The courtroom was crowded. Nemonte Nenquimo stood under its harsh lights. Her face was streaked with red paint. She wore a crown of feathers. Three judges sat before her.
Nemonte Nenquimo is a leader of the Waorani nation.
Nemonte Nenquimo raises her fist in a sign of strength at the start of the court hearing.
Nenquimo is a member of the Waorani nation. Her people live in the rainforests of Ecuador. They have lived there for centuries. Now, they had to fight for their culture and their land. The government wanted to sell their land to oil companies. The Waorani filed a lawsuit. The judges would decide what was fair.
A Rainforest Home
The Waorani nation is a group of indigenous people. Their land covers millions of acres of rainforest. Many birds, mammals, and reptiles live here. The Waorani are hunter-gatherers. Their lives are connected to the rainforest. They do not have much contact with the outside world.
The Waorani live in the Amazon rainforest.
Yet, the outside world wants something from the Waorani. Oil companies want their land.
The government tried to sell off their land. The Waorani knew they must fight to keep it.