Chambira planting “minga” (cooperative work party) with Bora native artisans

by amazonecology August 27, 2013

by Campbell Plowden

The chambira palm tree is the most important plant to most artisans of northern Peru. They cut one young stem from the spiny palm tree and extract the fibers from its leaves to weave into a variety of handicrafts that they sell to help meet the needs of their family. While these palms regenerate well in fallow fields and forests, the intense demand for these materials has left many artisans with a dwindling supply.

CACE is surveying many artisan fields to estimate the abundance of chambira, but many artisans already recognize the need to plant more of these palms to guarantee a future supply.

Bora artisans on way to chambira planting. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Bora artisans on way to chambira planting. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology


On the morning of June 19, about 15 women artisans from the Bora village of Brillo Nuevo showed up in front of our local coordinator’s house in Brillo Nuevo with two chamibra palm seedlings and a few of their babies. CACE took them in two boats upriver for a “minga” – a cooperative work party to a plant the seedlings in the field of their fellow artisan Lidaberna Panduro.

Bora artisan planting chambira.  Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Bora artisan planting chambira. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology


The women divided into two groups, and a succession of women and two men helpers dug holes in parallel lines, put one chambira seedling in each hole, tamped it down with soil, and watered it from a two liter soda bottle. Three Bora women were armed with digital cameras on loan from CACE to help record the joint venture.

Below are more photo highlights of the day.

Ania Ruiz and Ines Chichaco on boat to chambira planting. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Ania Ruiz and Ines Chichaco on boat to chambira planting. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Dalila Arirama and baby on boat. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Dalila Arirama and baby on boat. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Maria Roque and daughter with chambira seedling. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Maria Roque and daughter with chambira seedling. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Raquel Lopez with chambira seedlings. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Raquel Lopez with chambira seedlings. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Bora women at chamibra planting.  Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Bora women at chamibra planting. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Lucila Flores and Ines Chichaco at chambira planting. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Lucila Flores and Ines Chichaco at chambira planting. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Alejandrina Lopez planting chambira. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Alejandrina Lopez planting chambira. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Kori Vasquez planting chambira. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Kori Vasquez planting chambira. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Maria Roque planting chambira. Photo by Gisela Ruiz/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Maria Roque planting chambira. Photo by Gisela Ruiz/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Lucila Flores with chamibira seedling. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Lucila Flores with chamibira seedling. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Raquel Lopez planting chambira seedling. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Raquel Lopez planting chambira seedling. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Hermelinda Lopez watering chambira seedling. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Hermelinda Lopez watering chambira seedling. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Sawing chambira stem. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Sawing chambira stem. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Cyriocosmus spp. tarantula at chambira planting.  ID by Mark Pennell - British Tarantula Society. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Cyriocosmus spp. tarantula at chambira planting. ID by Mark Pennell – British Tarantula Society. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Lidaberna Panduro carrying chambira leaves. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Lidaberna Panduro carrying chambira leaves. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Lidaberna Panduro carrying chambira away from field. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Lidaberna Panduro carrying chambira away from field. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Center for Amazon Community Ecology





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