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This project seeks to understand the Amazonian relation to nature by recording Amazonian Kichwa, Achuar and Wao Tededo language narratives about the land and its species.   The links below lead to short videos of testimonies, stories, and songs about nature.  Our method is to interview knowledgeable individuals in the forest setting where their memories are activated by the plants and animals they see. The videos are edited from these longer interviews to exemplify key aspects of Kichwa thinking about nature. Although the subtitle are set to English they can be changed to Spanish or Kichwa by clicking the settings icon. Because our approach is anthropological linguistics much of our recent focuses on the Kichwa language itself as the vehicle through which the relations to nature is shaped and expressed. 

Watering the Earth with Tears:  The Social Relation to Nature







      Origin stories: plants and animals as relatives who went away



      Reptiles and Amphibians


      Trees and Forests

      Rain and rivers

      The Sky, Sun, Moon and Stars

A Body Shared with Land





     Aging, Death, and Ancestors 


Waranga Flower Woman

Human Beauty and the Beauty of the Land

     Connecting lines: painting the land on the body

     Ceramic art: The visualizing of patterned nature

     Perfumed Wind: the local smell of a healthy body

          Breath, Wind, and Wind sickness

Language and Forest Relations  

     Singing with the voice of birds

     Speaking to plants and animals

     Language as social relation

     Evoking the language of the land  Ideophones


     Humor and the evoking of animal/human similarity 

    Plants that symbolize blood

    Food plants and wild relatives

    Drinking bitter barks

    Trees Awake at Night

Search by Species




    Reptiles and Amphibians




Ecological destruction and the Resistance of Forests  


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