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Amazon artisans create works made almost exclusively from natural materials provided by the forest. Among the many Amazon utensils made, we will mention only a few: swords and knives of chonta; blades of bamboo, often used to cut the umbilical cord; agouti teeth used to work implements of chonta; the horns of deer, and spines, to make holes; peccary teeth carved to form hooks, or the pincers of giant ants, both used for fishing; shells sharpened to cut hair.

These photos demonstrate the variety of instruments used; the objects belong to the Kitchwa but are probably of Zaparo origin.

Ashanga basket.Ashanga basket.

Chambira nets drying in the sun.Chambira nets drying in the sun.

Waterproof Zaparo basket, half-finished. Waterproof Zaparo basket, half-finished. To avoid the leakage of liquids, the basket is made of a double weave, lined with leaves, and covered with a lid made using the same techniques.

Natural grater Natural grater made of the root of a palm tree similar to pambil (Iriartea deltoides), which has strong protrusions, used to grate manioc, the huituc seed (Genipa americana), etc.

A bag, or shigra, filled with the seeds of the huituc A bag, or shigra, filled with the seeds of the huituc. The shigra is made from fine chambira strings, in which knots are tied. This material is very strong, and does not rot in the tropical humidity. The huituc seeds in the bag are used to make a black dye which, in turn, is used for facial and body painting and for dying hair.

Fine facial decorations Fine facial decorations made with huituc.

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