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What we do  

The Amazonian Social Relation to Nature

An Open Access Environmental

Humanities Digital  Project

The “social relation to nature” refers to an Amazonian way of engaging the nonhuman world socially, as though it had the full range of human emotions.  Plants, animals, or even earth are believed to feel lonely and to desire company across species lines; but also to be shy, desire privacy, to sometimes be resentful or to withdraw from human company.   Empathy for human need sometimes causes them to be generous offering themselves for food or medicine.  On the other hand, they can be ambivalent, resentful,  take revenge for the death of their relatives.  This project records and organizes this a way of living with nature. 

Kichwa traditions on particular plants or animals can be searched by species.


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Iyarina means to think about people and nature as a shared body. We  create a place where academics, artists and scientists can join Indigenous leaders and knowledge carriers to learn together, reflect, and build a future.



We are actively taking action towards the goal of "Sumakta Kawsana" by taking a stand known as shayarina. By strengthing Indigenous Communities we also protect forests.


Sumakta Kawsana

Key to the Amazonian ideal of wellbeing, sumakta kawsana, is a convivial environment where relatives can live and work together, speaking their own language, respecting their elders and land. 

By remembering (iyarina) that people and nature are socially  related, in a shared body and standing strong (shayarina) to protect our common home, we adapt our traditional way of life  (sumakta kawsana) to meet future challenges.

"This project presents the Amazonian relation to nature by linking short videos of testimonies, stories, and songs to the names of the plant and animal species that are the subjects of the narratives... It also links species and nature to the stages of the human life cycle through which nature is experienced socially."

Explore the 'Social Relation to Nature" Through a selected species

Click the following icons to search plants, birds, mammals, reptiles, invertebrates groups. 

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Explore the 'Social Relation to Nature" Through the human life-cycle

Cycles of a Body Shared with Nature





     Aging, Death, and Ancestors 


All Videos

All Videos

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