MCLUS E Newsletter September 2008

Indigenous Stories Collected

Our mission statement for MCLUS is: “To preserve, conserve and rehabilitate tropical ecosystems and their biodiversity.” Indigenous people are also a part of tropical ecosystems. Their diversity needs to be preserved as well. So when Rachel was invited by the Emberá people, who live in the jungle of the Darien province of eastern Panama, to help save their stories by recording their oral tradition, MCLUS facilitated. For the last seven years during thirteen visits she has recorded over 100 stories that are now on video tape. Transport to their villages is by dugout canoe up the Sambu River and its tributaries. The beautiful masks, baskets and carvings of the Emberá people provide the means for raising the money to pay a translator who can speak, read and write Emberá, Spanish and English, to pay Emberá artists to illustrate each story, and to publish the book. The twenty-two stories in Volume 1 in English/Spanish are done! The Emberá/Spanish version is now underway. It was pure joy to take a copy of “Emberá Stories Volume 1” to each village to leave with them. It will be even more fun to take hundreds for each village classroom to have their own copies when the Emberá version is ready. You can see more photos by going to Gallery and click on Album:Emberá.

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