May 11, 2006

Enough of this Stone Age life.

The Nukak-Makú walk out of the Amazon and do not want to go back. They want to stay in the modern world and that means they expect the government to take care of them:
Nor can officials force them to go back. So the town and the government are providing them food and clothing in a forest clearing called Aguabonita outside San José.

"We can't say, 'You're a Nukak, go back to the bush,' " said Ramón Rodríguez, who is overseeing assistance efforts from the central government's emergency aid organization, Social Action.
It would be fascinating if they were rejecting the life their people have lived forever, but that does not seem to be the case:
The newly arrived Nukak do not provide much detail about why they left. They just say that "the Green Nukak," a possible reference to Marxist guerrillas, who wear camouflage, told them to leave.

"The Green Nukak said we could not keep walking in the jungle, or else there would be problems," explained Va-di, another Nukak man, whose words were translated from Nukak by Belisario. "The Green Nukak told us to go where it is safe."
Meanwhile, they say they feel happy.
Used to long marches in search of food, they are amazed that strangers would bring them sustenance — free.

What do they like most? "Pots, pants, shoes, caps," said Mau-ro, a young man who went to a shelter to speak to two visitors.

Ma-be added, "Rice, sugar, oil, flour." Others said they loved skillets. Also high on the list were eggs and onions, matches and soap and certain other of life's necessities.

"I like the women very much," Pia-pe said, to raucous laughs.
Modern life seems good, but the comparison is to traditional life threatened by the Green Nukak. And there aren't enough monkeys:
The men still go into the jungle, searching for monkeys... Monkeys are grilled, dismembered and boiled, then eaten piece by piece.
You can't get over that taste for monkeys.

38 comments:

reader_iam said...

Sheesh, Ann, thanks a lot.

The kid's home sick from school, I finished cleaning up after him (ahem), and then I read this post and see that picture.

Feelin' a bit queasy myself, now.

Jennifer said...

Funny, reader. I've got my little guy home sick today too. I saw that picture and thought "At least he's keeping it down!"

Joe said...

As Bucky says, monkeys look delicious.

Goesh said...

Bring them all here and let them compete with the illegals coming north from Mexico. That little fellow looks to have the makings of fine house painter, nimble, agile and able to scurry up scaffolds like nobody's business.

Ann Althouse said...

The boy is adorable, happy, and I don't see how even a strict vegetarian can object to what he's doing.

Joe said...

I think I'm so educated and I'm so civilized, 'cause I'm a strict vegetarian.

MadisonMan said...

nimble, agile and able to scurry up scaffolds like nobody's business.

I'm curious what you base that assessment on.

Palladian said...

"The boy is adorable, happy, and I don't see how even a strict vegetarian can object to what he's doing."

Well, for one thing children in our culture do not generally sit around nibbling on whole, cooked HEADS, Ann!

At least we have the decency to grind the heads up into hot dogs.

reader_iam said...

I don't think my strict-vegetarian DH would object, as long as he didn't have to watch.

Aspasia M. said...

He's eating an eggplant.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

(Did anybody see the cute monkeys on the Amazing Race last night?)

It's an eggplant.

PatCA said...

Yeah, it's an eggplant...it's an eggplant.

Eeeuw.

bill said...

Whatever gross thing you can think of, someone somewhere has eaten it.

Personally, I'll take the monkey head over a plate of smashed peas. Gladly.

Given Ann a choice of monkey head or egg salad, who feels confident in the answer?

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Goesh said...

It's a shrunken human skull he is nibbling on - he is gleaning the last vestiges of protein from it. Slap a paint brush in these nimble little fingers and he will pull himself up by his bootstraps and save you a pile of money in the process. Life is pretty darn simple if you allow it to be.

Jeff said...

How about the possibility that it was "Marxist guerrillas" who forced them out of the forest?

Joe said...

Lunchtime - going out for a monkeyface sandwich. Check ya later.

Jennifer said...

How about the possibility that it was "Marxist guerrillas" who forced them out of the forest?

I was pondering that, too. I was wondering whether the guerrillas would force them out because 1. they wanted the space for themselves or 2. they were concerned for the safety of the tribe in an area that fighting was moving toward.

Goesh said...

I'm not so sure about the geurilla scenario, most likely loggers attempted to buy some of the young women for you-know-what, and when the tribe refused, they took chain saws to their spirit trees, sort of like putting a turd in the Chalice if you're a Catholic. I concede it appears the little fellow is gnawing on a monkey's head and not a human head.

Palladian said...

Marxist gorillas? Dangerous, but watch out for the anarcho-syndicalist chimpanzees...

"This is how I've always pictured quxxo. The monkey head is McChimpyBushitler."

This kid is much too cute to be q--o. I'd rather look at kids gnawing pan-seard primate heads than scroll through a 20398475 word q--o post any day.

Jennifer said...

Palladian: LOL. Well, you can see above what happens to monkeys on the wrong side of a debate. Those primate politics are rough.

Tibore said...

Geoduck, PatCA:

Lol, eggplant? Sort of like that potato chip that looked like Mother Teresa?

Or was it a cheese sandwich? I forget which...

Can't stop chucklin' at the image of a couple of people in front of their computers holding their head in their hands muttering "It's an eggplant... yeah, an eggplant" over and over again.

Ann Althouse said...

I don't feel safe in this world no more. I don't want to die in a nuclear war.

MadisonMan said...

I don't feel safe in this world no more. I don't want to die in a nuclear war.

Good luck finding the distant shore.

bill said...

I think I'm so educated and I'm so civilized 'cause I'm a raw vegetarian

Jennifer said...

And good luck surviving as an ape man. You'd be good eats.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reader_iam said...

Whether Marxist Gorillas or Chimpies of whatever stripe, one thing's for sure: it definitely some sort of no-good monkey business that forced those poor eggplant-eating people out of the woods and into the modern world.

vh: ainwt

(And it ain't right, neither.)

Jeff said...

Isn't "bushmeat" consumption in Africa where HIV came from?

Jennifer said...

BTW, did this line ("We can't say, 'You're a Nukak, go back to the bush,' ") kill anyone else?

Ann Althouse said...

Jeff, Jennifer:

From the comment that upset me the most to the one that made me laugh out loud.

Pastor_Jeff said...

I was a picky eater growing up. When I was in 2nd grade, a friend's family invited us over to dinner. I asked my friend what they would be having. "Fried monkey brains," my friend replied. Being rather gullible and even more finicky, I went home and decided to contract a stomach ailment which kept me from going over to the friend's house (of course they had something like meatloaf).

I remembered that incident in seeing the picture, and thought, "That little boy would have been excited!" To each his own. But someday if I have to move out of my home and cultural context, I will still probably go back to the jungle to hunt for my wife's chicken-fried steak and coconut cream pie.

Aspasia M. said...

Yes - my niece (from Seattle) loves eating fish. But I know other children who Hate, Hate, Hate fish. But in other ways she is the classic "picky" eater.

What is a treat food for some kids is something other kids would never eat.

L. Ron Halfelven said...

Hey, I married a Nukak. Now all I hear at family gatherings is a lot of bitchy gossip about Marxist guerrillas, and my niece won't even touch her soup until I've fished out all the non-simian bits for her. Are they really that vulgar or am I just being a snob?

XWL said...

How do you quantify how much ass Ray Davies kicks?

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe said...

Ray's "storytellers" tour from a couple of years ago was absolutely one of the finest, most entertaining concerts I have ever seen.
I first saw the Kinks in 1970 and have seen them on probably every American tour since.

Ann Althouse said...

I was just listening to a Kinks CD in my car on this rainy afternoon: their cover of "Louie Louie." They didn't quite get there first, apparently.

Joe said...

Some of their covers on early albums are quite hilarious... Ever hear their cover of Bo Diddley's Cadillac?
My daughter, bless her sweet heart, bought me a double cd for ten bucks last week that has so many good obscure tunes on it, stuff I have on vinyl that I never replaced with cd's. Like Autumn Almanac and Dead End Street, David Watts...
In that Storytellers concert, Ray had us in hysterics, describing how he and Dave's first band only knew one song, Ghost Riders in the Sky. I could go on like this all night.