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Updates from the Last Chance to Paint team

Postcard from the Amazon and Q&A

Updated: Feb 18, 2021

Here are some answers to some of the questions we have been emailed:

Why did you decide to go to Brazil and paint?

Because The Amazon Rainforest is very important to all our futures and I wanted to make all the children aware of the Amazon. I have a friend, Nixiwaka Yawanawá who is an artist, and by painting together in the Amazon, we hope to spread the message that it’s very special and needs to be protected. – John

Do you think you will fit in?

We will always be polite and respectful to the Yawanawá people and therefore intend to be good guests to them – John

We are all people who have a lot on common: we laugh, we sleep, we eat, we love music and art and use it as a means of expression. – Martha-Lilly

Because there aren’t showers in the rainforest where will you wash?

Much to our surprise there is in fact a shower in the tribal village of Mutum where we will wash!

Do any of the tribes men speak English?

Yes. Our friend Nixiwaka speaks English very well, so he is our translator for this trip. A couple of other tribe members know a couple of words but mostly they don’t know English at all!

Are you scared going into the rainforest? Are you excited?

It is nerve wracking going into the jungle as we are very aware of all the dangers we might come across, however we are mostly excited to explore and experience this new environment and we know we are in safe hands with the Yawanawá people.

Here are some answers to some of the questions we have been emailed for the tribe:

Is your language very difficult to learn?

There is a tribal language of Yawanawá which they are trying to relearn as the tribe was contacted over 200 years ago. Within the village the children are taught Brazilian Portuguese and this is the main language used throughout the tribe along with some specific Yawanawá terms.

What kind of food do you have? Who cooks it?

The Yawanawá eat lots of bananas and the savoury banana plantain. The grow Casava which is a root vegetable which they make a drink from and they also grow potatoes. They have rice and beans transported up the river when stocks run low, and the regular eat the chickens which roam around the village. When the hunting season is here -the wet season – they are able to hunt for wild boar and fish from the river. The food is cooked by the wives, and everyone gathers for lunch and dinner.

What is the scariest animal you have seen in the rainforest?

I have seen a jaguar in the rainforest briefly. When we see a Jaguar we have to kill it as we don’t stand any chance of survival otherwise so it’s much better when we don’t see these animals. We know where they like to live and where they raise their young so we know how to avoid contact with them. They are the most powerful animal in the rainforest and very spiritual. – Nixiwaka Yawanawá

Where do you get your paint from?

I get my paint from a local town called Tarauaca which is about 10hrs to travel. For our red body paint “kêne” we use natural paint from annato seeds – Nixiwaka Yawanawá

In our next video blog you will be able to see the kene being applied to us and the tree it comes from.

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Martha-Lilly x

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