Highest Rated Comments

DaviKopenawaYanomami116 karma

I asked the oldest shaman to teach me to become a shaman. So he prepared what we call 'Yakoana', and he told me that it's not easy to be a shaman. So he said you must not eat, you must not take a bath, you cannot eat meat, no fish, you have to remain in silence, and you have to feel hunger. The great shamans don't allow you to eat - you have to clean out all your body because in our stomachs we have rot. So you have to be in this state for weeks.

So you have to prepare yourself - you have to look at all the other shamans. And then all the shamans and the samanic spirits arrive near you. And the shamanic spirits live in a very big house - a shabono - and they bring that with them to the shaman.

Each spirit of the forest has a name, there are lots of different spirits - they all arrive, and then the oldest shaman will show the spirits how to work.

The work of the spirits is to cure, to heal people. So they will take the illness. The shamans get them to hit the disease and get rid of the disease. So 'xawara', the bad spirit, falls onto the ground. Then the shaman takes it and throws it very far away. Then the shaman cleans out the body with special water that he has - then the person is cured.

DaviKopenawaYanomami81 karma

Napoleon Chagnon went to the Yanomami land to learn with us, and to know about our wisdom. Then he learned to speak our Yanomami language, and he changed his ideas, and he decided to play a trick on us. He asked communities to fight amongst themselves, he incentivized fighting, so that those who won in the fights would gain merchandise - pans, knives, etc. That's how Napoleon Chagnon worked. Then he sat down with his pen in his hand, saying that the Yanomami are violent. That is absolutely not the case. What is more violent is the United States, which has killed thousands of people - children women - and destroyed cities, throwing atomic bombs.

He has a lot of prejudice, Chagnon. He is prejudiced against my Yanomami people. Who is the most violent? Him. His people.

Chagnon just said the Yanomami are violent without explaining anything. Some Yanomami, like other people, get angry. Every people on earth have their own fights. Men get jealous about women. Women get jealous about their husbands. Some women even beat their husbands. ALL human beings have this within them.

DaviKopenawaYanomami79 karma

I left my community, Tototoobi, for the first time. I went together with an employee of FUNAI (the Brazilian indigenous affairs organization) and I arrive in the municipalities of Barcelos. The first time I saw that place of electric light and the houses all together, crammed like matchboxes, and lots of people walking in the street, I felt a lot of curiosity and I wanted to get to know them. I thought, "Who are these people? Where did they come from? How did they get here?"

That's what I thought on my first visit to the city.

DaviKopenawaYanomami67 karma

There is technology that would be useful for the Yanomami. Technology that is not contaminated is good. For examples, solar panels, which acts like a battery receiving energy from the sun. That's good for the communities, that helps us look after our health. Microscopes are good, and so are things like toothpaste. Things that you use to examine your heart are good. Also communications equipment, like two-way radios.

Today our children are learning to use computers to send news to the city from the community. They also write up documents on the computer.

For us indigenous peoples, those types of technology are important.

DaviKopenawaYanomami63 karma

My favorite animal is the macaw, parrot, and the eagle.