You are viewing an obsolete version of the DU website which is no longer supported by the Administrators. Visit The New DU.
Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login

Reply #1: "A Land Without Men for Men Without Land" -- Brazil seeks to move -peones- into Amazonia [View All]

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-13-08 11:12 PM
Response to Original message
1. "A Land Without Men for Men Without Land" -- Brazil seeks to move -peones- into Amazonia
This wasn't the kind of path that Altair seemed born to tread. People called him "the German," a nod to his fair hair and light eyes. He was born near Brazil's east coast into a family of farmers who followed the government's call to become frontiersmen in the newly created state of Rondonia. Altair's father couldn't resist the pull of the program's slogan: "A Land Without Men, for Men Without Land."

He was working a lumberyard in the north of Rondonia when a Funai team came to investigate reports of indios bravos -- "wild Indians" -- in a nearby national reserve being tapped by loggers for hardwood. The team collected evidence in the woods, found bows and arrows, and took pictures of small crop fields. But most of the loggers complained that the evidence was contrived to ruin their commercial prospects.

"You know, Altair," the man told him, "we're always looking for allies."

That exchange is what eventually led to his introduction to his trusted friend and mentor Marcelo dos Santos. Marcelo had joined Funai's jungle crew years earlier, after growing up in Sao Paulo, one of the most relentlessly urban environments on Earth. After dropping out of college, Marcelo sold all of his possessions and moved to Rondonia (...) He drifted for a while until he stumbled upon Funai's local office.

Indians, he thought. They live without money, without possessions. Sharing all, claiming nothing. Maybe this is the place for me.

Marcelo went native, dramatically. After being hired by Funai, he spent almost all of his time in the jungle with tribes. He hunted with them, choked down the same insect larvae they ate, journeyed across untrodden paths in search of fruits. For nearly two years, he went barefoot -- until his feet were so battered he could barely walk. In 1979, he began working with a tribe called the Negarote, which had only 18 members surviving from the estimated 300 in the late 1950s. His job was to nurse the tribe back to health, acting as a sort of social worker. For several years, he went from hut to hut, living among the families. He built a small house next to the tribal village and lived with the Negarote until 1990.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators

Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC