Matsigenka Essay

2578 Words 11 Pages
Register to read the introduction… Families typically raise a couple of chickens and ducks. They are allowed to forage around the house during the day, feeding on insects considered pests like ants and sometimes are given maize. At night they are kept in chicken coops tended to by the children.(Johnson) As a people, the Matsigenka are very adaptive and catch all kinds of fish in many different ways.

The Matsigenka do not participate in the market economy. Attempts to get them to raise cash crops and begin to participate have been implemented by outsiders.(Johnson) They make nearly all of the material goods used in daily life. However they do not make knives, aluminum pots or other metal items. As men and women they learn complementary manufacturing skills allowing them self-sufficiency. Matsigenka can survive in long-term isolation as a nuclear family with the skills in fishing, farming and hunting in the manner they prefer.(Johnson) The Matsigenka are adaptive, and independent.

Needs and resource assessment based on the ethnographic
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Colds and conjunctivitis hit the community in waves. Epidemics move rapidly through the population.
Tribal memories still exist of when the white man’s influenza that killed many. The people stay away from everyone and the schools when sickness hits. One of the most common greetings used by members is to ascertain if someone returning is sick and to be avoided.(Johnson)

Johnson notes that researchers others who stayed with the Matsigenks stated:
Most health complaints came to our attention because the medicines we had with us were believed to be more effective than Matsigenka remedies. Our house became a center where people would stop to tell us their symptoms and ask for treatment. They were pragmatic about accepting this help, seeing illness and injury as more or less naturally occurring. (436)

When a family member becomes ill they are left to lie on a mat in their home while the rest of the family ignores the sick person. The Matsigenka believe sickness is life-threatening and feel a sick person is dangerous and best left

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