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Photographer's Note

Embera Indian mother and child.
Normally a boy will leave his village at age 14 - 15 to find a girl. Panamanian law does not allow them to marry at that age so they "unite", then both return to the boy's village to live.

To visit this native Embera Indian village you must travel by dugout canoe through thick jungle in Chagres National Park. There you will find people living much as they have since Columbus arrived in the 1500's.

This village is called Pararu Puru and is home to about 80 people. On my trip we spent a day with these wonderful people. They displayed crafts they make which are coveted world wide. The botanical doctor showed us the plants they use to treat ailments. It was the Embera Indians that had the knowledge of the plant form of Viagra which they shared with Phizer. Their knowledge of plants has led to other discoveries used by modern pharaceutical companies.

During my visit I ate the food they eat: talapia fish and plantains. I tatooed my body with a dye they use called Jagua which wears off in about 10 - 14 days.

Today the Embera's welcome travelers to their village as a way of generating communal income because the governement of Panama has restricted their native way of slash & burn agriculture.

Scanned with a Nikon Super Coolscan 8000 at 4,000 dpi.
Edited in Photoshop CS curves, added warming filter, lightened shadows, sharpened with USM.

Pompey, bfly, Catli, Dingo, hispic, Bolivar, blews, MLINES, leiju has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by John Nelson (John_Nelson) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 12 W: 4 N: 69] (195)
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