Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Amazon - My Home

 Another mix of upper and downer, today, kids, as I belatedly respond to Hannah's prompt for her last Transforming Friday feature at Real Toads. I will so miss Transforming Friday, as I love traveling to different regions in my mind . It's the only way I can afford to travel.  The video above shows a Paradise being encroached upon, and a beautiful, gentle people who are clinging to the edge of survival, with few places left to hide.

photo by Survival International

Our land mass thistime is the tropical rainforest, so I chose the Awa people of the Amazon, a tribe of 450, 100 of whom have never had contact with the outside world. This tribe, one of an estimated 77 isolated indigenous tribes in the Amazon, is now endangered by the encroachment of outsiders, who log and burn  the rainforest for their own purposes, making survival for these people of simple needs very difficult.  

photo by Survival International

The Awa, now designated earth's most threatened tribe, are at risk of extinction. They are hunters and gatherers, who  leave virtually no environmental footprint on the land. But in the 1960's, iron ore was discovered in their region, later a railway was built to transport the ore, and the Awa are being pushed farther and farther back in search of sustenance. The Awa are afraid to hunt in the forest, for fear of attacks by illegal loggers. Also the chain saws scare wildlife away, removing their food supply.

 As the forests are increasingly decimated, its untold wealth (of as yet undiscovered medicines and species) are being destroyed before their value to human health can be discovered. There is a global tragedy occurring here, as well as a personal one, for the Awa.

photo by Survival International

*source Alice Bayer of Survival International, as told to the BBC

I step lightly across the forest floor.
Above me, the canopy is alive with
macaw and monkey chatter.
This is good.
It means the Others are not here.

When the forest burns,
when the chain saws roar,
wildlife flees in terror
and we do not eat that night.

We wonder at the ways of the Others.
They take with force,
and do not worry about
the people of tomorrow. 

For many many life cycles,
we have been taught:
take only what you need today,
leave always for the future.

We watch in amazed disbelief
as the forest  burns,
as the machines rumble in and lay waste
our home,
as the trees are taken away
day and night.

The animals of the forest
and our children hunger.
We all know fear.
We cannot flee far enough
to escape them
for now they are


  1. Sometimes 'progress' is no progress at all....and it seems instead that most of the time humans are taking civilization backwards. Very sad for the animals and the Awa when their land is taken from them. Poignant post, Sherry.

  2. We always consider the animals - but the encroachment on the land of indigenous people is just as important, especially when age-old ways of life are fast diminishing on this planet, and sameness is becoming the world order.

  3. What a very meaningful video and words Sherry ~ How lovely to see the tribe enjoy the blessings of a simple life and relying on nature for their home and food ~ How far is our progress, when we look back and see the people, tribesmen and animals we have killed, never to return again ~

  4. ...I fear they will be "the people of yesterday". The destruction of the rainforest hurts everyone. I am off to watch the video.

  5. This is so sad. We will probably destroy the whole damn thing, before we learn....maybe we shouldn't have done that?

  6. Ah, that word 'progress'. Sometimes, but also a veil for many sins.

  7. This is devastating. Sherry, I'm so saddened by the way of the "others," it is so heedless and mindless.

    Thank you so very much for giving voice to the Awa.

    I spoke to Kerry about the Transforming Fridays...wanted to see if she would like to run the 9 ecoregions again but she preferred that I venture in a different will be in a similar vein though.

    I'm so glad that you've enjoyed this so much, I've really been blessed by all of you that have written each time.

    Thank you. ♥

  8. Heartbreaking, has mankind not learned anything from the past? Races have been wiped out because of greed and still the green eyed monster grows. Your descriptive write is something I think all should read.


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