Tepu- Upper Tapanahoni

Status Report.

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 stable

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 interesting.

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!



Trio Woman

Tepu- River Scene

Tementa- Piai Shaman