From: andre cramblit
Subject: Survival (community)
18 May 2006
COLOMBIA: NUKAK TRIBE - 'WE ARE BEING WIPED OUT'
The reclusive Nukak tribe, who hit headlines worldwide this month after
fleeing their forest home, are caught up in a violent civil war between
guerrillas and the Colombian army. The Nukak are one of the Amazon's few
nomadic tribes. Since they first came into close contact with
non-Indians in 1988, over half their number have died, mainly from flu
and malaria transmitted by outsiders.
'We are few now; hardly any Nukak remain. The outsiders are many, and
have big houses. They don't care that the Nukak are being wiped out,'
says Nukak man Chorebe.
Of the remaining 400 Nukak, half are now displaced with no means of
returning to their forest homes as the fighting continues to rage. Those
who remain in the forest run a huge risk of being killed in the
The army is spraying coca plantations, grown by colonists on the Nukak's
land, with herbicide from the air. In addition, Colombia's main
left-wing guerilla army, the FARC, and the right-wing paramilitary army,
the AUC, both have large numbers of forces in Nukak territory. Both
groups seek to control the lucrative coca crop.
The Nukak, part of a group of nomads known as the Makú, live in small
family groups deep in the rainforests of Colombia and Brazil. They move
from camp to camp every few days depending on the available hunting and
gathering of fruits and vegetables. Fish are also an important food.
Survival and Colombia's national Indian organisation ONIC are urging all
sides to call a ceasefire and withdraw from Nukak territory, and to send
urgently needed medical teams in to treat the Indians.
Survival's director Stephen Corry said today, 'If the authorities do not
act swiftly to protect the Nukak and their land, Colombia's last nomads
To write a letter in support of the Nukak visit
To read this press release online, visit
Photos and footage available. For more information call Miriam Ross on
(+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or email email@example.com
'We are not primitive. We live differently to you, but we do not live
exactly like our grandparents did, nor do you.' Roy Sesana, Gana
Bushman. Help stamp out racist language against tribal people. Visit
We help tribal peoples defend their lives, protect their lands and
determine their own futures.
I read the quote: "We are not primitive. We live differently to you, but we do not live exactly like our grandparents did, nor do you" by Roy Sesana, and this poem/prayer/song (draft) followed:
Oh beloved Sun and maker of Sun, may false beliefs wither in your gaze
Though the slaves of these beliefs make banks that touch the sky
And give themselves seats of honor in the churches, governments, and
Marketplaces. They fight for dominion over the sweet minds of our children.
We stand with open hands in the arbor made of plants and prayers,
Where we gather beneath your blessing light.
All night we journeyed with you, from dusk through twilight to dawn,
Through loss and fear to celebration, accompanied by the songs of insects
And urges of other flying, singing ones.
We were joined, by the swaying of plants and winds as we circled back
To the beginning of the origin of fire, and out again for energy, for renewal.
Make the path clear for the children who have witnessed thousands
Of deaths, a sea of brutality, and troubling shame between humans who love each other.
We all belong in that circle around the fire of your spirit.
We will dress ourselves in starlight, in sunlight, and pull on our cowboy boots and shells, dresses
And suits, as we dance past the keepers of false beliefs.
We will raise our bent heads and accept the gifts
You have given us here on this earth though many appear broken, or sad
From loneliness or misuse.
How tender are the small winds moving about the surface of the earth before sunrise.
c Joy Harjo May 19, 2006 Honolulu
Now, if there's any Mvkoke people out there who are good at translations I need your help. I can work word by word. Want to translate this and sing it in our language.