Challenge #2: Hunting for Supper

The Matsés hunt all kinds of rain forest creatures for food. Pig-like peccaries. Rabbit-sized rodents called pacas. Wild turkeys. To hunt them, they use a bow and arrow.

Kane’s group had one bow and one arrow. It belonged to the best hunter. He shared it with everyone. Because there was only one arrow, it had to be found after every shot. If it broke, the Matsés fixed the shaft and kept using it.

One night, Kane went along on a wild turkey hunt. Kane was amazed by the hunters’ skill at tracking animals by sound. They knew exactly which animal made which sound.

The Matsés could also mimic, or copy, an animal’s call to find it. Then they moved along noiselessly. Kane and his dad were too noisy. So, they had to stay behind until the Matsés found the animal they were after.

Suddenly, the guide spotted a wild turkey. He handed Kane the bow and arrow. Whoosh! Kane just missed!

Kane practices with a bow and arrow. 

Kane crosses a creek on a bridge he helped build.

Matsés Ways

Kane learned how to travel on the river. One day, the group paddled a dugout canoe. They came to a different settlement. The Matsés people here still follow ancient ways.

People pierce their noses with the ribs of palm leaves. These look like whiskers, and the people look like jaguars. So, they are sometimes called thecat people. Men wear necklaces made of jaguar teeth.

Before a hunt, the men sometimes hold ceremonies to make them strong. In one, the hunter breathes in smoke. In another, the hunter burns his skin!

This woman has pierced her nose. She uses pieces of palm leaves. She wants them to look like a cat's whiskers.