The Old Hunt­ing Routes of En­dan­gered In­dian Tribes

印第安部落的老路

Special Focus - - Contents - Liu Yan 刘燕

There are many tribes of in­dige­nous peo­ple in South Amer­ica. Like many prim­i­tive tribes, th­ese na­tive peo­ples live as they have for a mil­len­nium. Ev­ery day, the strong young men go out hunt­ing and all come back to the tribe at night and share their game from the hunt for daily sus­te­nance.

How­ever, densely grown rain forests have be­gun shrink­ing due to in­va­sion and de­vel­op­ment, and with them, the avail­abil­ity of game an­i­mals. As a re­sult, the In­dian pop­u­la­tion has started to di­min­ish, with only a few tribes sur­viv­ing af­ter just a few short years.

A sci­en­tist, in­ter­ested in In­dian his­tory, ven­tured to the rain forests to ex­change ideas, and do re­search on their life and his­tory. Grad­u­ally he seemed to iden­tify the gen­eral pat­terns of the ex­tinc­tion of th­ese tribes.

Through com­par­ing the his­tory of sev­eral pop­u­lous tribes, he dis­cov­ered that each tribe had dif­fer­ent hunt­ing habits. Some were led by ex­pe­ri­enced hunters, ca­pa­ble of find­ing places teem­ing with fauna. While some other tribes de­pended to­tally on luck, es­sen­tially, let­ting the gods de­cide their hunt­ing routes. Be­fore go­ing out, they would de­cide their course based on the div­ina­tions of their or­a­cle.

Con­trary to rea­son, the for­mer tribes who trusted ex­pe­ri­enced hunters died out while the lat­ter sur­vived and some of them have even be­come pros­per­ous.

The sci­en­tist was at a loss to ex­plain it. One day, while hunt­ing with them, the an­swer hit him im­me­di­ately, though the ex­pe­ri­enced hunters knew where to find more an­i­mals, the an­i­mals them­selves had caught on, mak­ing the hunt more dif­fi­cult.

From this we learn that, ex­pe­ri­ence can teach us to avoid some de­tours, but some­times it can also be the worst teacher in prac­tice.

(From Life­Times , Oc­to­ber 13, 2017. Trans­la­tion: Xu Chaolan)

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