Bolivia - Report on a recording trip

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We have done contact work with the Movima who have moved to the Mamore River for lack of land.

13 North Americans did a distribution among them. It was a good outreach to the Cayubaba as well. Many people are losing their language. We recorded 2 hours of Movima.

My LH [language helper] was 76 years old, a widow and still works because there are no social services. The enemy attacked the LH with sickness and then one of her children did not want her to record. Thank God Lola did not listen to her daughter and was very ready and cooperative to make the recordings.

About the Movima

The majority of the people in Santa Ana consider themselves to be Movima but are not indigenous. The Movima are on of the larger indigenous groups of the Beni, and they are growing. The people have migrated all over the Amazon recently looking for good agricultural soil. Many Movima understand the language but not as many use it at home. In any case there is literacy work and more material being produced in the language.

They are farmers. The main products are two kinds of corn, yucca (a root similar to our potato), and sugar cane. They also hunt, fish, collect things from the mountains and raise vegetables domestic animals.

Culturally Movima feel as sense of a shared past and cultural values that they share. They have a desire to manage their own future.

After we finished these recordings Jesus Tejeda and I found a new way to get to the More that live on the Itenez River on the border of Brazil. We took a car from Trinidad at 8 in the morning and got to Siles at 7 pm.

We asked if there was a Gospel witness and only found one guy who gave testimony of the Lord. There were no hotels but were told there was a place by the river. There were 4 poles and a small roof so we stretched out our hammocks. Jesus called Santa Roza de Vigo on the radio to contact the pastor and guide that were to take us to the More.

I was thinking about taking care of the equipment when somebody approached. I could not see his face because there was no light, but we found out he was a brother of Diego and a brother in the faith. He had heard we were there and invited us to his place to eat and sleep. In the middle of nowhere the Lord provided for us! This is our great God.

We were waiting all night and day for a boat to take us to Santa Roza. It was 7 at night and we were told a boat was going to Vigo. We spent the whole night in the boat because they do not travel at night, but early in the morning we left. It was the "milk run" since the boat owner was a businessman who stopped in every village along the way. We arrived at 7pm and met the pastor and guide. We spent that night and the next day planning our trip to Monte Azul. We decided to leave the next day at 4 am. We left by the light of the moon.

We walked...and walked, and walked, about 4 hours before stopping for a break. We transferred our things from the small horse to a bicycle and kept going about 2 hours and then took another break. Then about an hour later we met two more and they showed us the way. We crossed the Azul River 30 minutes in a canoe and then two more hours to Mounte Azul but thank God we got there about 7pm.

We went to the friend of the guide and stayed there while in the village. We began looking for a LH and were told we should have talked to the president and the magistrate first. They called a meeting with all of the people and told us we could record but that the president was very stubborn and would not record.

We asked to talk with him and he received us around noon. It was a little tense but then he said, "OK you can record, but no money, because the last time some people came to get language information they wanted to pay me and I don't want that to happen again." He also said we should not give any money to anyone. We thought everything was ok, so started to set up when one of the LH said if we were not going to pay then he would not give his language and we were stuck. Another person said it was ok to record because it was for the harvest. This LH who wanted to charge by the phrase didn't say anything but started to record and finished the whole recording. By the grace of God he recorded More with 15 messages.

There is an evangelical church in the area but the pastor comes only when he can, once a year. The church is there but abandoned. A brother who is a nurse has meetings in his home for him and his family. When they meet in the church many come but no one wants to do what God says; there is no commitment. Alcohol is one of the things that affect them.

After we finished our work we went back another way. We took the Itenez River to the border of Brazil, walked 2 hours, took a cart to the river and caught a motor launch to San Lorenzo. We left Monte Azul at 7am and got to San Lorenzo 3pm where we spent the night. It took two more days to get back to Trinidad. We were tired but so happy the Gospel went out to the More and Movima in such a short time, and all of that is because of your prayers and support!

Moregena (population 70)

Many have moved to Guayaramerin and others live in Brazil.

Social organization: the More are a tribe of hunters and fishers organized to fight. This is the reason men are valued more then women. In the past they were polygamists and controlled the birthrate of women.

The More are organized by a counsel in each village. They do not have good communication with other villages. The More language is being revived with the goal of bilingual materials but nothing is translated into their language now.

They have had an ongoing battle over the last few decades to have land of their own. The cattle and other private owners are encroaching on their land. The Mores actually have a request for their land from 1715. This is being looked at again.

Agriculture is the main business. During the rainy season they gather corn, and during the dry season they grow beans, yucca and another type of corn. The Sept/Oct harvests are difficult because of the dry season which affects the citrus fruits. They also hunt, fish, and gather wild food from the forests.

Culture: There is a special dance they do before the fight with another group over land. Today the More no longer make the nice traditional shirts of bark which tell which sex and age a person is. They are very skillful with their hands, making hammocks etc. They have native musical instruments. Each instrument is for specific songs and dances.

They are specialized in using feathers and animal skin in design patterns. They decorate arrows, musical instruments and other specialized handicrafts.

Eduardo Zamarono