Thursday, December 21, 2006

 

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Elena viajo a la Reserva del cuyabeno en el año 2006 y nos presenta algunas de sus fotos a continuacion Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

 
The Community Siona in Tarapuy

Location
The Siona community in Tarapuy is located about six hours from Lago Agrio - approx. three in bus to El Puente and three in canoe to Tarapuy. It is easiest to arrive travelling with Samona Tours from Lago and stay a night in their camp ($25) and to return by private canoe (about $5) to El Puente and bus to Lago (about $4).

The Community
The community itself is one of a number of Siona communities located in the Cuyabena Reserve. At last count with about 45 adults (members above the age of 14). There is a centrally located school with playing pitches and a number of houses. The rest of the houses are scattered throughout the surrounding jungle. Travel between one place and another is by paddle canoe, motor canoe or on foot in paths through the jungle. This can make travel between one place and another almost impossible in heavy rains (the paths become rivers!) and can make communication difficult. There is very little electricity (some people have generators) and no phones. The main language is spoken is Spanish.

Local Wildlife
The community is a located in a beautiful and remote part of the Cuyabeno Reserve.
The rivers and nearby lagoons contain alligators, piranha, boa, fresh water dolphin and anaconda among others. The local jungle contains many different types of monkeys, snakes, insects, parrots, iguanas. The largest known tree in Ecuador is also located nearby.

Siona Culture
Siona culture possesses it's own unique language (Baicoca), dance, music and customs. Unfortunately, many traditional dance and music celebrations are no longer practised in Tarapuy - although are still practised in other Siona communities. The language Baicoca is no longer usually spoken - in three weeks, I only met two people who have the ability to converse in Baicoca. Spanish is the main language spoken, almost none of the young people appear to speak Baicoca.

Plants and Animals: There is a huge amount of knowledge of the curative properties of the local plants. There are plants that combat tiredness and thirst, ants that are eaten to combat thirst, and large worms found in a specific type of fruit that are perfectly safe to eat - all of which can be tasted!

Diet: a lot of yuca and platano are grown and, together with rice and fish, form the main part of the diet. Fish is caught in the rivers Tarapuy and Cuyabeno, and in nearby lagoons. Traditional foods include chicha (alcoholic), breads made from yuca, drinks made from yuca, local fruits (pineapple, melon, bananas (there are 4 types) fried, boiled, made into drinks, and lots of fish straight from the river.

Family: The family unit is very close - the mother usually works in the house, cooking, cleaning, looking after the children; the father spends time cultivating the land, fishing, etc. Extended family members usually live close by.
There is a very strong sense of community. Everybody in the community knows everybody else. Two or three times a month there is a community gathering (called a "minga"), during which all members of the community do work for the community. During my stay there was a minga to cut the grass in the playing fields (cutting with machetes), and another to clear paths. For the whole day people came from all over Tarapuy to work, and afterwards play football!

Baicoca: The traditional language of the Siona people was not written, only spoken, up until about thirty years ago when some sort of missionary group arrived to learn the language and help develop a written form. In it's current form it consists of a total of twelve vowels: six vocal and six other.
Some useful phrases include:

Tourism:
Tourism is an important source of income. Many people work either as drivers of canoes , bringing tourists to and from the lagoons, or as guides, showing the local plant and animal life.
The ability to speak English is a very useful asset in this case and for this reason many are very eager to learn. This also allows them to explain and demonstrate local customs.

Teaching in the School
The school is very basic. It consists of a single large room in which are taught children from age 5 to 15. Usually it is divided into two classes: one with children from about 5 to 9 and the other from 10 to 15. At present, there are twenty children in the school, 12 in the younger class and 8 in the older, with one teacher.
Equipment: there are two large plastic wipe boards - crayons are usually used to write as the markers proved very difficult to remove. Either crayons or markers must be brought as the supply is very limited. The older children have notebooks for English but any other materials needed must be brought.
School hours: 7.30 am to 12.30 pm. The number of hours of English instruction given is flexible and can be discussed with the teacher.

Teaching the Adults
In the afternoon, volunteers can teach English to adults. This usually takes place in the school, too, which is centrally located. Due to the variable nature of the weather (those that live far away can't come when there are heavy rains) and varying workloads, it can be hard to maintain consistency in class size and, generally, different people come on different days. However, all are very enthusiastic and eager to learn and a pleasure to teach!

Accommodation
We stayed in the house of Luis Jipa and Rosa Payaguaye and three children. Luis is the local director of the Ecotrackers project and Rosa works as a local guide. Both were incredibly generous, helpful and happy to discuss their culture etc! Also, at the time, Lorenzo, Rosa's brother, was staying there, speaks Baicoca, and is only too happy to talk about any aspect of the culture. There is no electricity - bathing is done in the river (just a few yards away), clothes are washed by hand, in the nighttime candles are used etc.
The school is about a 45min walk away through jungle. Wellington boots absolutely necessary if it is rainy season!

Future Projects?
The local schoolteacher comes from a Kichwa community and as a result speaks Kichwa but not (very little) Baicoca and has limited knowledge of many Siona traditions. As a result, Siona dance and music traditions, among others, are generally not taught or practised in the school. The children's parents want to find someone who can come to teach these things in order to help preserve these customs.

 
The Community Siona in Tarapuy

Location
The Siona community in Tarapuy is located about six hours from Lago Agrio - approx. three in bus to El Puente and three in canoe to Tarapuy. It is easiest to arrive travelling with Samona Tours from Lago and stay a night in their camp ($25) and to return by private canoe (about $5) to El Puente and bus to Lago (about $4).

The Community
The community itself is one of a number of Siona communities located in the Cuyabena Reserve. At last count with about 45 adults (members above the age of 14). There is a centrally located school with playing pitches and a number of houses. The rest of the houses are scattered throughout the surrounding jungle. Travel between one place and another is by paddle canoe, motor canoe or on foot in paths through the jungle. This can make travel between one place and another almost impossible in heavy rains (the paths become rivers!) and can make communication difficult. There is very little electricity (some people have generators) and no phones. The main language is spoken is Spanish.

Local Wildlife
The community is a located in a beautiful and remote part of the Cuyabeno Reserve.
The rivers and nearby lagoons contain alligators, piranha, boa, fresh water dolphin and anaconda among others. The local jungle contains many different types of monkeys, snakes, insects, parrots, iguanas. The largest known tree in Ecuador is also located nearby.

Siona Culture
Siona culture possesses it's own unique language (Baicoca), dance, music and customs. Unfortunately, many traditional dance and music celebrations are no longer practised in Tarapuy - although are still practised in other Siona communities. The language Baicoca is no longer usually spoken - in three weeks, I only met two people who have the ability to converse in Baicoca. Spanish is the main language spoken, almost none of the young people appear to speak Baicoca.

Plants and Animals: There is a huge amount of knowledge of the curative properties of the local plants. There are plants that combat tiredness and thirst, ants that are eaten to combat thirst, and large worms found in a specific type of fruit that are perfectly safe to eat - all of which can be tasted!

Diet: a lot of yuca and platano are grown and, together with rice and fish, form the main part of the diet. Fish is caught in the rivers Tarapuy and Cuyabeno, and in nearby lagoons. Traditional foods include chicha (alcoholic), breads made from yuca, drinks made from yuca, local fruits (pineapple, melon, bananas (there are 4 types) fried, boiled, made into drinks, and lots of fish straight from the river.

Family: The family unit is very close - the mother usually works in the house, cooking, cleaning, looking after the children; the father spends time cultivating the land, fishing, etc. Extended family members usually live close by.
There is a very strong sense of community. Everybody in the community knows everybody else. Two or three times a month there is a community gathering (called a "minga"), during which all members of the community do work for the community. During my stay there was a minga to cut the grass in the playing fields (cutting with machetes), and another to clear paths. For the whole day people came from all over Tarapuy to work, and afterwards play football!

Baicoca: The traditional language of the Siona people was not written, only spoken, up until about thirty years ago when some sort of missionary group arrived to learn the language and help develop a written form. In it's current form it consists of a total of twelve vowels: six vocal and six other.
Some useful phrases include:

Tourism:
Tourism is an important source of income. Many people work either as drivers of canoes , bringing tourists to and from the lagoons, or as guides, showing the local plant and animal life.
The ability to speak English is a very useful asset in this case and for this reason many are very eager to learn. This also allows them to explain and demonstrate local customs.

Teaching in the School
The school is very basic. It consists of a single large room in which are taught children from age 5 to 15. Usually it is divided into two classes: one with children from about 5 to 9 and the other from 10 to 15. At present, there are twenty children in the school, 12 in the younger class and 8 in the older, with one teacher.
Equipment: there are two large plastic wipe boards - crayons are usually used to write as the markers proved very difficult to remove. Either crayons or markers must be brought as the supply is very limited. The older children have notebooks for English but any other materials needed must be brought.
School hours: 7.30 am to 12.30 pm. The number of hours of English instruction given is flexible and can be discussed with the teacher.

Teaching the Adults
In the afternoon, volunteers can teach English to adults. This usually takes place in the school, too, which is centrally located. Due to the variable nature of the weather (those that live far away can't come when there are heavy rains) and varying workloads, it can be hard to maintain consistency in class size and, generally, different people come on different days. However, all are very enthusiastic and eager to learn and a pleasure to teach!

Accommodation
We stayed in the house of Luis Jipa and Rosa Payaguaye and three children. Luis is the local director of the Ecotrackers project and Rosa works as a local guide. Both were incredibly generous, helpful and happy to discuss their culture etc! Also, at the time, Lorenzo, Rosa's brother, was staying there, speaks Baicoca, and is only too happy to talk about any aspect of the culture. There is no electricity - bathing is done in the river (just a few yards away), clothes are washed by hand, in the nighttime candles are used etc.
The school is about a 45min walk away through jungle. Wellington boots absolutely necessary if it is rainy season!

Future Projects?
The local schoolteacher comes from a Kichwa community and as a result speaks Kichwa but not (very little) Baicoca and has limited knowledge of many Siona traditions. As a result, Siona dance and music traditions, among others, are generally not taught or practised in the school. The children's parents want to find someone who can come to teach these things in order to help preserve these customs.

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