MÃE, mother of Amazonas. HOW THE AMAZON FOREST CONSERVATION STRONGLY DEPENDS ON INDIGENOUS MOTHERS.
On October 2021 I’ve navigated with HOPE Onlus down the Andirà River, in the state of Amazonas, to reach the Sateré-Mawé indigenous tribes with a team of nurses and healthcare technicians from the city of Parintins. A 12h boat trip to carry an ultrasound that would later scan many pregnant women for their first time. Sateré-Mawé women came from surrounding and isolated villages, gathering in the same meeting point for an entire morning of medical visits. Most of them had never left their community and they only spoke their language. Maternity has never been an issue in these lands, but a blessing. People of gatherers, they have always looked at new births as essential sources of survival. With the exploitation of the Amazon Forest, their territory is locked and officially bordered. They stopped moving on foot and they all moved living along rivers, where there are no resources for everyone. Amazon land can no longer support them. Conversely, it exposes them to the neglect from agencies of a government that would prefer they just assimilate. The Sateré-Mawé ancient traditions are still alive, in a delicate balance with all that is beyond a boundless nature. The contact with the outside world and the invasive actions taken in these lands made many of them strongly linked and dependent on modern habits and subject to new diseases. Today their nature-based customs, rituals and healing practices, put in danger with exploitation of the Forest, can no longer ensure a future to the new generation of native people.