Yanomami Poetry

The Forest
photo by dooglas for Recycled Minds
by douglas reeser on November 2, 2011
Survival International, perhaps the leading advocate for indigenous rights worldwide, has a ton of great stuff going on over on their site. From news alerts, project updates, photos, and poetry, there is a wealth of information and resources to peruse. We urge you to check out their site, and offer you a sample of what they are doing. The following is a touching and timely poem by Davi Kopenawa, of Yanomami descent from the Brazilian Amazon.
I am the environment.
I was born in the forest,
and I grew up there. I know it well.
Without land and nature, we can’t live, the world can’t work.
You talk of the planet, yet you don’t
think it has a heart and breathes,
but it does.
You talk politics and study on paper.
But we study in the forest and look
carefully. You don’t know our wisdom.
It’s very different.
We understand that all living things have a noreshi - another living being which is born at the exact same time
as yourself.
Your noreshi may be a bird, or a boar, or a deer, or a fish, or an anteater, a
butterfly or any other kind of living plant or animal.
It rests when you rest, it feeds
when you feed, it sings when you sing.
It dies when you die.    
                                                                                                 - Davi Kopenawa, Yanomami, Brazil

Thanks to Davi and Survival International for sharing these touching words.
Print Friendly and PDF

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of (and the word) noreshi.


Having trouble leaving a comment? Some browsers require acceptance of 3rd party cookies. If you leave an anonymous comment, it may need to be approved.