We arrived safely from our 9 day filming trip on the Ampiyacu river near the city of Pevas. We visited five different Amazonian communites, heard four distinct tribal languages (one of them, Ricigaro has less than 5 people in the community who speak it), and saw how each community has been able to hold on to their unique customs while living so close to other tribes. One village had a line drawn down the middle--one side spoke Bora and the other side spoke Huitodo which apparently sound nothing alike. Fascinating. We also visited the tribal elders in each community and were able to record their songs, which were unlike anything I´ve heard before.
There is a lot to be excited about in these communities and a lot of what we were expecting. Everyone is talking about oil companies coming in and wondering what their approach should be when they start offering these depressed communities large sums of money for access to their lands and waters. All of the shamans we meet at least in their 60´s and so far, we haven´t seen any apprentices to pass on their traditions. We are hoping that our presence has been able to show them that the outside world is interesting in hearing more, that these things are worth saving.
Ever bit of our trip has been so well-documented by our talented team, but unfortunately Iquito´s finest internet cafe does not have computers that read RAW files (big professional photographer files), so I may not be able to get any pictures up until after I get back home. I´ll start pestering Phil to upload some of his pictures.
We are going to spend two days recording the beautiful songs of our shaman friend Cesar during his ayahuasca ceremonies. He actually came with us as a guide on our trip and after spending so much time with him, I am just amazed by what a powerful, angelic man he is. I have never seen someone rest so fully, jump to action so readily when he is needed, and laugh so hard when our other guide Ramon´s hammock fell from its post with him in it. Spending time with him has been one of the highlights of the trip for me and I cant wait to share his healing songs with you all. There is talk of him coming to the States soon.
As always, there is more I´d like to say but there is work to be done. The day is hot and busy outside and its always interesting to think of ourselves in the city of 400,000 people that is buried within all this greenness. It makes me feel really small and young before it all--a kind of reverence with a smile in its eyes.