Monday, April 06, 2009

Warao: The People of The Delta

One of the best bits of the trip to the Orinoco Delta was meeting a few of the Warao who are indigenous to the region. The word comes from "Wa" which means boat or canoe and "Rao" meaning people. They live in wood structures like the one above that are raised on stilts so that when the rainy season comes and the water levels rise their homes are not flooded.

This is the village we visited and where I bought some nice bracelets for my nephews and neices. I was wondering what they thought of us strangers from far away, but then noticed the DirecTV dish powered by a generator and decided they were probably a lot more aware of the big wild world than we give them credit!

Their lives revolve around the cycles of the waters in which they live, the wet and dry seasons and the tides coming and going. To them paddling a canoe is as natural as walking.

At one point we were mid channel waiting for the sun set when we were visited by a canoe from the other side of the river. As you can see from the picture below the Warao learn to paddle when very young!

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