Two blue and yellow macaws on a tree

The Macaws

An illustration of an indigenous person in the Amazon rainforest with a sun in the background and palm trees.

Cultural Significance

The use of iconic jungle species explains the affiliation to traditional practices experienced by the people who inhabit these forests, those that are passed from generation to generation, cementing oral history as the favored pedagogy. A good case is the use of the scarlet macaw (Ara macao) and the blue-yellow macaw (Ara glaucogularis) as paternal figures to express the salient features of parental characters, compared with the always active and noisy parrots of many types (Amazona festiva, Psittacus farinosus, Alliopsitta xanthops, Pionus menstruus, etc.) in the loudest flocks, flying from side to side of the confines of the jungle.

Their ecological legacy is reflected in the understanding that the products used in the household are of long standing, such as the preparation of fermented cassava drink or the reference to homestead indicated by the moriche palm (Mauritzia flexuosa) as the preferred place to build nests, but often lured by the presence of emeralds found at the river bottom.

Further Reading

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