« The Value of the Gold they covet so much – Our real goods are the things of the forest: its waters, fish, game, trees and fruit. Not merchandise! »

Yanomami boy with pet monkey, Alto Orinoco, Amazonas, Venezuela 
photo – Barbara Crane Navar

« When a human being dies, his ghost does not carry any of his goods onto the sky’s back, even if he is very greedy. The things he made or acquired are left on earth and only torment the living by rekindling the longing for his presence.

We are different from the white people and our thought is other. Among them, when a father dies, his children are happy to tell each other: ‘We are going to share his merchandise and his money and keep them for ourselves!’

Our real goods are the things of the forest: its waters, fish, game, trees and fruit. Not merchandise! This is why as soon as someone dies we make all the objects he kept disappear.  We grind up his bead necklaces; we burn his hammock, his arrows, his quiver, his gourds, and his feather ornaments.

The stones, waters, earth, mountains, sky and sun are immortal like the xapiri spirits. These are things that … we call parimi, eternal.

Humans’ breath of life is very short. We live a short time.»

  • Yanomami spokesperson 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… 


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!

area, sawing down trees and poisoning rivers with mercury in their lust for gold. REUTERS/Bruno Kelly SEARCH “AMAZON GOLD” FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH “THE WIDER IMAGE” FOR ALL STORIES

Yanomami community dwellings in the forest – photo: Bruno Kelly/Reuters

Please watch this 48 second film of the light installation « Yanomami shamans struggle against xawara smoke of epidemics » included here:


Yanomami hunting dog and puppies in the communal house, Alto Orinoco, Amazonas, Venezuela – photo: 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 and the village of Maikohipi in June.

Gold miners are also propagating Covid-19 among many indigenous populations in all nine countries in the Amazon region.

About Barbara Crane Navarro - Rainforest Art Project

I'm a French artist living near Paris. From 1968 to 1973 I studied at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island, then at the San Francisco Art Institute in San Francisco, California, for my BFA. My work for many decades has been informed and inspired by time spent with indigenous communities. Various study trips devoted to the exploration of techniques and natural pigments took me originally to the Dogon of Mali, West Africa, and subsequently to Yanomami communities in Venezuela and Brazil. Over many years, during the winters, I studied the techniques of traditional Bogolan painting. Hand woven fabric is dyed with boiled bark from the Wolo tree or crushed leaves from other trees, then painted with mud from the Niger river which oxidizes in contact with the dye. Through the Dogon and the Yanomami, my interest in the multiplicity of techniques and supports for aesthetic expression influenced my artistic practice. The voyages to the Amazon Rainforest have informed several series of paintings created while living among the Yanomami. The support used is roughly woven canvas prepared with acrylic medium then textured with a mixture of sand from the river bank and lava. This supple canvas is then rolled and transported on expeditions into the forest. They are then painted using a mixture of acrylic colors and Achiote and Genipap, the vegetal pigments used by the Yanomami for their ritual body paintings and on practical and shamanic implements. My concern for the ongoing devastation of the Amazon Rainforest has inspired my films and installation projects. Since 2005, I've created a perfomance and film project - Fire Sculpture - to bring urgent attention to Rainforest issues. To protest against the continuing destruction, I've publicly set fire to my totemic sculptures. These burning sculptures symbolize the degradation of nature and the annihilation of indigenous cultures that depend on the forest for their survival.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to « The Value of the Gold they covet so much – Our real goods are the things of the forest: its waters, fish, game, trees and fruit. Not merchandise! »

  1. Pingback: The Value of the Gold they covet so much — Barbara Crane Navarro – Tiny Life

  2. Pam Lazos says:

    I had no idea about any of this. It is so sad and unfair. And I can’t believe it’s been happening for so many centuries now, this taking from indigenous populations.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mizlatea says:

    Let’s keep sharing this message out! We can’t give up hope that Cartier will be booted and forced to clean up the mess they’ve made in the water and soil. Clean up will take YEARS of dedicated work.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. mizlatea says:

    Reblogged this on Cerulean Seasons and commented:
    More from Barbara Crane Navarro. This has to stop!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s