Photo: © Michael Clark, CauseCentric Productions
The Vale do Javari indigenous territory in the Brazilian Amazon is home to the largest number of uncontacted tribes living in isolation. Perhaps this idea makes it difficult for a lot of us to relate with these tribes, and perhaps even understand why we should care about them.
Photo: In the Marubo village of Boa Vista we were greeted with a ‘run’ around the village and this welcome sign that included the word ‘love’ in a heart. © Céline Cousteau, CauseCentric Productions
Standing in the middle of the Brazilian Amazon in the Marubo village of Rio Novo inside the indigenous land of the Vale do Javari, I exhale. This is the beginning and yet, it is really simply a continuation of what began 7 years ago. I am proud to be back here, keeping my promise to the Vale do Javari and its people. My team and I are about as far away from ‘far’ as one can get and we are about to live an incredible intense 2 weeks of filming, living, and learning.
Photo: The view of a Maloka and it’s surrounding huts in Boa Vista in the Vale do Javari, Brazil. © Michael Clark, CauseCentric Productions
As a professional adventure sports photographer, many of my assignments involve risky, intense moments in remote locations. I am often hanging off huge cliffs shooting rock climbing, swimming in big waves while shooting surfing or hiking deep into a remote wilderness with a huge pack. I have hunkered down in some of the worst weather Patagonia could muster, been stormbound in a tent in weeklong blizzards in Alaska and have climbed in the humid jungles of Thailand. But none of these trips could prepare me for the Amazon.
Photo: The main house in most villages here is a maloca- it is where the familie gather for communal meals and spend part of the day. The smoke is from the cooking fires and keeps the piums (no-see-ems) out as well. (Photo by Michael Clark)
From Tawaya – Matis village on the Rio Branco.
After leaving the Marubo villages on the Rio Itui we headed back down river to the FUNAI base. Based on our boat captain’s calculations we should have arrived there around nightfall: 6p.m.or a bit later. But as our previous message stated, we did not make it that night.
Photo: Céline Cousteau with a Marubo child in 2007 during her first visit to the Vale do Javari indigenous reserve in Brazil. © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society
Seven years ago, floating away on the Pantera boat from the Marubo village of Rio Novo in the Javari Valley was heart-wrenching. After learning about the health crisis threatening the survival of the indigenous tribes, how could we leave without doing something to help? That day, I promised I’d return. I promised I’d help, somehow. Read More