Our only written history
is that shared with the western world. Our first contact with the white man,
the Iaranave, dates back to the end of the 18th century. This relationship
lasted two decades. Though eager to trade with the conquistadors at the beginning,
we quickly became weary of their desire to evangelize and their lust for gold.
We rebelled and retreated into the impregnable mountains at the center of
our territory, and established a new trading route to the east with old Dutch
Guyana. Between 1914 and 1921, our villages were destroyed and 1000 of our
people were murdered and many more enslaved by a Brazilian rubber merchant
by the name of Funes. We have been weary of outsiders ever since.
Gonzalo Rodriguez, brother
of headman, ex-shaman apprentice.