Hunting with the Zarabatana

“Hunting with the zarabatana is a tradition maintained by the indians of the Amazon. With much skill, they walk through the jungle with this weapon that measures more than 12 feet in length. When they find their prey, they blow through the orifice, launching poisoned darts that are made poisonous by mixing certain herbs and vegetables. The indians of the Vale do Javari, near the border of Colombia, are skilled in the use of the zarabatana. Some of the most-skilled hunters are able to hit their targets, usually birds, while in mid-flight.” – Source (in PT)

The Guarani – searching for a home

“In Brazil, there are today around 46,000 Guarani living in seven states, making them the country’s most numerous tribe. Many others live in neighbouring Paraguay, Bolivia and 
Argentina. The Guarani people in Brazil are divided into three groups: Kaiowá, Ñandeva and M’byá, of which the largest is the Kaiowá which means ‘forest people’. They are a deeply spiritual people. Most communities have a prayer house, and a religious leader, whose authority is based on prestige rather than formal power.

For the Guarani, land is the origin of all life. But violent invasions by ranchers have devastated their territory and nearly all of their land has been stolen. Guarani children starve and their leaders have been assassinated. Hundreds of Guarani men, women and children have committed suicide.” – Source (news, photos and a few videos here)

For an idea of how the Guarani live these days, see the Brazilian/Italian film “BirdWatchers – La terra degli uomini rossi” (Terra Vermelha in Portuguese) or check out the documentary on sugarcane workers (which doesn’t feature Guarani people but it is a job they end up having to do). I’ll post a short review (in PT) below for Birdwatchers.

Rich man’s trash, Indigenous man’s treasure

Not too long after a landmark win for indigenous peoples in Raposa – Serra do Sol, it seems the fight for rights is a continuous process, even though the land they live on has been afforded to them by Brazilian law and the fact that they were there first. In a video from 2007, Journeyman Pictures reported on a Guarani tribe fighting the company Aracruz, a cellulose manufacturer, who has been turning their land into eucalyptus plantations. What is then produced from the eucalyptus is toilet paper for Europeans…which means the produce from the Guarani land is disposable while shedding light on how the word like value can take on different meanings to different people.

Anyways, here is a short video recap on the Raposa – Serra do Sol issue, plus my own reporting on it. Now, here is the video on the Guarani struggle.