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Image of missionary pilot Ted Long (left) and photographer Chuck Clark (right) in the Ashaninka Indian tribe's village of Quempiri in the Peruvian Amazon. In addition to being a missionary, Ted Long was an incredible pilot, making due with little resources or support. In the Amazon, bad weather conditions are all too common. JAARS (Jungle Aviation and Radio Service) pilots such as Long made their own navigation charts, had no off-site support, and were the best bush pilots in the Amazon River Basin. When flying and landing in the Amazon, Long and Clark had to dodge tree stumps, holes, logs, and even had to land around corners. In the above picture, note the large and well built hut. The reason the Ashaninkas put Long and Clark in this particular hut was that all the native people of the village were afraid of living in the hut. It seems that the owner of the hut (a woman who was said to have been mentally disturbed) died and the Ashaninkas were convinced that the hut was haunted with her spirit. Curiously, in the night Clark often heard strange sounds that the indigenous villagers said were the cries of the deceased former occupant of the dwelling. In any case, this example shows much about the animistic religion and beliefs of the indigenous people of the Amazon. Like all indigenous Amazonian tribes, the Ashaninkas believe that the spirits of people and animals still exist after death and inhabit the earth, often causing harm to the living.
all rights reserved. Ted Long and Chuck Clark in the Amazon