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Living In The Forest Essay

1368 words - 5 pages

Although the majority of people in the Amazon live in the cities and towns, there are still many indigenous groups living in the forest, some who have no contact with the 'outside' world and live in a harmonic environment. Rainforests are the most diverse ecosystems on the planet, as well as being the home to an estimated 50 million indigenous forest people. These people depend on the rainforest for their way of life. It provides them nearly everything from shelter and food to tools and medicine. The people living in the forest make practical and sustainable use of the forest. It also plays an important role in their spiritual and cultural life.Other than hunting, gathering wild fruits and nuts and fishing, each family usually has two gardens. One is a small house garden which consists of a variety of plants and the second is a large plantation planted with bananas, manioc or rice. They use a sustainable farming method called shifting cultivation. First they clear a small area of land and burn it (slash and burn). Then they plant different types of plants, to be used for food and medicines. After a few years, the soil has become too poor to allow for more crops to grow and weeds start to take over. They then move to a nearby un-cleared area. This land is traditionally allowed to re-grow for 10-50 years before it is farmed again. Shifting cultivation is still practiced by those indigenous groups who have access to a large amount of land. However, with the growing number of non-indigenous farmers and the shrinking rainforest, other groups, especially in Indonesia and Africa, are now forced to remain in one area. The land becomes a wasteland after a few years of overuse, and cannot be used for future agriculture.Indigenous people respect the forest that, until the present, has protected them from outsiders and given them everything they need. They live in a sustainable existence. This means that they use the land without harming the plants and animals that also call the rainforest their home.Indigenous people get all their resources primarily from the forest. Other than their food they get their clothing, tools, medicines and shelter form there. This is part of their culture and way of life, as their ancestors also lived in this way.Children do not go to school however they learn about the forest through their parents and other members of the community. They are taught how to survive in the forest. This usually includes how to hunt and fish. They are also taught which plants are useful as medicines or food. Some of these children know more about the rainforests than scientists who have been studying rainforests for many years.There are many different groups. But one example is the 'Maku' group. A daily life of someone in the 'Maku' village:The women wake up at sunrise and prepare the men's breakfast. Each meal is communal and is eaten at the leader's house. After the men have eaten breakfast they depart either alone or in pair's depending on what...

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