During her most recent trip to the Trocano Araretama REDD+ Project, CGV’s Laine Tavares travelled to many communities found within the 1.3 million ha area that the project covers. These on-the-ground visits are undertaken for monitoring purposes and allow the continuous development of the project.
Starting today, as part of our reports of the monitoring visit undertaken by the Trocano Araretama Conservation Project, we will be discussing some communities that are located in the lower Madeira river region. The first community that was visited in this region was the São Pedro do Anumaã community, which is home to 8 families.
The São Pedro community catch fish to sell and also to eat. The practice of salting and drying by hand is the traditional method used in the preservation of fish as people do not have refrigerators.
In São Pedro, the community uses the following dry salting process. After catching the fish, the animal is washed, scaled and gutted before being cut into fillets or butterflied (split open). The fish is then covered in common salt (at least 30% of the fillet’s total weight in salt must be used) and placed in the sun to dry.
As the salt penetrates into the muscle of the fish, it dries the moisture found in the body through the osmosis process. Dry salting has a strong dehydrating effect and protects the fish from deteriorating due to the rapid penetration of salt. This process is also extremely beneficial to the local population as it is practical and economical.
Craftwork is also widely practised in the community, mainly for the production of containers. One of the most produced products is the cuia, which is a kind of container that is used for the consumption of tacacá; a typical dish of the Brazilian Amazon.
The cuia ‘bowl’ has the same name as the cuia fruit that it’s made from. The production method is an ancient Indian technique that dates back to before the colonisation of Brazil by the Portuguese.
After collecting the cuia from the tree, the fruit is washed, cut in half to remove the pulp and then peeled. The solid shell of the fruit is then dried and varnished with a natural plant veneer. It is then dyed black in colour and decorated with various ornaments.
As part of the Trocano Araretama Project implementation, research is currently being undertaken with the objective of helping the local craft workers to develop their businesses by hosting workshops in such subjects as the creation of business plans and how to reach new markets.
The children of São Pedro welcomed the Trocano Araretama Project’s implementation team enthusiastically and shared some of their favourite leisure activities with them.
One popular activity is the collecting of cashew fruits. The boys love to climb cashew trees in the community and collect cashews for the whole family. Cashews are rich in nutrients and are commonly used in juices and regional dishes.
The girls on the other hand prefer to swing with their dolls in hammocks set up under their houses. These houses are raised from the ground by wooden stilts that protect their home from the floods during the rainy season.
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