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Carl C. Hansen - Click on photos to enlarge.

My stay with the Canela was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for any photographer. They are a most gracious and hospitable people. They adopted me into the tribe and gave me the name Pun Hee which means Macaw Bone in Canela. In the one photo you can see me all covered with feathers as I video tape a ceremony. This was right after my induction into the tribe. I was ceremonially prepared for the induction and naming ceremony by my Canela mother and her sisters. This involved covering exposed portions of my body with either oily red urucu or tree sap and feathers. The red and white are colors used only in the highest ceremonies conducted by the tribe. I like to joke with my friends when I show them this photo and tell them that I know they have lots of friends who have been tarred and feathered and run out of town but I'm their only friend who's been tarred and feathered and run into town!
Carl and video camera

Log racing is a daily activity amongst the Canela. Every morning one men's society would challenge another to a race. The logs are very heavy as you can see from the photo and video. They use them as we use a baton in our relay races. There are very specialized techniques developed that enable the men to pass the log without losing momentum. The Canela men are famous for their log races which are partly a training exercise for one of their pre-gun hunting methods. In the distant past they would hunt deer in the savannas by running after the deer until they could wear it down and club it to death.

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log race

 

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