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Myles Crocker - Click on photos to enlarge.

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Myles Crocker
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Canela boy with toy camera 2001

I grew up listening to my father's stories about the Canela. When I was seven my mother and I went down to visit my father while he was working in the field. It was a great adventure, climbing in and out of hammocks, and climbing up trees with my new found friends, much to my mother's consternation. Once I was given a pet armadillo on a little rope leash. I was very excited. Nobody in the United States had one of these! I picked him up and he immediately curled into a ball. I dashed excitedly into my room with my new pet. We were living in a thatch house with dirt floors, and I had a small room with a bamboo platform bed. I put my new pet on the floor and took off the string leash. My pet, however, had other ideas! Just as I was deciding what to name him, he started digging. Fascinated, I watched him tunnel through the dirt and sand under the thatch wall, out of my room and out of the house. I dashed around outside, and saw the little guy burrowing along in the sand. It was like something out of a bugs bunny cartoon. I plucked him out of the sand and he curled up into a ball. Again I raced back into my room and placed the armadillo on the ground. He began digging as soon as his feet touched the ground. Gleefully I would run out pick him up and bring him back in my room. This must have happened five or six times, until my mother suggested that he might want to go home and that he missed his family. I decided to let him go but we did have armadillo that night for dinner.

I had the opportunity to photograph the Canela under the guidance of Carl Hansen in 1993 and then went again with my father in 2001. The Canela are a lot of fun to work with; I especially enjoyed photographing the children. They were always laughing, chasing the stray chicken, swimming like fish in the nearby river, or climbing the mango trees looking for the ripest fruit. The men enjoyed log racing and playing futbol, the women would usually be gathered in small groups and weaving baskets or beaded necklaces and there was always laughter in the air.

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Child being brought from the stream after a daily bath.
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Boy playing with a bicycle tire rim.
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Men in a pick-up game of futbol.
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Men lifting a racing log.
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Children jumping "rope."
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Grandmother and child.

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Boys "playing monkey" in the trees.

 

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Woman making a basket.
All photos by Myles Crocker, 2001.

 

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