THE NATIVE INDIANS OF ECUADOR

Aside of my fast paced commercial work, I do other projects and I rarely talk about it. These projects keep me grounded and let me get different prospectives on life and love. One of these projects was for the Foundation of Native Indians of Ecuador. Over a period of 2 years I went 4 times to the rain forrest in Ecuador to life with several native Indian tribes and photographed them for this wonderful Foundation. Besides delivering ‘daily life’ photographs in color to push the marketing and get more money for the tribes, I decided to take my 6x7 Pentax medium format analog camera and create my own black and white view of these wonderful people living in the rain forest of Ecuador.

Once you arrive at their village, your life as you know is over. You are completely in the hands of these tribes, wherever you go. No map, no internet, no navigation system. Just their knowledge on how to survive in the forrest. And I trusted them completely. Even when I got really sick and had to be transported eight hours in heavy rain in a dugout canoe to a deserted ‘hospital’, I felt safe and taken care of. At the end of my last trip chief Elias told me that their tribe decided to give me the honor of a real Chuar name. A name they all decided would fit me best. I wasn’t Poby anymore, I became ‘Nasse’ . This means ‘light breeze’ in Chuar. They told me that they always felt happy and delighted when I came into their lives and then left after a short time with them, just like a light breeze in a hot and humid forrest. I was very touched and felt so happy after all the extreme conditions I had to work in.

The photographs below are a small selection I created with my 6x7 Pentax analog medium format camera and on 220 Kodak TRX roll film. All is master printed on Ilford Baryth paper. One day I will make a little exhibit with my Ecuador series and some stories about that unique journey in time.

Chief Elias Papue of the tribe of the Chuars in his village Juvienza

Playing in the Rio Pastaza

Kunang ( 8 ) using the dugout canoe to cross the river with his friends

Kunang and Wichin working on their canoe. This are the two sons of chief Elias from the tribe of the Chuars.

Two girls from the tribe of the Chuars standing in the rain with palm leaves over their heads, overlooking the Rio Pastaza.