This collection of stories takes the reader on a voyage down the Marañon River in Peru’s Amazon region, sharing tales about the astonishing spiritual world beneath its surface.
The stories were told by Kukama elders and illustrated by children,
with an introduction by best-selling author Naomi Klein and filmmaker Avi Lewis.
The Kukama call their river the “ɨa” (ee-ah) – the center, life force and mother of their universe.
But oil spills and megaprojects like hydroelectric dams and dredging threaten
the river and the Kukama’s survival.
Their culture is also endangered.
Unless bilingual education projects are successful,
within a decade the Kukama language will disappear,
taking with it a wealth of cultural knowledge.
Our collective has donated 1,400 copies of the book in Spanish and Kukama to schools and communities in the Amazon, to help keep this vibrant language and culture alive. The book is part of a campaign to have the Marañón River declared a legal person, opening the door to enhanced protections.
We are also producing a documentary film with animations, radio programs, music videos with youth, public murals painted by Amazon artists, articles and blogs.
“In an era of resource depletion and climate crisis, holistic indigenous worldviews may be the key to our chance of collective survival. Grasping the interdependence of all things is the medicine for a world and a culture sickened by extraction and consumption.
This makes the book you hold in your hands extremely precious. Those who have made this book possible are not only opening a window into an indigenous culture that has everything to teach us – they are also fighting tooth and nail with respect and deep understanding and unfathomable commitment. At stake is the very survival of the Kukama, their language, their stories and their river.
So float down these pages and dive into another world: our own. Our only.”
By Naomi Klein (best-selling author of This Changes Everything) & Avi Lewis (film director)