• David Good

Let it fly straight and true

One of my favorite moments during my 2018 expedition was foraging for eteveshi, or moriche fruit with my family. Generally, only the women and children go on these foraging trips so this was a great way to spend some quality time with my mother. What I love about finding food in the forest is that the journey itself is just as fulfilling and eventful. Along the way we stopped to fish, or collect mushrooms, or find a bird to shoot!

In this video, one of my nephews is trying to shoot a bird that is also feasting on the eteveshi fruit. He didn't get it that time, but later on he did shoot another kind of bird that was used as bait for catching piranha.

Left photo: a younger nephew was warming up to me and asked me to carry him. Of course, I took advantage of the moment for a great selfie! Middle photo: my mom is taking a break after spending a couple hours in the swamps collecting the palm fruits. She soon became chilly from walking in the water so I placed one of my shirts around her. Right photo: An older nephew and I were fishing and small bird had perched nearby. He took the opportunity to let his arrow loose and hit his target! We didn't eat this bird but we chopped it up to use as bait for fishing. It got us a couple large piranha so the sacrifice was worth it.

On a closing note: reminiscing on these moments of living and learning in the Amazon gives me great joy as I discover more about my Yanomami identity and heritage. But every morning I am filled with deep sadness and apprehension as I learn more about the destruction of the Amazon and the appropriation of its resources in order to maintain the greed, excessive consumption, and materialists lifestyle of the "outside" world. Then I become enraged, as you would be, if someone threatened your family's home; just as my fellow Americans were enraged when our land was attacked by outside agents. Then, after a few deep breaths, I also feel solace in that there are good people (like you!) out there who are fighting on the front lines and in their communities because they realize that the Amazon benefits all people from all over the world. So I don't give you up because you give me the encouragement to continue, one photo at a time, one video at a time, one story at a time to share the world of the Yanomami and why we need to protect them and their home.

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