Piero Pomponi World Focus Piero Pomponi World Focus

Piero Pomponi was born in 1965 in Nettuno-Rome, Italy. His family upbringing and education at the San Bernardo College of Casamari, formed his humanitarian approach and interest, in documenting world events. As a young man, in 1983, Piero began his travels and started his journey as a free-lance photojournalist. His work was published first in Corriere della Sera, La Repubblica, Paese Sera, Panorama and L’Espresso, covering the events in East Africa first and then in South East Asia. From the start Piero realized that his natural vocation was to capture the truth in deep. Piero began his travels around the world from a primary base in Dar Es Salaam,Tanzania, from where Piero’s work took him to India,Pakistan,Bangladesh,Thailand,Indonesia and the Philippines. In the African Continent, he travelled to Angola,South Africa,Kenya, Mozambique,Uganda,Rwanda,Burundi and Zaire,now the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 1997, Piero went to Colombia making his base in Bogota, and for the next five years he documented the current affairs and events of Latin America. During this period, Piero groundbreaking work documented the war on drug trafficking in Colombia and the ongoing conflict in the country amongst various outlaw groups for various international publications: The New York Times, Newsweek, Time,The Chicago Tribune and several more, working with New York base photo agency,Gamma Liaison. Piero Pomponi, during his stay in South America, also captured human interest stories, in particular his world exclusive story on colombian paramilitary AUC leader, Salvatore “El Mono” Mancuso and exclusive pictures of Hans Ertl, who was the official photographer of the Berlin Olimpics of 1936, and Lt Rommel in the africa korps campaign in Northern Africa. In April 2002, Piero returned to Africa, settling in Kampala,Uganda, where he now live permanently ,covering the socio-political events all around the african continent. He even works constantly too as a documentary film-maker for some italian and international television networks. Periodically, he teaches photojournalism workshops in the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, in Milan and has produced several short films, documentaries and charitable tv-commercials for different italian and international ONG. He studied International Politics with an emphasis on the Gobal Effects of Islamic Fundamentalism. He speaks several languages, including old Greek and Latin.

Collections created

Thumb sm
The Forgotten of Nha Trang Hospital
nha trang
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
26 Jul 2012

Contributor Piero Pomponi managed to gain entrance to the Nha Trang Hospital with a Vietnamese NGO worker who managed to convince the guard of the hospital to let them in. Piero's escort is a volunteer who brings in water, food, and medecine for the patients. There are no doctors or nurses in the hospital. People that are chained to the wall are considered the most dangerous patients. Piero could not interview the families visiting the patients. As evidenced in the photos there are signs patients have been beaten, are restrained by rusty chains, their feces is only cleaned from their room once a week. No one speaks of the hospital and the town of Nha Trang is a popular resort town. The hospital is actually the department of neurology of the Nha Trang Hospital but is kept separate.

Nha Trang - Vietnam - South East Asia- June 27th,2012- The power of the mind is infinite but not so deceitful as to drive the human being to suffer from the disturbances of its cognitive complexities on its own. Mental illnesses don’t just happen at the touch of a magical baton; they stem from a diverse fountain of anomalies and traumas spreading its viral and manic tentacles through different mental faculty mediums and in different forms of physical existence.
For the sufferer this represents a prison of self-hell, for reasoning is not capable to capture the very essence and the root cause of such torment. For our Universe, it further vindicates that health disparities through the lack of human rights, moral code, social and cultural injustices still prevail in the 21st century, where overall evolution for some still remains merely a word spelled with 9 letters and for others, the playground for continued obscure methods and treatments of torture towards victims of this dark yet un-chosen path of extreme abnormality.
There comes a time where honor and integrity for a just world need a mass calling, through the silent voices of all those that are not only living in the cell of their own self-inferno but also, are being prisoners of blacken and degrading action from other mortals defined as a disgrace to Humankind.
In Nha Trang psychiatric hospital, a lager in most cases, mental illness patients, still leaving with chains in a total state of slavery and deprivation of freedom. The picture shows some mental illness inside one of the psychiatric hospital, looking trough the barres window.

Media created

Frame 0004
"The forgotten of Nha Trang" - PROMO ...
Nha Trang, Vietnam
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
15 Jul 2012
       “SAIGON EXPRESS – THE FORGOTTEN”        
         Directed by Piero Pomponi

I recognize Ho Chi Minh, the old Saigon from the massacred American war, at the first light of daybreak. I am in line at the airport barely gathered from the much anticipated journey, behind an undetermined number of American veterans that have returned for the first time, or periodically return to the sites where many of their combat companions have lost their own lives. Most of them bear the signs of a devastating conflict, stemmed from the smokes of napalm, paradises of opium and bygone aged tattoos. Everyone marches around with scoured shabby bearded faces, revealing glimpses of a sentiment of remorse of the conscience. A war the American people did not want but one that has left imprinted much regret, and for most, it has become a hellish living nightmare. Despite my slumber, I see the visa office around the far corner of the arrival hall, and succeed to note the fatigue but proud arrogance of the immigration officers engaged in the issuance of visas. The process takes less than a minute, yet for most Americans they await tens of minutes for the release of their signed tourist visa. Perhaps this is the revenge that it is consumed every day at the international airport of Ho Chi Minh, a vengeance that is drowsing, eerie, ironic, painless, done with sarcasm nevertheless, not with napalm.

The intense heat is already scorching in the first hours of sunshine, though I hastily triumph getting into the first available taxi to go straight towards Ga Saigon, to catch the first train bound directly for Nha Trang, 435 kilometers east of Saigon. All is written in Vietnamese, and a peasant that sees me overloaded and burdened with four pieces of luggage I am carrying, in broken English peppered with words that I clearly do not recognize, points towards the door where I can purchase a ticket Saigon – Nha Trang. A few minutes later, with the sweat showering and burning the first layer of my skin, I sprinted onto a carriage of the Saigon Express. There are pictures of the old Ho Chi Minh everywhere, and it seems as if its ghost is following me ever since I landed from a flight originating from Manila. But here “is” another story; few images relate the change of a nation and of the people that fought powerful America, but what Amerika with a k, in the pure disparaging sense. I think and re-think with all the adrenaline running frantically through my veins, of my journey to this suffering land where the wounds have never healed, what will my master path be again, or the story I have now been pursuing for more than six years.

My contact awaits and is aware that upon my arrival it will be difficult to manage my impatience; considering he is Vietnamese and with affection, me “a valuable enemy”, although not American, but an Italian by virtue of birth. It has been over six years I have been chasing the story which in itself is about history, but after studying in particularize all details, I decided “against all odds”; this in the end would be a pleasure trip for sightseeing. But, I undeniably want to enter the psychiatric hospital of Nha Trang, where men and women are living like wild animals, to define it in the realest term. I have been told chains are tied to the necks and feet of patients suffering from schizophrenic syndromes, but I cannot imagine in the new world this cruelty really existing in a mental hospital. I was also told men and women sleep lying on their own excrement and urine, but it is hard to conceive when I think of the constant presence of McDonalds, beaches for Russian tourists hunting for Europeans on holiday, but above all, I think of what I had and have read for years before reaching Saigon in the last few hours: the radical change in a country waving a red flag and yellow star opens to foreign corporations. But maybe it is a cliché, a legacy for hundreds of people landing on the tarmac of the international airports scattered across the vast Vietnamese territory.

Finally, Nha Trang is sitting under the sole of my shoes and after loading my luggage onto an old Minks motorcycle manufactured in Belarus, I was taken to a small motel where my contact had told me to stay. The sunlight is soft, and clouds crying rain drops on the horizon mixed with the smells of a thousand acres of industrial fumes, accompany me to the motel that in the end I find it to be one paid by the hour: a destination for deprived tourists and beautiful young Vietnamese girls, in search of an European or any other tourist, to indulge in a disturbing form, in a night filled with sex, drugs and rock and roll. I am already inside the room, with the only fan suspended from the ceiling above my head. I seem to have lived this scene before, recalling Martin Sheene in the film Apocalypse Now, and now that I remember it well, I really got to identify with him. I take a packet of Marlboro cigarettes out of one of my camera bags, which happens to be my last and have to save it, as I am totally in the dark as to where I can buy other cigarettes considering I have arrived during the night.

It is past midnight, the mood is somber and the pounding sounds from above and around do not help a body delirious from sleep withdrawal, and a mind unsettled and immersed in deep thought to rest. I am choking in the vapors of my own chain smoking and in the stifling high temperatures floating in the space, inebriated by the lack of air the solitary fan radiates from its cranky and almost still rotation. The dance of thought continues engrossed in its own intertwined world of unanswered questioning; I keep interrogating my innermost self, as to what classification of psychotropic drugs these mental patients could possibly be under to cause their caretakers to chain them like animals, and in surroundings that are so brutal and inhumane. The cross-examining keeps debating its usage as it could place in greater jeopardy their mental health and life within an impossible world and whereby scientifically there is also conflicting and lack of clear evidence of its efficacy. But, the real question I am having enormous trouble embracing is, why is there such a dark side to pharmacology; does it have anything to do with cognitive reframing for the sake of someone else’s gain? The night is intensely brilliant, but not even the bright stars stroking their autonomous universe can illuminate the heaviness prevailing in this moment of such mind inquisition. I do not remember falling asleep, but I faintly recall waking-up to the strong beating hums of a manic and energetic door knocking. Phuoc, my Vietnamese contact, has arrived to show me the far sights of Nha Trang.

The heat wave continues to enfold the land as I am savoring my second espresso coffee at a little family owned bakery, in contrast to what I have been tested with so far. My plan is to get closer to the native people and its land, the authenticity of their livelihood, and discover the wonders of the many off-the-beaten-track sites while contemplating the most strategic avenue on how to enter the psychiatric hospital. As the clock keeps ticking in my quest, the anxiety is slowly jetting off to the summit of its reality with the awareness of being potentially able to accomplish the pursuit of much anticipated story coverage. Amidst all the exploring during the two days that followed, the panic got so merciless I had to venture out of my own purposed adventure, in search of a source that could hypothetically supply me with a tablet of Xanax. And so, another mission has evolved in parallel. It is early morning on my fourth day in Nha Trang, and I indisputably need to find a doctor that can prescribe the medication to appease my human engine given the circumstance. In my own despondency I ask around if I can be taken to the psychiatric hospital with the knowledge such platform usually carries this type of anti-anxiety medicine. Eventually, I get hold of a doctor prepared to listen, and upon explaining the drug had been prescribed in 1994 after covering the war in Rwanda, he agreed to lead the way to the dispensary adjacent to the psychiatric hospital.

Every drop of blood begins to pulsate at the thought the conquering of my mission is just minutes away; the terror surmounting the eight kilometer ride on the way to the psychiatric hospital is indescribable; the adrenaline pumping ten thousand beats per minute, feels I am going to fly and disperse in a million fragments of life, such is the strength of my inner trepidation. Mental flashes race back and forth in preparation to this potential story exposure. It is important I stay focused at the same time all this other craziness is prevailing within the fortress of my human system. As I dismount from the old relic motorbike, the doctor shows me the way towards the dispensary where another meeting of minds takes place. A second doctor is introduced and upon explaining once again the story of my being prescribed Xanax, he told me he had another pill that in his opinion is far more effective. In accepting with an affirmation, he stood up and asked everyone to follow to the place where he would get the suggested medication. To my amazement, I am now being led towards the entrance of the psychiatric hospital which is bolted with a thick chain and lock. I am inside following the doctors towards an office where presumably this wonder medicine is supposed to be kept. I have only one thought in my mind, but cannot avoid noticing the commotion displayed in the courtyard en-route. As I am offered the miracle pill, I take it without even thinking knowing any hint of hesitation can lift doubt as to what my real intent was in the first place.

As I am left to tour the hospital with Phuoc free from anyone’s suspicion, I stand in awe with the image that presents before my eyes and inwardly wonder who the mentally disturbed sufferers really are; the caretakers or the inmates made prisoners of their own mental health. On second thought my question is how a native could possibly know the latest medical advancements in mental health treatment, to instigate such turmoil within the human minds of these captive patients. As I begin to record the obscurity of this forgotten world, the sounds of despair echoing through the corridors as I pace, with bouts of raging moans interrupting the ongoing cries of desperation, are but a whisper of hell of all there is to document. Men and women of all ages are chained in their cells like animals on exhibition; a gruesome playground for the observer comprised of caretakers, janitors and other medical hierarchy. The lack of warmth wrapping their naked bodies, the cold world of cement floor setting, in many occasions garnished with excrement and urine, adorned with iron framed windows and walls stained with dried blood frescos, serve as a daily reminder of their surroundings, without reverence being considered as the bear minimum deemed appropriate towards the wellbeing of the human race. With the exception of a small group of volunteers which have not been filmed for the welfare of their own safety, it appears moral responsibility has become but a word disturbed in the world within, where undetermined interests other than the protection of Humanity may have taken a turn in precedence. In spite of the shocking images and chants stemming from pure misery and despair, I spend seven hours in observation with the last two dedicated to recording the story that had been haunting me for more than six years. The cries continue in the far distance of my hearing senses and I suddenly feel in my gut it is time to leave. I hurry to the bathroom to ensure the safekeeping of my memory card from the camera before riding back to the motel to get my luggage and catching the first available train back to Ho Chi Minh.

The ride back is absorbed in deep thought with the pendulum of my reasoning swaying back and forth. I stop by the motel to collect my luggage and exit as fast as I can. I feel mentally drained and physically exhausted as I inhale the remains of a war engraved and spread in different forms. I get to the train station to purchase the ticket Nha Trang - Ho Chi Minh and it is revealed the next train will depart in four hours. As I sit in waiting, anxiety restrains my continued inner reflection every time a group of policemen enters the station believing they are looking for me. By the time I boarded the train I am comforted trusting this paranoia of thought will soon be forgotten. Twenty minutes into the train ride I am approached by someone asking who I am; I responded by affirming I am a tourist. After a rapid pause for contemplation he retorted by stating I am not a tourist but a well-known photographer, and left without further announcement. My seat is assigned by the window, and as I try to engage in the palette of colors the countryside offers in the far distance, the visual review keeps being interrupted by the imagery of hopelessness and dejection rolling in the film projector of my conscious mind. I gently place my head on the window, close my eyes and let the motion of the train rock me into a world of new hopes and possibilities, so I believed. The train horn announces the eminent arrival - 5 minutes to Ho Chi Minh City. I fold my thoughts for just a brief moment before gathering my entire luggage ahead of my exodus.

I see the taxi line from afar and advance my footsteps to escape the noise resonating from the crowds at the station and in haste to get into the first vacant taxi to the hotel. In my blurred recollection from a sudden attack by seven men of short but stocky build, two taxi drivers watched in absolute silence and horror the events that proceeded in the rounds of beatings and mugging. With blood overflowing from the left eye dripping onto my shirt, the body battered and bruised from all the lashing and two cameras ripped from the pockets of my trousers along with other personal documentation, I managed to escape this unexpected brutality and while one of the taxi drivers piloted in terror the route towards the hotel, I called my sister in Rome to organize with urgency a ticket on the first flight back home. Upon arrival and as I am getting out of the car after paying the fare ride, I am approached by two other men and before I know it the second round of thrashings targeting both sides of my ribcage followed with a vengeance, before stripping the cell phone hanging on my neck and the one used for the filming in the psychiatric hospital. Prudently, I had downloaded the entire reporting during the train ride from Nha Trang to Ho Chi Minh. Dripping in blood and with some difficulty in breathing, I enter the hotel lobby and simultaneously receive a call which is my sister advising all is set to leave Ho Chi Minh immediately. Among all the physical pain, the bare minimum left on my body stained with blood, remnants of both assaults, I remember waking up upon touched down at Fiumicino International Airport in Rome.

Will I ever be allowed back in Vietnam? Time will be the champion of justice…

IMPORTANT NOTE AND CREDITS:

"SAIGON EXPRESS : THE FORGOTTEN" - Liberamente tratto dal docu-film ""60 SECONDS IN ASIA" PROMO FILM ONLY./ LIGHTOUCH FILM INTERNATIONAL ©2013 Strettamente vietata la riproduzione se non con il consenso esplicito dell'autore. Tutti i diritti riservati. REGIA: PIERO POMPONI - ASSISTENTE ALLA REGIA: PEPPE CARUCCI - SCENEGGIATURA: CRISTINA MEDEIROS - MONTAGGIO: ROSARIO RUSSO - MUSICHE: KIKO POLYUGASKI - PRODUTTORE ESECUTIVO: IBAN DE MIGUEL & MONTSERRAT MOTA -----FILM PRINTS: PRINT ME SRL. TARANTO,ITALY/POLARIS
ORIGINAL FOOTAGE IN COLOR HD.

Thumb sm
Jennyfer Ayat : Slave in Kireka's sto...
Kampala, Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
20 Feb 2012

Kireka-Kampala township-Uganda-East Africa-February 26th-2013
Following on the footsteps of great many people before her, Jennyfer Ayat made a daring and courageous decision to escape the controls of sexual enslavement or perhaps even death, from the followers of warlord Joseph Kony by braving the long march of Gulu Walk. It seems ironic when in essence Jennyfer Ayat is escaping one form of brutal slavery for another.
Over the past twenty years the echoes of pain injected by the Kony terror, have caused women like Jennyfer Ayat, of Uganda to make hard and testing choices to either live in constant fear of death for themselves, their children and loved ones, or harvest bravery from the fountain sitting deep within to escape and live in another form of fear. One where the desperation of making an exodus of living in poverty and in slavery has become invisible to corporations, employing workers at the lowest, most discriminatory wages, robbing them of their human rights and the fundamental freedom to choose, let alone their voiceless whisper vindicating their right of a just deserved human dignity.
It is shocking to observe that children born in this state of bondage; continue to live a life journey of captivity and slave labor, long after their parents’ escape from the Kony violations against humanity. A young 36 year old Jennyfer Ayat carrying a hammer on her shoulder, as if this chunk of iron embellished with a long, heavy pole made of rough wood has become Jennyfer’s best play mate and soul companion. The unimaginable strength of Jennyfer Ayat’s body bears resemblance to a rare piece of priceless sculpture: but this is not the romanticism of African life, this is an image evoking a story of human survival and absolute determination; the cruel reality of working for virtually naught, for each jerry-can loaded with crushed stones and carried airborne by the strong in the quarry, is worth a mere 100 Ugandan shillings. Considering there are some 2250 Ugandan shillings to a dollar in conversion, and many hours of hardship labor to a filled jerry-can, how many more veins must bleed dry for every dignified being to continue living under a dollar a day, while corporations rip offensive benefits through such human abuse and exploitation?
Jennyfer Ayat is seen on many occasions with hammer in hand pounding the rock, her frame is small but her strength is heroic. There are no traces of hatred in her expression, but a breed of devotion that is disturbing to the more fortunate audience, exuding an acceptance of life as it is, and as it will always be. But, it is in Jennyfer’s strength of spirit and will to survive that has kept her and her family breathing their harsh journey. Each frame illustrates the Inferno of an ongoing documentary project called “BUKEDDE”, a word in Luganda, the main local language of Uganda, which means “ONE MORE DAY” to identify that “it is morning again”. It captures the core of Jennyfer’s character and high moral fiber, her moments of tenderness with her little adopted baby, Ivonne whose aura radiates a Madonna like semblance. She cradles the child gently inside their humble home, illuminated by soft candle light in the cold African nightfall. The compositions also encapsulate the private moments of prayer with her son, both clutching their only rosary, recorded through the faint light radiating from a set of azure candles. These are intimate moments she shared; giving every one of us the only thing she has left to give, her self existence.
This moving photographic journey introduces us to Jennyfer, a strong African woman; showing glimpses of her daily life, her hopes and dreams, the reverence and aspirations for her precious children. The moments captured, display the altruism of unconditional love, the importance of small details in life, the sharing of work scented with nobility, and the intimate exchange of profound glances in prayer. The daily trivia of Jennyfer’s life in Kireka are but a brief preview into the depths of her soul captured through the eyes and the lenses, amidst a rollercoaster of emotions as witness of such narrative. They speak of hardship, fear and faith and highlight the coldhearted blindness of governments, institutions and corporations.
This is “BUKEDDE”, it is morning again…
The pictures shows Magdalene, Jennyfer Ayat's stone quarry friend worker showing that is affected by the Guinea worms and still working for her and family surviving. These women like Magdalene and Jennyfer Ayat, all have two things in common: they make barely enough money to survive and they are all refugees who fled the war in Northern Uganda. After suffering a decade or more of war in Apac district in Northern Uganda, they came to Kampala in search of a safer and happier life. Most have now spent over a decade working at the quarries with no respite.

Thumb sm
Jennyfer Ayat : Slave in Kireka's sto...
Kampala, Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
20 Feb 2012

Kireka-Kampala township-Uganda-East Africa-February 26th-2013
Following on the footsteps of great many people before her, Jennyfer Ayat made a daring and courageous decision to escape the controls of sexual enslavement or perhaps even death, from the followers of warlord Joseph Kony by braving the long march of Gulu Walk. It seems ironic when in essence Jennyfer Ayat is escaping one form of brutal slavery for another.
Over the past twenty years the echoes of pain injected by the Kony terror, have caused women like Jennyfer Ayat, of Uganda to make hard and testing choices to either live in constant fear of death for themselves, their children and loved ones, or harvest bravery from the fountain sitting deep within to escape and live in another form of fear. One where the desperation of making an exodus of living in poverty and in slavery has become invisible to corporations, employing workers at the lowest, most discriminatory wages, robbing them of their human rights and the fundamental freedom to choose, let alone their voiceless whisper vindicating their right of a just deserved human dignity.
It is shocking to observe that children born in this state of bondage; continue to live a life journey of captivity and slave labor, long after their parents’ escape from the Kony violations against humanity. A young 36 year old Jennyfer Ayat carrying a hammer on her shoulder, as if this chunk of iron embellished with a long, heavy pole made of rough wood has become Jennyfer’s best play mate and soul companion. The unimaginable strength of Jennyfer Ayat’s body bears resemblance to a rare piece of priceless sculpture: but this is not the romanticism of African life, this is an image evoking a story of human survival and absolute determination; the cruel reality of working for virtually naught, for each jerry-can loaded with crushed stones and carried airborne by the strong in the quarry, is worth a mere 100 Ugandan shillings. Considering there are some 2250 Ugandan shillings to a dollar in conversion, and many hours of hardship labor to a filled jerry-can, how many more veins must bleed dry for every dignified being to continue living under a dollar a day, while corporations rip offensive benefits through such human abuse and exploitation?
Jennyfer Ayat is seen on many occasions with hammer in hand pounding the rock, her frame is small but her strength is heroic. There are no traces of hatred in her expression, but a breed of devotion that is disturbing to the more fortunate audience, exuding an acceptance of life as it is, and as it will always be. But, it is in Jennyfer’s strength of spirit and will to survive that has kept her and her family breathing their harsh journey. Each frame illustrates the Inferno of an ongoing documentary project called “BUKEDDE”, a word in Luganda, the main local language of Uganda, which means “ONE MORE DAY” to identify that “it is morning again”. It captures the core of Jennyfer’s character and high moral fiber, her moments of tenderness with her little adopted baby, Ivonne whose aura radiates a Madonna like semblance. She cradles the child gently inside their humble home, illuminated by soft candle light in the cold African nightfall. The compositions also encapsulate the private moments of prayer with her son, both clutching their only rosary, recorded through the faint light radiating from a set of azure candles. These are intimate moments she shared; giving every one of us the only thing she has left to give, her self existence.
This moving photographic journey introduces us to Jennyfer, a strong African woman; showing glimpses of her daily life, her hopes and dreams, the reverence and aspirations for her precious children. The moments captured, display the altruism of unconditional love, the importance of small details in life, the sharing of work scented with nobility, and the intimate exchange of profound glances in prayer. The daily trivia of Jennyfer’s life in Kireka are but a brief preview into the depths of her soul captured through the eyes and the lenses, amidst a rollercoaster of emotions as witness of such narrative. They speak of hardship, fear and faith and highlight the coldhearted blindness of governments, institutions and corporations.
This is “BUKEDDE”, it is morning again…
The pictures shows a boy carrying on his shoulder a 10 kg of jerry-cane stone for a miserable 200 hundred uganda shillings paid.

Thumb sm
Jennyfer Ayat : Slave in Kireka's sto...
Kampala, Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
20 Feb 2012

Kireka-Kampala township-Uganda-East Africa-February 26th-2013
Following on the footsteps of great many people before her, Jennyfer Ayat made a daring and courageous decision to escape the controls of sexual enslavement or perhaps even death, from the followers of warlord Joseph Kony by braving the long march of Gulu Walk. It seems ironic when in essence Jennyfer Ayat is escaping one form of brutal slavery for another.
Over the past twenty years the echoes of pain injected by the Kony terror, have caused women like Jennyfer Ayat, of Uganda to make hard and testing choices to either live in constant fear of death for themselves, their children and loved ones, or harvest bravery from the fountain sitting deep within to escape and live in another form of fear. One where the desperation of making an exodus of living in poverty and in slavery has become invisible to corporations, employing workers at the lowest, most discriminatory wages, robbing them of their human rights and the fundamental freedom to choose, let alone their voiceless whisper vindicating their right of a just deserved human dignity.
It is shocking to observe that children born in this state of bondage; continue to live a life journey of captivity and slave labor, long after their parents’ escape from the Kony violations against humanity. A young 36 year old Jennyfer Ayat carrying a hammer on her shoulder, as if this chunk of iron embellished with a long, heavy pole made of rough wood has become Jennyfer’s best play mate and soul companion. The unimaginable strength of Jennyfer Ayat’s body bears resemblance to a rare piece of priceless sculpture: but this is not the romanticism of African life, this is an image evoking a story of human survival and absolute determination; the cruel reality of working for virtually naught, for each jerry-can loaded with crushed stones and carried airborne by the strong in the quarry, is worth a mere 100 Ugandan shillings. Considering there are some 2250 Ugandan shillings to a dollar in conversion, and many hours of hardship labor to a filled jerry-can, how many more veins must bleed dry for every dignified being to continue living under a dollar a day, while corporations rip offensive benefits through such human abuse and exploitation?
Jennyfer Ayat is seen on many occasions with hammer in hand pounding the rock, her frame is small but her strength is heroic. There are no traces of hatred in her expression, but a breed of devotion that is disturbing to the more fortunate audience, exuding an acceptance of life as it is, and as it will always be. But, it is in Jennyfer’s strength of spirit and will to survive that has kept her and her family breathing their harsh journey. Each frame illustrates the Inferno of an ongoing documentary project called “BUKEDDE”, a word in Luganda, the main local language of Uganda, which means “ONE MORE DAY” to identify that “it is morning again”. It captures the core of Jennyfer’s character and high moral fiber, her moments of tenderness with her little adopted baby, Ivonne whose aura radiates a Madonna like semblance. She cradles the child gently inside their humble home, illuminated by soft candle light in the cold African nightfall. The compositions also encapsulate the private moments of prayer with her son, both clutching their only rosary, recorded through the faint light radiating from a set of azure candles. These are intimate moments she shared; giving every one of us the only thing she has left to give, her self existence.
This moving photographic journey introduces us to Jennyfer, a strong African woman; showing glimpses of her daily life, her hopes and dreams, the reverence and aspirations for her precious children. The moments captured, display the altruism of unconditional love, the importance of small details in life, the sharing of work scented with nobility, and the intimate exchange of profound glances in prayer. The daily trivia of Jennyfer’s life in Kireka are but a brief preview into the depths of her soul captured through the eyes and the lenses, amidst a rollercoaster of emotions as witness of such narrative. They speak of hardship, fear and faith and highlight the coldhearted blindness of governments, institutions and corporations.
This is “BUKEDDE”, it is morning again…
The pictures shows Erik, the stone quarry "master boss", where Jennyfer Ayat and hundreds of slaves live in an inhuman conditions. Eric earns 20% for each stone jerry-cane, that the Kireka stone quarry slaves hang in their shoulders.

Thumb sm
Jennyfer Ayat : Slave in Kireka's sto...
Kampala, Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
20 Feb 2012

Kireka-Kampala township-Uganda-East Africa-February 26th-2013
Following on the footsteps of great many people before her, Jennyfer Ayat made a daring and courageous decision to escape the controls of sexual enslavement or perhaps even death, from the followers of warlord Joseph Kony by braving the long march of Gulu Walk. It seems ironic when in essence Jennyfer Ayat is escaping one form of brutal slavery for another.
Over the past twenty years the echoes of pain injected by the Kony terror, have caused women like Jennyfer Ayat, of Uganda to make hard and testing choices to either live in constant fear of death for themselves, their children and loved ones, or harvest bravery from the fountain sitting deep within to escape and live in another form of fear. One where the desperation of making an exodus of living in poverty and in slavery has become invisible to corporations, employing workers at the lowest, most discriminatory wages, robbing them of their human rights and the fundamental freedom to choose, let alone their voiceless whisper vindicating their right of a just deserved human dignity.
It is shocking to observe that children born in this state of bondage; continue to live a life journey of captivity and slave labor, long after their parents’ escape from the Kony violations against humanity. A young 36 year old Jennyfer Ayat carrying a hammer on her shoulder, as if this chunk of iron embellished with a long, heavy pole made of rough wood has become Jennyfer’s best play mate and soul companion. The unimaginable strength of Jennyfer Ayat’s body bears resemblance to a rare piece of priceless sculpture: but this is not the romanticism of African life, this is an image evoking a story of human survival and absolute determination; the cruel reality of working for virtually naught, for each jerry-can loaded with crushed stones and carried airborne by the strong in the quarry, is worth a mere 100 Ugandan shillings. Considering there are some 2250 Ugandan shillings to a dollar in conversion, and many hours of hardship labor to a filled jerry-can, how many more veins must bleed dry for every dignified being to continue living under a dollar a day, while corporations rip offensive benefits through such human abuse and exploitation?
Jennyfer Ayat is seen on many occasions with hammer in hand pounding the rock, her frame is small but her strength is heroic. There are no traces of hatred in her expression, but a breed of devotion that is disturbing to the more fortunate audience, exuding an acceptance of life as it is, and as it will always be. But, it is in Jennyfer’s strength of spirit and will to survive that has kept her and her family breathing their harsh journey. Each frame illustrates the Inferno of an ongoing documentary project called “BUKEDDE”, a word in Luganda, the main local language of Uganda, which means “ONE MORE DAY” to identify that “it is morning again”. It captures the core of Jennyfer’s character and high moral fiber, her moments of tenderness with her little adopted baby, Ivonne whose aura radiates a Madonna like semblance. She cradles the child gently inside their humble home, illuminated by soft candle light in the cold African nightfall. The compositions also encapsulate the private moments of prayer with her son, both clutching their only rosary, recorded through the faint light radiating from a set of azure candles. These are intimate moments she shared; giving every one of us the only thing she has left to give, her self existence.
This moving photographic journey introduces us to Jennyfer, a strong African woman; showing glimpses of her daily life, her hopes and dreams, the reverence and aspirations for her precious children. The moments captured, display the altruism of unconditional love, the importance of small details in life, the sharing of work scented with nobility, and the intimate exchange of profound glances in prayer. The daily trivia of Jennyfer’s life in Kireka are but a brief preview into the depths of her soul captured through the eyes and the lenses, amidst a rollercoaster of emotions as witness of such narrative. They speak of hardship, fear and faith and highlight the coldhearted blindness of governments, institutions and corporations.
This is “BUKEDDE”, it is morning again…
The pictures shows Magdalene, Jennyfer Ayat's stone quarry friend worker showing that is affected by the Guinea worms and still working for her and family surviving. These women, like Magdalene and Jennyfer Ayat, all have two things in common: they make barely enough money to survive and they are all refugees who fled the war in Northern Uganda. After suffering a decade or more of war in Apac district in Northern Uganda, they came to Kampala in search of a safer and happier life. Most have now spent over a decade working at the quarries with no respite.

Thumb sm
Jennyfer Ayat : Slave in Kireka's sto...
Kampala, Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
20 Feb 2012

Kireka-Kampala township-Uganda-East Africa-February 26th-2013
Following on the footsteps of great many people before her, Jennyfer Ayat made a daring and courageous decision to escape the controls of sexual enslavement or perhaps even death, from the followers of warlord Joseph Kony by braving the long march of Gulu Walk. It seems ironic when in essence Jennyfer Ayat is escaping one form of brutal slavery for another.
Over the past twenty years the echoes of pain injected by the Kony terror, have caused women like Jennyfer Ayat, of Uganda to make hard and testing choices to either live in constant fear of death for themselves, their children and loved ones, or harvest bravery from the fountain sitting deep within to escape and live in another form of fear. One where the desperation of making an exodus of living in poverty and in slavery has become invisible to corporations, employing workers at the lowest, most discriminatory wages, robbing them of their human rights and the fundamental freedom to choose, let alone their voiceless whisper vindicating their right of a just deserved human dignity.
It is shocking to observe that children born in this state of bondage; continue to live a life journey of captivity and slave labor, long after their parents’ escape from the Kony violations against humanity. A young 36 year old Jennyfer Ayat carrying a hammer on her shoulder, as if this chunk of iron embellished with a long, heavy pole made of rough wood has become Jennyfer’s best play mate and soul companion. The unimaginable strength of Jennyfer Ayat’s body bears resemblance to a rare piece of priceless sculpture: but this is not the romanticism of African life, this is an image evoking a story of human survival and absolute determination; the cruel reality of working for virtually naught, for each jerry-can loaded with crushed stones and carried airborne by the strong in the quarry, is worth a mere 100 Ugandan shillings. Considering there are some 2250 Ugandan shillings to a dollar in conversion, and many hours of hardship labor to a filled jerry-can, how many more veins must bleed dry for every dignified being to continue living under a dollar a day, while corporations rip offensive benefits through such human abuse and exploitation?
Jennyfer Ayat is seen on many occasions with hammer in hand pounding the rock, her frame is small but her strength is heroic. There are no traces of hatred in her expression, but a breed of devotion that is disturbing to the more fortunate audience, exuding an acceptance of life as it is, and as it will always be. But, it is in Jennyfer’s strength of spirit and will to survive that has kept her and her family breathing their harsh journey. Each frame illustrates the Inferno of an ongoing documentary project called “BUKEDDE”, a word in Luganda, the main local language of Uganda, which means “ONE MORE DAY” to identify that “it is morning again”. It captures the core of Jennyfer’s character and high moral fiber, her moments of tenderness with her little adopted baby, Ivonne whose aura radiates a Madonna like semblance. She cradles the child gently inside their humble home, illuminated by soft candle light in the cold African nightfall. The compositions also encapsulate the private moments of prayer with her son, both clutching their only rosary, recorded through the faint light radiating from a set of azure candles. These are intimate moments she shared; giving every one of us the only thing she has left to give, her self existence.
This moving photographic journey introduces us to Jennyfer, a strong African woman; showing glimpses of her daily life, her hopes and dreams, the reverence and aspirations for her precious children. The moments captured, display the altruism of unconditional love, the importance of small details in life, the sharing of work scented with nobility, and the intimate exchange of profound glances in prayer. The daily trivia of Jennyfer’s life in Kireka are but a brief preview into the depths of her soul captured through the eyes and the lenses, amidst a rollercoaster of emotions as witness of such narrative. They speak of hardship, fear and faith and highlight the coldhearted blindness of governments, institutions and corporations.
This is “BUKEDDE”, it is morning again…
The pictures shows Magdalene, Jennyfer Ayat's stone quarry friend worker showing that is affected by the Guinea worms and still working for her and family surviving. These women, like Magdalene and Jennyfer Ayat, all have two things in common: they make barely enough money to survive and they are all refugees who fled the war in Northern Uganda. After suffering a decade or more of war in Apac district in Northern Uganda, they came to Kampala in search of a safer and happier life. Most have now spent over a decade working at the quarries with no respite. Magdalene works in Kireka stone quarry since eleven years, earning two US dollar a day.

Thumb sm
Jennyfer Ayat : Slave in Kireka's sto...
Kampala, Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
20 Feb 2012

Kireka-Kampala township-Uganda-East Africa-February 26th-2013
Following on the footsteps of great many people before her, Jennyfer Ayat made a daring and courageous decision to escape the controls of sexual enslavement or perhaps even death, from the followers of warlord Joseph Kony by braving the long march of Gulu Walk. It seems ironic when in essence Jennyfer Ayat is escaping one form of brutal slavery for another.
Over the past twenty years the echoes of pain injected by the Kony terror, have caused women like Jennyfer Ayat, of Uganda to make hard and testing choices to either live in constant fear of death for themselves, their children and loved ones, or harvest bravery from the fountain sitting deep within to escape and live in another form of fear. One where the desperation of making an exodus of living in poverty and in slavery has become invisible to corporations, employing workers at the lowest, most discriminatory wages, robbing them of their human rights and the fundamental freedom to choose, let alone their voiceless whisper vindicating their right of a just deserved human dignity.
It is shocking to observe that children born in this state of bondage; continue to live a life journey of captivity and slave labor, long after their parents’ escape from the Kony violations against humanity. A young 36 year old Jennyfer Ayat carrying a hammer on her shoulder, as if this chunk of iron embellished with a long, heavy pole made of rough wood has become Jennyfer’s best play mate and soul companion. The unimaginable strength of Jennyfer Ayat’s body bears resemblance to a rare piece of priceless sculpture: but this is not the romanticism of African life, this is an image evoking a story of human survival and absolute determination; the cruel reality of working for virtually naught, for each jerry-can loaded with crushed stones and carried airborne by the strong in the quarry, is worth a mere 100 Ugandan shillings. Considering there are some 2250 Ugandan shillings to a dollar in conversion, and many hours of hardship labor to a filled jerry-can, how many more veins must bleed dry for every dignified being to continue living under a dollar a day, while corporations rip offensive benefits through such human abuse and exploitation?
Jennyfer Ayat is seen on many occasions with hammer in hand pounding the rock, her frame is small but her strength is heroic. There are no traces of hatred in her expression, but a breed of devotion that is disturbing to the more fortunate audience, exuding an acceptance of life as it is, and as it will always be. But, it is in Jennyfer’s strength of spirit and will to survive that has kept her and her family breathing their harsh journey. Each frame illustrates the Inferno of an ongoing documentary project called “BUKEDDE”, a word in Luganda, the main local language of Uganda, which means “ONE MORE DAY” to identify that “it is morning again”. It captures the core of Jennyfer’s character and high moral fiber, her moments of tenderness with her little adopted baby, Ivonne whose aura radiates a Madonna like semblance. She cradles the child gently inside their humble home, illuminated by soft candle light in the cold African nightfall. The compositions also encapsulate the private moments of prayer with her son, both clutching their only rosary, recorded through the faint light radiating from a set of azure candles. These are intimate moments she shared; giving every one of us the only thing she has left to give, her self existence.
This moving photographic journey introduces us to Jennyfer, a strong African woman; showing glimpses of her daily life, her hopes and dreams, the reverence and aspirations for her precious children. The moments captured, display the altruism of unconditional love, the importance of small details in life, the sharing of work scented with nobility, and the intimate exchange of profound glances in prayer. The daily trivia of Jennyfer’s life in Kireka are but a brief preview into the depths of her soul captured through the eyes and the lenses, amidst a rollercoaster of emotions as witness of such narrative. They speak of hardship, fear and faith and highlight the coldhearted blindness of governments, institutions and corporations.
This is “BUKEDDE”, it is morning again…
The pictures shows Magdalene, Jennyfer Ayat's stone quarry friend worker showing that is affected by the Guinea worms and still working for her and family surviving. Magdalene, does not have any government assistance for her Guinea worms disease, and is condemned to be in this situation forever in the future.
FEATURE STORY.

Thumb sm
Jennyfer Ayat : Slave in Kireka's sto...
Kampala, Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
20 Feb 2012

Kireka-Kampala township-Uganda-East Africa-February 26th-2013
Following on the footsteps of great many people before her, Jennyfer Ayat made a daring and courageous decision to escape the controls of sexual enslavement or perhaps even death, from the followers of warlord Joseph Kony by braving the long march of Gulu Walk. It seems ironic when in essence Jennyfer Ayat is escaping one form of brutal slavery for another.
Over the past twenty years the echoes of pain injected by the Kony terror, have caused women like Jennyfer Ayat, of Uganda to make hard and testing choices to either live in constant fear of death for themselves, their children and loved ones, or harvest bravery from the fountain sitting deep within to escape and live in another form of fear. One where the desperation of making an exodus of living in poverty and in slavery has become invisible to corporations, employing workers at the lowest, most discriminatory wages, robbing them of their human rights and the fundamental freedom to choose, let alone their voiceless whisper vindicating their right of a just deserved human dignity.
It is shocking to observe that children born in this state of bondage; continue to live a life journey of captivity and slave labor, long after their parents’ escape from the Kony violations against humanity. A young 36 year old Jennyfer Ayat carrying a hammer on her shoulder, as if this chunk of iron embellished with a long, heavy pole made of rough wood has become Jennyfer’s best play mate and soul companion. The unimaginable strength of Jennyfer Ayat’s body bears resemblance to a rare piece of priceless sculpture: but this is not the romanticism of African life, this is an image evoking a story of human survival and absolute determination; the cruel reality of working for virtually naught, for each jerry-can loaded with crushed stones and carried airborne by the strong in the quarry, is worth a mere 100 Ugandan shillings. Considering there are some 2250 Ugandan shillings to a dollar in conversion, and many hours of hardship labor to a filled jerry-can, how many more veins must bleed dry for every dignified being to continue living under a dollar a day, while corporations rip offensive benefits through such human abuse and exploitation?
Jennyfer Ayat is seen on many occasions with hammer in hand pounding the rock, her frame is small but her strength is heroic. There are no traces of hatred in her expression, but a breed of devotion that is disturbing to the more fortunate audience, exuding an acceptance of life as it is, and as it will always be. But, it is in Jennyfer’s strength of spirit and will to survive that has kept her and her family breathing their harsh journey. Each frame illustrates the Inferno of an ongoing documentary project called “BUKEDDE”, a word in Luganda, the main local language of Uganda, which means “ONE MORE DAY” to identify that “it is morning again”. It captures the core of Jennyfer’s character and high moral fiber, her moments of tenderness with her little adopted baby, Ivonne whose aura radiates a Madonna like semblance. She cradles the child gently inside their humble home, illuminated by soft candle light in the cold African nightfall. The compositions also encapsulate the private moments of prayer with her son, both clutching their only rosary, recorded through the faint light radiating from a set of azure candles. These are intimate moments she shared; giving every one of us the only thing she has left to give, her self existence.
This moving photographic journey introduces us to Jennyfer, a strong African woman; showing glimpses of her daily life, her hopes and dreams, the reverence and aspirations for her precious children. The moments captured, display the altruism of unconditional love, the importance of small details in life, the sharing of work scented with nobility, and the intimate exchange of profound glances in prayer. The daily trivia of Jennyfer’s life in Kireka are but a brief preview into the depths of her soul captured through the eyes and the lenses, amidst a rollercoaster of emotions as witness of such narrative. They speak of hardship, fear and faith and highlight the coldhearted blindness of governments, institutions and corporations.
This is “BUKEDDE”, it is morning again…
The pictures shows Jennyfer Ayat organizing her day in the hut.
FEATURE STORY.

Thumb sm
Jennyfer Ayat : Slave in Kireka's sto...
Kampala, Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
20 Feb 2012

Kireka-Kampala township-Uganda-East Africa-February 26th-2013
Following on the footsteps of great many people before her, Jennyfer Ayat made a daring and courageous decision to escape the controls of sexual enslavement or perhaps even death, from the followers of warlord Joseph Kony by braving the long march of Gulu Walk. It seems ironic when in essence Jennyfer Ayat is escaping one form of brutal slavery for another.
Over the past twenty years the echoes of pain injected by the Kony terror, have caused women like Jennyfer Ayat, of Uganda to make hard and testing choices to either live in constant fear of death for themselves, their children and loved ones, or harvest bravery from the fountain sitting deep within to escape and live in another form of fear. One where the desperation of making an exodus of living in poverty and in slavery has become invisible to corporations, employing workers at the lowest, most discriminatory wages, robbing them of their human rights and the fundamental freedom to choose, let alone their voiceless whisper vindicating their right of a just deserved human dignity.
It is shocking to observe that children born in this state of bondage; continue to live a life journey of captivity and slave labor, long after their parents’ escape from the Kony violations against humanity. A young 36 year old Jennyfer Ayat carrying a hammer on her shoulder, as if this chunk of iron embellished with a long, heavy pole made of rough wood has become Jennyfer’s best play mate and soul companion. The unimaginable strength of Jennyfer Ayat’s body bears resemblance to a rare piece of priceless sculpture: but this is not the romanticism of African life, this is an image evoking a story of human survival and absolute determination; the cruel reality of working for virtually naught, for each jerry-can loaded with crushed stones and carried airborne by the strong in the quarry, is worth a mere 100 Ugandan shillings. Considering there are some 2250 Ugandan shillings to a dollar in conversion, and many hours of hardship labor to a filled jerry-can, how many more veins must bleed dry for every dignified being to continue living under a dollar a day, while corporations rip offensive benefits through such human abuse and exploitation?
Jennyfer Ayat is seen on many occasions with hammer in hand pounding the rock, her frame is small but her strength is heroic. There are no traces of hatred in her expression, but a breed of devotion that is disturbing to the more fortunate audience, exuding an acceptance of life as it is, and as it will always be. But, it is in Jennyfer’s strength of spirit and will to survive that has kept her and her family breathing their harsh journey. Each frame illustrates the Inferno of an ongoing documentary project called “BUKEDDE”, a word in Luganda, the main local language of Uganda, which means “ONE MORE DAY” to identify that “it is morning again”. It captures the core of Jennyfer’s character and high moral fiber, her moments of tenderness with her little adopted baby, Ivonne whose aura radiates a Madonna like semblance. She cradles the child gently inside their humble home, illuminated by soft candle light in the cold African nightfall. The compositions also encapsulate the private moments of prayer with her son, both clutching their only rosary, recorded through the faint light radiating from a set of azure candles. These are intimate moments she shared; giving every one of us the only thing she has left to give, her self existence.
This moving photographic journey introduces us to Jennyfer, a strong African woman; showing glimpses of her daily life, her hopes and dreams, the reverence and aspirations for her precious children. The moments captured, display the altruism of unconditional love, the importance of small details in life, the sharing of work scented with nobility, and the intimate exchange of profound glances in prayer. The daily trivia of Jennyfer’s life in Kireka are but a brief preview into the depths of her soul captured through the eyes and the lenses, amidst a rollercoaster of emotions as witness of such narrative. They speak of hardship, fear and faith and highlight the coldhearted blindness of governments, institutions and corporations.
This is “BUKEDDE”, it is morning again…
The pictures shows that's time to pray in Kreka's church.
FEATURE STORY.

Thumb sm
Jennyfer Ayat : Slave in Kireka's sto...
Kampala, Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
20 Feb 2012

Kireka-Kampala township-Uganda-East Africa-February 26th-2013
Following on the footsteps of great many people before her, Jennyfer Ayat made a daring and courageous decision to escape the controls of sexual enslavement or perhaps even death, from the followers of warlord Joseph Kony by braving the long march of Gulu Walk. It seems ironic when in essence Jennyfer Ayat is escaping one form of brutal slavery for another.
Over the past twenty years the echoes of pain injected by the Kony terror, have caused women like Jennyfer Ayat, of Uganda to make hard and testing choices to either live in constant fear of death for themselves, their children and loved ones, or harvest bravery from the fountain sitting deep within to escape and live in another form of fear. One where the desperation of making an exodus of living in poverty and in slavery has become invisible to corporations, employing workers at the lowest, most discriminatory wages, robbing them of their human rights and the fundamental freedom to choose, let alone their voiceless whisper vindicating their right of a just deserved human dignity.
It is shocking to observe that children born in this state of bondage; continue to live a life journey of captivity and slave labor, long after their parents’ escape from the Kony violations against humanity. A young 36 year old Jennyfer Ayat carrying a hammer on her shoulder, as if this chunk of iron embellished with a long, heavy pole made of rough wood has become Jennyfer’s best play mate and soul companion. The unimaginable strength of Jennyfer Ayat’s body bears resemblance to a rare piece of priceless sculpture: but this is not the romanticism of African life, this is an image evoking a story of human survival and absolute determination; the cruel reality of working for virtually naught, for each jerry-can loaded with crushed stones and carried airborne by the strong in the quarry, is worth a mere 100 Ugandan shillings. Considering there are some 2250 Ugandan shillings to a dollar in conversion, and many hours of hardship labor to a filled jerry-can, how many more veins must bleed dry for every dignified being to continue living under a dollar a day, while corporations rip offensive benefits through such human abuse and exploitation?
Jennyfer Ayat is seen on many occasions with hammer in hand pounding the rock, her frame is small but her strength is heroic. There are no traces of hatred in her expression, but a breed of devotion that is disturbing to the more fortunate audience, exuding an acceptance of life as it is, and as it will always be. But, it is in Jennyfer’s strength of spirit and will to survive that has kept her and her family breathing their harsh journey. Each frame illustrates the Inferno of an ongoing documentary project called “BUKEDDE”, a word in Luganda, the main local language of Uganda, which means “ONE MORE DAY” to identify that “it is morning again”. It captures the core of Jennyfer’s character and high moral fiber, her moments of tenderness with her little adopted baby, Ivonne whose aura radiates a Madonna like semblance. She cradles the child gently inside their humble home, illuminated by soft candle light in the cold African nightfall. The compositions also encapsulate the private moments of prayer with her son, both clutching their only rosary, recorded through the faint light radiating from a set of azure candles. These are intimate moments she shared; giving every one of us the only thing she has left to give, her self existence.
This moving photographic journey introduces us to Jennyfer, a strong African woman; showing glimpses of her daily life, her hopes and dreams, the reverence and aspirations for her precious children. The moments captured, display the altruism of unconditional love, the importance of small details in life, the sharing of work scented with nobility, and the intimate exchange of profound glances in prayer. The daily trivia of Jennyfer’s life in Kireka are but a brief preview into the depths of her soul captured through the eyes and the lenses, amidst a rollercoaster of emotions as witness of such narrative. They speak of hardship, fear and faith and highlight the coldhearted blindness of governments, institutions and corporations.
This is “BUKEDDE”, it is morning again…
The pictures shows Jennyfer Ayat in the stone quarry, proud to be a woman and not a slave.
FEATURE STORY.

Thumb sm
Jennyfer Ayat : Slave in Kireka's sto...
Kampala, Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
20 Feb 2012

Kireka-Kampala township-Uganda-East Africa-February 26th-2013
Following on the footsteps of great many people before her, Jennyfer Ayat made a daring and courageous decision to escape the controls of sexual enslavement or perhaps even death, from the followers of warlord Joseph Kony by braving the long march of Gulu Walk. It seems ironic when in essence Jennyfer Ayat is escaping one form of brutal slavery for another.
Over the past twenty years the echoes of pain injected by the Kony terror, have caused women like Jennyfer Ayat, of Uganda to make hard and testing choices to either live in constant fear of death for themselves, their children and loved ones, or harvest bravery from the fountain sitting deep within to escape and live in another form of fear. One where the desperation of making an exodus of living in poverty and in slavery has become invisible to corporations, employing workers at the lowest, most discriminatory wages, robbing them of their human rights and the fundamental freedom to choose, let alone their voiceless whisper vindicating their right of a just deserved human dignity.
It is shocking to observe that children born in this state of bondage; continue to live a life journey of captivity and slave labor, long after their parents’ escape from the Kony violations against humanity. A young 36 year old Jennyfer Ayat carrying a hammer on her shoulder, as if this chunk of iron embellished with a long, heavy pole made of rough wood has become Jennyfer’s best play mate and soul companion. The unimaginable strength of Jennyfer Ayat’s body bears resemblance to a rare piece of priceless sculpture: but this is not the romanticism of African life, this is an image evoking a story of human survival and absolute determination; the cruel reality of working for virtually naught, for each jerry-can loaded with crushed stones and carried airborne by the strong in the quarry, is worth a mere 100 Ugandan shillings. Considering there are some 2250 Ugandan shillings to a dollar in conversion, and many hours of hardship labor to a filled jerry-can, how many more veins must bleed dry for every dignified being to continue living under a dollar a day, while corporations rip offensive benefits through such human abuse and exploitation?
Jennyfer Ayat is seen on many occasions with hammer in hand pounding the rock, her frame is small but her strength is heroic. There are no traces of hatred in her expression, but a breed of devotion that is disturbing to the more fortunate audience, exuding an acceptance of life as it is, and as it will always be. But, it is in Jennyfer’s strength of spirit and will to survive that has kept her and her family breathing their harsh journey. Each frame illustrates the Inferno of an ongoing documentary project called “BUKEDDE”, a word in Luganda, the main local language of Uganda, which means “ONE MORE DAY” to identify that “it is morning again”. It captures the core of Jennyfer’s character and high moral fiber, her moments of tenderness with her little adopted baby, Ivonne whose aura radiates a Madonna like semblance. She cradles the child gently inside their humble home, illuminated by soft candle light in the cold African nightfall. The compositions also encapsulate the private moments of prayer with her son, both clutching their only rosary, recorded through the faint light radiating from a set of azure candles. These are intimate moments she shared; giving every one of us the only thing she has left to give, her self existence.
This moving photographic journey introduces us to Jennyfer, a strong African woman; showing glimpses of her daily life, her hopes and dreams, the reverence and aspirations for her precious children. The moments captured, display the altruism of unconditional love, the importance of small details in life, the sharing of work scented with nobility, and the intimate exchange of profound glances in prayer. The daily trivia of Jennyfer’s life in Kireka are but a brief preview into the depths of her soul captured through the eyes and the lenses, amidst a rollercoaster of emotions as witness of such narrative. They speak of hardship, fear and faith and highlight the coldhearted blindness of governments, institutions and corporations.
This is “BUKEDDE”, it is morning again…
The pictures shows Jennyfer Ayat in the stone quarry, with her best companion: the hammer for nreaking rocks.
FEATURE STORY.

Thumb sm
Jennyfer Ayat : Slave in Kireka's sto...
Kampala, Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
20 Feb 2012

Kireka-Kampala township-Uganda-East Africa-February 26th-2013
Following on the footsteps of great many people before her, Jennyfer Ayat made a daring and courageous decision to escape the controls of sexual enslavement or perhaps even death, from the followers of warlord Joseph Kony by braving the long march of Gulu Walk. It seems ironic when in essence Jennyfer Ayat is escaping one form of brutal slavery for another.
Over the past twenty years the echoes of pain injected by the Kony terror, have caused women like Jennyfer Ayat, of Uganda to make hard and testing choices to either live in constant fear of death for themselves, their children and loved ones, or harvest bravery from the fountain sitting deep within to escape and live in another form of fear. One where the desperation of making an exodus of living in poverty and in slavery has become invisible to corporations, employing workers at the lowest, most discriminatory wages, robbing them of their human rights and the fundamental freedom to choose, let alone their voiceless whisper vindicating their right of a just deserved human dignity.
It is shocking to observe that children born in this state of bondage; continue to live a life journey of captivity and slave labor, long after their parents’ escape from the Kony violations against humanity. A young 36 year old Jennyfer Ayat carrying a hammer on her shoulder, as if this chunk of iron embellished with a long, heavy pole made of rough wood has become Jennyfer’s best play mate and soul companion. The unimaginable strength of Jennyfer Ayat’s body bears resemblance to a rare piece of priceless sculpture: but this is not the romanticism of African life, this is an image evoking a story of human survival and absolute determination; the cruel reality of working for virtually naught, for each jerry-can loaded with crushed stones and carried airborne by the strong in the quarry, is worth a mere 100 Ugandan shillings. Considering there are some 2250 Ugandan shillings to a dollar in conversion, and many hours of hardship labor to a filled jerry-can, how many more veins must bleed dry for every dignified being to continue living under a dollar a day, while corporations rip offensive benefits through such human abuse and exploitation?
Jennyfer Ayat is seen on many occasions with hammer in hand pounding the rock, her frame is small but her strength is heroic. There are no traces of hatred in her expression, but a breed of devotion that is disturbing to the more fortunate audience, exuding an acceptance of life as it is, and as it will always be. But, it is in Jennyfer’s strength of spirit and will to survive that has kept her and her family breathing their harsh journey. Each frame illustrates the Inferno of an ongoing documentary project called “BUKEDDE”, a word in Luganda, the main local language of Uganda, which means “ONE MORE DAY” to identify that “it is morning again”. It captures the core of Jennyfer’s character and high moral fiber, her moments of tenderness with her little adopted baby, Ivonne whose aura radiates a Madonna like semblance. She cradles the child gently inside their humble home, illuminated by soft candle light in the cold African nightfall. The compositions also encapsulate the private moments of prayer with her son, both clutching their only rosary, recorded through the faint light radiating from a set of azure candles. These are intimate moments she shared; giving every one of us the only thing she has left to give, her self existence.
This moving photographic journey introduces us to Jennyfer, a strong African woman; showing glimpses of her daily life, her hopes and dreams, the reverence and aspirations for her precious children. The moments captured, display the altruism of unconditional love, the importance of small details in life, the sharing of work scented with nobility, and the intimate exchange of profound glances in prayer. The daily trivia of Jennyfer’s life in Kireka are but a brief preview into the depths of her soul captured through the eyes and the lenses, amidst a rollercoaster of emotions as witness of such narrative. They speak of hardship, fear and faith and highlight the coldhearted blindness of governments, institutions and corporations.
This is “BUKEDDE”, it is morning again…
The pictures shows Jennyfer Ayat at the stone quarry, curious wuth new technology.
FEATURE STORY.

Thumb sm
Jennyfer Ayat : Slave in Kireka's sto...
Kampala, Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
20 Feb 2012

Kireka-Kampala township-Uganda-East Africa-February 26th-2013
Following on the footsteps of great many people before her, Jennyfer Ayat made a daring and courageous decision to escape the controls of sexual enslavement or perhaps even death, from the followers of warlord Joseph Kony by braving the long march of Gulu Walk. It seems ironic when in essence Jennyfer Ayat is escaping one form of brutal slavery for another.
Over the past twenty years the echoes of pain injected by the Kony terror, have caused women like Jennyfer Ayat, of Uganda to make hard and testing choices to either live in constant fear of death for themselves, their children and loved ones, or harvest bravery from the fountain sitting deep within to escape and live in another form of fear. One where the desperation of making an exodus of living in poverty and in slavery has become invisible to corporations, employing workers at the lowest, most discriminatory wages, robbing them of their human rights and the fundamental freedom to choose, let alone their voiceless whisper vindicating their right of a just deserved human dignity.
It is shocking to observe that children born in this state of bondage; continue to live a life journey of captivity and slave labor, long after their parents’ escape from the Kony violations against humanity. A young 36 year old Jennyfer Ayat carrying a hammer on her shoulder, as if this chunk of iron embellished with a long, heavy pole made of rough wood has become Jennyfer’s best play mate and soul companion. The unimaginable strength of Jennyfer Ayat’s body bears resemblance to a rare piece of priceless sculpture: but this is not the romanticism of African life, this is an image evoking a story of human survival and absolute determination; the cruel reality of working for virtually naught, for each jerry-can loaded with crushed stones and carried airborne by the strong in the quarry, is worth a mere 100 Ugandan shillings. Considering there are some 2250 Ugandan shillings to a dollar in conversion, and many hours of hardship labor to a filled jerry-can, how many more veins must bleed dry for every dignified being to continue living under a dollar a day, while corporations rip offensive benefits through such human abuse and exploitation?
Jennyfer Ayat is seen on many occasions with hammer in hand pounding the rock, her frame is small but her strength is heroic. There are no traces of hatred in her expression, but a breed of devotion that is disturbing to the more fortunate audience, exuding an acceptance of life as it is, and as it will always be. But, it is in Jennyfer’s strength of spirit and will to survive that has kept her and her family breathing their harsh journey. Each frame illustrates the Inferno of an ongoing documentary project called “BUKEDDE”, a word in Luganda, the main local language of Uganda, which means “ONE MORE DAY” to identify that “it is morning again”. It captures the core of Jennyfer’s character and high moral fiber, her moments of tenderness with her little adopted baby, Ivonne whose aura radiates a Madonna like semblance. She cradles the child gently inside their humble home, illuminated by soft candle light in the cold African nightfall. The compositions also encapsulate the private moments of prayer with her son, both clutching their only rosary, recorded through the faint light radiating from a set of azure candles. These are intimate moments she shared; giving every one of us the only thing she has left to give, her self existence.
This moving photographic journey introduces us to Jennyfer, a strong African woman; showing glimpses of her daily life, her hopes and dreams, the reverence and aspirations for her precious children. The moments captured, display the altruism of unconditional love, the importance of small details in life, the sharing of work scented with nobility, and the intimate exchange of profound glances in prayer. The daily trivia of Jennyfer’s life in Kireka are but a brief preview into the depths of her soul captured through the eyes and the lenses, amidst a rollercoaster of emotions as witness of such narrative. They speak of hardship, fear and faith and highlight the coldhearted blindness of governments, institutions and corporations.
This is “BUKEDDE”, it is morning again…
The pictures shows Jennyfer Ayat daughters at the stone quarry.
FEATURE STORY.

Thumb sm
Jennyfer Ayat : Slave in Kireka's sto...
Kampala, Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
20 Feb 2012

Kireka-Kampala township-Uganda-East Africa-February 26th-2013
Following on the footsteps of great many people before her, Jennyfer Ayat made a daring and courageous decision to escape the controls of sexual enslavement or perhaps even death, from the followers of warlord Joseph Kony by braving the long march of Gulu Walk. It seems ironic when in essence Jennyfer Ayat is escaping one form of brutal slavery for another.
Over the past twenty years the echoes of pain injected by the Kony terror, have caused women like Jennyfer Ayat, of Uganda to make hard and testing choices to either live in constant fear of death for themselves, their children and loved ones, or harvest bravery from the fountain sitting deep within to escape and live in another form of fear. One where the desperation of making an exodus of living in poverty and in slavery has become invisible to corporations, employing workers at the lowest, most discriminatory wages, robbing them of their human rights and the fundamental freedom to choose, let alone their voiceless whisper vindicating their right of a just deserved human dignity.
It is shocking to observe that children born in this state of bondage; continue to live a life journey of captivity and slave labor, long after their parents’ escape from the Kony violations against humanity. A young 36 year old Jennyfer Ayat carrying a hammer on her shoulder, as if this chunk of iron embellished with a long, heavy pole made of rough wood has become Jennyfer’s best play mate and soul companion. The unimaginable strength of Jennyfer Ayat’s body bears resemblance to a rare piece of priceless sculpture: but this is not the romanticism of African life, this is an image evoking a story of human survival and absolute determination; the cruel reality of working for virtually naught, for each jerry-can loaded with crushed stones and carried airborne by the strong in the quarry, is worth a mere 100 Ugandan shillings. Considering there are some 2250 Ugandan shillings to a dollar in conversion, and many hours of hardship labor to a filled jerry-can, how many more veins must bleed dry for every dignified being to continue living under a dollar a day, while corporations rip offensive benefits through such human abuse and exploitation?
Jennyfer Ayat is seen on many occasions with hammer in hand pounding the rock, her frame is small but her strength is heroic. There are no traces of hatred in her expression, but a breed of devotion that is disturbing to the more fortunate audience, exuding an acceptance of life as it is, and as it will always be. But, it is in Jennyfer’s strength of spirit and will to survive that has kept her and her family breathing their harsh journey. Each frame illustrates the Inferno of an ongoing documentary project called “BUKEDDE”, a word in Luganda, the main local language of Uganda, which means “ONE MORE DAY” to identify that “it is morning again”. It captures the core of Jennyfer’s character and high moral fiber, her moments of tenderness with her little adopted baby, Ivonne whose aura radiates a Madonna like semblance. She cradles the child gently inside their humble home, illuminated by soft candle light in the cold African nightfall. The compositions also encapsulate the private moments of prayer with her son, both clutching their only rosary, recorded through the faint light radiating from a set of azure candles. These are intimate moments she shared; giving every one of us the only thing she has left to give, her self existence.
This moving photographic journey introduces us to Jennyfer, a strong African woman; showing glimpses of her daily life, her hopes and dreams, the reverence and aspirations for her precious children. The moments captured, display the altruism of unconditional love, the importance of small details in life, the sharing of work scented with nobility, and the intimate exchange of profound glances in prayer. The daily trivia of Jennyfer’s life in Kireka are but a brief preview into the depths of her soul captured through the eyes and the lenses, amidst a rollercoaster of emotions as witness of such narrative. They speak of hardship, fear and faith and highlight the coldhearted blindness of governments, institutions and corporations.
This is “BUKEDDE”, it is morning again…
The pictures shows Jennyfer Ayat family at the stone quarry.
FEATURE STORY.

Thumb sm
Jennyfer Ayat : Slave in Kireka's sto...
Kampala, Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
20 Feb 2012

Kireka-Kampala township-Uganda-East Africa-February 26th-2013
Following on the footsteps of great many people before her, Jennyfer Ayat made a daring and courageous decision to escape the controls of sexual enslavement or perhaps even death, from the followers of warlord Joseph Kony by braving the long march of Gulu Walk. It seems ironic when in essence Jennyfer Ayat is escaping one form of brutal slavery for another.
Over the past twenty years the echoes of pain injected by the Kony terror, have caused women like Jennyfer Ayat, of Uganda to make hard and testing choices to either live in constant fear of death for themselves, their children and loved ones, or harvest bravery from the fountain sitting deep within to escape and live in another form of fear. One where the desperation of making an exodus of living in poverty and in slavery has become invisible to corporations, employing workers at the lowest, most discriminatory wages, robbing them of their human rights and the fundamental freedom to choose, let alone their voiceless whisper vindicating their right of a just deserved human dignity.
It is shocking to observe that children born in this state of bondage; continue to live a life journey of captivity and slave labor, long after their parents’ escape from the Kony violations against humanity. A young 36 year old Jennyfer Ayat carrying a hammer on her shoulder, as if this chunk of iron embellished with a long, heavy pole made of rough wood has become Jennyfer’s best play mate and soul companion. The unimaginable strength of Jennyfer Ayat’s body bears resemblance to a rare piece of priceless sculpture: but this is not the romanticism of African life, this is an image evoking a story of human survival and absolute determination; the cruel reality of working for virtually naught, for each jerry-can loaded with crushed stones and carried airborne by the strong in the quarry, is worth a mere 100 Ugandan shillings. Considering there are some 2250 Ugandan shillings to a dollar in conversion, and many hours of hardship labor to a filled jerry-can, how many more veins must bleed dry for every dignified being to continue living under a dollar a day, while corporations rip offensive benefits through such human abuse and exploitation?
Jennyfer Ayat is seen on many occasions with hammer in hand pounding the rock, her frame is small but her strength is heroic. There are no traces of hatred in her expression, but a breed of devotion that is disturbing to the more fortunate audience, exuding an acceptance of life as it is, and as it will always be. But, it is in Jennyfer’s strength of spirit and will to survive that has kept her and her family breathing their harsh journey. Each frame illustrates the Inferno of an ongoing documentary project called “BUKEDDE”, a word in Luganda, the main local language of Uganda, which means “ONE MORE DAY” to identify that “it is morning again”. It captures the core of Jennyfer’s character and high moral fiber, her moments of tenderness with her little adopted baby, Ivonne whose aura radiates a Madonna like semblance. She cradles the child gently inside their humble home, illuminated by soft candle light in the cold African nightfall. The compositions also encapsulate the private moments of prayer with her son, both clutching their only rosary, recorded through the faint light radiating from a set of azure candles. These are intimate moments she shared; giving every one of us the only thing she has left to give, her self existence.
This moving photographic journey introduces us to Jennyfer, a strong African woman; showing glimpses of her daily life, her hopes and dreams, the reverence and aspirations for her precious children. The moments captured, display the altruism of unconditional love, the importance of small details in life, the sharing of work scented with nobility, and the intimate exchange of profound glances in prayer. The daily trivia of Jennyfer’s life in Kireka are but a brief preview into the depths of her soul captured through the eyes and the lenses, amidst a rollercoaster of emotions as witness of such narrative. They speak of hardship, fear and faith and highlight the coldhearted blindness of governments, institutions and corporations.
This is “BUKEDDE”, it is morning again…
The pictures shows Jennyfer Ayat family inside the hut.
FEATURE STORY.

Thumb sm
Jennyfer Ayat : Slave in Kireka's sto...
Kampala, Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
20 Feb 2012

Kireka-Kampala township-Uganda-East Africa-February 26th-2013
Following on the footsteps of great many people before her, Jennyfer Ayat made a daring and courageous decision to escape the controls of sexual enslavement or perhaps even death, from the followers of warlord Joseph Kony by braving the long march of Gulu Walk. It seems ironic when in essence Jennyfer Ayat is escaping one form of brutal slavery for another.
Over the past twenty years the echoes of pain injected by the Kony terror, have caused women like Jennyfer Ayat, of Uganda to make hard and testing choices to either live in constant fear of death for themselves, their children and loved ones, or harvest bravery from the fountain sitting deep within to escape and live in another form of fear. One where the desperation of making an exodus of living in poverty and in slavery has become invisible to corporations, employing workers at the lowest, most discriminatory wages, robbing them of their human rights and the fundamental freedom to choose, let alone their voiceless whisper vindicating their right of a just deserved human dignity.
It is shocking to observe that children born in this state of bondage; continue to live a life journey of captivity and slave labor, long after their parents’ escape from the Kony violations against humanity. A young 36 year old Jennyfer Ayat carrying a hammer on her shoulder, as if this chunk of iron embellished with a long, heavy pole made of rough wood has become Jennyfer’s best play mate and soul companion. The unimaginable strength of Jennyfer Ayat’s body bears resemblance to a rare piece of priceless sculpture: but this is not the romanticism of African life, this is an image evoking a story of human survival and absolute determination; the cruel reality of working for virtually naught, for each jerry-can loaded with crushed stones and carried airborne by the strong in the quarry, is worth a mere 100 Ugandan shillings. Considering there are some 2250 Ugandan shillings to a dollar in conversion, and many hours of hardship labor to a filled jerry-can, how many more veins must bleed dry for every dignified being to continue living under a dollar a day, while corporations rip offensive benefits through such human abuse and exploitation?
Jennyfer Ayat is seen on many occasions with hammer in hand pounding the rock, her frame is small but her strength is heroic. There are no traces of hatred in her expression, but a breed of devotion that is disturbing to the more fortunate audience, exuding an acceptance of life as it is, and as it will always be. But, it is in Jennyfer’s strength of spirit and will to survive that has kept her and her family breathing their harsh journey. Each frame illustrates the Inferno of an ongoing documentary project called “BUKEDDE”, a word in Luganda, the main local language of Uganda, which means “ONE MORE DAY” to identify that “it is morning again”. It captures the core of Jennyfer’s character and high moral fiber, her moments of tenderness with her little adopted baby, Ivonne whose aura radiates a Madonna like semblance. She cradles the child gently inside their humble home, illuminated by soft candle light in the cold African nightfall. The compositions also encapsulate the private moments of prayer with her son, both clutching their only rosary, recorded through the faint light radiating from a set of azure candles. These are intimate moments she shared; giving every one of us the only thing she has left to give, her self existence.
This moving photographic journey introduces us to Jennyfer, a strong African woman; showing glimpses of her daily life, her hopes and dreams, the reverence and aspirations for her precious children. The moments captured, display the altruism of unconditional love, the importance of small details in life, the sharing of work scented with nobility, and the intimate exchange of profound glances in prayer. The daily trivia of Jennyfer’s life in Kireka are but a brief preview into the depths of her soul captured through the eyes and the lenses, amidst a rollercoaster of emotions as witness of such narrative. They speak of hardship, fear and faith and highlight the coldhearted blindness of governments, institutions and corporations.
This is “BUKEDDE”, it is morning again…
The pictures shows Jennyfer Ayat holding baby Ivonne.
FEATURE STORY.

Thumb sm
Jennyfer Ayat : Slave in Kireka's sto...
Kampala, Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
20 Feb 2012

Kireka-Kampala township-Uganda-East Africa-February 26th-2013
Following on the footsteps of great many people before her, Jennyfer Ayat made a daring and courageous decision to escape the controls of sexual enslavement or perhaps even death, from the followers of warlord Joseph Kony by braving the long march of Gulu Walk. It seems ironic when in essence Jennyfer Ayat is escaping one form of brutal slavery for another.
Over the past twenty years the echoes of pain injected by the Kony terror, have caused women like Jennyfer Ayat, of Uganda to make hard and testing choices to either live in constant fear of death for themselves, their children and loved ones, or harvest bravery from the fountain sitting deep within to escape and live in another form of fear. One where the desperation of making an exodus of living in poverty and in slavery has become invisible to corporations, employing workers at the lowest, most discriminatory wages, robbing them of their human rights and the fundamental freedom to choose, let alone their voiceless whisper vindicating their right of a just deserved human dignity.
It is shocking to observe that children born in this state of bondage; continue to live a life journey of captivity and slave labor, long after their parents’ escape from the Kony violations against humanity. A young 36 year old Jennyfer Ayat carrying a hammer on her shoulder, as if this chunk of iron embellished with a long, heavy pole made of rough wood has become Jennyfer’s best play mate and soul companion. The unimaginable strength of Jennyfer Ayat’s body bears resemblance to a rare piece of priceless sculpture: but this is not the romanticism of African life, this is an image evoking a story of human survival and absolute determination; the cruel reality of working for virtually naught, for each jerry-can loaded with crushed stones and carried airborne by the strong in the quarry, is worth a mere 100 Ugandan shillings. Considering there are some 2250 Ugandan shillings to a dollar in conversion, and many hours of hardship labor to a filled jerry-can, how many more veins must bleed dry for every dignified being to continue living under a dollar a day, while corporations rip offensive benefits through such human abuse and exploitation?
Jennyfer Ayat is seen on many occasions with hammer in hand pounding the rock, her frame is small but her strength is heroic. There are no traces of hatred in her expression, but a breed of devotion that is disturbing to the more fortunate audience, exuding an acceptance of life as it is, and as it will always be. But, it is in Jennyfer’s strength of spirit and will to survive that has kept her and her family breathing their harsh journey. Each frame illustrates the Inferno of an ongoing documentary project called “BUKEDDE”, a word in Luganda, the main local language of Uganda, which means “ONE MORE DAY” to identify that “it is morning again”. It captures the core of Jennyfer’s character and high moral fiber, her moments of tenderness with her little adopted baby, Ivonne whose aura radiates a Madonna like semblance. She cradles the child gently inside their humble home, illuminated by soft candle light in the cold African nightfall. The compositions also encapsulate the private moments of prayer with her son, both clutching their only rosary, recorded through the faint light radiating from a set of azure candles. These are intimate moments she shared; giving every one of us the only thing she has left to give, her self existence.
This moving photographic journey introduces us to Jennyfer, a strong African woman; showing glimpses of her daily life, her hopes and dreams, the reverence and aspirations for her precious children. The moments captured, display the altruism of unconditional love, the importance of small details in life, the sharing of work scented with nobility, and the intimate exchange of profound glances in prayer. The daily trivia of Jennyfer’s life in Kireka are but a brief preview into the depths of her soul captured through the eyes and the lenses, amidst a rollercoaster of emotions as witness of such narrative. They speak of hardship, fear and faith and highlight the coldhearted blindness of governments, institutions and corporations.
This is “BUKEDDE”, it is morning again…
The pictures shows Jennyfer Aya's silhouette early morning.
FEATURE STORY.

Thumb sm
Jennyfer Ayat : Slave in Kireka's sto...
Kampala, Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
20 Feb 2012

Kireka-Kampala township-Uganda-East Africa-February 26th-2013
Following on the footsteps of great many people before her, Jennyfer Ayat made a daring and courageous decision to escape the controls of sexual enslavement or perhaps even death, from the followers of warlord Joseph Kony by braving the long march of Gulu Walk. It seems ironic when in essence Jennyfer Ayat is escaping one form of brutal slavery for another.
Over the past twenty years the echoes of pain injected by the Kony terror, have caused women like Jennyfer Ayat, of Uganda to make hard and testing choices to either live in constant fear of death for themselves, their children and loved ones, or harvest bravery from the fountain sitting deep within to escape and live in another form of fear. One where the desperation of making an exodus of living in poverty and in slavery has become invisible to corporations, employing workers at the lowest, most discriminatory wages, robbing them of their human rights and the fundamental freedom to choose, let alone their voiceless whisper vindicating their right of a just deserved human dignity.
It is shocking to observe that children born in this state of bondage; continue to live a life journey of captivity and slave labor, long after their parents’ escape from the Kony violations against humanity. A young 36 year old Jennyfer Ayat carrying a hammer on her shoulder, as if this chunk of iron embellished with a long, heavy pole made of rough wood has become Jennyfer’s best play mate and soul companion. The unimaginable strength of Jennyfer Ayat’s body bears resemblance to a rare piece of priceless sculpture: but this is not the romanticism of African life, this is an image evoking a story of human survival and absolute determination; the cruel reality of working for virtually naught, for each jerry-can loaded with crushed stones and carried airborne by the strong in the quarry, is worth a mere 100 Ugandan shillings. Considering there are some 2250 Ugandan shillings to a dollar in conversion, and many hours of hardship labor to a filled jerry-can, how many more veins must bleed dry for every dignified being to continue living under a dollar a day, while corporations rip offensive benefits through such human abuse and exploitation?
Jennyfer Ayat is seen on many occasions with hammer in hand pounding the rock, her frame is small but her strength is heroic. There are no traces of hatred in her expression, but a breed of devotion that is disturbing to the more fortunate audience, exuding an acceptance of life as it is, and as it will always be. But, it is in Jennyfer’s strength of spirit and will to survive that has kept her and her family breathing their harsh journey. Each frame illustrates the Inferno of an ongoing documentary project called “BUKEDDE”, a word in Luganda, the main local language of Uganda, which means “ONE MORE DAY” to identify that “it is morning again”. It captures the core of Jennyfer’s character and high moral fiber, her moments of tenderness with her little adopted baby, Ivonne whose aura radiates a Madonna like semblance. She cradles the child gently inside their humble home, illuminated by soft candle light in the cold African nightfall. The compositions also encapsulate the private moments of prayer with her son, both clutching their only rosary, recorded through the faint light radiating from a set of azure candles. These are intimate moments she shared; giving every one of us the only thing she has left to give, her self existence.
This moving photographic journey introduces us to Jennyfer, a strong African woman; showing glimpses of her daily life, her hopes and dreams, the reverence and aspirations for her precious children. The moments captured, display the altruism of unconditional love, the importance of small details in life, the sharing of work scented with nobility, and the intimate exchange of profound glances in prayer. The daily trivia of Jennyfer’s life in Kireka are but a brief preview into the depths of her soul captured through the eyes and the lenses, amidst a rollercoaster of emotions as witness of such narrative. They speak of hardship, fear and faith and highlight the coldhearted blindness of governments, institutions and corporations.
This is “BUKEDDE”, it is morning again…
The pictures shows Jennyfer Ayat praying with her son, at early morning.
FEATURE STORY.

Thumb sm
Jennyfer Ayat : Slave in Kireka's sto...
Kampala, Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
20 Feb 2012

Kireka-Kampala township-Uganda-East Africa-February 26th-2013
Following on the footsteps of great many people before her, Jennyfer Ayat made a daring and courageous decision to escape the controls of sexual enslavement or perhaps even death, from the followers of warlord Joseph Kony by braving the long march of Gulu Walk. It seems ironic when in essence Jennyfer Ayat is escaping one form of brutal slavery for another.
Over the past twenty years the echoes of pain injected by the Kony terror, have caused women like Jennyfer Ayat, of Uganda to make hard and testing choices to either live in constant fear of death for themselves, their children and loved ones, or harvest bravery from the fountain sitting deep within to escape and live in another form of fear. One where the desperation of making an exodus of living in poverty and in slavery has become invisible to corporations, employing workers at the lowest, most discriminatory wages, robbing them of their human rights and the fundamental freedom to choose, let alone their voiceless whisper vindicating their right of a just deserved human dignity.
It is shocking to observe that children born in this state of bondage; continue to live a life journey of captivity and slave labor, long after their parents’ escape from the Kony violations against humanity. A young 36 year old Jennyfer Ayat carrying a hammer on her shoulder, as if this chunk of iron embellished with a long, heavy pole made of rough wood has become Jennyfer’s best play mate and soul companion. The unimaginable strength of Jennyfer Ayat’s body bears resemblance to a rare piece of priceless sculpture: but this is not the romanticism of African life, this is an image evoking a story of human survival and absolute determination; the cruel reality of working for virtually naught, for each jerry-can loaded with crushed stones and carried airborne by the strong in the quarry, is worth a mere 100 Ugandan shillings. Considering there are some 2250 Ugandan shillings to a dollar in conversion, and many hours of hardship labor to a filled jerry-can, how many more veins must bleed dry for every dignified being to continue living under a dollar a day, while corporations rip offensive benefits through such human abuse and exploitation?
Jennyfer Ayat is seen on many occasions with hammer in hand pounding the rock, her frame is small but her strength is heroic. There are no traces of hatred in her expression, but a breed of devotion that is disturbing to the more fortunate audience, exuding an acceptance of life as it is, and as it will always be. But, it is in Jennyfer’s strength of spirit and will to survive that has kept her and her family breathing their harsh journey. Each frame illustrates the Inferno of an ongoing documentary project called “BUKEDDE”, a word in Luganda, the main local language of Uganda, which means “ONE MORE DAY” to identify that “it is morning again”. It captures the core of Jennyfer’s character and high moral fiber, her moments of tenderness with her little adopted baby, Ivonne whose aura radiates a Madonna like semblance. She cradles the child gently inside their humble home, illuminated by soft candle light in the cold African nightfall. The compositions also encapsulate the private moments of prayer with her son, both clutching their only rosary, recorded through the faint light radiating from a set of azure candles. These are intimate moments she shared; giving every one of us the only thing she has left to give, her self existence.
This moving photographic journey introduces us to Jennyfer, a strong African woman; showing glimpses of her daily life, her hopes and dreams, the reverence and aspirations for her precious children. The moments captured, display the altruism of unconditional love, the importance of small details in life, the sharing of work scented with nobility, and the intimate exchange of profound glances in prayer. The daily trivia of Jennyfer’s life in Kireka are but a brief preview into the depths of her soul captured through the eyes and the lenses, amidst a rollercoaster of emotions as witness of such narrative. They speak of hardship, fear and faith and highlight the coldhearted blindness of governments, institutions and corporations.
This is “BUKEDDE”, it is morning again…
The pictures shows Jennyfer Ayat praying at the early morning in her hut.
FEATURE STORY.

Thumb sm
Jennyfer Ayat : Slave in Kireka's sto...
Kampala, Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
20 Feb 2012

Kireka-Kampala township-Uganda-East Africa-February 26th-2013
Following on the footsteps of great many people before her, Jennyfer Ayat made a daring and courageous decision to escape the controls of sexual enslavement or perhaps even death, from the followers of warlord Joseph Kony by braving the long march of Gulu Walk. It seems ironic when in essence Jennyfer Ayat is escaping one form of brutal slavery for another.
Over the past twenty years the echoes of pain injected by the Kony terror, have caused women like Jennyfer Ayat, of Uganda to make hard and testing choices to either live in constant fear of death for themselves, their children and loved ones, or harvest bravery from the fountain sitting deep within to escape and live in another form of fear. One where the desperation of making an exodus of living in poverty and in slavery has become invisible to corporations, employing workers at the lowest, most discriminatory wages, robbing them of their human rights and the fundamental freedom to choose, let alone their voiceless whisper vindicating their right of a just deserved human dignity.
It is shocking to observe that children born in this state of bondage; continue to live a life journey of captivity and slave labor, long after their parents’ escape from the Kony violations against humanity. A young 36 year old Jennyfer Ayat carrying a hammer on her shoulder, as if this chunk of iron embellished with a long, heavy pole made of rough wood has become Jennyfer’s best play mate and soul companion. The unimaginable strength of Jennyfer Ayat’s body bears resemblance to a rare piece of priceless sculpture: but this is not the romanticism of African life, this is an image evoking a story of human survival and absolute determination; the cruel reality of working for virtually naught, for each jerry-can loaded with crushed stones and carried airborne by the strong in the quarry, is worth a mere 100 Ugandan shillings. Considering there are some 2250 Ugandan shillings to a dollar in conversion, and many hours of hardship labor to a filled jerry-can, how many more veins must bleed dry for every dignified being to continue living under a dollar a day, while corporations rip offensive benefits through such human abuse and exploitation?
Jennyfer Ayat is seen on many occasions with hammer in hand pounding the rock, her frame is small but her strength is heroic. There are no traces of hatred in her expression, but a breed of devotion that is disturbing to the more fortunate audience, exuding an acceptance of life as it is, and as it will always be. But, it is in Jennyfer’s strength of spirit and will to survive that has kept her and her family breathing their harsh journey. Each frame illustrates the Inferno of an ongoing documentary project called “BUKEDDE”, a word in Luganda, the main local language of Uganda, which means “ONE MORE DAY” to identify that “it is morning again”. It captures the core of Jennyfer’s character and high moral fiber, her moments of tenderness with her little adopted baby, Ivonne whose aura radiates a Madonna like semblance. She cradles the child gently inside their humble home, illuminated by soft candle light in the cold African nightfall. The compositions also encapsulate the private moments of prayer with her son, both clutching their only rosary, recorded through the faint light radiating from a set of azure candles. These are intimate moments she shared; giving every one of us the only thing she has left to give, her self existence.
This moving photographic journey introduces us to Jennyfer, a strong African woman; showing glimpses of her daily life, her hopes and dreams, the reverence and aspirations for her precious children. The moments captured, display the altruism of unconditional love, the importance of small details in life, the sharing of work scented with nobility, and the intimate exchange of profound glances in prayer. The daily trivia of Jennyfer’s life in Kireka are but a brief preview into the depths of her soul captured through the eyes and the lenses, amidst a rollercoaster of emotions as witness of such narrative. They speak of hardship, fear and faith and highlight the coldhearted blindness of governments, institutions and corporations.
This is “BUKEDDE”, it is morning again…
The pictures shows Jennyfer Ayat looking at the mirrow early morning.
FEATURE STORY.

Thumb sm
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.

Thumb sm
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.

Thumb sm
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 navigating the Cononaco Bameno river on the pirogue.

Thumb sm
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 the shaman of Cononaco Bameno huaorani village with his blowgun weapon.

Thumb sm
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 an ancient rituals between young huaorani women, painting their faces with the red ocra colour.

Thumb sm
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 an ancient rituals between young huaorani women, painting their faces with the red ocra colour.

Thumb sm
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 an ancient rituals between young huaorani women, painting their faces with the red ocra colour.

Thumb sm
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 an ancient rituals between young huaorani women, painting their faces with the red ocra colour.

Thumb sm
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 navigating the Cononaco Bameno river on the pirogue.

Thumb sm
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 navigating the Cononaco Bameno river on the pirogue.

Thumb sm
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 navigating the Cononaco Bameno river on the pirogue.

Thumb sm
In the land of God: Boating The River
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 navigating the Cononaco Bameno river on the pirogue.

Thumb sm
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 navigating the Cononaco Bameno river on the pirogue.

Thumb sm
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 navigating the Cononaco Bameno river on the pirogue.

Thumb sm
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 navigating the Cononaco Bameno river on the pirogue.

Thumb sm
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 navigating the Cononaco Bameno river on the pirogue.

Thumb sm
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 navigating the cononaco Bameno river on the pirogue.

Thumb sm
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 navigating the cononaco Bameno river on the pirogue.

Thumb sm
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 an ancient rituals between young huaorani women, painting their faces with the red ocra colour.

Thumb sm
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 two huaorani women preparing birds nest before the hunting.