Our day began by the Munduruku tribe showcasing their hand-made jewelry pieces, as well as elaborate headpieces infused with the most beautiful colours; all created with natural resources. The kids seemed to be the most excited ones to have us visit, and walked us through each jewelry piece as if it were their own most sacred possession.
After spending a good hour or two examining each piece, they began showing us what they used for body paint, and showcased some of their go-to designs on Priscilla, as we all stood in awe. There are many reasons Indians paint themselves: celebrations, cultural traditions, mourning and so on. However, one of the most peculiar reasons we found from one of the young girls - that seemed to be way more covered in body paint than most - was simply because she loves it! She told us how she loved spending time painting herself, and creating new designs as well as doing it on others.
Next was our favorite part - we got to go on a canoe ride with two of the tribe members, a father and son who’s relationship was one to be marvelled.
We had an exciting opportunity to go down the Amazon River, which felt so surreal. The duo explained to us how they go there to fish for their meals. Sometimes a group of them, other times one or two. Yes, the river is indeed filled with Piranhas, but it doesn't often pose an issue for them. There is also the beauty that is the “Boto Rosa” or “Pink Boto” which is like a pink dolphin... We weren’t lucky enough to spot one during our canoeing through the river, but we heard they are quite the aquatic attraction.
They make their catches with sharp spears, which looks very hard - but if you grow up learning that, you obviously do it with much ease, as was the case for them.
Once we got back from our canoe adventure, we were greeted by nearly the whole tribe - chief included - who were ready to take us on a friendly bow and arrow competition.
We started by taking on the kids, which definitely took us for a trip. While we could barely get our arrows to shoot ahead and not down, the kids were shooting bullseye after bullseye! Let’s just say shooting an arrow from a bow is definitely a lot harder than it looks! We then each took on the chief, another competition that was hardly worthy of the word, as he also shot bullseyes from his first attempt to his last. We may have lost badly at shooting, but we gained an experience that we will never forget!
Our day was coming to an end. But we still had an exciting activity left - dinner!
As we went on our way to shower, and get ready for dinner we fully immersed ourselves in the way they lived. Meaning...cold showers! They do have electricity at the tribe, but it’s constantly out for hours, if not days - which doesn’t seem to bother them at all.
We each had a quick shower, and got ready for dinner, which was being prepared under the big hut where all of us would be fed, with a fire at the center where the meat was being cooked.
On the menu? Fresh catch - fish - which they had caught in expectation of our arrival. As the fish was cooked at the center over the open fire by some of the men, the women prepared the sides around the hut; some Farofa, and other condiments to add to the fish.
Once the meal was ready, we all gathered around the fire and held hands, as the chief expressed his gratitude for being able to host us, and we told him how we were the grateful ones for being able to share the day with such kind people.
We then partook in a few songs of celebrations as we all sang along and danced in one big circle around the fire.
After that, we indulged in our delicious dinner, which - although we each got a bowl for- was still very much a “hands on” meal. As we grabbed bits of the fish by hand, and enjoyed each bite with our hands as well, much like everyone else surrounding us.
It was nothing short of a stunning night under the stars, and a delicious meal that couldn’t have been more fresh if we asked for it (which we didn’t).
We collapsed into our hammocks, with our hearts as full as our stomachs.
Falling asleep was one of the highlights, as we layed in our hammocks with open windows and doors all around them - which allowed for us to fall asleep to the fresh air breezing in, immersed in all the sounds of nature in its purest form.
Sure, we got nervous about cheetahs attacking us during our slumber, but the serenity of it all quickly overtook us and before we knew it we were all fast asleep.
The next morning we had breakfast with our new friends, as we prepared to head back to Alter do Chão.
Our Flores de Melo swimwear took us on the adventure of a lifetime and we couldn’t be more grateful.
Hearts full, hungry for the next!
Flores de Melo