Monkey Hunting Tribe
By Rebecca Drew
SPECTACULAR images offering insight into the lives of the Huaorani people in the Ecuadorian Amazon have been revealed showing how they use traditional methods to hunt monkeys for food.
The collection of pictures show people with dead monkeys hanging around their necks and another person in the trees in action trying to catch their next meal with a blow gun. Other shots show a man creating an ornate headpiece and woman knitting a hat.
Other shots offer further insight into what the people eat with bare toucans, the bird made famous through advertising the Irish stout Guinness, hanging from their necks and a peccary pig roasting on an open flame.
The stunning pictures were taken by conservation photographer, Pete Oxford (58) from Torquay, Devon in the Ecuadorian Amazon. To take his shots, Pete used a Nikon camera.
“The Huaorani Indians are a forest people highly in tune with their environment. Many are now totally acculturated since the 1950s by missionaries,” said Pete.
“Today they face radical change to their culture to the proximity of oil exploration within their territory and the Yasuni National Park and Biosphere Reserve, they are vastly changed.
“Some still live very traditionally and for this shoot, through my Huaorani friend, a direct relative of those photographed he wanted to depict them as close to their original culture as possible.
“They still largely hunt with blow pipes and spears eating a lot of monkeys and peccaries.”
The Huaorani are also known as the Waorani, Waodani or the Waos and are native Amerindians. Their lands are located between the Curaray and Napo rivers and speak the Huaorani language.
Pete says that during his visit he was welcomed into the group and hopes that ancient cultures can be saved.
“I was accepted and everything that was theirs was mine to share,” he added.
“Unfortunately, I could not reciprocate and stayed in a small tent on which I had to put a small padlock.
“For a Huaorani, my computer cables were excellent tethers to tie up a dead peccary but for me represented being able to work or not.
“In my lifetime, the world has witnessed a massive shrinking in world cultures and indigenous knowledge.
“We are all homogenising to the same thing. To me that is distressing and I aim to record as many ancient cultures as possible for the sake of posterity.
“One of my greatest joys is spending time with people unlike myself. I am very conscious that when I visit a ‘foreign’ tribe it is I, not them who are foreign.”
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