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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
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    4,311

    Default Hunter/Gatherers want to join Civilization

    I just thought this was so fascinating!

    New York Times Article

    Leaving the Wild, and Rather Liking the Change

    By JUAN FORERO
    Published: May 11, 2006
    SAN JOS╔ DEL GUAVIARE, Colombia Ś Since time immemorial the Nukak-Mak˙ have lived a Stone Age life, roaming across hundreds of miles of isolated and pristine Amazon jungle, killing monkeys with blowguns and scouring the forest floor for berries.

    But recently, and rather mysteriously, a group of nearly 80 wandered out of the wilderness, half-naked, a gaggle of children and pet monkeys in tow, and declared themselves ready to join the modern world.

    "We do not want to go back," explained one man, who uses the sole name Ma-be, and who arrived with the others at this outpost in southern Colombia in March. "We want to stay near town. We can plant our own food. In the meantime the town can help us."

    While it is not known for sure why they left the jungle, what is abundantly clear is that the Nukak's experience as nomads and hunter-gatherers has left them wholly unprepared for the world they have just entered.

    The Nukak have no concept of money, of property, of the role of government, or even of the existence of a country called Colombia. They ask whether the planes that fly overhead are moving on some sort of invisible road.

    They have no government identification cards, making them nonentities to Colombia's bureaucracy.
    More at link.
    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. Mark Twain
    LJ

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Lawrence, Kansas
    Posts
    7,300

    Default

    It is incredibly fascinating to learn more about a group of people who've lived according to such traditional, basic (by our standards) practices. It is hard not to envy the simplicity with which they view happiness and satisfaction. I wish the rest of us were able to do the same, in a lot of ways. Of course, the concerns about their health now that they have been exposed to diseases they have no immunity for and how they will weather the transition from their old way of life to some new blend of their traditions and modern ways seem well placed. The experience of our Native Americans here in North America is a parallel we can draw upon to see the struggle they face. I hope they will be able to find a compromise that works for them and that doesn't take away too much of the things they truly value.

    And can I just say that I was not at all prepared to see a photo of a grilled monkey?! I'm having a horrible migraine right now and seeing that almost made me blow chunks. Ugh.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    4,311

    Default

    LOL! Yeah, the grilled monkey was something else. Especially when next to a photo of the little kid with the pet monkey! Goes against our cultural practices big time.

    It's just so amazing to me that a group of people could be living a stone age life almost completely seperate from the modern world in 2006! And then, suddenly, they emerge from the jungle, wanting to join the modern world, yet are so incredibly unprepared for it.
    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. Mark Twain
    LJ

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    4,964

    Default

    Wow. That is fascinating. My minor is in Anthropology and I always sort of halfway dreamed about going to see cultures like that - studying them and photographing them (combing two of my favorite things). But real life got in the way! I'm still just entranced reading about cultures like this.

    Karen

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