THE FLORA la versíon española la version française


The Shuar's knowledge of its environment and tropical flora is extensive. In time of ripening of uwi a great quantity and variety of wild fruits of different plants or liana offer foods for the men or animals. These are most common fruit-bearing: Aka Yaas, Apai, Chiniashniap, Chimi, Chiankrap, Iniak, Kunchai, Kuap, Kemunts, Kunap, Kushinkiap, Kunkuk, Kainim, Kawanum, Naamp, Penke-penke, Penká, Pitiu, Pitiuk, Shimpia, Yaas shuinia, Ujukam shuinia, Amich shuinia, Supinumi, Tsachik, Tintiuk, Taach, Tesen, Uchich munchi, Uwirnm, Uwis, Waak; Wayakash, Wapa, Washik, Yumis, Yaas, Tinchi, Tsampunum, Chuusampi, Imik sampi, Kumkuim sampi, Machitnius wampa, Muk suir sampi, Tuish sampi, Wanpukash, Wampa, etc..

These trees produce fruits exactly at the time of ripening of uwi and attract this way the animals and the birds, giving the Shuar opportunity of being successful in hunting excursions. The Shuar knows the feeding customs of various animals.

When they find fallen seeds they think at once of animal that feeds of that fruit. At this time the animals, arrive to their maximum point of obesity (machatin), in short it is a season of happiness and abundance for all.

The Shuar knows clearly that the ripening of uwi, a fruit, it marks the end of this period, marked by traditional celebrations.

In general features, I will describe the palms of the forest inhabited by the Shuar. The different classes of palms give the Shuar, besides a nutritious complement, as the palm heart, the materials for various technological uses. The Shuar takes from palms the construction material for making of his houses, the main pillar pau, the secondary pillars, and the leaves for the tanish, the roof.

The palms that the Shuar knows are:
Awant: low palm with thorns.
Ampakai: very high palm.
Achu: similar to the chonta, but bigger. The fruit has flakes, the reddish color. It is eatable.
Chapi: have big leaves good for roofs.
Muuka Chapi: it grows thicker than chapi, the leaves are used for the roof.
Kamancha: it grows in groups to the height of 8 m, has thorns.
Kampanak: the leaves are used for durable roofs of the house.
Kupat: it grows in flat places.
Kupatas: it is similar to kupat.
Kumal or matu: palm with or without thorns, from the central leaf fiber darts for blowpipes are made, the fruit is eatable.
Kunkuk: the fruit is edible and good to make tsentsak.
Kuyai: beautiful palm which is also named sake.
Kuwakash: edible palm.
Kuunt or teren: the leaves are used for roofs; lances and blowpipes are built from its wood. The palm heart is edible.
Shimpi: it grows in groups with ringed trunk.
Tinkimi: palm of which is extracted the tagua (vegetal ivory) and the fiber for brooms.
Uwi: it is a plant with thorns, the fruit is very tasty, chicha is made; it has few varieties.
Jempe uwi: small chonta.
Mayan uwi: chonta variety, without thorns.
Takam uwi: chonta with yellow fruit.
Chiank uwi: chonta variety.
Inchi uwi: half brown color.
Sasa uwi: the fruit is red when it matures.
Acha uwi: the fruit is of intense red color.
Apints uwi: with a very tiny seed and sometimes without seed.
Simpri: thin palm.
Yumis: low palm.
Wanka: has edible palm heart.

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