Poly Sci Final Paper

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Final Paper Washington State University Political Science 418 Fall 2012 Section 1 Professor Robert Quinlan December 6, 2012 Introduction This paper is written almost exclusively with information taken directly from the book Families of the Forest by Alan Johnson about the lifestyle of the Matsigenka Amazonian Natives. Information regarding the Matsigenka is almost solely derived from the work of Johnson unless noted otherwise. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the Matsigenka people, their needs as a community and finally pose a development project that meets the needs described. Realistically this is only one possible solution posed by an inexperienced undergraduate student. The author is student who has never set…show more content…
Snakes are taboo and never eaten. (Johnson) Their diet poses no issues for them. For crops the people grow manioc (cassava), maze (corn), bananas, plantains, rice and coffee. Coffee has been introduced recently by outsiders as a cash crop. Along with trying to build communities the crop was meant to bring indigenous peoples into contact and trade with the modern parts of Peru. Coffee was seen as way to introduce money into the Matsigenka system. (Johnson) Their farming methods are sufficient to sustain them and the land they work on. The most important fish in the Matsigenka diet is shima. (Johnson) These fish get up to 20 inches long and can weigh over 2 pounds. They are bottom feeders caught by net fishing. Mamori are similar in size to shima and caught with a regular hook and line setup. Rock dwelling fish like etari who are caught by hand. Along with other species such as shrimp and kempiti caught in traps fit into their diverse diet. Large fish species of omani, kayunaro and charava are rarely caught. (Johnson) Domesticated animals are not overly significant to a family. Families typically raise a couple of chickens and ducks. They are allowed to forage around the house during the day, feeding on insects considered pests like ants and sometimes are given maize. At night they are kept in chicken coops tended to by the children.(Johnson) As a people, the Matsigenka are very adaptive and catch all kinds of fish in many different ways. The

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