|Tepu- Upper Tapanahoni
Location: Tepu - Trio / Akurio Village on Upper Tapanahoni River
Mission: Travel down Tapanahoni towards Dritibiki where we will meet
with the Paramakka Granman Gazon (Maroon Tribe)
Duration: 12 days.
General Health: two maggots (sicas / chiggers) decided to make a nest
in my big toe ... a lady from the village dug them out!
Morale: Still ridiculously positive
Equipment: One Camera dead (replacement flown in) Jay's stills camera
Power: Excellent Review: On review of the last days entries I realise
that we have created just a brief 'snap shot' of the Trio culture....
We have tried in our own way to understand the complexities of their
situation, and in turn relay those observations to you. I have asked
our web co-ordinator to open a page on this site devoted to the TRIO
people. Within it you will find all the relevant messages and advice
we have received to date. As we continue on this and subsequent trips,
we will offer each group we encounter its own section (platform) i.e.
'Saramakka, Paramakka, N'duka, etc etc. Hopefully within these initial
pages we will create a starting point for people who are interested
and wish to help... hopefully...to a certain extent it is up to you
to play a part in what these pages will become and how we choose to
use them.... So where are we... Peleloetepu Tepu is small village about
80 miles, from Kwamala as the crow flies (that's about 3 weeks' walk).
600 people live here mostly Trio and some Akurio. Walking around, it
feels small in comparison to Kwamala. We spent most of the day under
the shade of the central roundhouse talking to the captains of the village.
Dyon Smaal, our new guide introduced us and explained our work to the
village leaders, asking them about life in the community. Like Kwamala
they also want to invite tourist into the area. Unlike Kwamala they
don't have a school or a teacher and health care here is a major concern.
Luckily ACT is developing a similar project as in Kwamala - have a look
at today's video. It is a small section of the Krutu that you may find
Before arriving in Tepu we heard about a powerful Piai Shaman called
'Tementa' Apparently something of a legendary character in Suriname.
We met him today - From a distance Tementa looks a lot like an old man
in a wheel chair. But when you get closer... his eyes and strong hands
tell a tale of a lifetime spent in the forest. Now over sixty-five years
old he has converted to Christianity and no long practices the old ways.
"I used to work with the Harpy Eagle" he said casually I can imagine
that his spirit still sours with his friend the harpy eagle from time
to time. I asked him if he would ask the spirits of the forest to guide
use along our journey safely and look after us as we climb Rosevelt
peak. (a mountain, similar in size to Kasi Kasima that Dyon will be
dragging us over in the coming days)
"I could".... He said...."but then I would have to go down into the
earth and talk with the spirits... I am an old man now.... These days
I sleep ....and the spirits talk to me..... I will tell you tomorrow"
Sweet Dreams Tementa!
Tepu- River Scene
Tementa- Piai Shaman