Among the Yagua people, and out on the river at sunset

Among the Yagua people, and out on the river at sunset June 19, 2019


Not far from Indiana, Peru
A fairly large village near Indiana, Peru  (Wikimedia Commons public domain photo)


Our Monday morning expedition concluded with a bit of fishing.  For pirañas (or piranhas).  Now, given my notable success at attracting pirañas by means of my blog and my other writings, I figured that I would have no problem catching my quota here from a small boat in the Peruvian rainforest.  Alas, though, online skills don’t necessarily translate into real-world success.  While a few caught (and released) very small pirañas, I didn’t.  I caught only a small catfish.  A bottom feeder.  Which, come to think of it, may not be altogether without its own symbolic significance.


On Monday afternoon, we got back onto a boat on the Amazon and went over to visit a village of the Yagua people — smaller, more primitive, and more remote than the one shown above.


It’s apparently something of an artificial place now.  They live nearby but not actually in the village that we visited, and they no longer dress the way we saw them dress, with the men in lengthy grass skirts and the women in red cloth skirts with partial grass tops.  They put all this display on for tourists twice or three times a week.  (Otherwise, they still hunt, farm, and fish for their subsistence.)


We were invited into the community hut, where they performed music for us and danced.  It was pretty clear that the teenagers, especially the teenage girls, weren’t really into the dances.  Adolescents.  I can imagine them thinking it tacky to put on the old costumes and perform for silly foreign tourists.  I’ve never been to the Peruvian Amazon before, but my wife has.  She saw precisely the same display seven years ago, and thought then, too, that the teens would rather have been almost anywhere else than where they were.


We also saw a blowpipe or blowgun display, and several of us had the opportunity to blow darts at a wooden post that served as a target.  I was surprised how well some of our number did.  I hope that they don’t get their hands on any curare.


We rode back at an absolutely gorgeous time in the early evening, with massive, beautiful clouds everywhere on the horizon above dark green forests and the serenity of the Amazon.  We watched the sunset from the water before returning to our lodge just as it turned dark – and just as another torrential downpour began.  It was the third or fourth serious torrent of the day.  Each of them was timed perfectly for when we had finished a tour and were safely inside, perfectly dry.


Written in the Peruvian Amazon

Posted from Cusco, Peru


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