We mentioned Mariri a few weeks ago in TH Blog Love as a new online magazine about rainforest conservation. ‘Mariri seeks to educate and inspire readers on the importance of rainforest conservation by presenting the real-life stories of conservation scientists, activists, rainforest adventurers and indigenous people.’ Lorna Li, the magazine’s founder and editor, has asked TreeHugger to send a message to all there budding eco-writers out there. Mariri Magazine is currently seeking volunteer talent to help it become the National Geographic of the rainforest. They have immediate openings for: Environmental Writers, Travel Writers and Editors. Lorna is also looking for the help of videographers, podcasters, photographers and graphic designers who are passionate about the rainforest, as well as technology experts who can help advise on Mariri’s strategic growth. To get involved, email: info [at] mariri [dot] net. Click overleaf to read more about the Mariri story as told by Lorna Li.‘The inspiration to start a rainforest magazine was planted 2 years ago, when Lorna arrived in Rio Branco, the capital of Acre, Brazil's westernmost state, a slice of the Amazon Basin bordering Bolivia and Peru. Armed with the second chapter of a friend's book in progress, which describes his journey through the region just the year before, what was originally a 1 month sabbatical turned into a 4 month exploration of Amazonian culture.
Acre is a frontier land where indigenous people, uncontacted Indians, rubbertappers, environmentalists, cattle ranchers and other industrial interests collide. In this impoverished region, where land equals life, tensions run high as stakeholders vy for the right to control, access or protect natural resources. It was here that Chico Mendes, rubbertapper, unionist, and internationally reknowned environmental activist, was brutally shot down by ranchers opposed to his activism in 1988.
During this time, Lorna was invited to participate in a 5 day boat journey into the heart of the Amazon to a remote Kaxinawa village with 2 documentary film teams to shoot a important tribal festival. Included in that festival was the dance of Mariri, which is related to agricultural cycles and performed at least once a year in order to honor the fertility of the earth and abundant harvest. Fabiano Maia Sales, one of the young leaders of the Kaxinawa, described Mariri as the life-giving force of the forest, a force that is very sacred to their people.
Throughout the Amazon, the word Mariri means different things for different people. In Peru, Mariri is the healing spirit of certain medicinal plants that are considered to be powerful, intelligent teachers. In some regions, Mariri refers to the magical songs sung by curanderos during healing ceremonies, the curative force carried by those songs, or the ability by which a healer can spiritually extract illness from a patient. In the Amazon Basin, for the many tribes and communities who regard Nature as sacred and omnipotent, Mariri is a manifestation of the rainforest's infinite capacity to heal and sustain life. :: Mariri