Mariner is judgmental about most things happening in the world today but every once in a while he discovers a different world. This time it is the Ashaninka indigenous people living in the Amazon River wilderness where the Amazon crosses the Peru/Brazil border. They are the subject of an article in Scientific American Magazine/May 2022.
Aside from their lifestyle, which is in true balance with their rain forest habitat, they have mastered keeping the modern world away by shrewd dealings with government agencies, logging companies and drug entrepreneurs who illegally would clear the forest to grow coca, yet at the same time the Ashaninka have preserved simple religious practices, have a simple government comprised of a dozen elders and a stable economy that sustains their natural environment. The strength of their culture was demonstrated when twenty members laid down in a road that loggers were illegally attempting to build, finally forcing the loggers to retreat.
The Ashaninka negotiated the land in 1992 as a protected reserve for indigenous people. The land had been logged and was not a balanced ecology. Since then the tribe has restored the natural forest, encouraged indigenous animal life including two threatened species, the jaguar and the woolly monkey.
Alas, the Ashaninka live in Nirvana. One thousand members survive in an area of 335 square miles (214,800 acres) and 247 miles from the nearest and tiny town of Pucallpa. As a planet, seven billion people share 37 billion acres, about 5 acres per person compared to each tribe member having 214 acres.
These indigenous people live contemporary lives; they believe that all of the elements in their natural realm are family members – including stars, Sun, vegetation and animals; they maintain a guarded relationship with governments and charitable institutions; they keep a wary eye on the capitalist corporations that want to take their family away.
The culture is maintained by a handful of shamans whose job is to interpret the value of existential events.
Our human wisdom has brought us so much. Humans have landed on the moon, invented nuclear weapons, have periodic wars. Fortunately, humans are moving to metaland where acres need only be a few million electrons.