Search This Blog

Thursday, January 8, 2015

British film maker Sarah Begum who married tribal warrior at Ecuador

Kadhir (Ravi Krishna) belongs to a lower middle class family, living with his parents and younger sister in Rainbow Colony. He is perceived as a good for nothing person as he skips classes, fails in exams, and gets involved in fights.  Kadhir's life changes when a Hindi speaking North Indian family moves into the same colony. Kadhir is attracted to the daughter of that family, Anita (Sonia Agarwal) – the falling in love is the storyline of ‘7G Rainbow Colony’.

The Huaorani,  are native Amerindians from the Amazonian Region of Ecuador who have marked differences from other ethnic groups from Ecuador. They comprise almost 4,000 inhabitants and speak the Huaorani language, a linguistic isolate that is not known to be related to any other language. Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in northwestern South America, bordered by Colombia, Peru and the Pacific Ocean. Ecuador's official language is Spanish, which is spoken by 94% of the population; thirteen indigenous languages are also recognized, including Quichua and Shuar.  In addition to its rich history, Ecuador is known for hosting a variety of species, many of them endemic. 

Love at first sight; love sees no class; beautiful good looking rich girls falling in love for not at all good looking, uneducated, unemployed youths is a handy theme of many kollywood, tollywood, bollywood cinemas.  Mail Online and many other news agencies report the real-life incident of a British film maker who 'married' a tribal warrior says she agreed to it to highlight the oil giants destroying his Amazon home.

Sarah Begum underwent the symbolic ritual aged just 21 after she left London to spend two weeks with the Huaroani tribe, which has 3,000 members in the mineral-rich Ecuadorian rainforest. Despite historically tense relations with outsiders dating to the 1950s, when five U.S. missionaries who tried to infiltrate the tribe were killed, she claimed she was welcomed with open arms. Sarah Begum (right), just 21 at the time, was surprised to be married off to a tribal warrior named Ginkto who was 30 years her senior  - as a symbolic gesture to spread their plea against oil firms.  She was given a crown made from macaw feathers in the naked ceremony.  She learned how to weave with grasses and hunt with a blowpipe, and by the end of the period she had 'married' a warrior in his 50s named Ginkto - who spoke only the villagers' own Huaroani dialect and a few words of Spanish. It was a symbolic gesture to spread the tribe's plea for help against oil firms, not a legally binding marriage - but the language barrier meant things were not obvious at the start.

'I was chosen by the elders and I had no idea what was going to happen to me,' she said. 'I was called into a hut and everyone inside was naked. I was told they were making me their traditional clothes, which is a piece of string made of plant fibres worn around the waist – not even a thong. 'I thought, "I can't get naked, this is being filmed", and for a split second I thought about running away, but I wanted to fully embrace and understand their traditions. Ms Begum made her experiences into a documentary film which was screened at Cannes last year.

'I was told, "they are going to make you Queen". I was surrounded by the women and warriors chanting and dancing in the hut - I thought I was being initiated. 'They gave me the chicha drink and the name Imaca, which means The Last Name, before marrying me to my husband-to-be, the tribe's most popular warrior, Ginkto.' The  marriage was an honorary one to build trust with the tribe. Ms Begum was one of many 'eco-tourists' and documentary makers hosted by the tribe over the years, but insisted the wedding ceremony was a rare occurrence. However, she was not the only Briton who Ginkto 'married'. Two years earlier the same tribal warrior 'wed' Karen Morris-Lanz, a single mother from Milton Keynes who went to live briefly in the village. In that case, however, it was for a BBC documentary specifically about marriage.

The journey to the Huaroani people's village takes  two days by boat from the nearest town. Now 26, Ms Begum made her experiences into a half-hour documentary, Amazon Souls, which was shown at the Cannes Film Festival last year. Since then it has been accepted at the Sheffield Doc/Fest and Adventure Travel Film Festival, and this year Ms Begum was made a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.  She won the 5,800-mile air fare as one of ten finalists in the national Enterprising Student Awards - the only woman that year. Other funds came from private investors before the trip. Once in Ecuador she met her colleagues, British sound engineer Stephen Bull and American cinematographer Frank Angelcyk, and taught English to children in the Amazon region before venturing deeper into the jungle. Despite not being able to swim, she travelled by boat for two days from the town of Coca through piranha and alligator infested waters, stopping overnight at a beach to fish for dinner.

The Huaroani people live on top of some of South America's richest oil reserves, and campaigners say the invasion of outsiders has increased tension in their ancestral land. Hostility began in 1956, when five evangelical missionaries from the U.S. were killed after trying to convert Huaroani villagers to Christianity in a widely-publicised case. It is said to have been the first documented time the tribe was contacted by the outside world. As well as oil there are mineral reserves beneath the rainforest and it is a target for illegal loggers. Several roads have been built into Huaroani territory. Tribe members told a BBC documentary in 2011 that they could no longer grow food on river banks because they feared contamination would wash downstream.

Strange are the ways of people and strange things do happen ….
With regards – S. Sampathkumar

16th Dec 2o14

No comments:

Post a Comment