Download Palms and People in the Amazon by Nigel Smith PDF

By Nigel Smith

This publication explores the measure to which landscapes were enriched with hands by means of human actions and the significance of fingers for the lives of individuals within the quarter this day and traditionally. fingers are a widespread function of many landscapes in Amazonia, and they're vital culturally, economically, and for various ecological roles they play. people were reorganizing the organic furnishings within the area because the first hunters and gatherers arrived over 20,000 years ago.

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The fruit stalk is cut with a specialized hooked knife ( foice) tied to the end of a pole, or a long pole without an attached knife is used to dislodge a few of the fruits. Boys and girls fire slingshots to knock down the fruits. 6 Astrocaryum aculeatum 37 Fig. 4 A 7 year-old girl knocking down tucuma˜ fruits with a slingshot. She is using charred tucuma˜ fruits as ammunition. The palm is growing at the edge of field that has just been burned. Taperebatuba, Urubu River, Amazonas, Brazil, 10-12-12 Tucuma˜ can reach 20 m, so the fruits are too high to pick.

Similarly both men and women belonging to the Ticuna tribe make astonishingly beautiful figurines carved from the endocarps of both Astrocaryum aculeatum as well as another palm, inaja´ (Attalea maripa). The figurines represent a wide variety of animals, from insects to mammals and birds, as well as men firing shotguns, women with children, girls in the costume worn for the puberty ceremony, and adults dancing. The Ticuna also wear rings made from the hard endocarps (Nimuendaju´ 1952: 41, 109).

Ticuna women wove the hammocks using a shuttle of paxiu´ba (Socratea exorrhiza) palm wood or a piece of the petiole of buriti (Mauritia flexuosa) palm (Nimuendaju´ 1952: 13). A century ago, the Pareci who inhabit scrub savanna in northwestern Mato Grosso, made some of their hammocks from the palm fiber but even then cotton was used more frequently for that purpose (Roquette-Pinto 1950: 142). According to the Victorian naturalist Henry Walter Bates, the now extinct Passe´, who once lived in the vicinity of Tefe´, used to make their hammocks with tucuma˜ fiber (Bates 1863b: 234).

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