This was my first visit to an indigenous territory in Brazil and I enjoyed it very much. I feel happy to have gotten the opportunity to go there although I was merely an observer. In the Indigenous Land Igarapé Lourdes I visited the two indigenous tribes, Gavião and Arara. They share the same territory but speak totally different languages, the tribes communicate by using Portugese as their lingua franca [a language that is adopted as a common language between speakers whose native languages are different].
Pisciculture is the controlled breeding and rearing of fish [fish-farming] which Kanindé had a theorethical and practical course in for a some people of the tribe together with a Marine biologist. This involves raising fish commercially in tanks, usually for food. Although there are many opinions on breeding fish in this ‘artificial way’ I understand Kanindés point behind it, which is to give them the tools in order to live more sustainably within the tribe, not to sell to other communities and contribute to over-consumption. Kanindé’s idea with this is to support and fortify the idependency and economic growth of the indigenous community. Furhtermore, eating this breeded fish instead of the present high consumption of beef could be a positive development.
Except for the ongoing course in pisciculture, there are several other small projects with the indigenous communities in collaboration with organizations and foundations in order to enhance their developent. For example by constructing casas de farinha; flour-houses to produce and sell from the root macaxeira, coffeee & banana plantations, and traditional handicrafts. I bought some rings and earrings made out of coconut, very cool!
Rice and beans is, as always, on the menu for us plant-based eaters. In many communities the everyday food pretty much contain the same thing: rice, beans, spagetti with some meat sauce, fried meat (and maybe a little sallad). It was hard for me to understand at first why they eat all of this to the very same meal, and why eat the same flavoured food every time. I thought, it must become so boring to eat? When I said this to Gabriel (journalist of Kanindé), he answered: “People here do not eat to enjoy the taste of food, they eat to fill up their bellies. Food for them is merely a nessecity.”
I thought that was a very sincere way of putting it.