The Amazon rainforest has been the home to Indigenous peoples since the first settlement at Brazil’s Caverna da Pedra Pintada over 11,200 years ago! Currently, about 400 individual tribes still call the Amazon their home. Each of these tribes is incredibly complex and hold their own language, customs, and culture.
Often, we forget about the people who inhabit the Amazon. We destruct the natural environment, without recognizing that is home both to human life, as well as wild life. Both should be honored and protected, and have a lot to teach us if we learn how to listen.
There is a lot to learn from Indigenous peoples. Tribes of the Amazon have a long history and way of life that demonstrates how humans and the natural environment can coexist harmoniously.
People of the Amazon often found ways to utilize the healing properties of the rich biodiversity of the flora and fauna of the rainforest. For example, the bark of Tawari Trees hold multiple healing properties and helps treat infections, cancerous cells, tumors, and inflammation.
This is only one example of the many healing properties found and utilized in the Amazon.
Help kids understand and respect the knowledge of the people and biodiversity of the the Amazon by getting outside and engaging with them today!
- Take some time to share about the Indigenous people of the Amazon. Educate youth about the many areas of expertise and what we can learn from people of the Amazon. Share the example of Tawari Tree Bark to demonstrate the harmonious relationship between humans and their natural environment.
- Get outside, explore your favorite local area and have kids pick out their favorite tree. Then, place paper against the tree and using a crayon color the paper, noticing the texture of the bark printing onto the page.
- Take your artwork home, hang it up, and use it as a reminder of the lessons we can learn from our natural environment. Have kids brainstorm what healing modalities we get from plants and food today. Encourage them to think of ways they can learn from the knowledge and culture of Indigenous tribes and act more harmoniously with their environment each day!
While we are small and the Amazon is big, empower kids by sharing with them what they can do from their own backyard to support and sustain this essential natural environment!
"Indigenous People of the Amazon Rainforest." Global Sustainable Ecotours - Gondwana Ecotours. N.p., 24 May 2016. Web. 26 July 2017.
"Top 10 Medicinal Plants of the Amazon." Rainforest Cruises. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 July 2017.