Every Amazon man needs a machete for every day life. Most of the women and several of the older children also have their own too. Whenever a hunter leaves for the jungle, he will carry but one thing, his trusty machete. It will help blaze trails and cut the heads of snakes. It will be used to cut through bark for sap that might be used for medicinal purposes or for thirst. The machete is in the hands of nearly every local who leaves the village.
While walking, there is a likely chance that medicinal and cooking herbs will be spotted and collected. A poisonous critter may need to be moved from the path and a large animal, such as a jaguar, is also a very real threat.
While fishing, the machete is used for cutting fishing nets from debris or branches as well as for opening coconuts for a cool drink. It might be used to help manage that spear caught in a fish or to take a splinter out of a finger.
In the village, the machete is a constant companion, used for preparing meals, collecting palm leaves that are used as the dinner table on the floor, or for cleaning the cooking fire area.
A machete can be purchased in one of the major towns along the Amazon River. These larger towns are generally found every two to three days away from each other by small boat . It is likely that someone from the village will need to go into town about once per week for supplies of some sort, including machetes and newspapers. The picture below was taken in Nauta, where the Ucayali and Maranon Rivers meet. This was our last stop on our Amazon River cruise. As tempting as it was to have a machete for my wall, I wasn’t sure TSA would have a sense of humor when I returned to the states with it.
Call to learn more about river cruising. 603-434-8100