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Books documenting knowledge and use of trees in indigenous communities of northern Peru, brought back to the local people

PALMS projects WP3 made commitments to the local communities where it has done fieldwork documenting the knowledge and use of palms, to release this information back to the local communities, thus contributing to the documentation, preservation and dissemination of their traditional knowledge.


During the month of August, the PALMS project in collaboration with William L. Brown Center (WLBC) of the Missouri Botanical Garden and the NGO INBIA Peru, published and delivered the first books to two indigenous groups with who research in northern Peru was done.

Approximately 10 months after the first visit, five indigenous communities in the departments of Amazonas and San Martin in northern Peru received the books:

Nuestro conocimiento y uso de las palmeras una herencia para nuestros hijos – Comunidades Laquash, San Martín, Perú,
"Our knowledge and use of palms is a legacy for our children - Laquash Communities, San Martin, Peru", which was delivered in two Llaquash communities: Wayku and Aviation.
Link to PDF

Kampanak se usa para el techo pero ya no hay - Uso y conservación de palmeras entre los Awajun, Amazonas, Perú,
"Kampanak is used for to build roofs, but now there is not any - Use and conservation of palms by Awajun, Amazonas, Peru", which was delivered in three Awajun communities: Yamayakat, Kusu Chico and Nueva Samaria.
Link to PDF

Both books are authored by the people interviewed in the respective communities, and have been co-edited by Narel Paniagua-Zambrana and Manuel J. Macía (WP3 of PALMS, Rainer Bussmann, Carolina Téllez and Carlos Vega (WLBC members of the Missouri Botanical Garden).


Every person interviewed in the communities has received a copy of the book, so we ensure that at least every family in the community has a book. Schools in the communities also received a set of books. The teachers and children received the books with great interest and hope to incorporate them as teaching material.

Many of the communities in which we work, are part of regional organizations that bring together other communities, a group of books has been given to these organizations for distribution in schools. Thanks to the Central Organization of Alto Marañón Aguarunas Communities (OCCAM), we hope that the books reach 29 Awajun communities as far as the top of the Marañón River. The Ethnic Council of the Kichwa People of the Amazon (CEPKA) will work to distribute the books in 14 schools in Kichwa communities and ultimately the Federation of Indigenous Peoples of the San Martín region (FEPIKRESAM) will send the books to 32 schools in indigenous communities in the region of San Martín.

Both the seniors, the "grandparents", and the younger people, have received the books with great interest. The children have been able to recognize palm trees that grow in the woods around their communities, and in many cases for the first time been able to see photos of palms they have only heard about from their grandparents.

While skipping through the pages of the book, one of the Wayku "grandfathers" told us: "This is the best gift for our children".






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