Deforestation versus Indigenous peoples – V « When you cut down the trees you assault the spirits of our ancestors. When you dig for minerals you impale the heart of the Earth. »


Kayapo Chief Raoni Metuktire

« When you cut down the trees you assault the spirits of our ancestors. When you dig for minerals you impale the heart of the Earth. And when you pour poisons on the land and into the rivers – chemicals from agriculture and mercury from gold mines – you weaken the spirits, the plants, the animals and the land itself. When you weaken the land like that, it starts to die. If the land dies, if our Earth dies, then none of us will be able to live, and we too will all die. »

  • Chief Raoni Metuktire

The Amazon rainforest on fire

Now in his 90’s, Chief Raoni Metuktire is still fighting for the life of his people’s ancestral territory in the Amazon rainforest. He filed a complaint on January 22, 2021 before the International Criminal Court in The Hague against Jair Bolsonaro. He accuses the Brazilian president of crimes against humanity for his criminal acts against the Indigenous peoples of the Amazon.


Deforestation for cattle pasture

Brazil’s far-right president seems to have environmental amnesia.
Bolsonaro demands financial assistance from the international community to meet the commitments his country made in 2015 at the climate summit in Paris. But during the years that he has been in power, the agribusiness corporations, the logging companies and the gold miners and organized criminals who underwrite them have never been so officially encouraged by the government…


Deforestation for gold mining

In 2015, I asked Cacique Raoni Metuktire what we could all do to help the Kayapo and he said: « Please tell people to stop eating beef. »

We can help Indigenous peoples and Nature by boycotting all products from deforestation; gold, palm oil, exotic wood, soy, beef, etc.!


Kayapo child

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.
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5 Responses to Deforestation versus Indigenous peoples – V « When you cut down the trees you assault the spirits of our ancestors. When you dig for minerals you impale the heart of the Earth. »

  1. Pingback: Deforestation versus Indigenous peoples – V « When you cut down the trees you … | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

  2. Hi Barbara, The colonial, neo-liberal, description of the world and her people as expendable will doom us all I fear. As to the deforestation of my beloved Amazon and the continued war on Indigenous people, I am heartbroken.

    Liked by 1 person

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