A Secret World: Barasana
– THE BARASANA –
-> Between Colombia and Brazil there is an area caîied The Vaupös Region’.
About 15.000 people live in this area. They are the Amazonian Indians.
These Amazonian Indians live in small groups. These groups have got different names like: Tukano, Desana, Cubeo and Barasana.
The Barasana have a very different life-style. They do not live in villages. Many families live together in one house. It’s a very big house and they share everything in this house.
These houses are very far away from each other. A person has to walk for one hour to get from one house to another.
There are gardens for special plants behind the houses. The Barasana pick bananas from the banana trees and use the leaves of these trees to serve food.
The Barasana men and the Barasana women do different things. The women spend most of their time doing housework. They look after children, work in the gardens and prepare the food.
The men go fishing and hunt animals for their meat. The Barasana are marvellous language-learners. This is because a Barasana man has to marry a woman from a different house. The people in different houses speak different languages, so they must learn the other language to understand each other.
The wife has to learn her husband’s language and the husband has to learn his wife’s language. The children first learn their father’s language and use it every day, but they also understand their mother’s language. The children do not go to school. They play with other children, watch their parents and in this way they learn about life.
Young girls have to help their mothers, but the boys don’t. They usually swim in the rivers, go fishing and practise hunting animals.