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COOPERATIVE – COMMUNAL ARTS & CRAFTS SHOP FOR THE INDIGENOUS MARUBO, MAYORUNA, MATIZ, KANAMARI, KURINA & KORUBO COMMUNITIES RESIDING IN THE JAVARI, ITAQUAÍ, ITUÍ & QUIXITO RIVER VALLEYS AND THE “CABOCLO”-COLONIST SAN PEDRO DEL NORTE, PALMARI, PIRAPITINGA, ASAIZAL & JABURÚ COMMUNITIES RESIDING IN THE JAVARI RIVER VALLEY ESTABLISHED FOR THEM IN THE VISITORS CENTRE OF THE RESERVA NATURAL PALMARI

 

In the constant effort by the Reserva Natural Palmari to promote and preserve the culture and traditions of our neighbouring indigenous and “caboclo” communities it was proposed to them to built a cooperative-communal arts & crafts shop, its purpose being the selling of original hand-crafted products with the aim to increase the familie´s economic income and reduce predatory activities on the surrounding environment thus creating a new and different work and income alternative for the local population. For these involved communities to produce, transport and sell such products becomes difficult due to various reasons, mainly due to the long distances to the final selling points. First, it was proposed that this cooperative-communal arts & crafts shop should be placed on “neutral” ground on the jungle trail between the villages of San Pedro del Norte and Palmari, a trail walked by maybe all the guests that visit the Reserva Natural Palmari and it would be created with the economic and logistical support regarding the building and equipping material until finishing it and leaving it ready to initiate selling activities granted by the Reserva Natural Palmari. Nevertheless and even with the support of many “caboclo” families and all the indigenous communities, the proyect never got the required support and needed consensus due to communal internal quarrels, the disregard by the “cabocolo” communities in respect to the indigenous tribes and the lack of decision and push from the chiefftains from the “cabocolo” communities of Palmari and San Pedro del Norte. Observing this lethargy  for nearly 2 years the Reserva Natural Palmari decided on its own to go ahead, support the “caboclo” families and indigenous communities that were really interested in this cooperative-communal arts & crafts shop project and make it a reality under own initiative, donating the requiered economic funds regarding the building materials and items needed, as well as the work-force and establish it on the premises of the Reserva Natural Palmari, inside the visitors centre, this, also with the aim to act as a neutral controlling and verifying agent in respect to the fair distribution of its economic incomes between the various producing inigenous and “caboclo” families. By the end of October 2.007 and since then this cooperative-communal arts & crafts shop has become a reality, its economic results are excellent, the Reserva Natural Palmari has granted from its own staff-members under own cost the personell to service the interested buyers of the products sold without any gain for the Reserva Natural Palmari, but to the contrary, selling them to the cost demanded by the artisan plus a small proffit as to create an additional incentive for the participating families and as to induce other, new families to enter and participate in this cooperative-communal project.

Today the cooperative-communal arts & crafts shop keeps growing at good speed, selling exclusive and original articles from the region, items you will nor find in Leticia and/ or Tabatinga, neither in any other part of the world, like original “Marubo”, “Mayoruna” and “Matiz” “mochila” bags, bracelets, hammocks and ribbons made from the fibres of the “chambira” and “cumare” palm, wood-carvings in the shape of animals, fruit, birds and others produced in various types of fine species of wood, bows made from the “chontaduro”, “pona barriguda” or “bacaba” palm, arrows and spears made from “isana” and their tip elaborated in very hard wood, blow-guns made of various materials on-top of “pona” wood covered with natural “yare” resin, decorated oars made from “costillo” or “remocaspi” wood, collars and bracelets made from snail-shells, “chambira” nuts, fish scales, monkey teeth, snake or “mata-caimán” cat-fish bones; earrings made of fine species of wood, seeds, “bamboo”, dried fruit and pebbles among many other original, traditional and completely local artistic and decorative products and items, contrary to the mayority of “arts & crafts products” offered in Leticia and/or Tabatinga, which in mayority are produced by machines in serial production. The participating families from the neighbouring “caboclo” villages, the indigenous families, which travel during various days and arrive to rest from the long voyage at our visitors centre, as well as the guests of the Reserva Natural Palmari benefit from this cooperative-communal project: the first two obtain an additional income that improoves their quality of live and they meet, make new friends and slowly loose their prejudices in respect to the indigenous tribes in addition to learning about and experimenting the way of live of our guests and receiving from them presents, donations in cloth, shoes and various other items and articles; our guests obtain for very cheap prices real original, traditional art & craft objects coming directly from the hands of the manufacturers together with explanations, stories and mythology related to the product and its producing community; the Reserva Natural Palmari also gains a good deal out of the project in getting another few steps closer to its main objective: To unite efforts in achieving a sustainable management and usage of the natural renewable recources with the protection of the surrounding environment, its flora, its fauna and the traditional human populations living in it, handing them live quality improovement as well as bonding new friendships  under terms of culture, mutual trust and education in favour of all.

© Copyright, 2001 Reserva Natural Palmari Ltd.