• Saturday, Sep 25, 2021
  • Last Update : 09:42 am

As fires ravage the Amazon, indigenous tribes pray for protection

  • Published at 10:34 am September 2nd, 2019
web-amazon-fire
A fire burns a tract of Amazon jungle as it is cleared by loggers and farmers near Porto Velho, Brazil August 31, 2019 Reuters

Brazil’s president has argued that the forest needs to be exploited, and Indian reservations vastly reduced

As thousands of fires ravage the Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest, some indigenous tribes are turning to prayer in a bid to halt the destruction and protect their environment for future generations.

In the village of Feijo, in the West of Brazil, approaching the border with Peru, indigenous people from the tribe of Shanenawa on Sunday performed a ritual to try to find peace between humans and nature. With faces painted, dozens danced in circles as they prayed to put an end to the fires.

“We want peace and love,” Tekaheyne Shanenawa, a Shanenawa leader, told Reuters as he danced in a circle as part of their ritual. “Peace, harmony and education to stop these fires that have attacked the Amazon.”

Tens of thousands of forest fires have been recorded in the Amazon during this year’s dry season, the most in at least a decade, at the same time as Brazil’s new far-right president Jair Bolsonaro has argued that the forest needs to be exploited, and Indian reservations vastly reduced.

“If the fires continue the way they are, in 50 years time we will no longer have the forest standing up,” said Bainawa Inu Bake Huni Kuin, another Shanenawa leader.

“And we will not feel secure in what we have, in our culture, in our language, in our songs. Us without the forest, we won’t be able to farm, we won’t be able to eat, without our land we won’t be able to live.”

Bolsonaro administration

Most of the Amazon is located in Brazil, but significant parts are also located in Colombia and Peru, where fires have also been detected. The Shanenawa number about 720 and inhabit around 23,000 hectares (57,000 acres) of land.

But the backlash has been particularly strong against the Bolsonaro administration, which has acknowledged it does not have the resources to put out the fires. Many of them are believed to have been set by cattle and soy farmers.

As a far-right Congressman and presidential candidate, Bolsonaro drew headlines for his disparaging comments regarding Indian tribes, and as president he has said that too much of the country’s territory is unproductive because indigenous tribes have special rights.

“Our rituals pray for planet Earth, to always keep it healthy and safe,” Bainawa said. “We pray for mother water, for father sun, for mother forest and for mother earth, whom today feel very wounded.”

51
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail