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South America: Yanomami forest-dwellers need help to resist dispossession

The Survival website says that the The Yanomami are the largest relatively isolated tribe in South America. They live in the rainforests and mountains of northern Brazil and southern Venezuela. The Brazilian congress is currently debating a bill which, if approved, will permit large-scale mining in indigenous territories. This will be extremely harmful to the Yanomami and other remote tribes in Brazil.

More information here: http://www.survivalinternational.org/tribes/yanomami/wayoflife

If you are an Australian, this process of land-loss and induction into the market economy probably happened to your ancestors. Contrary to what we are told by missionaries, Foreign-Aid organisations and growth economists, hunter-gatherers who retain their territory and make a traditional living from it, never want to be 'developed'. They always resist but ' development' resulting in dispossession, poverty and then overpopulation, is invariably forced upon them.

Let us try to help the Yanomami and the other tribes of South America, as we should all hunter-gatherers, to retain their land and freedom.

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Comments

It seems outrageous to me that this man needs to explain the importance of the land to the Yanomami people. If they lose their land ,it is obvious that they lose their community, their identity their living , their independence. It reminds me of the Australian Aborigines who are attributed with a very special connection with the land that also seems to need explaining as though it is very culture specific and peculiar to them. The thing is that the connection with the land is normal and people who do not connect with the land are somewhat cast adrift, most probably urbanized and in a relatively artificial predicament.

In our society we now have more and more homeless. Those who do not own their own land and home are utterly dependent on waged employment and government pensions. With continuous importing of more human beings to benefit the housing speculation economy and other elite concerns, it is obvious that most Australians are living more and more precariously. If we did not buy and sell land, but only leased it - as the Maoris do in New Zealand - then every child and every adult would be secure. We would have more localised societies with preservation of families and clans. But that is exactly what growth economists want to disrupt because it would be far more difficult to push us around then.