Special feature Venezuela: Tradition and technology cohabit here
The Carib Indians are the direct descendents of a warrior-tribe that practised cannibalism and lived on the northern Caribbean coast of Venezuela until the Spaniards' arrival. The Makiritare are renowned for their basket weaving, some of which, called Cutamare, are very resistant and can carry up to 132 lb. These baskets are used in daily life, but also during ceremonies and celebrations. The colours of the patterns found on the baskets are exclusively made from plants. For example, to obtain red a non-edible berry called Aquiote is crushed. Thus, the different materials are dyed in bright natural dyes. In Boca de Nichare, all this craft is being sold to tourists in cities which therefore enables the Indians to buy petrol for boats and for the generator that brings them precious light 3 hours a day. They can also buy oil, clothes, and soft drinks as they hope to welcome visitors. They have decided to manage the tourism that transits on their land, which is for the time being, managed by foreigners. The number of visitors will be limited and will help preserve their environment. Furthermore, they will benefit directly from this new developed activity which will provide them with a fincancial income - not the case up to now. These communities have managed to create an interaction between a traditional secular society and modern society in a way that their traditional culture is preserved. This proves that managed in a creative way, the dynamics of indigenous culture can be preserved. The Makiritare have found success where many other communities have failed and lost their identity.
A community of sailors