The tribe Mayoruna or commonly known as the Matsés peoples of Brazil and Peru have created an astonishing 500-page encyclopedia containing their natural remedies and the effects they have on our body.
This is one of the first projects of that kind that has been accomplished. Acaté Amazon Conservation – a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the indigenous peoples of the Amazon to live sustainably and protect their incredible rainforest, helped five elder Shamans of the Matsés to make a detailed encyclopedia with every plant used in their medicinal system for a wide variety of ailments.
The secrets and traditions that were being passed on only younger generations of the tribes are now finally documented. The Amazon tribes have preserved their health through the passing down through the centuries of this deep knowledge of medicinal plants of the rainforest. However, it is a sad fact that this is one of the first projects that is accomplished so far. Even a sadder fact is that the shamans were told on numerous occasions that their ancient knowledge is useless. But anyone who has any experience with herbalism knows better.
Once the Matsés’ knowledge is gone, with no-one left to remember it and their natural habitat replaced with concrete jungle – it would be gone forever, with no possibility of bringing it bring back. History taught us that once the tribes make contact with the outside world; their original knowledge rapidly becomes lost.
Until this moment, Matsés’ knowledge of herbs and their natural remedies has been an oral tradition that was passed on from one person to another without ever being written down.
It took 2 years to finish the encyclopedia project. This is the first time that a project like this has been done and it lays foundations for more similar projects to go under way in the future. Their language was used to do the encyclopedia in order to protect the information from future exploit by big corporations. However, it was a surprise to learn that there are no plans to translate the encyclopedia into Spanish or English. Even though the natural remedies that were used by Matsés people will not be available or accessible to us, their knowledge will be preserved for the future, which is an essential step towards the protection of a remarkable and also a fragile world that has almost been lost.