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Berta Tilmantaite Photo Ecuador On Wo...
Salasaca
By Berta Tilmantaite
28 Apr 2016

Sisters Martina Masaquiza Sailema (50) and Luz Maria Masaquiza Sailema (38) are carrying freshly cut grass to feed the animals. The embankment is too steep and too intricate to be worked with mowers and cars. Even the donkeys wait for their burden on the top of the slope; women have to cut the grass by hand and carry it to the top themselves. Some, who do not own donkeys, carry their burden home on their backs and have to repeat the process several times.

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Berta Tilmantaite Photo Ecuador On Wo...
Salasaca
By Berta Tilmantaite
28 Apr 2016

Sisters Martina Masaquiza Sailema (50) and Luz Maria Masaquiza Sailema (38) are loading the grass on the donkey's back. Some women, who do not own donkeys, carry their burden home on their backs and have to repeat the process several times.

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Berta Tilmantaite Photo Ecuador On Wo...
Salasaca
By Berta Tilmantaite
28 Apr 2016

Sisters Martina Masaquiza Sailema (50) and Luz Maria Masaquiza Sailema (38) are loading the grass on the donkey's back. Some women, who do not own donkeys, carry their burden home on their backs and have to repeat the process several times.

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Berta Tilmantaite Photo Ecuador On Wo...
Salasaca
By Berta Tilmantaite
28 Apr 2016

Sisters Martina Masaquiza Sailema (50) and Luz Maria Masaquiza Sailema (38) are loading the grass on the donkey's back. Some women, who do not own donkeys, carry their burden home on their backs and have to repeat the process several times.

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Berta Tilmantaite Photo Ecuador On Wo...
Salasaca
By Berta Tilmantaite
28 Apr 2016

Martina Masaquiza Sailema (50) is loading the grass on the donkey's back. Some women, who do not own donkeys, carry their burden home on their backs and have to repeat the process several times.

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Berta Tilmantaite Photo Ecuador On Wo...
Salasaca
By Berta Tilmantaite
28 Apr 2016

Sisters Martina Masaquiza Sailema (50) and Luz Maria Masaquiza Sailema (38) are walking back to their village with the two donkeys loaded with freshly cut weed. Strings of fluffy wool slide between their fingers and obediently lie down on swiftly turned spools, which are not unlike integral parts of their hands.

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Berta Tilmantaite Photo Ecuador On Wo...
Salasaca
By Berta Tilmantaite
28 Apr 2016

Sisters Martina Masaquiza Sailema (50) is walking back to their village with the two donkeys loaded with freshly cut weed. She constantly spins wool, whenever her hands are free.

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Berta Tilmantaite Photo Ecuador On Wo...
Salasaca
By Berta Tilmantaite
28 Apr 2016

Luz Maria Masaquiza Sailema (38) is walking back to the village with a donkey loaded with freshly cut weed. She constantly spins wool, whenever her hands are free.

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Berta Tilmantaite Photo Ecuador On Wo...
Salasaca
By Berta Tilmantaite
28 Apr 2016

Sisters Martina Masaquiza Sailema (50) and Luz Maria Masaquiza Sailema (38) are walking back to their village with the two donkeys loaded with freshly cut weed. Strings of fluffy wool slide between their fingers and obediently lie down on swiftly turned spools, which are not unlike integral parts of their hands.

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Berta Tilmantaite Photo Ecuador On Wo...
Salasaca
By Berta Tilmantaite
28 Apr 2016

Sisters Martina Masaquiza Sailema (50) and Luz Maria Masaquiza Sailema (38) are walking back to their village with the two donkeys loaded with freshly cut weed. Strings of fluffy wool slide between their fingers and obediently lie down on swiftly turned spools, which are not unlike integral parts of their hands.

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Berta Tilmantaite Photo Ecuador On Wo...
Salasaca
By Berta Tilmantaite
28 Apr 2016

Martina Masaquiza Sailema (50)is walking back to the village with the donkey loaded with freshly cut weed.

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Berta Tilmantaite Photo Ecuador On Wo...
Salasaca
By Berta Tilmantaite
28 Apr 2016

Sisters Martina Masaquiza Sailema (50) is feeding her animals with freshly cut weed, Salasaca, Ecuador.

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Berta Tilmantaite Photo Ecuador On Wo...
Salasaca
By Berta Tilmantaite
28 Apr 2016

Sisters Martina Masaquiza Sailema (50) and a kitten in her land, Salasaca, Ecuador.

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Berta Tilmantaite Photo Ecuador On Wo...
Salasaca
By Berta Tilmantaite
28 Apr 2016

Tools that sisters Martina Masaquiza Sailema (50) and Luz Maria Masaquiza Sailema (38) use to cut, bind and carry the weed.

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Berta Tilmantaite Photo Ecuador On Wo...
Salasaca
By Berta Tilmantaite
28 Apr 2016

one of the tools that sisters Martina Masaquiza Sailema (50) and Luz Maria Masaquiza Sailema (38) use to bind and carry the weed.

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Berta Tilmantaite Photo Ecuador On Wo...
Salasaca
By Berta Tilmantaite
28 Apr 2016

Martina Masaquiza Sailema (50) is picking the corn for dinner after feeding her animals in Salasaca, Ecuador.

Salasaca district in Tungurava province, Equador, takes up only 12 square kilometers, but has preserved strong identity of the local inhabitants, as well as authentic culture and customs.

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Berta Tilmantaite Photo Ecuador On Wo...
Salasaca
By Berta Tilmantaite
28 Apr 2016

Martina Masaquiza Sailema (50) and Luz Maria Masaquiza Sailema (38) are picking the corn for dinner after feeding her animals in Salasaca, Ecuador.

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Berta Tilmantaite Photo Ecuador On Wo...
Salasaca
By Berta Tilmantaite
28 Apr 2016

Martina Masaquiza Sailema (50) is cooking dinner in the kitchen of her house, in Salasaca, Ecuador.

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Berta Tilmantaite Photo Ecuador On Wo...
Salasaca
By Berta Tilmantaite
28 Apr 2016

Luz Maria Masaquiza Sailema (38) is walking down to the river to grass grass and spinning wooly ran on the way.

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Kenya's Sengwer Tribe Faces Eviction ...
Embobut, Kenya
By danubestory
06 Mar 2015

Embobut, Kenya
March 6, 2015

The Sengwer, a tribe of hunter-gatherers and beekeepers who also keep livestock, have lived in Cherangany mountains in Kenya - land they consider sacred - for centuries. Today, they face eviction from their ancestral lands. Approximately 12,000 people were told to move from the forest area to make way for a nature conservation and reforestation project financed by the Kenyan government and the World Bank. The Sengwer, however, pride themselves for their traditional methods for preserving their heritage lands. When they refused, forest guards began burning down their houses.

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Tree Planting in Western Canada
Alberta, Canada
By Luc Forsyth
19 Aug 2014

Tree planters sleep on the ground, work in the rain and snow, battle swarms of insects, and bend over thousands of times a day – all in the pursuit of money. Tree planting is part adventure and part iconic right of passage. The ultimate goal is to earn as much as possible before the season ends. While some “rookie” planters might struggle to earn enough to cover their expenses, a motivated and experienced planter can expect to earn upwards of $300 every day. The very best earn even more still. Many tree planters return to this job year after year in pursuit of a large payout, whether for tuition, travel, or investment.

Carrying all their equipment on their backs, and heavy loads of tree seedings makes tree planting a physically exhausting experience. In a national study, it was determined that a tree planter can burn up to 8000 calories in a single day of work.

Known nationally as one of the hardest jobs a young person can do, this story follows a camp of 42 tree planters over a difficult four month season in northern Alberta.

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A village’s struggle to preserve its ...
Long La
By Corentin Fohlen
28 Mar 2014

Forests are the heart of Long La's development. In a country ravaged by deforestation, this village of 500 inhabitants has become a model of sustainable development. With the help of Speri, a vietnamese NGO, Long La has found a way to preserve its forest thanks to agroecology.

The forest is rich in medicinal plants and rare species and generates wealth for the community. Prior to 2004, it was threatened by timber exploitation. But its inhabitants soon realized that the water shortages they were facing were not normal and that the air was drier than it should have been in this tropical region.

It did not take long before they began to blame deforestation, which also adversely affects agricultural production. Today, forests cover 40% of the territory of Laos, whereas they made up 70% in the 1950s. In order to protect their forest, villagers in Long La reserved certain areas for the production of timber and others for medicinal plants. In some areas, it is now strictly forbidden to gather wood. They also enacted strict rules to preserve the forest, such as keeping farm animals in paddocks to prevent them from damaging trees.

In 2005, the Laotian government recognized Long La inhabitants' know-how and put them in charge of managing the village's forest. Doing so came naturally to the inhabitants since they all belong to the Hmong community, an animist ethnic group that considers the forest sacred. In Long La, the forest is even believed to host a venerated spirit: the Patongxenh.

Deforestation is being driven by corruption as well as poorly managed industrial-scale plantations for things like rubber. Yet Long La's management of the forest has proven that preservation can lead to development and wealth. Thanks to the forest, the village now cultivates Zong Zwa, a plant with bright yellow flowers that tastes similar to rocca. The village also produces 12 tons of organic vegetables each year which they sell to hotels and restaurants in Luang Prabang. Speri now works with 12 other villages to implement Long La's model. In 2012, the NGO and the villagers created a rural school to train local residents in agroecology.

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Karen Christmas 2
Mae La refugee camp,Mae Sot, Thailand
By vincenzo floramo
23 Dec 2013

View of C zone at Maela refugee camp where the majority of Christian Karen Burmese minority lives.

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Life in Malawi 1
Karonga, Nothern Region, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
16 Dec 2013

Cooking Sweet Potatoes
At some point the lagoon used for irrigating the fields of the village ran dry. Investigation showed that the forest in the catchment area had been cut down for firewood. Now the forest is maintained, and cutting is made illegal. The water returned and the fields got irrigated again. Sweet potatoes from the field provide a meal for the family.

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Bosnian Landmine Survivors 9
Olovo, Bosnia
By Michael Biach
30 Sep 2013

Ibrahim Bijelic (38) has been badly injured during a landmine incident in late 2012 when the family was collecting firewood in the nearby forest. His 6-year old son Tarik has been fatally wounded in the same incident and died in the arms of his father. Like for many other villagers in such a remote area the only possible way for the Bijelic family to make a living is by seling collected firewood from the forests. Ibrahim and his family have not been supported by the government since the incident. They are in need of financial and psychological support. The Landmine Survivors Initiative (LSI) supports the family with regular visits and provided an agricultural cultivator so that Ibrahim is able to earn some money.

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Traditional oil wells East Java Indon...
Cepu, Indonesia
By Jeffrey Bright
17 Sep 2013

Traditional oil miner gathers buckets of crude oil to begin the distillation process of converting it into diesel fuel. Distillation is accomplished by heating the filtered crude oil to between 200 °C (392 °F) and 350 °C (662 °F). Cepu, Indonesia. 25/01/2011

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Traditional oil wells East Java Indon...
Cepu, Indonesia
By Jeffrey Bright
17 Sep 2013

Motorcycle is loaded with drums of diesel and transported to nearby villages to be sold. Cepu, Indonesia. 25/01/2011

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Inside an Atlantic Island Rainforest
Madeira Island, Portugal
By Luis Miguel Rodrigues
15 Jun 2013

trekking in a 20 million of years old rainforest in Madeira Island, Unesco World Heritage Site

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Trekking in a 20 million year old rai...
Madeira, Portugal
By Luis Miguel Rodrigues
15 Jun 2013

Water channels that after more than 350 years continue to deliver water from inside the island to the villages and farms. The trek paths follow this water routes until its final destination

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Trekking in a 20 million year old rai...
Madeira, Portugal
By Luis Miguel Rodrigues
15 Jun 2013

Intense wet forest with frequent periods of sun and fog at an altitude between 400 meters above sea level to 1800 meters

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Trekking in a 20 million year old rai...
Madeira, Portugal
By Luis Miguel Rodrigues
14 Jun 2013

Trekking paths follows the water channels for more than 200 routes inside the island

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Africa's disappearing forests
Lambarene, Gabon
By serengeti1 serengeti1
16 May 2013

Africa’s forests are disappearing at an alarming rate. Loggers and farmers have cleared most of Africa’s frontiers forests. West Africa only has 10% of its original forests left. Despite having 530 million hectares of forest, Africa is one of the world’s continents with the lowest cover rate. Africa cannot afford to lose its forest cover, yet only a few large blocks of intact natural forest still remain.

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Pungue River as seen from Bue Maria
Mozambique
By Luis Miguel Rodrigues
05 May 2013

Pungue River, the south border of Gorongosa National park

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CLIMBING NIPPLE'S TOP
Mt Napuluk, Philippines
By U.S. Editor
31 Jan 2013

Wild and enchanting beauty awaits every mountaineer who will trek the off-beaten track of Mt. Napulak, Iloilo's highest peak with 1,200 feet above sea level.

From Iloilo City, around eighty mountaineers around the Philippines travelled two hours to Igbaras, Iloilo the jump-off area to climb one of the hardest trail in Panay Islands to participate the annual climb to the unique peak of Napulak. This climb is organized yearly before the famous Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City.

The assault to Mt. Napulak starts with trekking the scenic rice fields and residential areas. Different agricultural crops also are seen along the way forming a magnificent view of terraces. Farm animals such as pigs and chickens are seen outside households.

After passing the residential area, the ascend became more difficult yet the scenery is relaxing. Sunflowers in bloom and the negative ions of the forested area soothes the eye and tired muscles of every wanderers ascending gradually at the treacherous and off-beaten track. And seing one of the largest parasitic flower called rafflesia are also seen along the trail of the majestic forest of Napulak. Rafflesia are only founf in Southeast Asian countries like the Philippines.

After passing the forested area, the grasslands of the slopes of Mt. Napulak is another tiring but breathtaking scenery. Gradual assault and traversing the tall grasses and steep trail is another challenge but the stunning view of clouds covering each mountain is magical.

Reaching the summit is the most intriguing part of the climb, a huge rock formation which looks like a nipple of a woman's breast from a far is one of the most exciting part of the climb where every mountaineers are required to rock climb in order for them to say that they conquered the 'nipple's top'.

Yes, Napulak in local dialect means 'nipple's top'!

The summit gives a 360 degrees view of Panay Islands and other mountains of the province.

The climb is organized by mountaineering groups The Friends of the Higher Grounds and Talahib Eco-Trekkers which aims to battle climate change.

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In the land of God: Fire Carrier
Pastaza Ecuador
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
27 Oct 2012

Cononaco Bameno-Ecuador(South America) October 27th-2012-EXCLUSIVE FEATURE STORY.
The Huaorani, also known as the Waos, are native Amerindians from the Amazonian Region of Ecuador (Napo, Orellana and Pastaza Provinces) who have marked differences from other ethnic groups from Ecuador. They comprise almost 4,000 inhabitants and speak the Huaorani language, a linguistic isolate that is not known to be related to any other language. Their ancestral lands are located between the Curaray and Napo rivers, about 50 miles (80 km) south of El Coca. These homelands – approximately 120 miles (190 km) wide and 75 to 100 miles (120 to 160 km) from north to south – are threatened by oil exploration. In 1993, the Huaorani, and Quichua indigenous people, filed a lawsuit against Texaco oil company for the environmental damages caused by oil extraction activities in the Lago Agrio oil field. After handing control of the oil fields to an Ecuadorian oil company, Texaco did not properly dispose of its hazardous waste, causing great damages to the ecosystem and crippling communities. And recently, an US oil giant, has been fined $8.6 billion, for causing devastating pollution in large parts of the Ecuadorian Amazon basin, where Huaorani tribe lives. The oil firm Texaco, wich merged with Chevron in 2001, had been accused of dumping billions of gallons of toxic waste into unlined pits in the Amazon’s rainforest and rivers. Tribes indigenous to the area, like the Huaorani, have campaigned for almost two decades against the firm’s actions, saying that the poisonous waste has increased cancer rates, killed wildlife and contaminated water.In the past, Huaorani were able to protect their culture and lands from both indigenous enemies and settlers but the fighting against the multinational oil company, still goes on.
In the last 40 years, they have shifted from a hunting and gathering society to live mostly in permanent forest settlements. In traditional animist Huaorani worldview, there is no distinction between the physical and spiritual worlds, and spirits are present throughout the world. The Huaorani once believed that the entire world was a forest (and used the same word, ömë, for both). The Oriente’s rainforest of Ecuador, remains the essential basis of their physical and cultural survival. For them, the forest is home, while the outside world is considered unsafe: living in the forest offered protection from the witchcraft and attacks of neighboring peoples.
The Huaorani believe the animals of their forest have a spiritual as well as physical existence. They believe that a person who dies walks a trail to the afterlife which has a large anaconda snake lying in wait. Those among the dead who cannot escape the snake fail to enter the domain of dead spirits and return to Earth to become animals, often termites. This underlies a mix of practices that recognize and respect animals, but does not shield them from harm for human use.
Hunting supplies a major part of the Huaorani diet and is of cultural significance. Traditionally, the creatures hunted were limited to monkeys, birds, and wild peccaries. Neither land-based predators nor birds of prey are hunted. Traditionally there was an extensive collection of hunting and eating taboos. They refused to eat deer, on the grounds that deer eyes look similar to human eyes. While a joyful activity, hunting (even permitted animals) has ethical ramifications: “The Huaorani must kill animals to live, but they believed dead animal spirits live on and must be placated or else do harm in angry retribution.” To counterbalance the offense of hunting, a shaman demonstrated respect through the ritual preparation of the poison, curare, used in blow darts. Hunting with such darts is not considered killing, but retrieving, essentially a kind of harvesting from the trees. Spearing wild peccaries, on the other hand, is killing and is practiced with violence and rage.
While never hunted, two other animals, the snake and the jaguar, have special significance for the Huaorani. Snakes are considered "the most evil force in the Huaorani cosmology", particularly the imposing (though nonvenemous) anaconda, or obe. A giant obe stands in the way of the forest trail that the dead follow to an afterlife with the creator in the sky. Here on earth, snakes are a bad omen, and traditionally killing them is considered taboo.
The Huaorani identify deeply with the jaguar, an important and majestic predator in the Oriente province of Ecuador. According to myth, the Huaorani were the descendants of a mating between a jaguar and an eagle. Elders became shamans by metaphorically adopting “jaguar sons” whose spirits communicate medical and spiritual knowledge. In the Huaorani belief system, jaguar shamans are able “to become a jaguar, and so to travel great distances telepathically and communicate with other Huaorani.”
Plants, especially trees, continue to hold a complex and important interest for the Huaorani. Their store of botanical knowledge is extensive, ranging from knowledge of materials to poisons to hallucinogens to medicines. They also relate plants to their own experiences, particularly that of growing. Among trees, certain kinds are auspicious. Canopy trees, with their distinctly colored young leaves and striking transformation as they mature to towering giants, are “admired for their solitary character … as well as for their profuse entanglement” with other plants. Other significant trees are the pioneer species of the peach palm (used for making spears and blowguns, as well as for fruit), and fast-growing balsa wood, used for ceremonial purposes. Peach palm trees are associated with past settlements and the ancestors who live there.
The Huaorani notion of time is particularly oriented to the present, with few obligations extending backwards or forwards in time. Their one word for future times, baane, also means "tomorrow". Spears are the main weapons of the Huaorani culture used in person to person conflict.
Their main hunting weapon is the blowgun. These weapons are typically from 3 to 4 metres long. The arrows used are dipped in curare poison, which paralyzes the muscles of the animal which is hit with it, so that it cannot breathe. Kapok fluff is used to create an air-tight seal, by twisting the fibers around the end of the dart or arrow. The pictures shows some huaorani praying the Jaguar God, with fire.

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In the land of God: Running Through T...
Pastaza Ecuador
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
27 Oct 2012

Cononaco Bameno-Ecuador(South America) October 27th-2012-EXCLUSIVE FEATURE STORY.
The Huaorani, also known as the Waos, are native Amerindians from the Amazonian Region of Ecuador (Napo, Orellana and Pastaza Provinces) who have marked differences from other ethnic groups from Ecuador. They comprise almost 4,000 inhabitants and speak the Huaorani language, a linguistic isolate that is not known to be related to any other language. Their ancestral lands are located between the Curaray and Napo rivers, about 50 miles (80 km) south of El Coca. These homelands – approximately 120 miles (190 km) wide and 75 to 100 miles (120 to 160 km) from north to south – are threatened by oil exploration. In 1993, the Huaorani, and Quichua indigenous people, filed a lawsuit against Texaco oil company for the environmental damages caused by oil extraction activities in the Lago Agrio oil field. After handing control of the oil fields to an Ecuadorian oil company, Texaco did not properly dispose of its hazardous waste, causing great damages to the ecosystem and crippling communities. And recently, an US oil giant, has been fined $8.6 billion, for causing devastating pollution in large parts of the Ecuadorian Amazon basin, where Huaorani tribe lives. The oil firm Texaco, wich merged with Chevron in 2001, had been accused of dumping billions of gallons of toxic waste into unlined pits in the Amazon’s rainforest and rivers. Tribes indigenous to the area, like the Huaorani, have campaigned for almost two decades against the firm’s actions, saying that the poisonous waste has increased cancer rates, killed wildlife and contaminated water.In the past, Huaorani were able to protect their culture and lands from both indigenous enemies and settlers but the fighting against the multinational oil company, still goes on.
In the last 40 years, they have shifted from a hunting and gathering society to live mostly in permanent forest settlements. In traditional animist Huaorani worldview, there is no distinction between the physical and spiritual worlds, and spirits are present throughout the world. The Huaorani once believed that the entire world was a forest (and used the same word, ömë, for both). The Oriente’s rainforest of Ecuador, remains the essential basis of their physical and cultural survival. For them, the forest is home, while the outside world is considered unsafe: living in the forest offered protection from the witchcraft and attacks of neighboring peoples.
The Huaorani believe the animals of their forest have a spiritual as well as physical existence. They believe that a person who dies walks a trail to the afterlife which has a large anaconda snake lying in wait. Those among the dead who cannot escape the snake fail to enter the domain of dead spirits and return to Earth to become animals, often termites. This underlies a mix of practices that recognize and respect animals, but does not shield them from harm for human use.
Hunting supplies a major part of the Huaorani diet and is of cultural significance. Traditionally, the creatures hunted were limited to monkeys, birds, and wild peccaries. Neither land-based predators nor birds of prey are hunted. Traditionally there was an extensive collection of hunting and eating taboos. They refused to eat deer, on the grounds that deer eyes look similar to human eyes. While a joyful activity, hunting (even permitted animals) has ethical ramifications: “The Huaorani must kill animals to live, but they believed dead animal spirits live on and must be placated or else do harm in angry retribution.” To counterbalance the offense of hunting, a shaman demonstrated respect through the ritual preparation of the poison, curare, used in blow darts. Hunting with such darts is not considered killing, but retrieving, essentially a kind of harvesting from the trees. Spearing wild peccaries, on the other hand, is killing and is practiced with violence and rage.
While never hunted, two other animals, the snake and the jaguar, have special significance for the Huaorani. Snakes are considered "the most evil force in the Huaorani cosmology", particularly the imposing (though nonvenemous) anaconda, or obe. A giant obe stands in the way of the forest trail that the dead follow to an afterlife with the creator in the sky. Here on earth, snakes are a bad omen, and traditionally killing them is considered taboo.
The Huaorani identify deeply with the jaguar, an important and majestic predator in the Oriente province of Ecuador. According to myth, the Huaorani were the descendants of a mating between a jaguar and an eagle. Elders became shamans by metaphorically adopting “jaguar sons” whose spirits communicate medical and spiritual knowledge. In the Huaorani belief system, jaguar shamans are able “to become a jaguar, and so to travel great distances telepathically and communicate with other Huaorani.”
Plants, especially trees, continue to hold a complex and important interest for the Huaorani. Their store of botanical knowledge is extensive, ranging from knowledge of materials to poisons to hallucinogens to medicines. They also relate plants to their own experiences, particularly that of growing. Among trees, certain kinds are auspicious. Canopy trees, with their distinctly colored young leaves and striking transformation as they mature to towering giants, are “admired for their solitary character … as well as for their profuse entanglement” with other plants. Other significant trees are the pioneer species of the peach palm (used for making spears and blowguns, as well as for fruit), and fast-growing balsa wood, used for ceremonial purposes. Peach palm trees are associated with past settlements and the ancestors who live there.
The Huaorani notion of time is particularly oriented to the present, with few obligations extending backwards or forwards in time. Their one word for future times, baane, also means "tomorrow". Spears are the main weapons of the Huaorani culture used in person to person conflict.
Their main hunting weapon is the blowgun. These weapons are typically from 3 to 4 metres long. The arrows used are dipped in curare poison, which paralyzes the muscles of the animal which is hit with it, so that it cannot breathe. Kapok fluff is used to create an air-tight seal, by twisting the fibers around the end of the dart or arrow. The pictures shows a huaorani warrior, running fast with his blowgun weapon, following the peccaries wild trail during hunting.

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In the land of God: the Huaorani trib...
Pastaza Ecuador
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
27 Oct 2012

Cononaco Bameno-Ecuador(South America) October 27th-2012-EXCLUSIVE FEATURE STORY.
The Huaorani, also known as the Waos, are native Amerindians from the Amazonian Region of Ecuador (Napo, Orellana and Pastaza Provinces) who have marked differences from other ethnic groups from Ecuador. They comprise almost 4,000 inhabitants and speak the Huaorani language, a linguistic isolate that is not known to be related to any other language. Their ancestral lands are located between the Curaray and Napo rivers, about 50 miles (80 km) south of El Coca. These homelands – approximately 120 miles (190 km) wide and 75 to 100 miles (120 to 160 km) from north to south – are threatened by oil exploration. In 1993, the Huaorani, and Quichua indigenous people, filed a lawsuit against Texaco oil company for the environmental damages caused by oil extraction activities in the Lago Agrio oil field. After handing control of the oil fields to an Ecuadorian oil company, Texaco did not properly dispose of its hazardous waste, causing great damages to the ecosystem and crippling communities. And recently, an US oil giant, has been fined $8.6 billion, for causing devastating pollution in large parts of the Ecuadorian Amazon basin, where Huaorani tribe lives. The oil firm Texaco, wich merged with Chevron in 2001, had been accused of dumping billions of gallons of toxic waste into unlined pits in the Amazon’s rainforest and rivers. Tribes indigenous to the area, like the Huaorani, have campaigned for almost two decades against the firm’s actions, saying that the poisonous waste has increased cancer rates, killed wildlife and contaminated water.In the past, Huaorani were able to protect their culture and lands from both indigenous enemies and settlers but the fighting against the multinational oil company, still goes on.
In the last 40 years, they have shifted from a hunting and gathering society to live mostly in permanent forest settlements. In traditional animist Huaorani worldview, there is no distinction between the physical and spiritual worlds, and spirits are present throughout the world. The Huaorani once believed that the entire world was a forest (and used the same word, ömë, for both). The Oriente’s rainforest of Ecuador, remains the essential basis of their physical and cultural survival. For them, the forest is home, while the outside world is considered unsafe: living in the forest offered protection from the witchcraft and attacks of neighboring peoples.
The Huaorani believe the animals of their forest have a spiritual as well as physical existence. They believe that a person who dies walks a trail to the afterlife which has a large anaconda snake lying in wait. Those among the dead who cannot escape the snake fail to enter the domain of dead spirits and return to Earth to become animals, often termites. This underlies a mix of practices that recognize and respect animals, but does not shield them from harm for human use.
Hunting supplies a major part of the Huaorani diet and is of cultural significance. Traditionally, the creatures hunted were limited to monkeys, birds, and wild peccaries. Neither land-based predators nor birds of prey are hunted. Traditionally there was an extensive collection of hunting and eating taboos. They refused to eat deer, on the grounds that deer eyes look similar to human eyes. While a joyful activity, hunting (even permitted animals) has ethical ramifications: “The Huaorani must kill animals to live, but they believed dead animal spirits live on and must be placated or else do harm in angry retribution.” To counterbalance the offense of hunting, a shaman demonstrated respect through the ritual preparation of the poison, curare, used in blow darts. Hunting with such darts is not considered killing, but retrieving, essentially a kind of harvesting from the trees. Spearing wild peccaries, on the other hand, is killing and is practiced with violence and rage.
While never hunted, two other animals, the snake and the jaguar, have special significance for the Huaorani. Snakes are considered "the most evil force in the Huaorani cosmology", particularly the imposing (though nonvenemous) anaconda, or obe. A giant obe stands in the way of the forest trail that the dead follow to an afterlife with the creator in the sky. Here on earth, snakes are a bad omen, and traditionally killing them is considered taboo.
The Huaorani identify deeply with the jaguar, an important and majestic predator in the Oriente province of Ecuador. According to myth, the Huaorani were the descendants of a mating between a jaguar and an eagle. Elders became shamans by metaphorically adopting “jaguar sons” whose spirits communicate medical and spiritual knowledge. In the Huaorani belief system, jaguar shamans are able “to become a jaguar, and so to travel great distances telepathically and communicate with other Huaorani.”
Plants, especially trees, continue to hold a complex and important interest for the Huaorani. Their store of botanical knowledge is extensive, ranging from knowledge of materials to poisons to hallucinogens to medicines. They also relate plants to their own experiences, particularly that of growing. Among trees, certain kinds are auspicious. Canopy trees, with their distinctly colored young leaves and striking transformation as they mature to towering giants, are “admired for their solitary character … as well as for their profuse entanglement” with other plants. Other significant trees are the pioneer species of the peach palm (used for making spears and blowguns, as well as for fruit), and fast-growing balsa wood, used for ceremonial purposes. Peach palm trees are associated with past settlements and the ancestors who live there.
The Huaorani notion of time is particularly oriented to the present, with few obligations extending backwards or forwards in time. Their one word for future times, baane, also means "tomorrow". Spears are the main weapons of the Huaorani culture used in person to person conflict.
Their main hunting weapon is the blowgun. These weapons are typically from 3 to 4 metres long. The arrows used are dipped in curare poison, which paralyzes the muscles of the animal which is hit with it, so that it cannot breathe. Kapok fluff is used to create an air-tight seal, by twisting the fibers around the end of the dart or arrow. The pictures shows some huaorani woman preparing bird's nest.