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Share your world -- Short story contest entry --

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Share your world

‘Shush shush’, Wayte pushed the scruffy monkey out of his path, so he could haste his tiny feet swiftly across the center of the jungle village. The six year old moved briskly to the ancient Barrigona palm tree at the riverside. Early morning mist still clouded the river and the canoes on the river bank were hard to see. The village was still asleep. With a slide of his bare feet he stopped in front of a dark hole, head high in the tree. ‘Help me, please. My father is dying’, Wayte whispered, as he stared at the center of the hole in the tree.

Five years ago in 2020, Awale was the first of the Enawene Nawe tribe to move from their village to the city of Cuiabá in the Amazon rainforest. Not only was she the first, she was also chief Kawali’s only daughter and was going to become the new village shaman. Chief Kawali objected at first, but his daughter eventually convinced him that it was in their tribe’s best interest for her to leave. ‘I have foreseen it in a vision, father. I must go, our existence depends on it’, Awale stated while standing with her arms firmly crossed. The chief sat on the ground in his elder house. Her little brother playing with the house monkey next to him. Outside on the communal center, cooking women chanted.

Chief Kawali knew his daughter well enough to know he could not win this fight. And besides, he had enough trouble on his mind with the farmers in their area. They were always nearby illegally planting palm trees. He picked up his one year old son, who sat beside him, while his daughter spoke. ‘Then you will have to take care of me, Wayte’, chief Kawali said with his eyes pinched together. ‘Since your sister is going to leave us soon and your mother passed last rain season when you arrived, little one.’ Wayte smiled silently at his father. Awale sighed, turned around and left.

Awale knew that long ago a man named Vicente Canas had lived with their tribe for ten years. He was the first outsider who entered the village and when he left no one else was accepted again.  Vicente told them stories about other Amazon tribes and how ’simple’ diseases carried by outsiders wiped out half the tribes. He brought knowledge and medicine. But now, after her vision, Awale knew she needed to go to Cuiabá to enter the world of these ‘disease carriers’.

After a week of celebration and good fortune rituals, she left the worried villagers with pain in her heart, but a steady foot. ‘Be safe, beautiful one’, her father whispered in her ear to say goodbye. On the river Juruena she took a longboat up north. In four days Awale arrived in Cuiabá with only the name Vicente Canas as her best friend in this new world. Her wide eyes indulged this strange new world.

Three years after her departure, Awale was back in the same position as when she confronted her father with her vision. Only now she was dressed in T-shirt and skirt and her father was leaning against the center wooden beam. ‘I found a way for us to save our land from these farming robbers’, Awale said in a resolute tone.

In the past years she had visited her tribe every couple of months. On several occasions she explained how she got in touch with a descendant of Vincent Calas. After her arrival in Cuiabá, the police picked Awale up when she was roaming the midnight streets in her tribal cloths. Fortunately, the serving inspector knew the Calas family of Cuiabá and contacted them. A nephew of Vicente, Carlos, who knew the story of his late uncle and the time he had spent with the Enawene Nawe tribe, picked Awale up. His beloved uncle had taught him their language and so Carlos took it upon him to guide Awale in her search for answers to her vision. She learned from him all the ways of the new world, from books to movies, computers to the internet. She changed her cloths to clothes and her hair to a more ‘suitable manner’, as she called it. And now, three years later she had found it. She had found the solution.

‘You found a way?’ Kawali asked ‘Explain, please, we are running out of time with these savage farmers’. Awale continued, ‘Through Carlos I discovered technology called blockchain and something called Coil. I learned that if we can share our way of life with the world, we might set us free of these land robbers’, Awale said. ‘Share our lives with the world, what do you mean?’ the chief in him asked. ‘Well …’, Awale continued, ‘I learned that there are more tribes like ours in the world. Tribes who are threatened to abandon their way of life because of governmental interference.’ ‘But we are threatened by farmers, not government, are we?’ Kawali asked.

‘I found proof that it is the government that is behind it all, the farmers work for them. And that, my dear father, is the best part and why my found solution will work.’ Awale saw her father's face turn grey. He had become so old in the last months. He used to be so funny and vivid, but after mother died giving birth to little Wayte, he just couldn’t find his energy again. And now in the past months, time looked to gain on him even faster. ‘What have you done, Awale? What solution have you found that will make it all better?’ Kawali asked as he bent down and lowered to rest on the ground.

Awale explained that if they would put a special camera in their village, people all over the world could watch them living their lives. And while people would watch them, they would instantly sent money to them, money called XRP. Money they could use to pay the government to keep them at peace. For the government it was all about the money. Although chief Kawali did not understand XRP, or why people would want to watch them and even pay for that, he did understand that the government would listen to their money. Or ‘Axarpee’, as chief Kawali named it.  

‘I don’t know what to do, Awale. You asked this difficult thing of me. Who even wants to see us?’ Kawali wondered. ‘The whole world father’, Awale said enthusiastic, ‘there are already two tribes in the world who are doing it. A tribe in Africa and a tribe in Siberia. Really, millions of people watch it. It is called ‘Share your world’. And it’s working. The tribes are now earning money for being who they are and doing what they do. And they use that money to be able to keep doing that’, she explained.

‘Hmm, and what if our tribe disagrees, what then?’ Kawali asked. ‘They wouldn’t have to know’, his daughter said, ‘what if we put this one camera in the old Barrigona palm tree near the river. It oversees the communal center and it has a dark hole in it. This ‘satellite’ technique will even work from there’, Awale replied smiling. ‘So, you figured it all out already and even brought that camera thingy. I will have to think about it Awale… Oh, and please grab your little brother by the ear.  He has been listening the whole time just outside the door with that annoying monkey of his’, the chief said while staring through the dense wall of his elder house. Outside, you could hear the sound of little feet rushing away. And a monkey squeaking.

Chief Kawali took three days to conclude he would agree with his daughter. The one camera would be well hidden in the tree and the tribe would not know about it. Chief Kawali thought this was the best option. Awale soon left to put it all to work and she did not return in a long time.  


‘Help me, please. My father is dying’, Wayte whispered, as he stared at the center of the hole in the tree.

Within two hours Awale was back in her village. She was brought by a two person carrier drone which landed silently in the middle of the village communal square. The pilot was a flying doctor who was approached by Awale. When her little brother sent out his help request, Stefan and Thomas, two brothers living in San Francisco, were watching ‘Share your world - the Enawene Nawe tribe’. They instantaneously reached out to the contact number which lead to Awale. They were the first to call. Awale found one out of three flying doctors in Cuiabá, who was prepared for these kind of situations and flew his own drone. And now she was in her village again. Most of the villagers were still sleeping. Her little brother, on the other hand, looked very awake in the early light of dawn.

‘Oh little Wayte, what have you grown big’, Awale whispered.‘Now quickly, where is father, I brought a doctor’, she said urgently. ‘I will bring you, big sister, but the doctor must stay here. Father wants only you and me. He insisted’ Wayte replied. He sounded more mature than his age, Awale thought, and she respected her father's wishes, for now. The doctor sat down in the drone. ‘I’ll be here if you need me’, he said. And then Awale and her little brother went quickly to the spiritual house where father was resting.  They passed the wooden doorway, which was richly decorated with fish symbols.The Shaman who sat beside her father, stood up and left without saying a word. Awale en Wayte approached the old chief. He lay on a palm tree bed in the center of the spiritual house. The smell of freshly burned herbs still lingered around their father. A resin torch illuminated the house.

‘Ah, and now you are here already’, the chief whispered while turning his head towards them. ‘You couldn’t have visited your old father and young brother sooner?’ ‘Oh father’, Awale started, ’since I left I was so busy with making it all work and I didn’t want to make you sick with my visits. And even though the XRP is fast and I got all the help from Carlos, the government works slow and it took so much time and effort to get it done. But it worked, it is done.’ Awale said with pride in her voice. ‘I know’, Kawali said, ‘the farmers never came. And that is why you are here and I must leave.’ ‘ But ... I brought a doctor, he can help you, he is here in the village.’ Awale replied unsure. ‘I know, my beautiful daughter, I know you would do that, and that is why I instructed Wayte here. He listens very good to his old father, unlike his big sister’, he said smiling, ‘But’ he continued ‘When it is time, it is time. And my time is up. I wanted to see you before I leave and give your mom a visit. I think I will enjoy that very much. Now you must stay and help the new chief. He must know about the camera and the ‘Axarpee’. Now tell me, what was your vision that brought our salvation? I would very much like to know.’ There was silence and Awale thought about the words her father just spoke. ‘I will help the new chief, father, but about my vision … it is difficult to explain. In a dream I saw three warriors painted with unfamiliar symbols protecting our village. I knew these warriors were from Cuaibá and I know now that their symbols represented the letters X, R and P. I then knew that I needed to leave.’

When Awale’s words died away, early birds whistled outside. And then Awale and Wayte, hand in hand, witnessed her father’s soul leave his body, awaited by the light of their mother.

The end.


Sources used:


BRES Bewustzijn in beweging - #310 Natuurvolken





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