Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy, peaceful Amazonian indians??

The following You Tube video shows the reality of life in many of the tribal peoples of the Amazon. I must warn you that it is difficult to watch the children being buried alive and there is indigenous nudity shown in the video. I post this here as a wake up call to some who have mistakenly bought into the myth that tribal people live a happy life of peace and harmony in a type of paradise with no need for education or outside influence.

I never saw this done. I would have personally stopped it as did a friend of mine. A missionary pilot was able to rescue a baby left to die on the airstrip of one village, still with the umbilical chord attached. He and his wife were able to adopt her after much red tape and difficulty from the Venezuelan government. I have met indians who were the surviving twin as the other was buried alive in the jungle at birth. I have heard stories of women going off to deliver alone and returning with no baby. They say the ants can devour the new born in a few short hours.







Infanticide among Brazil's Indigenous Communities


Even though much reliable data is missing, many of the deaths by infanticide in Brazil indigenous communities are masked by statistical data as deaths due to malnutrition or unspecified causes.

“Accurate data doesn’t exist. The little that is known about this issue comes from sources such as religious missions, anthropological studies or Special Indigenous Health coordinators, who pass on the information to the press before it is sent to the Ministry of Health where they become “undetermined or external causes of death””.Marcelo Santos, in “Indigenous Babies Marked to Die” (Brazilian Problems Magazine, SESC-SP (Social Service for Commerce – São Paulo), May-June 2007)


One of the first challenges in the eradication of infanticide is the gathering of reliable data. The government’s tendency is to try to minimize the problem. For FUNAI’s external affairs coordinator, Michel Blanco Maia e Souza, the infanticide cases don’t deserve to receive the government’s full attention. “We don’t have the figures, but I believe them to be isolated cases.”

Based on the Demographic Census in 2000, IBGE researchers have verified that for every thousand indigenous children that are born alive, 51.4 die before reaching one year of life, while in the same time period, the non-indigenous population showed a child mortality level of 22.9 per thousand. The infant mortality rate between indigenous peoples and non-indigenous peoples showed a difference of 124%. The Ministry of Health informed that, also in 2000, infant mortality rose to 74.6 deaths in the first 12 months of life. Curiously, in the IBGE and Ministry of Health news, there is no explanation for the causes of death.

Many of the deaths by infanticide enter into the official data as death by malnutrition or by other mysterious causes (poorly defined causes – 12.5%, external causes – 2.3%, other causes – 2.3%).

According to Rachel Alcântara’s research, from the UNB (University of Brasilia), in the Xingu Indigenous Reservation alone, close to 30 children are murdered every year. And in accordance with the findings of Doctor Marcos Pellegrini (Hygiene and Health Expert), who up until 2006, coordinated the actions of the DSEI (Special Indigenous Health District center) Yanomami in Roraima State, 98 indigenous children were murdered by their mothers in 2004. In 2003, there were 68, making this practice the main cause of death among the Yanomami people.

The practice of infanticide has been recorded in several indigenous groups, including: the Uaiuai, the Bororo, the Mehinaco, the Tapirapé, the Ticuna, the Amondaua, the Uru-eu-wau-wau, the Suruwaha, the Deni, the Jarawara, the Jaminawa, the Waurá, the Kuikuro, the Kamayurá, the Parintintin, the Yanomami, the Paracanã and the Kajabi peoples.

28 comments:

redneck preacher said...

The folks who believe missionaries take advantage of the natives also probably believe everything they are told about our culture.

It is a puzzle how we who have as a presupposition the Bible is correct without error want proof for statements made by authority and those who reject the old truths swallow each lie they are told.

A good post but I would guess a difficult one.

HTOITA

julie said...

That is so shocking and horrifying. Thank you, though, for sharing it - too many people have wildly idyllic visions of what tribal life is like.

~K~ said...

Why do they feel they need to do this? (Sorry, I can't watch the video due to my extremely sensitive nature.)

Findalis said...

You will not see reports of this atrocity in the MSM or by so-called experts. It would destroy their view that of the "Noble Savage". It would show instead the horror of living in a hunter/gatherer society truly is.

How blessed the people you lived with were. For they had a shining example of love within their midst.

Jungle Mom said...

K, They might choose to kill the child if he is not healthy or is retrded. Sometimes both twins are considered evil and will be killed or sometimes only one of the twins will be killed. If no father claims the child, the mother will chose to kill the child as she can not care for it and no other man will want to marry her. In times of food shortages, the girls may be killed.
Often times this is done by with holding food from the child and allowing them to die of starvation or dehydration. Especially with older children who are hurt or disabled in some way.

Liz said...

I couldn't watch the whole video...

Some people will call me names but that is a savage custom!! It's just plain assassination.

Jungle Mom said...

liz, It is done out of ignorance. Those who can teach a better way are denied the opportunity as we will 'kill the culture'. I have had government and university professors tell me that this is not wrong in their culture and we can not teach them that murder of an innocent child is wrong as it is only wrong in the Christian context.
In other words, human rights are not for all humans, only 'civilized' ones.

Elmers Brother said...

I had to stop the video.

~K~ said...

Thanks for explaining, JM.

I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who can't watch the video!

suzuki said...

Dear Rita,

My name is Marcia Suzuki and I am the adopted mother of Hakani, the girl whose story is told in the documentary. You don't need to publish this as a comment, I just didn't know how to reach you.

I just wanted to tell you some more about our campaign to eradicate infanticide in Brazilian tribes. We are planning to extend our work next year, reaching out to other countries. We need people like you, who love and understand God's heart for children, to help us with data and contacts.

Bellow there is a copy of our last circular letter.

Many blessings,

Marcia

Dear friends,

We would like to thank you for your prayers, your support and interest during the year of 2008! One of the great achievments of this year was the meeting with 7 tribes at the Xingu Reservation. The meeting was a victory, an event that promises to make a mark in the history of the Brazilian Indian children.


Imagine the famous tribal chief, Aritana, leader of the tribal chiefs from the 14 Xinguan tribes, making an emotional promise. Imagine the health workers, the indigenous teachers, and even a Kamaiuran woman chief was making the same promise. Imagine each tribal chief going forward, introducing themselves and saying, in their own language, "I also promise…"

It was this that happened at the Leonardo health station, in the Xingu Indigenous Reserve, between the 10th and 13th of November. After having watched the HAKANI documentary (www.hakani.org ), the indigenous people who were most deeply touched made a commitment, in front of their partners, to do whatever is possible to prevent children being buried within their area due to being twins or born to a single mother.

There were more than 250 indigenous people, from 7 different tribes, discussing the issue and searching for alternatives so that the rejection of children within the reserve would be overcome. You can see photos of the event at www.atini.org .

We know that this is only the beginning – our responsibility now is even bigger. The health workers and indigenous teachers made it very clear that a promise isn't enough. For the women to fulfil this promise, they will need monitoring, help and orientation.

The general agreement between those present, was the willingness to do whatever is possible so that twins and children born of a single mother will be saved. The situation with children with disabilities is more difficult. We need to keep searching for alternatives and solutions so that these children would be saved and have the right to life and dignity.

The most important thing is that this meeting was thought up and organised by the Indians themselves. This shows that they are assuming the leadership of this fight and this fills us with hope. The meeting also went against the arguments of those who believe that the Hakani documentary should be banned because it offends indigenous people.

This even leaves it clear that the indigenous people of Brazil don't feel offended, that they understand the message better than many white people. On the contrary, they feel deeply moved; they can identify themselves with Hakani's story. After watching the film, they were able to open their hearts and talk about what they really feel in respect to infanticide.

The immediate results of this reflection in the tribal villages of the Xingu Reserve were much more than we could have hoped for – the public promise that they made opens the way that concreted actions may be taken in defence of these children.

Now it is our turn. Will we be able to make our promise too – the promise that holds out its hands and helps these women to save the lives of these children? Will we be able to say to these indigenous people – "if you have the courage to not bury your baby, we, the church of Christ, will help you to look after him/her?" Will we be able to do our part for a Brazil where there are no sacrifices of indigenous children?

We want to thank you for your support, your prayers and your involvement. Little by little, we are advancing and seeing the hand of the Lord held out in favour of these little ones.


OUR PRAYER REQUESTS FOR 2009

1. We urgently need to buy a property to house the children and families we are attending. We have been living in rented houses (8 houses), but we will have to leave those houses in the month of Jun -2009. We need a miracle in the next few months.

2. We need teachers to help our children - because their Portuguese is very poor, they need help in order to get as much as they can from Education in the Brazilian schools before they go back to their tribes.

3. We need good partnerships with NGOs, indigenous organizations and government agencies in order to save as much children as possible in the year of 2009 (remember - we estimate that 200 children are buried alive every year in the tribes of Brazil).

Thanks and love,

Edson e Márcia Suzuki
www.atini.org
www.hakani.org www.voiceforlife.blogspot.com

firepig said...

Jungle Mom, I could hardly watch that video !!Had to stop it. I never imagined that this was happening.


Those PC nuts who say that it is 'just part of their culture' certainly do have a double standard !

Wanting to kill is bad enough,especially when it is not even self defense, but killing in such a tortuous way is beyond any understanding.

I knew there was a great deal of violence among Amazonian tribes, as I have read quite a few anthropological studies, but this just takes the cake for me.

MightyMom said...

well, now, you KNOW me well enough to know ain't no way I'm gonna be watching THAT! Thanks for the warning, I hate to be surprised by these things.

And yes, folks need to be knowledgeable about what they "oppose" however, that's the #1 problem in this country....too many empty clanging heads who want to "take a stand" against something before actually finding out the truth of what they're "standing" against.

I'll make a point of Robert Downey Jr. My hubby told me he's much more conservative since he was released from jail....he's quoted as saying "You can't spend time in jail and still be a liberal."

Betty said...

I couldn´t watch either. Didn´t even try....
But you know I agree with you.

I loved our meeting yesterday! Thanks again for a great afternoon.

Ken, Christie, Camille, Caroline said...

I didn't have the nerve to watch this, but I can only imagine the horror. I'm thankful for those who answer the call to bring understanding to these living in dark ignorance. PS-Loved hanging out with you yesterday!!

Joshua said...

I once heard of this Group of people, that would crush the infants head with these bid salad spoon like devices i think they were called forceps something like that. they also would inject saline solution into the baby causing it to melt and burn from the inside out. even grosser was the use of suction sometimes the entire child was vacuumed up, other times they would just insert prongs into the infants skull and slurp up the brains. As far as i am concerned there in no difference between burying alive and the previous, neither is more barbaric neither is more humane for some reason our culture thinks that because we use latex gloves our hand are clean. because we commit this murder in sterile environments at least these tribes men were man enough to not hide their face behind a mask and look the child and mother in the eyes.
I am not defending them just saying their mind set is this the sick one dies or we all die slowly of starvation whereas in our culture its more like kill him or her because i don't want stretch marks or to loose my figure i don't think i am done partying yet.

Most Rev. Gregori said...

Dear JMom,

That video is truly heartbreaking. If I had the means, I would have loved to take those poor children.

Thank the Lord for people like you and your husband who are able to bring Jesus and a semblance of civility to these native peoples.

Too those who may not want to believe that such a thing goes on, infanticide was a part of many different civilizations. Even the ancient Greeks killed newborns if the were physically disabled or showed signs of mental impairment.

Thank God for Christianity

Saur♥Kraut said...

What I want to know is who is the *&$%# who filmed this and did nothing to stop it?! That's accomplice to MURDER!

As for infanticide - it's just abortion POST delivery. Horrible - and what this country will eventually indulge in, if the trends continue.

As others said, I couldn't watch the entire video but I watched enough. Can't these people be held accountable for such murders?

This is the lack of natural affection mentioned in 2 Tim. 3.

Susan said...

I was just thinking as I read your comments, that many of the same people who say we have to leave the jungle tribes to their own ways, like killing children, are the same ones in our "civilized" country who kill unborn children in just as barbaric ways. Survival of the fittest, indeed! Pity those of us who may someday be deemed unfit to live. It's all different parts of the same elephant.

Jungle Mom said...

Saur,
There is footage of a well known anthropologist who filmed the deaths of several Yanomami inflicted with the measles. This team needed a new camera and had one flown from London to Caracas, helicoptered into the jungle so that they could continue to film the death rituals of the Yanommami during the epidemic, never even considered flying out patients or even flying in medical workers to help.
Of course he condemns the missionaries for destroying culture.

Brenda said...

I tried to watch it but it was just too hard. And your comment about the anthropologists who filmed the movie. . . its nauseating.

Thanks for keeping us aware and for reminding us of what is at stake.

suzuki said...

Saur & Kraut,

The clip above is not a footage of an actual event of infanticide -it is a reenactment based on a true story.

"Buried alive because her tribe thought she had no soul. Plucked from the grave at the last moment by her brother. Then forced to live as a social outcast for three long years until sickness and neglect brought her once again to the doorway of death...

This is the story of Hakani – whose name means "smile" – one of hundreds of children who are targeted for death each year amongst Brazil's 200 plus indigenous tribes. Physical or mental handicaps, being born a twin or triplet or being born out of wedlock – all are considered valid reasons for taking a child's life.

A growing number of indigenous people are rising up to fight this practice. But when they seek help from the government, they are told that their children are not protected by Brazilian or international law, and that preserving culture is more important than saving individual lives.

Featuring actual survivors of infanticide as well as those who have rescued them, Hakani is a powerful docudrama that tells the true story of one girl's journey to freedom and a people group's struggle to find a voice – a voice for life.!

http://www.hakani.org/en/synopsis.asp

Jungle Mom said...

Suzuki,
I have emailed you. Please let me know if you get it. I have many readers very interested in this subject.

Jungle Mom said...

suzuki, I just sent one to this new address.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Rita, Is Suzuki right? This is only a reenactment?

And the horrid anthropologist deserves to get some awful creeping crud without access to medical care. All in the name of experience, of course.

Anonymous said...

i've always imagined that higher childhood morbidity rates in more primitive societies (now and in the past prior to medical advances) made those societies HIGHLY VALUE a live child.

the law of supply & demand, i thought - often thinking this might be an explanation for the high abortion rates.

how ignorant i find myself to be.

~ShyAsrai

M.J. said...

I only started to watch the video, and I stopped it. I fear I will not get that image out of my mind. I am so sad. I guess I am ignorant, I had no clue that something like that would ever happen! Anyone who believes they should not do anything to stop it is sick. Why do we punish and jail those who commit murders here, yet allow people to commit murder because it is part of there culture?!?!?! I feel ill just thinking about it.

Anonymous said...

1) Clearly, it is a re-enactment and not documentary footage. (The camera lens is in the hole, being hit by dirt.)
2) Is it a re-enactment of a genuine situation? Knowledgeable commenters at other sites say it's not real. (Why would people kill their own children?) It's evangelical propaganda produced for fundraising purposes.
3) The Chinese have been practising infanticide for decades, if not longer. Let's pick on the Chinese, they can take it, and leave the Indians out of it. They have enough problems without being harrassed by meddlesome evangelicals.

Jungle Mom said...

Anonymous,
1)If you read the comments and the article, you will realize that itis a reenactment. No one said otherwise on the post.
2)Knowledgeable commenters at other sites? Direct me to one please. I have lived with Indians for many years in their villages and I saw things that you can not imagine including abandoning infants in the jungle to be eaten by ants. The report here is verified by the Brazilian government.
3) Who died and left you God over the indians? They decide their own fate. They choose to have outsiders come in or not. No one forces them into anything. It is rather ignorant to think that a lone missionary or two could move into the jungle and abuse a tribal people. They are not infants and can more than handle themselves. How else would they have survived all this time? You, nor anyone else, has the right to determine what they should or should not do.

Many people are working among the Chinese. Of course this is very difficult due to the communistic government.
Harassed by evangelicals? You are the one coming here to harass, about something you know nothing of but are following the dogma you have heard or read from others.
Why would they kill their children? For the same reason 'civilized' Americans abort their own. Usually, because of a defect or bad health. Also, they often do it too keep the village smaller and more mobile or to require less food as children consume and do not offer much to the labor.