ethnic practices, medicines, artwork and traditions.

Every year a large area of rainforest disappears and the proportion of the destruction is unimaginable. The colossal destruction is triggered in a motive to boast the economic growth and the Brazilian government has done little. The Amazon rainforest is an integral part of the ecology and living beings associated with them. It is our responsibility to protect this precious rain forest and provide sustainable solutions.    

Um comentário: