We slept well in our hospedaje in Pebas after our tough trip from Brillo Nuevo. On Saturday, we took a motorcar from Pebas over the 20+ rickety bridges crossing streams to Puca Urquillo.
We met with both Bora and Huitoto artisans in the seats overlooking an asphaulted basketball court. Yully and Marianela carefully reviewed a variety of hot pads, bottle and cell phone carriers made for our orders. I was again relieved that Yully embraced the tough job of rejecting ones that didn't meet high quality export quality. We then bought a few more bags and other items at a small feria.
I then saw a few artisans buying loose batches of white chambira fiber from a woman from Tierra Firme. While we are investing a lot of resources to help artisans from Puca Urquillo plant more chambira palms so they can have their own supply of raw material for weaving crafts, it is still easier for them to buy this from more distant communities who have a lot of forest but few artisans.
On the way back to Pebas, we passed several smoky fields being burned to plant yuca. It was inevitable that paving this land passage would lead to the clearing of almost every adjoining parcel of forest.
"While concepts like punctuality, mutual respect, no put downs of self or others, and listening when someone else is speaking may seem like obvious guidelines to form a positive community, a commitment to actually practice and hold each other accountable to observe these agreements is profound in a culture where showing up late, malicious gossip, and interrupting a speaker are painfully common."
"Artisan facilitators should of course share what they know, but beginning and experienced artisans all benefit by remaining humble, enthusiastic about learning, and committed to encourage and affirm their fellow artisans. So many artisans said that the thing they most wanted to bring back to their communities was this spirit of working in a mutually supportive environment."
"Both men and women wore garb made with bleached llanchama tree bark painted with graphic figures from Bora clans. Several wore headdresses made with the feathers from macaws and parrots. They discussed the importance of nature and craft-making in their culture and then launched into a lively dance where the men chanted and pounded sticks into the ground to the rhythm of moving around in a circle. Visitors joined the undulating lines to share the vibrant energy."