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Gynerium sagittatum





Prochilodus nigricans_edited.jpg

Gynerium sagittatum is the distinctive cane that grows along river banks. In some regions pindo so dominates the vegetation of islands and riverbanks that at least two rivers in the Ecuadorian Amazon are named after the Pindo. One of them is a tributary of the Puyo which in turn flows into the Pastaza. Pindo cane can grow four meters high. It is the most preferred material for the long poles used to maneuver canoes in whitewater areas where paddles are less useful. Pindo is also used for chicken coups or for framing temporary shelters when camping on islands. The leaves of the Pindo are like a sharp cutting grass. Before the 60s when agrarian reform and the establishment of schools forced a more settle life, many Quichua and Shuar families migrated seasonally to “purina chacras” or hunting camps located several days or even weeks journey up or down the rivers. To avoid enemies, families generally camped on the pindo dominated islands sleeping in temporary shelters framed with pindo. While the men journeyed inland to hunt during the day, the children, particularly the girls hunted for bird eggs in the pindo dominated vegetation of the islands. Thus the sight of pindo evokes memories of this riverine life. Pindo cane is regularly used to make fences for chicken coups, small chicken nesting houses, poles for poling canoes or to make “garabatus” (hooks on the ends of long pindo poles) for harvesting guavas oranges lemons, papayas or other fruit growing high in the trees.

Talking about Pindu

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