Evan's Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia
The peccary was really neat!
Jeff Waugh
Evan, Walter and peccary

The Achuar People

Walter invited us into his home.
That was a very special honor!

 

When we got out of our canoe I stepped in some muddy sand. It turned out to be sinking sand. When you wiggled around, you sunk. I got stuck with my rubber boots. My Dad had to pull me out!

The people in the village thought this was funny. Some of the kids came down to play in the mud, too. When we went up the hill we played soccer with them before lunch.

 

I had fun in the mud!
Jeff Waugh
Playing in the mud!
After lunch, we went to visit Walter in his house. Walter is a shaman and has a pet peccary, monkey and a wild parrot that visits his house often. I pet the peccary and held the parrot. The women of the house offered my Dad and other adults some "nijiamanch", or manioc beer. It must have been good because our guide drank quite a lot and teased the parrot.  The parrot was wild and came to visit sometimes
Jeff Waugh

Visiting with Walter

Me......and Walter
Evan and Walter

School Notes...
Unknown in origin, the Achuar ("people of the palm") are spread over a vast area of Ecuador and Peru's Amazon Rainforest. They practice slash-and-burn agriculture on small plots of land that usually are close to a river. They produce manioc (or yucca), bananas, sweet potatoes, hot chilies, sugar cane, chonta (the wild palm), guava, balsa trees, and medicinal plants. They also depend on hunting and fishing for additional protein.

The Achuar's most important food and beverage is nijimanch. It is produced by the fermentation of manioc that has been chewed by the women of the house. Women are in charge of making and serving this drink to guests.

The Achuar believe in many spirits that give them guide-lines for a harmonious relationship with the rain forest and its creatures. Magic and healing powers are used by the shaman (uwishin). The shaman develops his special powers through the use of certain plants that help him to have visions and communicate with the spirits of the forest.