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CBeebies Blog Little Human Planet 13 - In the Jungle of Brazil

Elen - Producer, Little Human Planet Elen - Producer, Little Human Planet | 17:00 UK time, Saturday, 26 February 2011

Little Human Planet follows the lives of young children from around the world, giving a glimpse to our CBeebies viewers of how their counterparts live wherever they be. A celebration of what makes children different and what makes them the same around the world in a colourful and often surprising voyage of discovery.


In this programme we travel to the Amazonian rainforest, in the village of Aurelio in the Vale Do Javari, Western Brazil to meet the Matis tribe.

Once semi-nomadic, moving their villages every few years or so when game ran low or the fields infertile, the Matis now live in just two villages.  Waves of western diseases have devastated their population in the post-contact years. Crucially, after these epidemics, the Matis lost confidence in their own cultural identity, believing the disaster was brought about by their own belief in the power of xo, the balance between all the sweet and bitter forces in the world. 


Time has given the Matis a better understanding of events surrounding and following first contact.  A renewed cultural confidence means that some rituals have been rekindled and the old ways are no longer feared. Matis traditionalists (often elders) would like the old ways retained and reinforced. Other Matis, more influenced by modern Brazil through schooling and outside contact, want closer ties with mainstream Brazilian society.  But whatever the future holds, the Matis want to shape it on their own terms.


In the past all Matis lived in longhouses. Now only a few sling their hammocks between the sturdy uprights, although cooking and communal eating is common. Most Matis now live in small ‘nuclear’ family groups in a one or two-roomed stilt house. This village has a small school, pharmacy, HF radio and at least one working dugout motor canoe, most often used for hunting trips.  It also has a non-functional long-drop toilet, water towers and a generator. The Matis children enjoy helping their elders as part of their every day lives as well as playing in this close knit community .And of course, even deep in the jungle, football is loved by all.


You can find out more about the series on the Grown-ups website

 Please check it out and let us know what you think of the show.



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