Friday, May 30, 2008

When the Bird God Screams

EDITED: 6/23/08 -The story and pictures were sadly a hoax. Which is kind of sad. However, my sentiments haven't changed. So I think this blog post is still valid. Whatever reasons we find that they felt they had to do this, to save the area from further industry etc., I wish they would have gone about it in a different way.

I am surrounded on all sides by the modern
by civilization
My job and my dearest friends are all connected to me by something I cannot see or hold in my hands. It is not solid. Its this invisible cord of energy, a spiders web that weaves for me relationships and situations I could not even imagine before I experienced it first hand.

My husband takes for granted the magical device that allows him to pause a live television program.

Whats that? Local news? We have too many channels to remember that when we were young there were only four or five. We know about what is going on in Myanmar but had no clue that the apartment around the corner caught on fire.
Not that there is anything wrong with that, in fact its amazing.

Nothing is outside of my grasp. Knowledge not passed down can be Googled, people can be mobilized to join together in solidarity at the same exact time, regardless of timezones.

Then again

I dont know how to fix anything I own. I might remember how Survivorman started that fire in case I got lost in the woods, or the fact that you do something with lard to make soap. But I couldnt run any of the machinery that runs our world. And sometimes I think, when I see Mother Earth shake the dust off, or throw her powerful weight around, that were we to lose these trappings of civilization-I would be the first voted off of the island.

And then I see this:
The BBC reported last night that an uncontacted tribe had been discovered on the border between Brazil and Peru.
According to the Guardian, there are around 100
uncontacted tribes in the world. "Survival International estimates more than half are in the Brazilian and Peruvian Amazon."
The National Indian Foundation, a government agency in Brazil, took these photos and published them Thursday.
According to CNN,
"it tracks "uncontacted tribes" -- indigenous groups that are thought to have had no contact with outsiders -- and seeks to protect them from encroachment.
They have never seen the things that I have seen, but they could say the same of me. I think it is safe to say that our day to day lives could not be more alien to each other.
We show these pictures on the news and we are fascinated. How can there be a place in the world that our civilization hasn't touched? How arrogant are we?
"Survival International believes some tribes had contact with westerners around 100 years ago, during the rubber boom and subsequently decided not to engage with the outside world."
Maybe they have seen us, and decided our ways were beneath them. Maybe they've never seen a helicopter or small plane and believed it was a Bird God, a messenger with small humans in its belly, screaming out in rage.
It wouldn't be the first time. Look up Cargo Cults on the magical information gatherer Google.
So what is the point of this blog post? I was staring at these pictures of these beautiful, if shocked and disturbed people, and wondering who would have a harder time adapting to the other's world.
I have a feeling it might be me.


Blogger Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I suspect you're right.

Beautiful post, btw. Really beautifully written.

8:05 PM  
Blogger Crystal Jordan said...

I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I like camping, but this is much too primitive for me.

Seriously -- I think what's truly amazing is that there are an estimated 100 such tribes out there. Who knows what we could learn from their culture?

10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I first saw these pictures a couple of days ago, I thought to myself, Oh crap. I felt sorry for them. Not because they are "primitive" but because our "civilized" touch will now, no doubt, taint their culture.

The panic they must have felt, I sensed it deep inside and I wished that plane or helicopter had never passed their way. ::sigh::

Wonderful post, R.G. I know how to make soap from lard and herbs and would be willing to share my bar with you. :)

I've often wondered who will survive the cataclysm to come, and like you, I will probably be the first voted off. :)


10:12 AM  
Blogger lillian said...

It's pretty amazing how many cultures are still in the world that we know so little about.

Great post!

12:25 PM  

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