« Today there are not many great shamans left in our forest. The gold smoke of epidemics nearly completely emptied it. Our fathers and our grandfathers did not trust the white people and had always feared their epidemic fumes.
They did not know that they had come to mark the edges of Brazil in the middle of our land. They never imagined that later these people’s children and grandchildren would come back in large numbers to dig gold from the rivers.
They never thought that these outsiders would one day chase them from their homes to take their land! Then the xawara epidemics arrive in their footsteps and we immediately start dying one after another!
We are the few inhabitants of the forest who survived your fathers’ and grandfathers’ epidemic fumes. This is why I want to speak to you. Do not be deaf to my words! Stop your people from ravaging our land and making us die too! »
– Yanomami spokesman and shaman Davi Kopenawa
Gold mining site in indigenous territory
Gold mining and the indiscriminate use of mercury to ferret out gold are turning swaths of the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems into a nightmarish moonscape!
Worldwide, illegal gold mining is more lucrative for criminal organizations, drug cartels, guerrilla groups and mafias than drug trafficking. For criminals posing as precious metals dealers, gold is the perfect medium for laundering illicit money from other illegal activities since illegal gold looks exactly like legal gold and the proceeds from selling it can be placed in the bank…
PLEASE DO NOT BUY OR USE GOLD!
As much as 75% of the gold extracted each year is used for jewelry, watches and other vain and futile status symbols sold by corporations in the luxury industry as well as discount retailers worldwide.
Tens of thousands of rainforest trees must be uprooted, hundreds of tons of soil mined and mixed with dozens of tons of toxic environmental pollutants that contaminate indigenous lands for that one special gold ring…
Please give gifts that don’t destroy nature and the lives of indigenous peoples!
Yanomami boy, Alto Orinoco, Amazonas, Venezuela – photo: Barbara Crane Navarro
Please watch this 48 second film of the light installation « Yanomami shamans struggle against xawara smoke of epidemics » included here:https://barbara-navarro.com/2020/09/27/prolongation-exhibition-pas-de-cartier-yanomami-and-trees-gold-mining-and-gold-luxury-items-covid-19-propagated-by-gold-minersthrough-november-12th/
Yanomami observing gold mining site in their territory – photo of Yanomami, Alto Orinoco, Amazonas, Venezuela and photo montage – Barbara Crane Navarro
Please also listen to the Yanomami shaman’s message:
*The Yanomami shaman being quoted is referring to the destruction to the rainforest and indigenous lives since the “conquest of the Americas” by white (non-native) Europeans which began 520 years ago….
This destruction is ongoing and constantly damaging more Yanomami territory and degrading more Yanomami lives. In 1993, gold miners massacred 16 Yanomami in the village of Haximú. In May 2021, heavily armed gold miners attacked Yanomami daily for over a week in the village of Palimiú
Gold miners are also propagating Covid-19 among many indigenous populations in all nine countries in the Amazon region.