Indigenous Cultures

Stingless bees: Sustaining land and people in the Amazon

Sprawled on the palm floor of her home, I listen intently as Marcelina recounts the local bees she knows. With the ease of describing old friends, Marcelina names mejayo ua, batigana ua, and many other native stingless bees in her Indigenous language, explaining their behavior, appearance, where she’s found them in the forest, and what … Read more

Images from an ancestral forest

The morning light is dimmed by the rainforest canopy as I scramble up the bank of the Sucusari River from our wooden boat. The rustling  of my steps startles a collared peccary and her young – they bolt through the understory. Victorino, a Maijuna guide, deftly scales the bank and expertly tracks their flight below rustling … Read more

Mobility

A splintering crack and a proceeding boom echo through the rainforest, momentarily overwhelming even the orchestra of insects and frogs. An enormous, rotund machi mangua tree now lies on its side by a riverbend, felled by a proud Maijuna father; he stands alongside his prize. This elder is not after timber for sale. Rather, his … Read more

Dejar de tener vergüenza: Mujeres defensoras de la Selva Viviente

Kawsak Sacha1 o Selva Viviente, es un llamado universal a vivir en armonía. Plantea el reconocimiento jurídico de la reivindicación al derecho a decidir libremente sobre sus territorios y formas de vida para el necesario equilibrio del planeta y la preservación de la vida. Este nuevo paradigma de desarrollo pone de manifiesto la urgente necesidad … Read more

I Know That I Know Nothing: Reflections on Hunting and Conservation in the Amazon

The forest was pitch black, its darkness amplified by the night. All I could see was a dense rainforest lit by a flickering flashlight held in one hand by Foca, an Indigenous man from a local community, while he paddled the canoe with the other hand. It was June and the water level was at … Read more

Political action and inaction: is Brazilian conservation under threat?

Written by Luís Gustavo Arruda (@extensao.natural), with the collaboration of Brian Griffiths and Thiago Hermenegildo. Indigenous peoples’ resistance for their rights is as ancient as the problems that cause contemporary social and environmental crises. Their resistance should also be ours, not only because they’re recognized as important conservationists, but because of their nature-based worldview. The … Read more

The Indigenous Communities of the Amazon and Their Fight Against COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic caught the world by surprise, sweeping across countries in only weeks, leaving no part of the world safe. The news provides daily coverage of international COVID-19 statistics; however, it rarely mentions  the people of indigenous communities and their perilous struggle with the pandemic. While COVID-19 has been a difficult adjustment for people … Read more