December 1, 2009


Juan Cristóbal says: - It's not every day that you learn something about your own country from the New York Times. So do yourself a favor and don't miss Simón Romero's article about the people of the upper Caura river in Bolívar state. It's a tour-de-force.

The article focuses on the daily lives and current struggles of the native Ye'kuana and Sanema peoples, centered in a tiny hamlet called Edowinña. Anyone venture to guess how you pronounce that correctly?

It's also about conservation efforts, the clash of civilizations and how these people are caught in the middle. While you're there, don't miss the accompanying audio slide show.

One of the many surprising passages is this one:
More recently, the Ye’kuana and Sanema fought a brutal war in the 1930s, apparently over Sanema raids for metal and women, forcing the Sanema into a subservient role in some Ye’kuana villages.
Personally, I knew nothing about these people, this region or even this war, so a big thank you to Romero.

PS.- Along these lines, Kepler pointed me to a great blog written by a capuchin friar working in the Gran Sabana. It's worth a read (in Spanish).