What kind of food do we eat?

Indian Woman Cooking. Photo copyright by AAJ. We live off the land by hunting, fishing, and growing fruits and vegetable to survive on. Manioc is one of our main crops. We use the tuberous roots of the manioc plant to make flour for bread. But we have to be careful to squeeze all of the poison out of it first! It can kill us if we don’t! But we never forget to do that. Some people even put the poison on the end of their spears to use when they go hunting!

We use a kind of stove you’ve probably never seen, except maybe while camping. Sometimes, we use two sticks, in the shape of a “Y”, with another stick placed between the opening of the Y. We’ll build a fire underneath and place the stick through the meat to hold it up. Or we’ll find two large objects, place them side by side with a space in the middle to build a fire, and roast meat or heat things up on a flat surface placed over the objects.

Stalk of Bananas. Photo copyright by AAJ.We have three ways of cooking meat: boiling, barbecuing, and smoking. We eat lots of different kinds of meat: tapir, deer, wild pig, agouti, alligator, sloth, monkey, and various birds. We also eat a lot of manioc! From manioc, we make bread, tapioca cereal (cooked), dried tapioca flour, broth, and much more. Fruit is always available, too, like bananas.

If we have a bad month hunting and are short of food, we still like to share what we have. If one of our hunters kills a wild pig, he is likely to share it with other families, especially if the village is in need. If you or one of our neighbors came to visit us, hungry and tired, he can expect meat, manioc bread, and fruit, if all of these foods are available. We believe that it is good to share because if we don’t, we are afraid that God won’t provide for us, or that our friends won’t share with us when we are in need.

The missionaries that live here have cupboards in their house. They contain plastic bags with food in them, suspended in the air to keep out as many mice and cockroaches as possible! They also bring in other kinds of foods from the city that we don’t eat: rice, beans, granola, tea, and coffee.


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