Unlike we understand in the cities, abundance is not given by the quantity of food, but by its quality, because the nourishing food is the one which originates in the territory.
Abundance is an important and descriptive concept for Amazonian indigenous peoples. This is related to having generous diversity of food and seeds, as well as a solid management of knowledge related to cultivation (prayers, techniques, care), transformation and culinary knowledge.
In the Amazon, the nutritious food is the one that originates in the territory, that has prayer or singing and it is obtained following the rules of environmental management such as reciprocity and balance. Therefore, abundance is the result of good work in the chagra, in gathering, fishing and hunting, which conserve ecosystems, preserve relationships with non-human entities and guarantee the good use of resources.
Abundance in the chagra
The chagra is the living pantry of the Amazonian peoples and is managed by indigenous women who can have three to four chagras simultaneously, guaranteeing sufficient food for the annual cycle. Each ethnic group cultivates at least 19 varieties of cassava brava, 48 varieties of sweet cassava, 15 varieties of chili, 4 varieties of banana, 6 varieties of pineapple, in addition to yam, sweet potato, dutu, bore, naria among other local tubers, as well as cane, papaya, fruit trees, coca, tobacco and medicinal species that provide food and life to the entire community.
Abundance in fishing
The fishing techniques used by Amazonian men can be classified into traditional or incorporated. The first ones, use traps, bows and arrows, as well as barbecues; while the second ones, although they have been using them for decades, use hooks, nets, harpoons and masks.
The diversity of fish that are part of the diet of these ethnic groups is of extraordinary richness, and because each species has different diets, habitats and chemical compositions, the local diet is characterized by a high diversity of proteins, vitamins and minerals. For example, a single family can consume up to 28 different species over a month, and 41 different species over the annual cycle.
Abundance in harvesting
The diet of Amazonian indigenous peoples is diverse, abundant and sustainable. It consists of cultivated species, fish, hunting fauna and an impressive variety of fungi, insects and berries. The gathering of seasonal insects, larvae, and caterpillars includes a thick, greasy worm, locally known as mojojoy (palm worm) found in the rotten trunks of some palms such as seje palm, asai, chontaduro palm, and moriche.
Abundance in hunting
In the Amazon rainforest, everything belongs to different owners who must be asked permission before taking anything, and, in this case, to hunt. For this, the traditional is in charge of asking for and obtaining these permits, otherwise, guardians send diseases to the community. Among the species that make up the diet of these communities are danta, lapa, churuco, caiman, cerrillo, paujil, gallineta, tin tin and guara, for which the use of blowguns or bows is decreasing and the use of shotgun is increasing.