An aerial view of a river snaking through trees in the Amazon rainforest.

The Creation of the Jungle

An illustration of an indigenous man and a sunrise over a village in the Amazon rainforest.

Cultural Significance

The use of female figures in the creation myth attests to the importance of gendered elements of nature in jungle societies of Amazonia, where most groups were matriarchal for the most part, despite the appearance of male dominated hunting and ornamentation. The tallest kapok tree (Ceiba pentandra) is considered to be the mother of all in the forest floor, and the fertility expressed in the feminine nature of palms, like chunta (Bactris gasipaes) associated with the provision of housing, food, and tools for agriculture or wars.

Within the tropical rain forest socioecological systems, the notion of sentient landscape features provides a bridge to understand how magic and animistic believes drive the epistemology and ontology of the forested landscape under a stary night. The sun is central to the wellbeing of the whole forest and provides ancestral synergies to maintain harmony with the management of fire. These traditions are kept through generations via story telling and image elicitation.

Further Reading

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