At least 1,000 indigenous people traveled to Puerto Narino, a village on the Amazon River, to participate in the Colombian Amazon Games. The competition included boat racing, swimming in piranha-infested waters, arching and blowpipe throwing. This was all part of a collective effort to celebrate traditions that date back to pre-Columbian times.
“Today, our children are embarrassed to use these instruments. But in the games, the children are seeing and learning. They say ‘Dad, I want to do this, learn how to use the blowpipe,’” said Robert Hernandez, a blowpipe hunter who took part in the competition.
Like of the other natives, Hernandez worries about “Western” influences reaching even the remote confines of the Amazon. Children are assimilating and engaging with technology. This has left only the elders to care for hunting techniques and the lifestyle of the people of the forest.
Correspondent Toby Muse attended the Amazon Games and filed this report for Americas Now.