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PEOPLES OF THE RAINFOREST - THE ACHUAR INDIANS:
Equally if not more important than the rainforest experience is the unique opportunity to experience the peoples of the rainforest, and in the case of Kapawi, this is a very special experience.
Here is some basic information, taken from their promotional brochure:
"We, the Achuar. We were born in the forest. We were the last indigenous group in the Ecuadorian rainforest to remain isolated for centuries until the early 1970's. Our traditions are still in tact, our land untouched by logging or oil companies, our skies covered by flocks of colored macaws and we have fought for this conservation. Now we want to start this project that can lead towards a sustainable development for our people, our future."
"The Achuar live in perfect harmony with their environment, where all animals and plants have human-like attributes with a soul and an independent life. According to the Achuar, every plant or animal has its own language and some elements of this language can be understood by the Achuar.
The rainforest doesn't posses any secrets for these people. They know every type eof tree and every animal species. They know where to fish, how to hunt and when to sow their crops. The forest is their nourishing mother.
The Achuar believe that when somebody dies, some parts of their bodies become autonomous and will reincarnate in specific animals. This the lungs turn into butterflies, the shadow becomes a deer, the heart lives in a bird and the soul is an owl. Therefore, the iwianch animals are materialized forms of a persons soul. The iwianch animals are never hunted or eaten by the Achuar, since in doing so they would be committing cannibalism."
"It has been said that an Achuar is a living encyclopedia. An Achuar can recognize every one of the 500 species of birds found in Kapawi. The same person can distinguish every tree and explain their medicinal or practical uses. This is why in Kapawi you will be lead by an Achuar guide and a naturalist guide as well. The naturalist guides are expert biologists fluent in English and other languages. Both of them will make your experience unforgettable."