Amazon Tribespeople Visit Our School!

Hi, I am Jade. I am ten years old and I really wanted to write in my mom’s blog.

I am in fifth grade and this year, we are learning all about Colombia. We are learning about its geography, history and culture. We are also learning about the many indigenous cultures in Colombia.

Today at my school, some indigenous people came to visit and tell us about their life. The man who came to talk about his life was from a tribe called Cubeo who live in Vaupes which is located in the Amazon rain forest. This man’s name was Miarik and he came to visit us with his daughter Neohi. Neohi is twelve years old.

We were all very curious about these people and their way of life. A friend of mine asked, “In your community, how do you think the world was created?”

Miarik answered, “We believe that a long time ago, there existed invisible beings that lived in the nowhere. Then one day two beings got married and had a baby. But the baby was not invisible like everyone else. He had skin and bones. One day his mother told him that he could not live there anymore because he needed to be fed. So she would make a place where he could live. Then the woman took some spit out of her mouth and started making it into a ball. Once the ball was very big she threw herself upon it and dissolved herself becoming a part of the ball which became the planet Earth. If you go to Rio de Janeiro the two mountains are the woman’s breasts and the bay is the milk.”

Then my teacher asked, “Does your community have any special ceremonies for when a boy becomes a man and for when a girl becomes a woman?”

“Yes”, Miarik said.

“What are they like?” asked my teacher.

Miarik replied, “When a girl gets her period, she has to smash up chili peppers with a little bit of water, put them up her nose and stand in the sun for an hour. Once the girl has done that for two weeks, the girl has to stay in a house, without ever coming out, for at least twelve years if not more. After that, her father decides who she has to marry. The same happens to boys when they turn twelve, but they are allowed to go out some times.”

I found these stories to be very interesting and full of information. I am really looking forward to having more indigenous people visit us at school throughout the school year. I am also glad I don’t live in this tribe because I don’t want to stick peppers up my nose and sit inside a hut for twelve years or have my father decide who I marry.

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3 Responses to Amazon Tribespeople Visit Our School!

  1. Lynn says:

    Great post, Jade! Very informative.

  2. Camille says:

    Hello Jade! I loved reading about the creation of your visitor’s people. When I was staying along a tributary of the Ecuadorian Amazon a shaman and village elder told how his people came from the sky. You might be interested in reading about the Norse/Viking tales of creation, gods, and giants. The author D’Lauires (sp) Book of Norse myths is one shorter version and Padraic Colum has written a more detailed book. Also there are the tales of the Ancient Hindus of India, tales from Persia, and Ancient Greece. And I just remembered there is also a collection of tales including a creation story of the ancient Mayans, a little closer to your home!

    A contemporary American novel that you might enjoy is Summerland by Michael Chabon. His novel weaves ancient Norse gods, Native American trickster-Coyote, and American tall tales all into a summer baseball game!

    I would have loved to stay in the jungle for some time more, collecting tales and learning about traditions and beliefs that were new to me but had been followed by people for many, many years.

    Thanks for sharing, Jade 🙂

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