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My mother the Amazonian tribeswoman

My mother the Amazonian tribeswoman | Kennis Anthropology |

David Good's parents come from different countries - hardly unusual in the US where he was raised. But the 25-year-old's family is far from ordinary - while his father is American, his mother is a tribeswoman living in a remote part of the Amazon. Two decades after she left, David realised he had to find her.

After three days on the Orinoco River, David Good felt sick.

He had been eaten alive by the relentless biting gnats, he was tired and thirsty. The air was dank and humid. Fierce rays of sunlight bounced off the surface of the piranha-filled river as the 40-horsepower motor puttered and the launch pushed further upriver, deeper into the Amazon.

His stomach was a knot of apprehension - he had not slept the previous night at all.

He was not a natural traveller or explorer. The lawns and parks of eastern Pennsylvania were his habitat and this trip to the Venezuelan Amazon - in July 2011 - was his first outside the US since early childhood.

And yet - as everyone kept telling him - things were going well. Normally, travellers heading to the Orinoco headwaters had to stop at the Guajaribo Rapids, unload all their goods and haul them overland, before pulling the boats past the treacherous rocks by rope.

David travelled hundreds of kilometres by boat through the Amazon to reach his mother's village

But it was raining heavily, off and on, and the river was higher than it had been for years. So Jacinto, a local indigenous man in charge of the tiller, was able to shoot the rapids, fiercely opening and closing the throttle, and steering the aluminium launch left and right of the rocks.

A few hours later, the boat turned a corner and suddenly shouts could be heard from the riverside. It could only be members of the Yanomami tribe - no white people lived so far upriver.

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Water Women of Vanuatu

One of the most amazing traditions in the world!

The water women of Vanuatu drum on water, while singing and dancing. A mesmerizing tradition that still continues in the magical isles of Melanesia. Now available for tours to festivals around the world. They have already performed to wildly enthusiastic audiences at the Rainforest World Music Festival in Malaysia and numerous festivals in Australia.

On tour to festivals worlwide, or anywhere there is waist-deep water!

An ancient women's practice that mimics the sounds and daily practices of their tropical island home, with songs titles such as "Waves Crashing on the Beach" and "Big Whale". Dressed in exotic jungle leaves the women enter the water singing and then start to drum hypnotically upon the water, creating a unique sound unheard in any other music.

In many instances the men of the village stand on the shore and answer with other songs accompanied by log drums, shakers, and stamping sticks.

There is an innocence to this music that touches your sole and leaves it grinning.

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The Aka or Bayaka are a nomadic Mbenga pygmy people who live as foragers of the tropical forest regions of the southwestern Central African Republic (CAR) and northern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Although the Aka people call themselves BiAka, they are also known as Babenzele in Western Central African Republic and Northwest Congo (DRC). The Aka pygmies are considered to be the very first inhabitants of the Central African Republic. They live in a variety of terrains in southwestern Central African Republic and northern Congo (Brazzaville region), in 11 different ecological zones of the Western Congo Basin. They are a related, but distinct, people from the Baka people of Cameroon, Gabon, northern Congo, and southwestern Central African Republic. The BiAka have a high predominance of the L1 genetic haplotype, which is believed to be the most divergent human dNA haplotype. It is believed that the modern human ancestor developed in the East Africa area, where the Efé (and other Mbuti) and the Hadzabe of Tanzania also exhibit the L1 haplotype. During a period of "interglacial optimum" weather, the Sahara became lush and green, allowing easy migration along its southern border. It is theorized that during this period, migration of early man occurred from the Eastern Congo basin to the Western Congo basin. The BiAka therefore represent some of the most distinct existing modern humans.
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