Story Of An Anthropologist Who Fell In Love With A Native Woman From The Amazon And Took Her To The USA
November 21, 2017 09:34 By Fabiosa
Kenneth Good is American anthropologist specializing in an indigenous group of native southern Venezuelans called Yanomami. This group lives in the midst of the Amazon jungle and is one of the few peoples who still live in a way almost identical to prior to European colonization.
The village is located in an area which is difficult to reach, surrounded by dense forest and rivers. Kenneth was interested in studying them more closely and decided to live with them for some time during the 70s. But he didn't expect that by living among them he would end up finding love.
Living with the tribe, he learned their language and was treated as part of the group. One day, the tribal chief told him to marry his youngest daughter, a girl of only 12 years of age called Yarima. At that time, Kenneth was 38 years old and he felt that he could not do such a thing.
As the years passed by, however, the anthropologist and the chief’s daughter grew closer until they eventually fell in love.
The young anthropologist had no reason whatsoever to take Yarima to live with him in the United States, but he ended up doing exactly that. During one of the times that he returned to the tribe after having left, he found out that the girl had been raped by a group of men.
However, Good never imagined that taking her to live in the modern world would result in such a cultural shock for the native Amazonian. Yarima had never seen anything beyond the jungle; she knew nothing about modern houses, nor about the machines that we use on a daily basis.
Seeing a truck for the first time, Yarima immediately hid away, supposing it was a huge animal made of steel. The couple went to live in New Jersey, and there Yarima managed to get accustomed to some modern things, such as wearing clothes all day long.
But the truth is that there were thousands of situations that she simply could not understand or deal with. To her, the town's people lived in isolation and complete loneliness.
She was used to belonging to a small group of people who always shared everything in life, and she couldn't see living in a big city, since each person seemed to be living locked up in a small room.
Kenneth and Yarima had three children and she lived with him for five very long years because she loved him. She struggled to adapt to a society which she did not understand.
Apart from Kenneth, nobody spoke her language and she had to spend all her time with their kids or, sometimes, alone. During a visit to her tribe, however, Yarima confessed to Kenneth that she could not return to the city.
Of course, Kenneth was left with his heart in tatters, but he understood. He then returned to the United States with his three children, leaving her with "her own people". David, the eldest son of the couple, could never forgive his mother and he even made up a story that she had died in an accident in order to justify her absence.
It was only when he was older and he read one of his father’s books, something resembling a biography, that David understood the loneliness his mother must have felt. He then decided to go after her, and he embarked on a true odyssey into the heart of the Amazon to find her. When he arrived, their reunion was very touching as they recognized each other immediately.
David spent some months among the Yanomami. Just like his mother, however, he felt he had to return to his own world. But he still wants to return to see her again.
The person I am today is completely different from the person I was a few years ago. Now I am proud to be Yanomami and American, I am proud of my ancestors. I love my mother and I look forward to seeing her again, as well as learning the Yanomami culture.
Soul-stirring, isn’t it?
Source: Diario da Web