Saturday, October 3, 2015

Catechized by forest people, in order to save the world

Housing cocoons over a century-old samaumeira - High-Tech Amazon.
We must become more and more Yanomami thëpë be fewer napë.

We are so educated in European culture, that we think this is the only cultural language in the world, but things start to change and forest culture begins to unfold essential to our survival on the planet.

leia esta matéria em Português

Recently David Kopenawa the Yanomami ethnic group, which has been called the 'Dalai Lama of the Forest', accompanied by Fiona Watson, Director of Research of the NGO Survival International, and world expert on uncontacted tribes. They gave interviews to the American media and some lectures in and around San Francisco, talking about the tireless work to protect the land of his tribe in the Amazon, and how this experience can be applied to the world.

The Amazon rainforest has long been recognized as a repository of ecological services not only for local tribes and communities, but also for the rest of the world. It is also the only rainforest that we have left in terms of size and diversity.

But as forests burn and global warming worsens, the impact of Amazon deforestation continues to gradually undo the fragile ecological processes that have been refined over millions of years.

The solution to this question of how to find the balance necessary for the survival of the forest and therefore the world, can not be found in science itself, but in science combined with philosophical issues of local people, such as the Yanomami.

For the Yanomami world is divided into two groups of individuals, to the YANOMAMI THËPË (human beings, people) and the NAPË (us, white men, the the 'fierce' enemies)

The Yanomami have been taken as a 'fierce' people in sensationalist and outdated work Yanomamö: The Fierce People, by American anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon, describing them as "sly, aggressive and intimidating”. This book is considered the bible of the newly formed anthropologist, keeping bringing to the world highly prejudiced ideas.

The good thing is that this has been changing over time, and we began to hear more and more the wisdom of the forest people - the Yanomami point of view the world is divided into two groups of individuals, to the YANOMAMI THËPË (human beings, people) and the NAPË (us, white men, the enemies 'ferocious').

The forest does not burn and do not pollute the its rivers by itself, the NAPË is the one who does it.

The pollution of rivers is the result an active attitude of NAPË, if we fail to throw pollutants in Tiete and Pinheiros rivers in the Sao Paulo urban area, for example, we would have clean rivers in a matter of weeks. In fact, we the NAPË are proactive in polluting and devastating, directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously.

If you ask a Yanomami Indian, what he thinks of the white man - NAPË, we end up being ashamed of his response.

Swimming in the vastness of the Amazon and Tocantins rivers brought me into spiritual contact with the YANOMAMI THËPË culture. The white man considers themselves unique and different from other beings around them - The NAPË living under the concept of ‘The eternal silence of these infinite spaces - Blaise Pascal’ we are alone, in a monologue. The Yanomami does not; they are able to love and to dialogue with everything and everyone around them.

According to the Yanomami, the NAPË, does not think at all, does not love the land and the forest, they have an egoistic, reckless and short-term vision. The concepts of Yanomami appear to be much higher and very often is difficult for us to conceive, so I decided to classify them into groups:

The concept of 'living being'

The 'living being' of Yanomami is what we treat as 'people', expressed as YANOMAMI THËPË.

The NAPË (white man) seems to care only about himself and in a secondary level, with their immediate family. This feeling tends to decrease with their remote neighbors and family and are almost nonexistent for the other people in the world, but the positive side does he takes pets and it seems to be a small clue of love to other 'living beings' that does not belong to the Homo sapiens classification.

The Yanomami are able to love and to dialogue with everything and everyone around them.

It is very common to see Brazilian natives breastfeeding her baby on one breast and a monkey or other animal in the other, a scene that causes incomprehension and disgust to the white man who witnesses it first time. To them these animals are also 'people' and are entitled to breast milk, which - by the way, does not belongs to the woman, but to nature itself.

The white man consider himself unique and different from other beings around him - The NAPË living under the concept of ‘The eternal silence of these infinite spaces - Blaise Pascal’ we are alone, in a monologue. The Yanomami does not; they are able to love and to dialogue with everything and everyone around them.

For them, almost anything is 'living being' or 'people' - the animals are ‘people’, plants are ‘people’ and even some artifacts are also deemed as 'people'. Make sure to never annoy all those 'people', and better still, they should never be offended.

It is very common to see lady Brazilian natives breastfeeding her baby on one breast and a monkey or other animal in the other, a scene that causes incomprehension and disgust to the white man who witnesses it first time. To them these animals are also 'people' and are entitled to breast milk, which - by the way, does not belongs to the woman, but to nature itself.

For the Yanomami, nobody likes to be offended and each time this happens, the offended ‘people’ strike back at the offender.

Thus, there are some consequences and questions such as:

- What happens if we kill an animal to eat? - Kill a living being is a very serious offense, even if it has the title of YARO (game animals). This does not stop them from killing YARO even aware that his death will have consequences.

They think, "when someone kill these beings, wait for the reaction that can manifest itself in various forms, as little indigestion, or even in the form of the attack of others of the group, for example jaguars, partners of the dead animal.

The concept of 'ownership'

We have no land; the land is that it has us. The property of physical assets is intangible since our matter is perishable. All material possessions can lead to suffering (as in Buddhism).

- Amazon is important because from her comes knowledge that we must have to overcome the civilization crisis, of environmental degradation.

The concept of 'Evolution'

The NAPË are less developed than the YANOMAMI THËPË (the Yanomami themselves), however there are more evolved beings, such as the YAI, forest beings exempt from name.

This is where the reader is outraged - how could they believe that we are less developed than they?
There are several ways to make us see how little evolved we are in comparison, take the issue of waste for instance.

In nature, the garbage of any living being is incorporated as a utility to another living being (e.g. Mammalian feces are transformed into fertilizer for plants; oxygen purged by the tree becomes the air we breathe, etc.). We NAPË, produce a huge amount of waste that does more harm than good to other living beings.

The relationship between YAI with THËPË YANOMAMI/NAPË is the same of the white men with amoebas.

Man has four dimensions of perception, ability to reason about events around him, read books, build bridges and observes the amoeba under a microscope. Amoebas on the other hand live in a much more limited world, has diminished capacity of perception that allow only eat living forms around them, are unable to read or, much less to build bridges.

The YAI observe us as we observe amoebas, and we haven't the faintest notion of it. They are infinitely superior and transit through different dimensions, inconceivable by us.

The concept of 'URIHI' - Yanomami word for forest ecosystem

The word Yanomami UHIRI designates the forest and all that dwells in it, with endless connections and interrelations, IPA URIHI, "my land" can refer to the region of birth or current place of residence of the enunciator. URIHI can be also refers to the world's name: UHIRI A PREE, "the great land-forest".

We 'the NAPË' are the only species on the planet that produce waste without this enters into balance with the ecosystem.
The Amazon forest is the largest continued forest region on the planet, cut though nine countries, corresponding to 60% of the Brazilian territory, has nearly 6 million km2. The Amazon River has 4225 miles, 65miles longer than Nile according to the measurements of 2007; it has 20% of the world's fresh water.

Currently 18% of the forest has been devastated, this devastation appears in the form of extensive cattle low intelligence ranching, illegal property, irregular mining.

Does not seem much but 1% of devastated area, the same rate of deforestation in 1975, 60mil km2 is larger than the state of Rio de Janeiro (approx. 43.000km2).

Brazil can be very bad when it comes to dealing with rivers of its capitals, mainly due to corruption and electioneering reasons, but isolated initiatives in Amazon region draw attention if public opinion for its ingenuity.

We cannot put a protective dome over the Amazon

Environmental protection can only happen if not to oppose the huge economic forces, so we have to give value for the standing forest, not the deforested one.

All we have to do is use the YANOMAMI THËPË intelligence to guide us. Sooner or later, very old trees fall naturally as part of the cycle renewal process of the forest. Well monitored, these trees can have its downfalls managed through legal agronomists and the timber can be used more intelligently.

A trunk of a centuries-old kapok tree worth just over R$ 10.00 on the black market, while a beautiful handcrafted object with just over 20’ in length from the same tree can reach worth R$ 300.00.

This is a good example of how to turn a NAPË attitude towards YANOMAMI THËPË

Science combined with Yanomami philosophy - Our only way to save the planet.
A low-impact in soil destruction vehicle cuts a samaumeira, in a smart renovation process of the Amazon jungle.


I believe that the great initial event for Amazon current problems was the PIN, Programa de Integração Nacional (National Integration Program), a geopolitical nature program created by the Brazilian military government through Nº1106 Decree-Law of July 16, 1970, signed by Brazilian President Medici.

Worried about losing the vast Amazon territory by the difficulty to monitor its borders, the military government has proposed to relocate the victims of non-productivity of the dried Brazilian northeast areas and turn them into labor at prosperous Amazon region, thus occupying the Amazonian demographic emptiness, "integrate not to handover" and "land without men to the men without land" were the slogans of the time.

The PIN had the wonderful merit of mobilizing a nationalist sentiment, regardless of political views and promote colonization of the Amazon.

The Trans-Amazon Highway was the tool chosen by the Medici as a gateway to the forest. With 2,624 miles long, connecting the city of Cabedelo – PB (Paraiba) to Labrea – AM (Amazonas), the road cuts seven Brazilian states: Paraíba, Ceará, Piauí, Maranhão, Tocantins, Pará and the Estate of Amazonas.

In the near future the agroforestry system can count on the help of collectors drones to promote low-impact agriculture. In the agricultural system of today we deforest the woods and then plant, in order to clear the ground and thus facilitate the entry of our antiquated agricultural machinery - with the advent of collectors drones we no longer need to carry out such unintelligent process.

By the side of highway some routes emerged, and from these other small streets, connecting farms, communities and homes – the so-called fish bones, are the causes for the irregular occupation and the consequent deforestation.

The man of the Northeast mostly, along with others from other regions of Brazil and the world, who arrived there, found great facility to have cattle, since in order to obtain ownership of the land they just had only to turn 50% of their land to pasture.

An artificial intelligence system evaluates the fruits and vegetables with a far more sophisticated sensors than our eyes, robotic arms collect the fruit and place it in a circular basket, aboard a collector drone.

Today there are 60 million head of cattle in the Amazon, a ratio of three oxen for every inhabitant of the region.

How to change the NAPË philosophy into YANOMAMI THËPË?

We, the NAPË, look at the forest and see just weeds not a farm, if we want to plant something there, we have to deforest it first, and them plant later, but a local group of Japanese immigrants, inspired by local natives create the so-called agroforestry systems.


Hajime Yamada arrived in Tomé-Açu on September 22, 1929, he learned from the indigenous the technology of agroforestry system, “we always look at the forest as weeds, not as a farm” (photo: documentary Eternal Amazon)

A group of Japanese immigrants arrived to the municipality of Tomé-Açu-PA, (Pará), at the end of the 1920s with the proposal of planting of black pepper, In the 70s with falling prices and epidemics in ‘pimentais’ (pepper farms) made them rethink their business.

Based on ancient Indigenous knowledge, they began to cultivate black pepper kingdom in the same space of cocoa and with cupuaçu, papaya, açai, coconut, passion fruit, Brazilian-nut, natural rubber and paricá. The plague of ‘pimentais’ was countered by locals predators, brought by other plants in balance with nature.

Since then, the system has been improved by trial and error in choosing the best species combinations. Today, Tomé-Açu is a reference in this type of planting and the cooperative accumulated several awards related to entrepreneurship and sustainability.

In addition, the CAMTA promotes and guides the adoption of agroforestry systems for family farmers in neighboring municipalities and conducts the commercialization of this production, a project that serves about a thousand families in the region.

Latex extraction robots operate autonomously, supplied with sunlight. The 'estradas de seringa' (the slashes in the bark of the rubber tree) are accurate, as have sophisticated sensors that make precise calculations to take better advantage of extraction.

The basic idea of this agroforestry system is to achieve the integrated planting of different plant species, of different sizes together in the same area, forming several 'floors' - the process just gets its name from agriculture floors.

The agroforestry system, long-known by indigenous peoples, offers a number of advantages such as:

- As it generates large amount of organic matter in soil from various crops, there is less need for fertilizers and pesticides;

- This variety of nutrients generates healthier food;

- The abundant vegetation cover also retains the moisture of the ground, protects the crops from the sun and provides a more pleasant environment to work in the field;

- The planting of several crops at the same time allows continued production and generates income during the whole year.

An important part of the YANOMAMI THËPË philosophy is that 'garbage does not exist', we cannot throw anything away (out of where? The world?). That being said, all devices are 100% recycled to produce new equipment, substances that cannot be used on other equipment are reintegrated into nature by composting. All facilities have huge skylights as 80% of the equipment is solar powered.



After so long catechizing our Indians according to European cultural heritage, now it's time to being catechized in the cultural patterns of the forest people, perhaps this way, we can save our souls and our lives.

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