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Amazonian Indian Tribes

Amazon Native Tribes Photos and Videos

Amazon-Indians.org is a resource for photos and videos of native indigenous people of the Amazon Rainforest.  It is an educational resource and an introduction to the cultures of Amazon native tribes from the South American Amazon River Basin.  Furthermore, this website is a resource for information and geographic maps of the native indigenous tribes of the Amazon Rainforest.   Various indigenous people of the Amazon are represented, including the Matis, Matsés-Mayoruna, Huaorani, Bora, Shipibos, Yagua, Marubo, Ticuna, Kayapó, Suyá, and Xingu Amazonian native tribes.  Various ceremonies and rituals are illustrated, most importantly the Ceremony of Mariwin, Matsés-Mayoruna Poison Frog Ceremony, Dance of Queixada, Ritual of Capybara, Ticuna Indian Girls Puberty Rite of  Passage, Marubo Ceremony of Aco, and the Kuarup (Kwarup) Ceremony of the Dead.  Moreover, various Amazon native tribe legends are told, including Bari Rahua and the Discovery of the Grand Cosmos, the Amazon Indian Tribe Legend of The Pink Dolphin, and the Amazon Native Tribe Legend of The Victoria Regia.  Various aspects of the cultures of the indigenous people of the Amazon are covered, as well as hunting with blowguns and curare.  In particular, the blowguns of the Matis and Yagua native amazonian tribes are illustrated. Moreover, photos of native facial tattoos and body tattoos are shown.  Amazon native tribe bilingual education of girls and boys is also highlighted.  Please check out our recent articles on the Huaorani Indians, the "Warriors of the Amazon" and on the Yanomami Indians, "The Fierce People."  Recently, pictures of naked uncontacted Amazon Indians have made headlines worldwide.  Some of these newspaper reports have been controversial and confusing, hence we have added several articles to help clarify and summarize what is known about these nude uncontacted Amazon tribes.  Please refer to our new articles on "Uncontacted Amazon Indians in Peru," and "Uncontacted Amazon Tribe: The Cabellos Largos" to learn more about indigenous Amazonian natives living in voluntary isolation from the rest of the world.  To learn about the most recently contacted tribe in the Amazon, please see our new essay on the Korubo Indians, also known as the "Caceteiros" or "Head-Bashers."  The Korubo Indians have been described in the news as a nude tribe living in voluntary isolation, with all the members of their tribe still living naked in the jungle.  In addition, Amazon-Indians.org has the great honor of exclusively publishing for the first time on the Internet, the historic photographs taken by Amazon explorer and photographer, Chuck Clark.  During the 1960s, Clark captured images of many indigenous Amazonian communities, who until that time, were uncontacted tribes, living in voluntary isolation from the Western world. 

In addition to articles, legends, geographic maps, photographs and four photo galleries of Amazonian native tribes, five videos are offered about the Matis Amazon Indian tribe.  In the first video of the series ("The Matis"), the Matis tribe is introduced, showing a wide variety of activities, including cooking, blowgun hunting, making fire with a hand-drill and fireboard, preparing and using medicinal plants, and various ceremonies and rituals (Dance of Queixada, Ritual of Capybara, and the Ceremony of Mariwin).  The second video ("The Hunting Camp") focuses on the material culture of the Matis and no ceremonies or dances are featured.  Instead this documentary illustrates the day to day life of the Matis Amazon Indian Tribe, including food and cooking, weaving, making curare poison, building shelter, and hunting.  Both "The Matis" and "The Hunting Camp" documentary films are unique in that they reenact the traditional lifestyle of uncontacted tribes living in voluntary isolation, with all the participants being traditionally dressed (or you might say, undressed, as the Matis traditionally wore no clothing whatsoever). The third video of the series ("Guardians of the Rainforest") picks up where the second video leaves off and begins with demonstrations of making ceramics, extracting dyes for body painting, making body piercings, imbibing a spiritual tea, shamanism, and several ceremonies.  The fourth Matis video ("The Shaman's Way") continues with teaching viewers about indigenous Amazonian shamanism which is illustrated through various ceremonies and rituals.  In particular, the use of the toxin (called kambo, kampo, kampu, or acate by various Amazonian tribes) from a poison tree frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor) is illustrated.  In addition, medicinal plant use by the Matis Indians is covered in this fourth video of these indigenous people of the Amazon.   The fifth and final video ("Last of the Hunters") is dedicated to the technology that the Matis Indians use for hunting in the Amazon Rainforest with blowguns.  The Matis indigenous hunters are the world's foremost experts in the use of blowguns and this video takes an in-depth view of blowguns, from how poison darts are manufactured and the application of curare poison, to how these indigenous people of the Amazon stalk and capture prey with their blowguns.

One the of Matis videos available on this website has received international acclaim by having been accepted to be screened at the Nepal International Indigenous Film Festival, 2011 (NIIFF 2011).  April 23, 2011 marked the premiere of the short film Kana which was produced by Amazon-Indians.org.  Kana was the only film from Peru to be accepted for screening at this prestigious indigenous film festival and Amazon-Indians.org was privileged to have been part of this prominent event.  The short film Kana is not for sale, but similar documentary films are available on the Matis video webpage.

Free with your Matis video download or DVD purchase, you will get a password that will give you free access to the new Amazon-Indians.org member's area.   This exclusive VIP area is divided into 6 different categories: videos, books, magazines, maps, dictionaries, and Brasil Indigena.  In the member's area you will find a "motherlode" of invaluable information about indigenous Amazonians.  Specifically, these materials have been selected so that you can use this information to plan your journey to the Amazon Rainforest and encounter real indigenous Amazonians rather than an expensive tourist trap.  For example, one can watch videos of different Amazonian tribes and this will give you an idea of the sorts of activities that you can participate in during your encounter with native Amazonians.  In addition, there is a map library that shows precisely where the different Amazonians tribes are located.  To increase your knowledge about the various indigenous tribes, there are numerous magazine articles and books that will teach you about native Amazonians.  One thing that will help your being accepted by your native hosts, is being able to speak to them in their native tongue and there are dictionaries of different Amazonian languages which will help you speak to your native hosts in their own language.  By getting access to the member's area, all customers who purchase the Matis videos will receive "insider's information" about the Amazon and its people.  This information will save you thousands of dollars as you will be able to avoid commercial tour guides.  Normally, it is much better to make direct contact with authentic indigenous people and have them act as your hosts without middlemen tour guides exploiting them. 

Recently, the Machigenga (also called the Machiguenga or Matsiguenka) Indians from Manu National Park in Peru have been featured on television by the Travel Channel in association with the Discovery Channel.  Hidden from the television viewers is the fact that this "reality show documentary" allegedly resulted in the demise of eight members of the Machigenga tribe due to the negligence of the producer and fixer of this television show. According to a detailed report by the Association of Social Anthropologists (ASA), Matt Currington and Deborah McLauchlan (the producer and fixer, respectively of the "World's Lost Tribes: Mark and Olly Living with the Machigenga" series) allegedly entered a restricted area without permits while ill with an upper respiratory infection, causing an epidemic among 80 people and the loss of life of eight Amazonian Indians of recently contacted Machigenga (Machiguena) Indians living in a situation of initial contact with the outside world.  The original epidemic occurred in November of 2007 after Currington and McLauchlan entered the area scouting for a tribe of Amazon Indians to feature in their "Living with the Tribe" documentary series starring Mark Anstice and Olly Steed.  Incredibly, Currington did not stop plans to start filming the Machigenga (Machiguenga) after learning about the epidemic and the loss of lives that he allegedly caused, and in February of 2008 the Federacion Nativa del Rio Madre de Dios y Afluentes (FENAMAD), which is the indigenous rights association representing Amazonian natives living in Manu National Park, sought to stop Currington by publicly denouncing him and CICADA Productions who were the contractors for this Discovery Channel project. After a subsequent investigation, Currington and CICADA Productions were blacklisted by INRENA (the Peruvian equivalent of the US National Park Service) and have been prohibited from any future access to the area and the indigenous people living there.

In their quest to feature recently contacted nude tribes on the television, filmmakers are putting the survival of these South American Amazonian Indians in jeopardy.  Recently contacted and uncontacted Amazonian Indians are extremely vulnerable, both epidemiologically and socially. Generally, they lack resistance to common western illnesses such as influenza and tuberculosis.  In addition, their exploitation and manipulation by outsiders who take advantage of recently contacted Amazon Indian tribes can create social problems and internal conflicts, resulting in their cultural degradation and demise. The recent rise in popularity of "reality show documentaries" of indigenous people is a new threat to the cultural survival of Amazonian Indians.

For some of the best information and photos on Amazonian tribes, please visit Amazon-Tribes.com. The images on this website are quite spectacular, and give a rare glimpse into the traditional culture of the Waorani (Huaorani) Indians of Ecuador and the Korubo Indians of Brazil.  In addition, they present these fantastic pictures in a pleasurable and well-designed format allowing one to gain an insight into the daily lives of Amazonian tribes with accurate information about their material culture and traditional beliefs.  Other excellent websites on indigenous tribes of South American include Amazonz.info and Matses.info.  For photos and information on indigenous people of the Andes Mountains of South America please visit, IncaTrails.org, Camino-Inca.info, and IquitosNews.com.  To learn about African natives, check out African-Tribe.com.  To help preserve the Amazon Rainforest and its native people, please support the Friends of the Amazon.
 

For more information, please contact info(at)amazon-indians.org
 
If you would like to publish your articles and photographs in Amazon-Indians, please email us at editor(at)amazon-indians.org
 
 

 

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