Amazon Basin

Amazon Basin

by Jan Reynolds
     
 

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Tuwenowa lives in the heart of the Amazon River Basin, home to the largest tropical rain forest in the world. For Yanomama people such as Tuwenowa and his family, the jungle provides everything they need — from thatching for their huts to the tropical fruits, animals, and fish they eat.

The rainforest is the birthplace of the centuries-old traditions of

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Overview

Tuwenowa lives in the heart of the Amazon River Basin, home to the largest tropical rain forest in the world. For Yanomama people such as Tuwenowa and his family, the jungle provides everything they need — from thatching for their huts to the tropical fruits, animals, and fish they eat.

The rainforest is the birthplace of the centuries-old traditions of Yanomama culture. The people celebrate life with songs of thanks and mark death with special rituals. By learning these customs from his father, a tribal shaman, Tuwenowa hopes to uphold the Yanomama way of life as he grows up.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara Wheatley
Amazing photos and interesting text accompany this book from the "Explore Vanishing Cultures" series in which Reynolds traveled to the Amazon Rainforest to live with the Yanomama, the largest group of primitive people still surviving. The reader follows a young boy named Tuwenowa and his family through their daily lives, beginning with his grandfather telling stories about their people. The next day, Tuwenowa helps his mother gather a common Yanomaman food, plantains, from their garden. His older brother, Yamokonawe, comes to help and brings Tuwenowa seedpods from a kapok tree, which is a sweet treat. Since the Yanomama do not raise animals for food, they must hunt for animals that live in the jungle, so the brothers practice using their bows and arrows. Then they hunt for fish in the muddy waters of a nearby swamp where other family members are fishing with hand-woven baskets. The following day, Tuwenowa and his family travel in a boat made from a large, hollowed-out tree to see his father, the shaman, who has been visiting relatives down the river. While visiting, the children play in the river, gather sweet pods to eat, and practice hunting for birds with a special arrow. The older family members help the children decorate themselves for the upcoming funeral of a loved one. At the close of the book, family members drink a mixture of the ashes of the dead relative mixed with fruit and water with the belief that this will allow the spirit of their loved one to live on in them. The real-life photos portray the Yanomama in their scant, native attire, which may require previewing for younger readers. Reynolds vividly portrays this vanishing people and their daily life with stunningaccuracy, which makes it an excellent cultural resource. Reviewer: Barbara Wheatley

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781600601255
Publisher:
Lee & Low Books, Inc.
Publication date:
04/28/2007
Series:
Vanishing Cultures Series
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile:
1000L (what's this?)
Age Range:
7 Years

Meet the Author

Jan Reynolds is an award-winning author and photographer whose work has appeared in numerous publications, including National Geographic, The New York Times, and Outside magazine. All seven books in her Vanishing Cultures series of photo-essays for children were recognized as Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People. Reynolds is also an avid skier, mountain climber, and adventurer. She holds the world record for women's high altitude skiing, was part of the first expedition to circumnavigate Mount Everest, and performed a solo crossing of the Himalayas. Reynolds lives with her family in Stowe, Vermont.

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