|Field Museum scientist Tita Alvira in Papayacu talking about|
mammals with a local Wampis woman
Photo: R. Tsamarain
|Another myth is about the "mono blanco", Cebus albifrons or the White-fronted|
Capuchin monkey. The Awajún and Wampis believe this monkey can talk to
supernatural beings, kind of like an intermediary between the spirit world and them.
Photo: T. Alvira
|Woman singing traditional Awajun songs known as anen.|
Photo: M. Pariona
Although community members rely most on word-of-mouth to share information, they also have incorporated new technologies such as short wave radio and public telephones when they are available. Efficient communication is a key factor in how people organize across large distances. However, given that verbal forms dominate, we found that there is a lot of “miscommunication”, gossip, and rumor that is part of the information stream.
|Carmen Pirucho, female leader of local indigenous |
federation, and master artisan.
Photo: T. Alvira
When we all got together at inventory’s end, August 2011, in Tarapoto, I finally got to hear what everyone else found, and as at other such moments in other inventories, I was left deeply moved at the awesome character of this landscape. To hear a region characterized in this way is really mind-expanding. It gives you in encapsulated form (every team only has five minutes) the almost incomprehensible power of nature--the processes that have shaped the Amazon over the millennia. We start with the geology—the birth of mountains, the flow of the rivers and the characteristics of the soil.
|Gustavo Tsamarain, one of the six local scientists on the rapid inventory.|
Photo: K. Swierck
|Children in Papayacu community spellbound by a map of|
important historical and cultural sites for the Wampis and Awajun.
Photo: A. Treneman