Ancient Amazon Cities Found; Were Vast Urban Network

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 28, 2008   View Article

Dozens of ancient, densely packed, towns, villages, and hamlets arranged in an organized pattern have been mapped in the Brazilian Amazon, anthropologists announced today.

The finding suggests that vast swathes of “pristine” rain forest may actually have been sophisticated urban landscapes prior to the arrival of European colonists.

Siberian, Native American Languages Linked – A First

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 26, 2008   View Article

A fast-dying language in remote central Siberia shares a mother tongue with dozens of Native American languages spoken thousands of miles away, new research confirms.

Indigenous Group Keeps Ecology All in the Family

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 29, 2006   View Article

For the Raramuri people of the northern Mexico region of Chihuahua, conservation is a family affair.

The Raramuri (also known as the Tarahumara) speak a language that has no concept of—and thus no word for—wilderness, says ethno-ecologist Enrique Salmón.

African Pygmy Hunt Threatened by Logging, Animal Trade

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 3, 2005   View Article

Rampant logging and the illegal trade in forest animals is slowly eroding the traditional lifestyle of the Bayaka Pygmies in the Central African Republic, according to researchers.

The Bayaka are a seminomadic people who traditionally survive by hunting and gathering the animals and plants of the rain forest. Among their more revered traditions are the net hunt and its associated musical ceremony.

African Slaves’ Plant Knowledge Vanishing in Brazil

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 6, 2004   View Article

When Angela Leony visited the town of Lençóis in northeastern Brazil 18 years ago, she was unable to conceive. Yearning for a child, she went to see Dona Senhorinha, an elder healer.

Senhorinha told Leony the problem might be solved by drinking tea made from Estradeira-vermelha, a native pea plant with a bright red flower known for its ability to start the menstrual cycle and facilitate pregnancy.

Unique Bolivia Park Begun by Indigenous People

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 13, 2004   View Article

The parched, southeastern corner of Bolivia is the unlikely home to a park that houses Latin America’s highest diversity of large mammals, and is the stage for an unusual story of protected-area creation and operation.

“The park remains the only national protected area in the Americas created as the result of an initiative by an indigenous organization,” said Michael Painter, Bolivia program director for the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which has helped manage the park since its creation in 1995.

Rights Group Urge Peru to Protect Isolated Peoples

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 14, 2003   View Article

Tensions are high deep in the Peruvian Amazon where thousands of desperate farmers from high in the Andes mountains have descended to scratch out a living by logging Earth’s last remaining stands of pristine mahogany.

The area is believed to be home for several hundred indigenous people who have chosen to live exactly as their ancestors did thousands of years ago. Now the presence of the loggers may force them into unwanted contact and potentially lead to their demise.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach