The time of the Amazon woman, hidden in the big rain forest, longing for men’s desire, or the time of the warrior woman, lasts only in legends and popular journalism and literature. Even the Indian tribes have almost disappeared.
In fact, remaining Amazon Indians are very few in number – a hundred thousand, perhaps. There are yet unassimilated Indian tribes, as the famous Yanomani, in the most inaccessible and unexplored Amazon regions (as the Roraima, but they are just some thousands. They are indeed very few in number. Past slavery, wars and diseases have diminished dramatically the Indian’s populations. Such as the legendary Amazon woman, Indian tribes and Indian culture has little importance in today’s Amazon.
There is, however, another important category of Amazon population (around three million people), scattered over the immense jungle, aside from urban centers, with only episodic contacts with the outside world, without any links to legendary Amazon woman. They are the caboclos, the people of the forest: rubber-tappers, fishermen, and small farmers near the rivers’ margins. They are the true representatives of present Amazon culture.
Their culture is made of practical information, rooted in our most remote capabilities: the capability of surviving through the knowing of the forest and their animals, secrets, beauties, dangers, cycles, means, and through the ability of creating instruments. Surviving in the forest, largely disconnect from other’s human groups, is something that demands a know-how we should not devaluate.
If you want to contact some settlements of caboclos, Manaus is a perfect choice. Once in Manaus, you can easily arrange a tour to some nearby caboclos settlements. Much more difficult is the visit to a near Indian tribe. As for the ancient Amazon woman, their presence is more easily detectable in popular tales.
For hotels that can support your visit to caboclo settlements, see:
Hotels in Manaus region
The caboclo culture – such as the culture of the remaining Indian tribes - is different from the culture of the ranchers. In some sense they are in opposition to some crazy dreams of Amazon development, with the dramatic costs that it will have on our climate equilibriums or human future.
The caboclo culture and their instruments of life are nature friendly. As forest people, the caboclos have conscience of the profound web dependence that men maintain with other species and the forest, and the huge necessity of not maltreating that web. There is an ecological conscience in Amazonians caboclos, symbolized by an ancient rubber-tapper: Chico Mendes.
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See, for books about the Amazon rain forest
Books about the Amazon
Books for kids: the Amazon rain forest and its fauna
For hotels and flights to Manaus:
Amazon hotels and other travel information
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