Yasuní Camera trapping photos; the very rare and beautiful melanic jaguar of tropical rain forest. Photo © Conservation International, courtesy of the TEAM Network

The black jaguar and the guardian of the forest

By Maycon Melo and Barbara Arisi In Brazil, a group of hunters killed a black jaguar. Not satisfied with the crime of killing an endangered animal, they made a video where one of them shows the magnificent animal between his arms while threatening the Guardians of the Forest, the indigenous people that monitor the area to defend forest life. Two illegal hunters were arrested on October 20 in the municipality of Arame, 476 kilometres from the state capital São Luís do Maranhão, for killing the animal inside the Araribóia Indigenous Land in the municipality of Amarante do Maranhão. A video by the hunters is circulating on social media in …

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Ayahuasca teaches Europe

By Barbara Arisi      The ancient drink ayahuasca or daime is one of the powerful forces that connects the seemingly distant worlds of Amazon and Europe, ‘indigenous’ and ‘metropolitan’. It is born from the encounter and circulation of many traditions such as popular Catholicism, local shamanism and the Afro-Brazilian  pantheon. Forest beings such as the snake, the jaguar and the humming bird coexist in rituals with saints, gods and spirits. The result is a unique and powerful experience for those who humbly surrender to learn what ayahuasca, a beverage prepared with the jagube vine and the leaves of the chacrona, has to teach.

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In memory of a shaman: Tëpi Pajé

    By Barbara Arisi Tëpi Pajé was a powerful shaman of the Matis people. He was called xó’xókit, a word that names the one who cooks xó, the one who carries, owns or works with too much xó. The Xó is the shamanic substance of power for the Matis. Tëpi was the only matis to be called xó‘xókit. On March 7th, Tëpi died.

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