Visiting an Indigenous Amazonian Village

DSC_4264
Traditional Dance Ritual

The Napo Wildlife Center in the Yasuni National Park in Ecuador is actually owned and operated by a local Amazonian tribe. As part of the experience of staying at the eco lodge, you get to visit the village where the tribe lives, see how they prepare their meals, participate in a ritual dance, and have the opportunity to buy locally made art and jewelry. The tribe is dedicated to making sure that their traditions and culture remain in tact despite the increased influence of the modern world, which certainly must be difficult to do.

DSC_4240
Entering the Village
IMG_6336
Welcome Center at the Village
DSC_4235
Preparing Fish
DSC_4260
Ceremonial Hut

Despite being deep in the Amazon Jungle, the village generates its own power and has a school with computers. Meals, however, are still cooked over an open fire and prepared by the women of the village. The majority of what the villagers eat is fish caught from the river as well as fruit and vegetables grown nearby the village. We did see them preparing some sort of snail-like insect, but we didn’t end up trying that. The fish was wrapped in banana leaves and smoked over the fire and they shared some of their meal with us before we left.

IMG_6322
For the Adventurous Eater
DSC_4278
A Kind of Nut
DSC_4275
On the Tree
DSC_4228
Bananas in the Village
DSC_4273
Smoking Fish

The highlight of the visit is watching the villagers perform a ritual dance. The women disappeared for a while shortly after we arrived and then returned wearing vibrant pink shirts and skirts. They sang and danced to music played on a drum and a turtle shell with a piece of metal attached that made a unique sound when snapped. It didn’t take long before they pulled our guide up to join in the dancing, but when they asked all of us to join, the real fun began. It was surprising difficult to keep up with their foot movements and we were out of breath by the time we finished. Fortunately, since we both danced, there are no embarrassing photos of us dancing, so you will just have to use your imagination.

DSC_4266
Musicians
DSC_4261
Vibrant Outfits
IMG_6342
School Room
IMG_6344
Students Heading Home

We bought a pair of kissing parrots made out of wood as well as a few bracelets and necklaces before leaving to help support the efforts of the village. The people who live at the village were the same people who were cooking our meals and cleaning our rooms at the lodge, so we were very appreciative of the service that they provided to us during our stay. Visiting the village was certainly one of the highlights of our time in the Amazon. The people of the village were extremely friendly, proud of their culture, and made us feel very welcome in their homes.

DSC_4279
Getting Ready to Leave the Village
DSC_4270
Village Huts
DSC_4232
Cooking a Stew
DSC_4247
School House
DSC_4251
Village

 

2 thoughts on “Visiting an Indigenous Amazonian Village”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.