Amazon Tribe Creates Medicinal Encyclopedia


It has been written in the Matsés language to prevent corporations from appropriating the knowledge.

The Matsés tribe that is settled in the Amazon jungle, between Peru and Brazil, has developed recently a 500-page traditional medicine encyclopedia that includes techniques compiled by five shamans who were assisted by the conservation organization Acaté.

This encyclopedia was written in the language of the Matsés in their own words to prevent corporations and scientists from appropriating this knowledge, wrote Comida Que Sana.

“Over the years many indigenous and tribal peoples have lost their knowledge due to the process known as ‘cultural anthropophagy’, in which the same groups have been absorbed by the customs and knowledge of the West”, the website explains.

Cultural anthropophagy has caused for histories, traditions, cultures and diverse techniques of indigenous groups to be forgotten due to the processes of “becoming civilized”.

The work achieved by the Matsés tribe provides information on plants for medicinal purposes that can be used to cure a number of diseases that have been categorized, in addition to proposing plants for their treatment and preparation.

The Matsés Traditional Medicine Encyclopedia marks the first milestone in the Amazon tribes, with the creation of a complete transcription of their knowledge in medicine written in their own words and language,” said Christopher Herndon, president and co-founder of Acaté to Mongabay to Comida Que Sana.

(Cover Photo Wikimedia Commons)

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Ermelinda is a journalist from Caracas, Venezuela. She has a Master’s degree in Digital Journalism and has recently finished a technical degree in Veterinary Assistance because of her love for animals. She likes to do sports, but especially ballet, which she has practiced for more than 17 years. Her passion is to read, write, and blog about different topics, as well as travel whenever she can.