Tribal People or Why We Are not Better

On Sunday I’ve had finally the possibility to visit one literature club in Mannheim. It was a really nice event with ca. 10 people. Everyone told about the last book she/he read. Among others there was “The storyteller” from Mario Vargas Llosa, a Nobel laureate in literature. In this book he tells about a man who was not well accepted in our society and struggled a lot till he finally found his place. He went to live in the jungle of Peru with a local tribe. He was so well accepted, that he even became the storyteller of the tribe. Such tribes have often no written language und the tribal memory is stored and passed on through a storyteller that knows everything important about the tribe. But what it is more important – why this man was accepted from a tribe in the jungle and not in our society. Are we really better and more tolerant in our society?

I used to think that such tribes are on some completely different level of evolution, some thousands of years behind us. But I was wrong. It’s not the truth. I’ve first understood this, when I was on the Youth Future Project Conference in Bonn last year. One of the Right Livelihood Award laureates is the Survival International Organisation which protects the rights of the tribal people all over the world. This people are almost everywhere killed, persecuted and have barely a future. They have theoretically the same human rights, but the governments all the countries where they live seem not to bother about that and keep killing them.

And this tribal people can teach us a lot of things. Do you know that they often have no hierarchy in their societies? And they still can live well together and understand themselves. Decisions are taken from everyone and supported from everyone. All kind all decisions no matter from whom they come are respected. We are far away from such a society. There are always some institutions or authorities who take the solutions for us. Do you know that most tribal people don’t know what violence is? They live in a violence free society. They don’t lie and there are no conflicts. And they have very rich languages. For example an Indian tribe in the jungle has 1000 words for leaf and an Inuit tribe has 1000 words for snow. And they live quite healthy and don’t have all the modern diseases.

We have to open our hearts for them, stop killing them and examine their cultures, because we can learn quite a lot from them. They still save some traditions and values that we’ve already forgotten.