<%BANNER%>

Understanding Influences on Harvesting Species of the Genus Heteropsis and Basket Production by Indigenous Ye'kwana of t...

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0044771/00001

Material Information

Title: Understanding Influences on Harvesting Species of the Genus Heteropsis and Basket Production by Indigenous Ye'kwana of the Orinoco Basin, Venezuela
Physical Description: 1 online resource (110 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Carlsson, Erica Britt
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2012

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: cooperative -- ethnobotany -- fair-trade -- heteropsis -- management -- ntfp -- sustainable -- women -- ye'kwana
Geography -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Geography thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: This paper examines factors that influenceharvesting of a threatened epiphytic aroid and production of baskets by theindigenous Ye’kwana of Southern Venezuela. Areal roots of the hemi-epiphyte, Heteropsis spp., are used primarily forhome construction and basket production. I examined the sociocultural factors,sustainable resource rules and economic factors that influence harvesting andproduction of the vine. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews,participatory mapping, participant observation and sales records. Results showthat the most successful harvesters and producersare middle aged. Additionally, although the market price for baskets increasedin 2012, weavers are willing to sell at a lower price through the trade ofbeads, which are used for ceremonial events. Moreover, outside NGOs haveimpacted harvesting practices and management adaptations toward an outcomeof sustainable management. Overall, this population’s adaptations of harvestingpractices, which seek an outcome of sustainable management is a model that canbe used by other communities seeking to commercialize species of the genus Heteropsis. The combination of strongindigenous political power, cultural identity and integration of westernscience into traditional knowledge structures for resource management hasallowed Medewa to increase value of their product, livelihood and adaptcreatively to new resource pressures.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Erica Britt Carlsson.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2012.
Local: Adviser: Smith, Nigel J.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2012
System ID: UFE0044771:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0044771/00001

Material Information

Title: Understanding Influences on Harvesting Species of the Genus Heteropsis and Basket Production by Indigenous Ye'kwana of the Orinoco Basin, Venezuela
Physical Description: 1 online resource (110 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Carlsson, Erica Britt
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2012

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: cooperative -- ethnobotany -- fair-trade -- heteropsis -- management -- ntfp -- sustainable -- women -- ye'kwana
Geography -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Geography thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: This paper examines factors that influenceharvesting of a threatened epiphytic aroid and production of baskets by theindigenous Ye’kwana of Southern Venezuela. Areal roots of the hemi-epiphyte, Heteropsis spp., are used primarily forhome construction and basket production. I examined the sociocultural factors,sustainable resource rules and economic factors that influence harvesting andproduction of the vine. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews,participatory mapping, participant observation and sales records. Results showthat the most successful harvesters and producersare middle aged. Additionally, although the market price for baskets increasedin 2012, weavers are willing to sell at a lower price through the trade ofbeads, which are used for ceremonial events. Moreover, outside NGOs haveimpacted harvesting practices and management adaptations toward an outcomeof sustainable management. Overall, this population’s adaptations of harvestingpractices, which seek an outcome of sustainable management is a model that canbe used by other communities seeking to commercialize species of the genus Heteropsis. The combination of strongindigenous political power, cultural identity and integration of westernscience into traditional knowledge structures for resource management hasallowed Medewa to increase value of their product, livelihood and adaptcreatively to new resource pressures.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Erica Britt Carlsson.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2012.
Local: Adviser: Smith, Nigel J.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2012
System ID: UFE0044771:00001


This item has the following downloads:


Full Text

PAGE 1

1 UNDERSTANDING INFLUENCES ON HARVESTING SPECIES OF THE GENUS HETEROPSIS AND BASKET PRODUCTION ORINOCO BASIN VENEZUELA By ERICA CARLSSON A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVER SITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2012

PAGE 2

2 2012 Erica Carlsson

PAGE 3

3 To those who believe in freedom

PAGE 4

4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First and foremost I wou ld like to thank the members of Medewa and Kanwasumi Coopera tive in the Orinoco, Venezuela and Laurie Wilkins of Earthbound. Additionally, I thank the staff and faculty at th e University of Florida, specifically Dr. Nigel Smith, Dr. Eric Keys, Dr. Marianne Schmink and Dr. Barbara McDade Gordon. I also would like to thank Mariapia Bevilacqua and Domingo Medina from La Asociacin Venezolana para la Conservacin de reas Naturales, ACOANA. Additionally, I would like to thank Mario Mighty for his graciousness, kindness and amazing help.

PAGE 5

5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 7 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 8 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ................................ ................................ ........................... 10 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 11 CHAPTER 1 INTROD UCTION AND CONTEXT ................................ ................................ .......... 13 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 13 Significance ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 14 Study Site ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 15 People ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 16 Study Plants ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 20 Heteropsis spp (Minat) ................................ ................................ ................ 20 Kiidayu ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 21 Processing for Basketry ................................ ................................ .................... 22 Commercialization of Baskets ................................ ................................ ................. 23 2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ .......................... 33 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ................................ ................................ ............... 36 Data Collectio n Methods ................................ ................................ ......................... 36 Ethnographic Methods ................................ ................................ ............................ 36 Participatory Mapping ................................ ................................ ....................... 39 Pa rticipant Observation ................................ ................................ .................... 39 Records ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 40 4 SOCIOCULTURAL FACTORS ................................ ................................ ............... 45 I ntroduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 45 Effects of Migration ................................ ................................ ................................ 45 Gender ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 46 Age ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 46 How Much Is Harvested? ................................ ................................ ................. 47 How Many Baskets? ................................ ................................ ......................... 47 Earned Income ................................ ................................ ................................ 48 Language ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 48

PAGE 6

6 Harvest Frequency ................................ ................................ ........................... 49 Effect on Income ................................ ................................ .............................. 49 5 SUSTAINABLE RESOUCE RULES ................................ ................................ ........ 63 General Findings ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 63 Ancestral Harvesting Methods ................................ ................................ ................ 63 Conservation History ................................ ................................ ............................... 63 Resource Depletion ................................ ................................ ................................ 65 Resource Rules ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 66 Where and When Do They Harvest ................................ ................................ .. 66 Common Practices: Minat Harvesting Qualities ................................ ........... 67 How Much Minat Is Located at Harvesting Plots? ................................ ........ 68 Harvesting Frequency ................................ ................................ ...................... 70 Root Development ................................ ................................ ............................ 71 6 MARKETING IMPACT ................................ ................................ ............................ 81 General Findings ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 81 History: Pricing and Costs ................................ ................................ ....................... 81 Production and Transportation Costs ................................ ............................... 82 Influences ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 84 Demand ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 84 Distance, Time and Profit ................................ ................................ ................. 85 Gold ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 86 Profit Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 88 7 DISCUSSION, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ............................... 97 APPENDIX A RESEARCH QUESTIONS ................................ ................................ .................... 103 B ................................ ................................ ..... 104 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 105 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 110

PAGE 7

7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4 1 Descriptive Statistics of Ages of Medewa Cooperative Members ....................... 61 4 2 Quantities of baskets sold co mpared to age of Medewa harvesters for 2009 season ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 61 4 3 Medewa Gross Income earned in 2009 & 2011 compared with age .................. 62 5 1 Ho w do you choose what to harvest? ................................ ................................ 80 6 1 Average price (US $) paid to artisan for baskets ................................ ................ 93 6 2 Earthbound basket pricing matrix (2010) ................................ ............................ 93 6 3 Comparison of 2002 and 2010 Labor costs in hours to produce one 28cm Wwa basket. ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 93 6 4 Shiwitina transportatio n costs (300 baskets) 2002 versus 2010 (US $) ............ 94 6 5 2002 Costs per 28cm basket in shipment of 300. ................................ ............... 94 6 6 Price earned per hou r for Wwa basket (28cm); pre shipment rate ................... 95 6 7 2011 profit analysis from basket sales at Santa Fe Folk Art Market ................... 96

PAGE 8

8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1 1 Image of Shiwitina residents traveling in hand made canoes down river; ally translates as canoe people ................................ .................... 25 1 2 Table Mesa, Tepui, Orinoco basin, Venezuela ................................ ................... 25 1 3 Maripa, Playon and Shiwitina ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 26 1 4 Minat growth cycle, drawn by Kanwasumi women of B oca De Nichare, September, 2003 ................................ ................................ ................................ 27 1 5 Series of harvesting and processing minat ................................ ..................... 28 1 6 Seri es of processing minat yadad ................................ ................................ 29 1 7 Series of harvesting a nd processing, minat tukatojo ................................ ...... 30 1 8 Series of processing kiidayu ................................ ................................ ............... 31 1 9 Innovation; from the traditional design to the modified design made for the home dcor market ................................ ................................ ................ 32 1 10 Map drawn by Medewa participants of r egions traveled to sell baskets ............. 32 3 1 t at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens ............ 41 3 2 Arial image of Shiwitina ................................ ................................ .................... 42 3 3 Participatory maps completed by M edewa Cooperative members, 2007 .......... 43 3 4 2010. ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 44 4 1 ana gather for central meetings .................... 50 4 2 Example of Churuata (tt) communal house where every essential activit y of the community is conducted ................................ ................................ ........... 51 4 3 Frequency of ages in population ................................ ................................ ......... 52 4 4 Harvesting trip; age vs. average amount of minat harvested, October, 2010 ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 53 4 5 Medewa baskets made 2009, sale versus age. ................................ .................. 54

PAGE 9

9 4 6 Medewa baskets made 2010 2011, sale versus age. ................................ ......... 55 4 7 Percentage gross income 2009 2011 for Medewa vs. age ................................ 56 4 8 Percent language spoken by interviewed participants. ................................ ....... 57 4 9 Percent language spoken by women interviewed participants ........................... 58 4 10 Sum total income earned (USD) for women based on language. ....................... 59 4 11 Mean total income earned (USD) for women based on language, incl uding cooperative representative earned income. ................................ ........................ 60 5 1 Harvest locations. ................................ ................................ ............................... 73 5 2 Good (left) vs. Bad (right) minat for harvest ing ................................ ............... 74 5 3 Relative Abundance of minat (Likert scale (1 5) ) ................................ ............ 75 5 4 Distance/Time traveled vs. Reported Abundance ................................ ............... 76 5 5 Map of harvesting plots an d relative abundance of minat ............................... 77 5 6 Harvest frequency. ................................ ................................ ............................. 78 5 7 Reported years for root development for harvest. ................................ .............. 79 6 1 Method for measuring the Wwa basket ................................ ............................ 90 6 2 Payment model ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 91 6 3 Price per ounce of gold in US $ from 2000 2011 ................................ ................ 92

PAGE 10

10 LIST OF ABBREVIATION S ACOANA La Asociacin Venezolana para la Conservacin de reas Naturales E CFC E cologically conscious fair trade consumerism NGO Non governmental organization NTFP Non Timber Forest Product SFIFM Santa Fe International Folk Art Market YEBP

PAGE 11

11 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate Scho ol of the University of Florida in Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Masters of Science UNDERSTANDING INFLUENCES ON HARVESTING SPECIES OF THE GENUS HETEROPSIS AND BASKET PRODUCTION ORINOCO BASIN, VENEZUE LA By Erica Carlsson August 2012 Chair: Nigel Smith Major: Geography This paper examines factors that influence harvesting of a threatened epiphytic aroid Areal roots of the he mi epiphyte Heteropsis spp. are used primarily for home construction and basket production. I examine d the sociocultural factors, sustainable resource rules and economic factors that influence harvesting and production of the vine Data were collected us ing semi structured interviews, participatory mapping, participant observation and sales records. Results show that t he most successful harvesters and producers ar e middle aged Additionally, although the market price for baskets increased in 2012, w eavers are willing to sell at a lower price through the trade of beads, which are used for ceremonial events. Moreover, o utside NGOs have impacted harvesting practices and management adaptations toward an outcome of sustainable management. Overall, this populati daptatio ns of harvesting practices, which seek an outcome of sustainable management is a model that can be used by other communities seeking to commercialize species of the genus Heteropsis. The combination of strong indigenous political power, cultu ral identity and integration of

PAGE 12

12 western science into traditional knowledge structures for resource management has allowed Medewa to increase value of their product, livelihood and adapt creatively to new resource pressures.

PAGE 13

13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION AND C ONTEXT Introduction S everal s pecies of the genus Heteropsis epiphytic aroids are the primary tying and lashing vines for a number of indigenous communities near and in the Amazon basin. However, they are highly threatened by over exploitation. More knowl edge of the factors that influence Heteropsis spp growth rates 1 would help devise a sustainable management plan for future generations ( Knab Vispo 2003, Plowden et al. 2003). oco basin of Southern Venezuela partner with several different non profit organizations to manage Heteropsis spp. One such organization is the Venezuelan and US commercialize baskets made from f ibers of several species of Heteropsis locally named, m inat They evaluate whether basket production is environmentally friendly through participatory research projects and workshops. These activi ties define growth patterns of m inat and practic es of harvesters to better manage extraction. Their work represents a growing movement that strives to achieve sustainable development through ecologically conscious fair trade consumerism (ECFC) (Strong ed conservation and development agencies, historically the goals of these projects are rarely achieved and even harder to traditional harvesting practices are sustainable (Pome roy 2006). Neverthe less, m inat 1 Further research on growth rates will soon be published by members of the Ve nezuelan based, non profit La Asociacin Venezolana para la Conservacin de reas Naturales (ACOANA)

PAGE 14

14 roots are seldom harvested sustainability (Plowden 2003). Additionally, reports of non timber forest products (NTFPs) use by forest communities in Peru and Bolivia suggest that new markets promote more destructive harvestin g practices (Lawrence 2003, Plowden et al. 2003). Furthermore, along with clear biological realities, economic and cultural factors have an enormous impact on whether or not commercialization of NTFPs incentivizes conservation (Lawrence 2003). In response to these findings, the main goal of this study was to explore influences on the harvest of m inat and the production of baskets by cooperative members of the YEBP. Significance The intellectual merit of this study lies in its efforts to broaden the lite rature on NTFPs and sustainable development in Latin America. The region of study, the Orinoco, is a hotspot for bio diversity and cultural conservation. Several indigenous groups, including the Yanomami and Sanema live nearby, and it houses a number of en dangered flora and fauna, including the tapir and jaguar (Colchester et al. 2004). This research not only contributes to a better understanding of how people use wild plants, but also how non governmental organizations (NGOs) and other outside agencies ha ve influenced traditional harvesting methods and production. It offers greater insight into how NTFPs are exported and marketed, and specifically responds to the need to understand better the anthropogenic effects on several species of Heteropsis Addition ally, this research contributes to literature and programs essential for forest managers, local communities, development agencies and fair trade consumers by combining interdisciplinary approaches, participatory research and analysis of economics in intern ational development. The results of this research will be

PAGE 15

15 presented back to the community and used directly in the creation of a sustainable management plan for m inat Study Site My research involves basket weavers from the largest Ye'kwana community, Santa Maria de Erebato, locally named Shiwitina The village is situated along the Erebato River in the upper Caura of the Orinoco basin (Figure 1 3) The basin covers an area of 45,336 square km and remains mostly pristine due to a low population density of approxima tely eight persons per square km (Colchester et al. 2004). Local and national reserves, such as Jaua Sarisariama valuable resources. The rainy season, between May and October, is principally responsible f or the 3 to 4 meters of rainfall that drenches this vast and pristine black water, tropical river system annually. The system is part of the Guiana shield, which is a 1.7 billion year old, Precambrian geological formation overlaid by loose sediments, such as shale (Colchester et al. 2004) Its source begins 1,000 meters high in the mountains, at the southern end of the range that separates Venezuela and Brazil, Sierra Parima ( ( Encyclopdia Britannica Online 2012). The highest elevations in the bas in peak out at 1,500 meters with the exception of table mountains, locally named tepuis ; these sandstone mesas reach up to heights of 2350 meters (Aubrecht 2011, Colchester et al. 2004 ) (Figure 1 2). Elevation drops to ~ 350 500 meters near Shiwitina Far ther down river a huge waterfall, Para Falls, separates the upper from lower Caura; the top of the community of Playon. A vast difference in fish and plant diversity exists betwe en the two regions. Additionally, it is a barrier to foreigners entering the upper Orinoco.

PAGE 16

16 People literately translated, means canoe people (Figure 1 1). The Ye'kwana are an indigenous ethnic group of around 4,000 Carib speaking people who live in 40 to 50 widely dispersed communities in the Caura River Basin of Southern Venezuela and the Branco River Basin of Northwestern Brazil ( Manelis Klein and Stark 1985 :75 79, along the Cunucunuma, upper Orinoco and Padamo rivers ( exist in Venezuela today Shiwitina is the largest ; its population fluctuates between 300 and 400 people. Preceding its formation, ext ended families that united together to farm, hunt and gather until local resources were exhausted; population in these communities never exceeded one hundred (Guss 1989:18). Spanish conquistadors first contacted these communities in 1759 and gave them the name Makiritare ( Civrieux and Guss 1980, Manelis Klein and Stark 1985 :75 ). The Spanish ( Manelis Klein and Stark 1985 :76) Unlike the surrounding Yanomami and Sanema trib es, commodities, such as metal, became the mark of prosperity over traditional shamanistic expertise ( Lauer 2006). By 1777, they rebelled against building the mouth ( Manelis Klein and Stark 1985 :76) Th ey also traded with Portuguese from Rio Negro and Rio Branco ( Manelis Klein and Stark 1985 :76). During the 19 th was farther south than it is today. It was re duced due to Yanomama expansion that a to live farther north Consequentially, a subsection of Yanomami and the share territory in the same region; they

PAGE 17

17 t hey keep separat e village s and rarely intermarry Manelis Klein and Stark 1985 :76 77 ). During the late 19 th economic opportunity and labored in the rubber boom industry. The result of which was the spread of disease s fr Jimnez 197 3:14 s two major religious communities were formed, the New Trib ission was controversial as they vangelized the natives. They did however build a medical post, elementary school and adult literacy center in Cunucunuma ( Manelis Klein and Stark 1985 :77 ). In 1959, the French Catholic Congregation, encouraged family members to join together to form a permanent settlement, Shiwitina with a constantly expanding population, the first of its kind (Inter American temporary settlements; they worked to create a civilization rich with an airstrip, generators, radio and infirmary. These goods were purchased through external income from coffee production that continues today (Guss, 1989:18).These changes in lifestyle helped them defend against outside i ntrusion and adjust to the new requirements of These cases of evangelization transformed social life, including the establishment of new settlement patters and social organiza tion. Lauer (2006) believed that the necessity to understand the institutions and practices of the contemporary national political system of Venezuela became the newest mark of power and

PAGE 18

18 leadership. Nevertheless, speaking tribes that onc e dominated Venezuela, none have succeeded in maintaining their cultural identity as have the [ w ]ana (Guss 1989:15). Despite their differences, and political struggles, the ects everything made, Attas or ( Guss 1989:69). Other examples include canoes, conuco s (gardens), and baskets (Guss 1989:70). eaved criollo a non indigenous foreigner. y to counteract their effect on the visible world (i.e. hunting and harvesting). By weaving they can balance the negative effects (i.e. sickness and bad luck) caused by counterparts in the invisible world to restore balance. Shamanism and cultural heritage surrounding the religious belief that originated in the primordial mistake of attributing life, soul, or spirit to (Taylor 2006:78). They attribute a powerful life force akato to animate and inanimate objects, all of which make up the story of their people. However, this reality is shifting dramatically in the region. As with a number of indigenous groups throug hout Southern America,

PAGE 19

19 centers to access medicine, education and job opportunities (Pomeroy 2006). Additionally, illegal mining has affected all aspects of life in the communities including trade, sickness and government i remain strongly pronounced in their society, there is significant concern for the loss of cultural identity and diaspora because mercury contamination in their water causes them to leave their native land s for more healthy environs. Communities above Para Falls, such as Shiwitina are less affected by the mining; they can self sustain their communities without invasive interference from outside forces. Additionally, although goods gained by having mining communities in the area. people 2 h every major impact on their society and they continue to remain strong because of their ability to adapt. This paper is one of the very few documents that explores harvesting practices and commercialization of baskets in the upper Caura; previous work f ocuses mainly on the lower Caura. Little ecological research has been conducted above Para Falls because this physical barrier discourages access and the Venezuelan government deters outsiders from working there. 3 Published books and articles primarily foc us on Coppens, W 1981, Frechione 1985 ; Guss 1986, Guss 1989, Arvelo Jim enez et al. 1992, Knab Vispo 2003). 2 The president describe d many changes o f traditional ways and conclude d this is the adaptation they have made as a people through the centuries. It was not only specifically made about the mining issue but the people as a whole. 3 The work was accomplished by airplane travel.

PAGE 20

20 Study Plants This study explores the use of several tropical p lants for processing and weaving baskets of which at least one Heteropsis flexuosa (possibly two others) are in the genus Heteropsis (m inat). The other plant is Bignonia chica or Arrabidaea chica a cultivated plant whose leaves are dried and used to fo r dying m inat ; its local name is k iidayu 4 Heteropsis spp (Minat) Heteropsis spp are flowering plants in the family Araceae Minat are monocot hemi epiphytes that grow in humid, mois t, tropi cal environments ( Croat 1988:38 Hoffman 1997 Bown 2000:201 297 ). They are highly threatened, as they require specific habitat, cannot be farmed, lack any formal resource management plan and are greatly desired by furniture exporters as the "ratta n" decoration seen on many modern furniture pieces (Huber 2001 Knab Vispo 2003, Balczar Vargas and Andel 2005 Soares et al. 2009 ). maturation, grow leaves and drop new roots. I nitial stems are neither parasitic nor symbiotic; epiphytes simply live upon the host species (Putz and Holbrook 1989). Maturation is reported to take an average of 61 years, after which their primary climbing stem dies and beetle pollinated flowers and fr uits develop on horizontal branches (Hoffman 1997, Knab Vispo 2003) 4 Although specimens we re not collected in the field, k iidayu was identified through dedu ctive reasoning. ( Posey et al. 1984) Its identity was confirmed visually by comparing images taken from the field were with digital herbarium records from th e Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin Dahlem ( http://ww2.bgbm.org/herbarium/view_large.cfm?SpecimenPK=241&idThumb=166353&SpecimenSeque n z=1&loan=0 ).

PAGE 21

21 Minat are aroid e piphytes (Figure 1 4). This growth pattern protects from flooding and fire; they survive on nutrients given by air, water and arboreal animals ( Putz and Holbrook 1989) Unfortunately, their survival is threatened by lack of substantial nutrient sources and removal. Hemi epiphytes compensate for nutrient scarcity by producing secondary root(s) that conne ct to the ground. T hese roots provide greater water and nutrient sourc es for the plant ( Putz and Holbrook 1989 Knab Visp o 2003 ). Seventeen species of Heteropsis have been identified in and around the Amazon basin ( Plowden et al. 2003 Soares et al. 2009 basketry; to date only Heteropsis flex uosa has been recognized (Knab Vispo 2003, Rodr guez et al. 2008). Knab Heteropsis flexuosa in the lower Caura shows it survives best at least 800 meters away from a village, in mature forests, where occasional flooding occurs an d small amounts of light pierce through the highly flooded riparian environs (Knab Vispo 2003). They prefer host trees with a DBH above 20cm, especially those between 20 49cm (Knab Vispo 2003) Of all 90 host plants surveyed in Knab m inat was found to live on all species except, the giant herb, Phenalospermum guyannense (Zingiberales : Strelitziaceae) (Knab Vispo 2003). Kiidayu Kiidayu is a widely dist ributed climbing plant of tropical South America (Devia et al. 2002). Its local name is also written Carayuru and Karayu (Moser and Tayler 1963, Posey et al. 1984). Kiidayu is the best known dye used by indigenous cultures along the Orinoco (Gentry 1992). Moser and Tayler (1963) observed that tribes along the

PAGE 22

22 Piraparana and Apaporis rivers of south east Colombia used Bignonia chica to produce red and black dyes for face and body paint. women plant and cultivate k iidayu in their conucos and use it a s a dye for coloring m inat Unlike m inat k iidayu is abundant within the community and has a shorter life span. Processing f or Basketry Processing begins when h arvesters pull or cut secondary roots of m inat in harvesting locations (Figure 1 5). Seco ndary roots grow down from the primary root vigorously to release them from the primary plant; afterward, they cut the root from the ground and roll them into a loop. These r olls are taken home for processing. Locally, three types of m inat are used for basket weaving: Amamada, m inat yadad and m inat tukatojo. 5 Amamada acts as a frame for the inside of the baskets; it is thicker than other m inat types. Minat yadad ma kes up the outside strips of the basket, providing a frame. It is initially cut into one meter strips and subsequently roasted over a fire before being split and shaved (Figure 1 6). Minat tukatojo is the primary m inat s design and completes the outside of the basket (Figure 1 7). In order to create color ful designs, dried leaves from k iidayu are combined with the m inat tukatojo for dying before it is split and shaved (Figure 1 8). They are layered in a pot over open f lame with water and cooked approximately 20 60 minutes 5 This information was originally shared to me from members of ACOANA. It was confirmed through the The document, Proyecto Minat: Acciones pa ra un plan de manejo de Minat en el territorio tradicional Venezuela, was written by Bevilacqua, M., Medina, D., & Rodrguez, A. in 2008. Additionally, interviews and observations I accomplis hed in 2010, confirmed the three different classifications of minat

PAGE 23

23 per repetition. M inat is cooked once for the color red and 3 times for black (Figure 1 7). Commercialization of Baskets basketry is part of a larger cosmological context that interweaves and ( Pomeroy 2006). Weaved baskets made by men use symbolism to reinforce their cultural and spiritual story of creation. s and basketry. Their most important people, stole designs from the pockets of the great monkey shaman, Odosha, or the s. modified their traditional basketry for commercialization. Innovation came by way of Wwa decor market (Figure 1 9 ). Additionally, i nto the traditional Wwa baskets tourists in Playon, and the urban centers of Maripa and Cuidad Bolivar bought the bas seasonally (Figure 1 10) (Pomeroy 2006). Earthbound started working with the YEBP in 2001 to secure a market for ewa cooperative of Shiwitina and Kanwasumi of Boca De Nichare. Medewa is headed by

PAGE 24

24 leaders of a community two days up river from Playon above Salto Falls. 6 Kanwasumi is headed by the leaders of Boca de Nichare, which is closer to Maripa, a small urban tra ding post along the river. Through this work, a pricing structure, costs analysis and a business model were created and profit increased. 6 communal affairs (Figure 4 1). They have a very large central meeti ng house, Churuata (tt) where they conduct meetings for 2).

PAGE 25

25 Figure 1 1. Image of Shiwitina residents traveling in hand made canoes down river; translates as canoe people. Photo t aken October 21, 2010 at 5.48734 64.6604 (Photo courtesy of Erica Carlsson) Figure 1 2. Table Mesa, Tepui, Orinoco basin, Venezuela. Date photo taken January 1, 2006 in Bolivar, Venezuela (Photo courtesy of Laurie W ilkins).

PAGE 26

26 Figure 1 Shiwitina.

PAGE 27

27 Figure 1 4. Minat growth cycle, drawn by Kanwasumi women of Boca De Nichare, September, 2003. Permission granted for use by Wendy Townsend o f Earthbound.

PAGE 28

28 A B Figure 1 5. Series of harvesting and processing m inat A) harvesting, taken from Santa Maria chief pictured: Consuelo Garcia, B) y before returning to the village 10/2/2010, pictured: Medewa cooperative member (Photo s courtesy of Erica Carlsson).

PAGE 29

29 A B C D E F Figure 1 6. Series of processing m inat yadad. A) unprocessed yadad sticks taken roperty 10/2/2010, B) ya dad roasted after returning to v illage, taken in Shiwitina 10/5/2010, C) peeling the yadad, taken from Shiwitina 10/11/2010, pictured Miguelina Garcia, D)* Yadad after being died peeled and shaven, taken in Shiwitina 10/8/201 0, E) Lengthwise strips of yadad used to shape outside of basket taken from Shiwitina 10/11/2010, F) finished product, Wwa basket, made by Clara Garcia, taken 10/15/2010. *Shechajadu means shavings. (Photo s courtesy of Erica Carlsson).

PAGE 30

30 A B C D Figure 1 7. Series of harvesting and processing, minat tukatojo. A) unprocessed tukatojo roll taken from Santa Maria Cacique and red rolls of tukatojo drying, taken from Santa Maria 10/5/2010, C) whit e and red rolls (tukatojo) taken from Santa Maria 10/8/2010 and D) Using tukatojo to start basket, taken from Santa Maria 10/8/2010. (Photo s courtesy of Erica Carlsson).

PAGE 31

31 A B. B C. Fi gure 1 8. Series of processing kiidayu A) Image of k iidayu taken from Shiwitina 10/8/2 010. B) dried kiidayu C) Dried k iidayu layered around minat for cooking B) After being cooked, leaves are wet and minat is removed. (Photo s courtesy of Erica Carlsson).

PAGE 32

32 Figure 1 9. Innovation; from the traditional Wwa des ig n to the modified design made for the home dcor market Permission granted for use by Laurie Wilkins of Earthbound. Figure 1 10. Map drawn by Medewa participants of regions traveled to sell baskets Permission granted for use by Wendy Townsend of Ear thbound.

PAGE 33

33 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Latin American countries have utilized e xport led growth since the 1980 s to improve economic and humanitarian well being. The result of which has been significant losses for the environment, including deforestatio n and lack of bio diversity (Altieri and Masera 1993). NTFPs, non timber forest products, have suffered greatly; harvesting NTFPs has had a deleterious impact on tropical forests (Peters 1996). Arguments have been made that there is little ecological impac harvests generally yield less extraction that commercialization, gradual extinction over time is widespread and nearly undetectable (Peters 1996). Fair Trade and Sustainable Development are meant to answer these woes by giving back the power to producers of goods ( Mayoux 2001). Moreover, environmental conservation is stressed as a crucial aspect to any sustainable development plan (Strong 1997). Only recently have researchers and NGOs begun to define the condition s to achieve sustainability (Vos 2007). These conditions are different for each region and scenario; there is still yet no formalized criterion. Sustainable forest management goals have been partially met through the sale and export of NTFPs. As forests h ave diminished in the Amazon and demands have the environmental services, recreation and non timber products of forests have come to be appreciated as being equal to or more important than industrial timber and fib[er], particularly in develope Moreover, the literature publicizes commercialization of NTFPs as the ideal way to conserve forests whilst contributing to rural livelihoods ( Ticktin 2004, Balczar Vargas and Andel 2005 Belcher 2005 ).

PAGE 34

34 Although economic bene risk of exploitation. Heteropsis Southern America. Demand for the roots of Heteropsis has increased in Brazil, Guyana, Venezuela and Peru since asian p alm species supplies have been over harvested or suffered from de forestation (Whitehead and Godoy 1991, Plowden et al. 2003). Compounding the problem is that as with most NTFPs, only a few studies have attempted to understand the impact of harvest of Hete ropsis spp. Generally, rural communities who have lived for generations in forested areas acquire a deep understanding of their natural surroundings, which become part of Zent 1999 Berkes 2008 ). Ad based on seasonal preference, traditional management policies, and external factors such as essential economic needs for livelihood (Hamilton 2004). Knab Vispo (2003) observ minat is widespread. Similar to wildlife, common pool resources, such as minat are subject to ov er exploitation and misuse by individuals acting in their own self interests. They are pushed beyond the limits of sustainability and are therefore subject to congestion, depletion, or degradation (Randall 1983, Blomquist and Ostrom 1985). Schlager and Ost rom (1992) argue that communities who have rights of management and authority to determine how, when, and where harvesting may occur tend to develop responsible

PAGE 35

35 recently respond ed to resource depletion by initiating a management plan that meets cultural conservation as they integrate local habitats, harvesting habits, and cultural identity into m in at management. ( Rozzi et al. 2006, Rozzi et al. 2008)

PAGE 36

36 CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY Data Collection M ethods Primary research was conducted between September 29, 2010 and November 1, 2010 in the Caura River Basin, Venezuela. Due to the short field resea rch period and language barriers, ecological studies and written questionnaires were not considered. Therefore, data were collected using oral semi structured interviews, participatory mapping and participant observation. Additionally, sales records and no n profit reports were used for economic analysis and historical reference. Approval for research and contact with the community was achieved through the help of two organizations: US based and UF affiliated non profit, Earthbound and Venezuelan based, non profit La Asociacin Venezolana para la Conservacin de reas Naturales (ACOANA). Earthbound, the sponsoring organization has been 2001. Their history with the council accept my presence and increase confidence in my work. Ethnographic M ethods Following the approval of the research questions and instruments by The University of Florida IRB board, three data collection periods began 1 (Appen dix A ). They included preliminary, primary and follow up research. Preliminary I nterviews. Preliminary research was completed in the summer of Visiting cooperative leaders were i nterviewed to create a guideline for questioning once 1 The IRB approved only work with those over the age of 18.

PAGE 37

37 in the field (Figure 3 1). Their suggestions and insight assisted in the modification of language used during interviews to include use more colloquial terms. For example, although canasta is most comm only used in Spanish as the name for a basket, the cesta for all their baskets. Additionally they recommended hiring interpreters because only roughly 20% of the women cooperative members speak Spanish; the others sp 2 Prima ry I nterviews. The primary field data collection was conducted between September 29, 2010 and November 1, 2010 in and around the community of Shiwitina, Venezuela (Figure 3 2). The population of Shiwitina, the largest Venezuelan community, varies between 300 and 400 people Interviews revealed that about 90 families are officially connected to Shiwitina, but only 70 live there permanently, approximately 311 people. Preliminary contact with Tujumoto the male led Shiwitina organ ization which means community, was achieved through internet (Skype) via satellite and radio. A three day conference and workshop preceded the official interviews. This meeting outlined the new business agreements between Earthbound and the Shiwitina led cooperative, Medewa. Medewa met with the Earthbound in order to separate business affairs from the other cooperative, Kanwasumi 3 Business rules were negotiated and I was introduced as a geography student from the University of Florida, who sought to work with the basket project and to understand the ways in which they harvested m inat During this month, I interviewed and observed the harvesting methods of the target group, women 2 3 The leaders of their Kanwasumi have more access to resources, such as a storing space and a computer, to transport the baskets to the United States.

PAGE 38

38 basket artisans of the Medewa cooperative. A secondary group of those who i nfluence the cooperative business were also interviewed. cost of pursuing other economic activities and migration. Its membership fluctuates between 35 and 50 members depending o n these needs each year representing roughly 16% of the community. Inter views explored where, when, why and how m inat is harvested 4 In total, 37 interviews were conducted; representing roughly, the entire cooperative population, the enti harvesting, in family homes and during migration to and from the city along the river. Only 14 people interviewed spoke Spanish. Therefore, members of the community, such as the treasurer of the cooperative and o ne young gentleman volunteered to translate Although individual interviews were preferred, they were not always possible, as family members, especially women are seldom separated. Moreover, family members older than 18 answered questions on behalf of mino r children. Of the 37 interviews, 29 of these interviews w ere conducted individually, 6 of which were male adults and 22 female adults. One man was interviewed separately after interviewing the family and one was interviewed t o represent a family of 5 women. Of the seven group interviews 32 adults and 19 child weavers were represented; two were answered for or translated by their husbands and 5 were facilitated by a woman in the family. In total these interviews represen t 62 adults and 19 youth of the cooperative in the community, some of which were not present and therefore could not be 4 In the process of interviewing research questions were modified, inclu ding the addition of smi ley faces to indicate how much m inat w as present at each harvest site.

PAGE 39

39 interviewed separately. When referring to interviews we will refer to a population of total, 37 research units. Follow up I nterviews. F ollow up Interviews were conducted in July 2011 at the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market (SFIFM), New Mexico and January 2012 in Gainesville, FL. These interviews were more informal and required no translation as the cooperative leaders speak Spanish. Additionally, contact via the social networking site Facebook was helpful during the research process to verify facts. 5 Participatory M apping Previously, the harvesting areas of the community of Shiwitina were mapped in three different ways. Firstly, an international organization, Forest Peoples Program, worked with them to identify and geo reference conservation areas to protect their natural resources (Colchester et al. 2004). Secondly, the community cooperatively mapped their harvesting plots, some of which are family owned and managed, in 2007 at a workshop completed by Wendy Towndsend and Earthbound (Figure 3 3). These maps were used as a tool during the interview process to verify information collected in former years. Thirdly, in October of 2010, th e acting president of the community drew areas of m inat in which the community has proprietary access (Figure 3 4).These areas are also harvested by the Sanema, a less dominant and poorly documented indigenous group in the area. Participant O bservation Participant observation refers to living in a community and taking part in all of the daily routines such as cooking, gardening, hunting and taking care of the home (Martin, 5 Both cooperatives have access to internet in Cuidad Bolivar through representatives of their communities.

PAGE 40

40 2004:96). It is an anthropological method which is most frequently conducted over a lengthy period of time, usually several years. Although my research spanned only one month, living, traveling and harvesting minat with the women was a crucial part of understanding the influences on harvesting and production. Records Secondary inform ation was also vital to understanding the complex factors that influence harvesting and production. Information collected from the sponsoring Non governmental Organization, NGO included sales records and a number of workshops from previous years. These un published documents are called Memorias and will be referred to in this m anner throughout this document.

PAGE 41

41 Figure 3 1. Image xhibit at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens Photo taken August 1, 2010 at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, Gaine sville, FL (Photo s courtesy of Katie Schuler ).

PAGE 42

42 Figure 3 2. Arial image of Shiwitina. Photo taken September 29, 2010 above the community of Shiwitina (Photo courtesy of Laurie Wilkins )

PAGE 43

43 Figure 3 3. Participatory maps completed by Medewa Cooperative members, 2007. Permission granted for use by Wendy Townsend of Earthbound.

PAGE 44

44 Figure 3 4. Minat harvest areas, map crea October 21, 2010.

PAGE 45

45 CHAPTER 4 SOCIOCULTURAL FACTORS Introduction Sociocultural factors influence both ha rvesting and production in several ways. Migration to the city to obtain employment in nursing, education, computer training and administration result in a loss of forest knowledge. Additionally, gender is an important is male led, but this project is the only women led Furthermore, age is one of the most crucial factors. For example, since 2007 more Medewa weavers learned to weave both because of the monetary benefits and the desire to preserve their cultural identity. Additionally, what language one speaks is an indicator of what harvesting practices they employ and how much income is earned. This chapter will detail explore these factors in the context of the basket project. Effects of Migration throughout history is dependent not only on the deep spiritual connection with made objects, but also with which means outside forces. By separating fro been able to not only differentiate the important aspects needed to sustain their culture but also expel outside forces, such as colonizers and missionaries from affecting their greater purpose and spiritual ide ntity (Guss 1989 :69 ). Wanadi, will al ways provide minat One older woman interviewed said that Wanadi guarantees that minat will always exist. Yet, migration and illegal mining are rapidly changing these values. Only a few peop le mentioned Wanadi whilst discussing basket weaving. Moreover, knowledge of minat is less prevalent among the younger

PAGE 46

46 generation who live in the city than their relatives in the village This suggests that When asked where minat grows and Gender Gender is not the focus of this paper but i t is necessary to discuss within the context of this research. My research focuses on a female led cooperative, Medewa. ; they are the primary organizers and beneficiaries of income. In relation to harvesting and land possession, women have the upper hand. Historically, when a man marries, he leaves his childhood home and case of Shiwitina, this includes inheriting minat harvesting plots Their governing council is named Tujumoto In Shiwitina, where the Medewa cooperative is based, male leaders of Tujumoto represent the cooperative in the Un ited States male communal decisions dominated Medewa cooperative votes. However, with this one exception, the project is maintained by female leadership. Age Age influences how much minat is harvested, what types of baskets are produced, how many baske

PAGE 47

47 women start to weave at a very young age; many at age seven. My interviews were conducted only with adult weavers, who constitute the majority of the artisans who sell to the YEPB The minimum age of those interviewed was 19 and the maximum ~80 years old. The mean age of the population was 39. Similarly, the most frequent age reported was 38, total ing 8 participants (Figure 4 3 and Table 4 1). How Much Is H arvested? During a harvesting trip, 77 rolls o f minat were counted and compared to the ages of harvesters from a sample of 16 members. Women ages 31 40 harvested the greatest amount of minat ; ages 20 30 and 50 60 harvested the second greatest (Figure 4 4). Although women under the age of 10 and ab ove 71 weave baskets, they do not harvest; it is too hard for them to travel and harvest. Therefore, family members gift rolls to them. They also gift rolls to their family members in the city and those who pursue other economic activities in the village d 37 % of the population reported giving rolls to other family members. How Many B askets? Each business year for the YEBP starts in May after the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market. During the 2009 2010 season, wo men ages 41 50 produced the greatest number of baskets, 67% of all baskets made by Medewa weavers. By the 2010 2011 season, women ages 31 40 produced the greatest number of baskets, 29% of all baskets made by Medewa weavers. During the 2009 2010 season thi s same age group represented only 11% of all baskets made (Figure 4 5). The youngest and oldest cooperative members do not produce as many baskets as those ages 20 60. Yet, even though those younger than 30 and above 61 produced

PAGE 48

48 no baskets between 2009 a nd 2010, the next year, those under 20 and over 71 produced 7 baskets. Additionally, in 2011, one woman age 70 made 15 baskets. Moreover, younger women are weaving more since 2007. Yet, quality is decreasing This would indicate that the younger women are not as experienced as their elders; thus the quality is reduced. I believe that quality has reduced because older women, who are more skilled weavers often, encounter difficulty harvesting and weaving over the age of 60 and the younger women need more tim e to perfect their skills. Earned I ncome Total income is based on how much money each individual basket was sold in USD per weaver. The greatest income is earned by those who are middle aged. Women ages 41 50 made $ 1,881 USD between 2009 and 2011, represe nting 33.5% of all sales Those 31 40 earned 29.6%; and others, 51 60 made 14.4% (Table 4 3 and Figure 4 7). Language language is spoken by all members of the community. All the wo men interviewed were taught basic math and reading in primary school, however, very few needed to use these skills through adulthood. Conversely, the younger generation is taught both in the future. Today, Spanish is less frequently spoken, particularly by women, who have few opportunities for leadership positions and education. In my interviews, those that spoke 4 % of the population (Figure 4 8). Only 36% of those involved in the basket project spoke Spanish, including 7 men, who all spoke Spanish (Figure 4 8). Among the 32 women intervi ewed, only 23 % speak Spanish; the remaining

PAGE 49

49 77 9). Language also influences harvest frequency and income earned. Harvest F requency Spanish speakers have less knowledge of minat because they often migrate to and from urban areas, sometimes not returning for 5 years or more to their home community. if ever and only wait on average one year or more between harvests, whereas Spanish speakers harvest more frequently and never wait beyond a year. Effect on I ncome Al though 23 % of the women speak Spanish, only 5.5% of total Medewa basket income is produce d by this group (Figure 4 10). This is substantial as the literature typical shows that the intermediary earns more income than the producers (Carruthers 2001, Belcher 2005). In this case, nearly all profits earned after paying for the costs, such as air t ravel, shipping and other costs, all go back to a rotating fund. The only extra monetary incentive, besides in kind gifts, is an annual payment of 300 US $ for a cooperative representative who works for an entire week at the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market (SFIFM), setting up the booth, selling baskets and representing the cooperative. Although there is n o safeguard against the co operative president making have been reco rded. Furthermore, e ven if one includes the 300.00 US $ paid to the representative and takes an average of income based on language, still make more money on average than those who speak Spanish (Figure 4 11).

PAGE 50

50 Figure 4 1. Image of P layon, where the View from the Caura River. Picture taken October 23, 2010 at Playon (Photo courtesy of Erica Carlsson).

PAGE 51

51 Figure 4 2. Example of Churuata (tt) communal house where every essential activity of the community is conducted. Photo taken October 19, 2010 in Shiwitina (Photo courtesy of Erica Carlsson).

PAGE 52

52 Figure 4 3. Frequency of ages in population

PAGE 53

53 Figure 4 4. Harvesting trip; age vs. average amount of minat harvested, October, 2010

PAGE 54

54 Figure 4 5. Medewa baskets made 2009, sale versus age.

PAGE 55

55 Figure 4 6. Medewa baskets made 2010 2011, sale versus age.

PAGE 56

56 Figure 4 7. Percentage gross income 2009 2011 for Medewa vs. age

PAGE 57

57 Figure 4 8. Percent language spoken by interviewed participants.

PAGE 58

58 Figure 4 9. Percent language spoken by women interviewed participants

PAGE 59

59 Figure 4 10. Sum total income earned (USD) for women based on language.

PAGE 60

60 Figure 4 11. Mean total income earned (USD) for wom en based on language, including cooperative representative earne d income.

PAGE 61

61 Table 4 1. Descriptive Statistics of Ages of Medewa Cooperative Members Statistic Std. Error Age Mean 39.9722 2.28747 5% Trimmed Mean 39.0864 Median 37.0000 Variance 188.371 Std. Deviation 13.72482 Minimum 19.00 Maximum 80.0 0 Range 61.00 Interquartile Range 18.75 Skewness 1.018 .393 Kurtosis .942 .768 Table 4 2. Quantities of b askets sold compared to age of Medewa harvesters for 2009 season Age Sum Percentage <20 0 0 20 30 0 0 31 40 4 11.1111111 41 50 24 66 .6666667 51 60 8 22.2222222 61 70 0 0 71 80 0 0 Total 36 100

PAGE 62

62 Table 4 3. Mede wa Gross Income earned in 2009 & 2011 compared with age Age Sum Percentage <20 78 1.3 9 20 30 551.45 9.8 0 31 40 1664 29.58 41 50 1881.5 33.45 51 60 808.8 14.3 8 61 70 531 9.44 71 80 109.8 1.95 Total 5624.55 100

PAGE 63

63 CHAPTER 5 SUSTAINABLE RESOUCE RULES General F indings The community of Shiwitina and Medewa cooperative developed a set of guidelines to provide for a future sustainable harvest of minat use and commercialization. This marks a transition from migratory harvesting methods to community forest management. In practice, these guidelines are not followed precisely. This section will explore how harvesting methods and new adaptions influence harvesti ng and production. Ancestral Harvesting M ethods From interviews, the local harvesters explained their ancestral lifestyles and techniques in this way; they harvest as they move, do not take every root from the plant and after a day of hard work they eat a nd sleep together in a house they make, named the Churuata ( tt) (Figure 4 2). After settling in Shiwitina they were not migrating as often as before and therefore harvested more frequently near their established communities. At the turn of the 21 st cen tury residents noticed that they had to travel farther away from the community to find minat Accordingly, each community responded and adapted to these changes different ly Conservation H istory The village of Boca De Nichare and the cooperative Kan wasu mi responded to minat scarcity by coordinating with Earthbound to Boca de Nichare created community plots that were chosen to be harveste d at different intervals in one growing season to assess how harvesting affects the growth of m inat

PAGE 64

64 roots 1 linear combination of harvesting practice (frequency), diameter, tr ee height, number of tree diameter. Additionally, harvesting practice, the primary independent variable, resulted in a non significant addition of .08 aerial roots. Po Knab Vispo (2003) discovered that tree diameter is a considerable factor in explaining Heteropsis spp. d ensity. Density is an important factor in determining which m inat is suitable for harvesting. Interviews in 2010 reported that very small, immature roots are not ideal for basket weaving; they need more time to thicken before they are processed. Knab Vi spo (2003) explored the variables that could explain Heteropsis spp. characteristics as well as flooding on density of Heteropsis Vispo 2003). Their independen t variables included, concentration of exchangeable potassium, depth of fine root mat (cm), species richness of host trees over 10cm DBH, density of small host species, and maximum flooding depth. That a .05 confidence interval species richness of host s pecies i s greater than 10cm DBH was the most statistically significant variable to explain density of m inat Both Kanwasumi and Knab that larger tree hosts are statistically significant fa ctors in the growth of m inat Knab reports that the presence or absence of m inat do es not seem to be modified 1 This work was completed by Earthbound and Wendy T ownsend. The results are recorded in unpublished documents named Memorias from 2006. This project was conducted with Kanwasumi cooperative.

PAGE 65

65 harvesting techniques. Parasitic moth larvae, a natural harvest control, deform the roots, making it unsuitable for basket weaving and greatly reducing t he impact of harvesting (Knab Vispo 2003). Resource Depletion Reports of overharvesting are present and increasing in the region. Knab Vispo (2003) reported that Heteropsis spp. found in mature terra firme forests nearby a se as those further away. Overharvesting and fire are cited as possible anthropogenic reasons for this difference in density. Farther south, above the falls in Shiwitina, weavers report less m inat abundance surrounding the community than before (Figure 5 4) To exp lore the reasons for this scarcity, Earthbound conducted 41 interviews with Medewa participants in 2007 2 Fifty one percent confirmed that there is less m inat than before. The mean time to travel and harvest was 1.6 hours. Interviews in 2010 reported the mean time to travel and harvest increased to 2.9 hours, an increase of 1.3 hours According to interviews, o verharvesting is the cause of this increase Although growth rate of Heteropsis spp. in the region is needed to understand scarcity, my interviews examine equally important aspects: common practices and spatial distributions of participants harvesting practices This will help integrate ecological observations wi th reported use in the region and better understand harvesting techniques and their infl uences. 2 These interviews were conducted in a group setting by Wend Townsend in 2007 in Shiwitinna.

PAGE 66

66 Resource R ules After 2002, Shiwitina developed new conservation strategies. They established three p rimary community resource goals: control of the harvest of m inat for home building control of the harvest of m inat for basket production and manage ment of slash and b urn a gricultural p lots. 3 Previously m inat growth sites were communally managed, but after 2002 they were separated into maternal family divisions In order to control basket production th ey encourage each weaver to harvest only every three years at their family plots. The Cacique the name for a tribal chief, explained that they integrated criollo knowledge with their own to come up with this decision. The remaining parts of this chapter will explore weavers reports (2010) of wh ere they harvest, how they harvest, how much m inat is available for harvest, how frequently they harvest and how many years it take s to develop. Where and W hen Do They H arvest Sixty one percent of weavers interviewed harvest in family plots. These fami ly plots are not uniform ; their size depends on family status within the community Roughly 14% reported that they harvest around their conuco s near the community. The other 25% report ed various responses: simply harvesting alongside nearby conuco s in hi gher altitudes, where there is an abundance of m inat and far away (Figure 5 1). M any do not travel to their assigned plots to harvest due to lack of time. Instead, they harvest nearby the community sometimes to the detriment of the plant During intervie ws, weavers reported how often they harvest at their family pl ots and how often they harvest 3 Slash and burn plot s are located adjacent to m inat harvesting sites.

PAGE 67

67 at sites closer to the community. Results indicated that they harvest more frequently in areas near the community. Common Practices: Minat Harvesting Q ualities During interviews, I inquired how they chose which m inat roots to harvest. They reported that they only take those which are hard enough, old enough and have the right color (Figure 5 2). Table 5 1 expressed all of their responses grouped into themes. Th e most common response s are themed s ustainable management practices. They include species abundance, distance from community and time to harvest ; this theme accounted for 54% of the population. The second most important factor was the appearance, i.e. qual ity for basket w eaving, which include color of the root (yellow or green), strength thickness of vine and whether or not there were notches on the roots. unsuitable for basket we aving, thus providing a natural control for the harvest. In fact, 28 % reported this factor as important. Additionally, 13% of the population cited maturation of the root as an important factor. Further they explained how many could be taken from each plan t. Answers varied, but all agreed that depleting the entire root structure would result in the death of the plant They reported that you can take 2 from 5, or 2 from 3 but only if the plant is ready. The Cacique of the village explained how they harvest in this way: when there is a lot of m inat to begin with they can harvest there. They harvest them where the roots fall into the ground If there is a lot of m inat one can take 4 or 5 from each plant If there are not many one can take only 1 or 2 I f there is one left a waiting period of a year is needed before returning to harvest According to the Cacique t he plant nee ds at least 5 roots to survive and when the tree is dead all roots can be harvested

PAGE 68

68 ana harvesters do not take all m inat roots of the plant. Yet, interviews indicate that some plots are over harvested. Harvesting T rip. On October 22 2010, 17 women in the Medewa cooperative traveled to the Cacique family land to harvest m inat Thi s land contains between 75 and 150 hectares of forest suitable for m inat harvest. They arrived by boat and swiftly walked up a large hill, passing a very large conuco cleared for growing food in higher elevations. The women separated into approximately 5 groups and fanned out into different regions of the forest; each covered ~ 15 hectares of land in elevations between 400 and 500 meters and harvested around 5 hours with little rest. They traveled very swiftly and communicated over long distances with a s eries of hoots. They knew the forest without the modern benefits of maps or GPS units and very e asily navigated through an area w hich would confound an outsider immediately Whilst harvesting I witnessed a variety of decisions made by weavers in the fiel d. The majority of time only half of the m inat root structure was removed. Yet, several times I could only visibly see one root left attached to the ground. Although, literature ll harvest all the m inat from the host. In fact during this journey, one tree was fallen and every woman in my group harvested every last m inat from the tree. How Much Minat I s Located at Harvesting P lots? Weavers used their previously drawn map of harvesting plots to locate harvesting locations in addition to answering questions on m inat abundance. They reported on a likert scale from 1 to 5 how as to how much m inat is located on their plots (relative abundance ). For those who had trouble unders tanding the likert scale via numbers smiley faces were used. However this alternative was not quite successful. In the end,

PAGE 69

69 each weav er responded in these four ways: they either reported there was not enough (1), enough (3), more than enough (4) or a gre at abundance (5). They were asked the abundance each type of m inat at their plot s Tukatojo used to weave the baskets was the most commonly referenced type More detailed information can be found in Figure 5 3. Thirty two weavers reported how much tuka tojo was available in their plots. Forty seven percent of the population reported that there was just enough (3). Twenty eight percent reported that there was a great abundance (5). In total 88 % indicated that there was enough or more than enough tukatojo in their family plots. O nly 13 % indicated that there was not enough tukatojo to harvest. Figure 4 4 uses mode to report the distance traveled to harvesting plots of all th ree types of m inat and how that relate s to abundance of the resource. Distance/tim e reported by weavers includes time travelling by canoe without and with moto r and time traveled walking, in minutes Our general findings support the literature that shows the over harvesting will occur close to the community and more of the resource will survive farther away (Knab Vispo 2003). Weavers reported 17 plots reserved for harvest ing One of which includes 3 total plots, owned by one family; i n total, weavers harvest in 19 separate plots Ten plots, 52%, are in areas greater than 5 hours away f rom Shiwitina. In these plots, weavers reported mode m inat abundance between 3 and 5 on the likert scale, representing general abundance. Nine plots, 48% are located within 5 hours from the community; they do not have enough m inat (1). This report ad ds to the evidence that overharvesting occurs nearest to a community. In my research, time wa s the most

PAGE 70

70 considerable factor as harvesters ref er to distance in this way; t heir per ceived distance, in time, a ffect s where they choose to harvest. Figure 4 5 map s these regions for clearer interpretation. Although approximately 50% of the plots lack enough m inat this figure is a bit misleading. Many of those plots are no longer harvested. Weavers explained they did not understand how greatly they were affected throughout generations of harvesting. They reported that 87% of the plots they do currently harvest still contain an abundance of m inat These plots are mostly family plots, which they have divided for better management. Those plots with little m inat were explained by two major themes, theft and over harvesting. Figure 5 5 shows one region in red where theft has left a family without m inat This family explained that the last time they went to harvest it was all gone and so therefore they had to trav el with Medewa to harvest at the Cacique prope rty, which has a great deal of m inat The president of the community then later explained that the stolen plot is on a major traveling route and that is why it wa s stolen. Another plot (marked in blue) in Figure 5 5, lacked sufficient m inat because their family explained that they had too many people harvesting in their plot. As this case shows, t he n umber of harvesters the lower the abundance of m inat Harvesti ng Frequency Weavers also explained how harvesting frequency affects their plots. Their desire to conserve their resource for basket weaving has influenced their decisions about how frequent t hey choose to harvest. Pomeroy (2006), reports that frequency o f harvest does not explain aerial root growth. Nonetheless, weavers in this community do engage in management based on harvesting frequency. On e family reported that they wait one

PAGE 71

71 year to go back to their plot so that it may grow back. Furthermore, followi ng the cooperative decided not to harvest in the largest plot of m inat more than once every three years Although weavers expressed interest in conserving m inat when asked how often they harvest the most common answer was o nce a year (50% of the population), with the second most common answer being twice year (Figure 5 6). Very few report they only harvest once every three years. This is could be partial ly be explain by the fact that they were answering how often they harves t and were not location specific with all their answers. Additionally, weavers harvest less frequently in plots farther from the community and more frequently in nearby plots. Root D evelopment Hoffman (1997) discovered that m inat takes on average 60 year s to develop from a seed. Interviews inquired as to how long weavers believe it takes for the roots to develop. Roughly 80% of the weavers reported that it takes 3 years for the root to develop (Figure 5 7) Although, no growth rates of m inat have been recorded in th e upper Caura, the Cacique explained that how much it can grow depends on the season; he observed that it grows more quickly during the rainy season. There is a gap between how often they harvest and how long it takes to develop. Twenty percent think m in at takes less than 3 years to grow. These weavers represent the lower and higher end of the age spectrum, ages 28, 32 and 60. Most middle aged harvesters, who are the greatest producers, report the roots take 3 years to develop. The majority reported that they harvest in their plots once a year; they also reported that it takes 3 years for them to grow. This may be accounted for by the fact that they do not

PAGE 72

72 harvest in the same spot they did previously, but it still begs the question, is this gap the cause of their over harvesting?

PAGE 73

73 Figure 5 1. Harvest locations.

PAGE 74

74 Figure 5 2. Good (left) vs. Bad (right) m inat for harvesting. Photo taken October 17, 2010 at Shiwitina (Photo courtesy of Erica Carlsson).

PAGE 75

75 Figure 5 3. Relative Abundance of m inat (Lik ert scale (1 5) )

PAGE 76

76 Figure 5 4. Distance/Time traveled vs. Reported Abundance

PAGE 77

77 Figure 5 5. Map of harvesting plots and relative abundance of m inat For preliminary map permission was granted for use by Wendy Townsend of Earthbound.

PAGE 78

78 Figure 5 6. Harve st frequency

PAGE 79

79 Figure 5 7. Reported years for root development for harvest.

PAGE 80

80 Table 5 1. How d o you choose what to harvest? Description Frequency Percentage Sustainable Management (abundance, distance and time) 21 54% Appearance (color, how hard, no bulbs on root) 11 28% Time wait until ready or hard 5 13% Other 2 5% n=39

PAGE 81

81 CHAPTER 6 MARKETING IMPACT General Findings demands for assets with which the poor are end Pomeroy (2006), uncovered that this strategy was useful within Venezuela ; the farther away the baskets were sold from the point of purchase, th e more income was earned. Additionally, in 2006, new international markets, such as the Sundance catalog and Santa Fe International Folk Art Market (SFIFM) amplified demand, allowing private buyers and museum cur ators in Venezuela since 2009 has increased, doubling 1). Among other factors, these shifts in the market influenced both harvesting of m inat and production of baskets. This chapter will uncover thes e influences. History: Pricing and Costs Pricing the baskets has been a multifaceted yet simple process. Customarily, cooperative members price the baskets together and collate a list to bring to the SFIFM. First, they measure the basket's size. Size (cm t all) is measured first across the mouth of the basket, along the side and then down to the middle part of the bottom of the basket (Figure 6 1). Afterward, they assign the baskets a quality ranking. Two different

PAGE 82

82 weaves of baskets are ranked: two point and one point. Two point baskets are most commonly weaved as they use less m inat ; their quality is ranked from highest to lowest (1+ to 4) (Table 6 2 ). In contrast, one point baskets are finer and most often received the highest quality rating, unless the b asket was poorly designed. Based on the year, each quality is assigned a dollar amount per centimeter tall (Table 6 2). The final price. Production and Transportatio n Costs Although the weavers did not pay for the weaving and dying materials used, they did incur costs for producing the baskets. These include labor, transportation, materials and food. In this example, costs are calculated based on transporting three hu ndred, 28 cm tall baskets from Shiwitina to Cuidad Bolivar. Labor C osts. Labor activities include: harvesting m inat and k iidayu, processing and dying m inat and weaving the basket. The only monetary cost incurred during this part of production is the income spent on gasoline to travel to harvest ( Table 6 5). Yet, there is also that matter of the labor hours worked to produce these baskets... Between 2002 and 2010 a difference of 5 hours to the total labor hours 1 was added, totaling 51 work hours. This change is primarily due to the fact that m inat reserves are much farther away to access than each year previous since 2001. Of all these activities, weaving was by far the lengthiest activity reported, total ing 30 hours of work. Although, it is important to note weaving is not usually completed in one 1 Although some women collected more than the material needed to weave a 28cm basket in 2010 Medewa harvesting trip, not all did. Additionally, the majority of the lot harvested m inat in 2010 at this ha rvesting location. Therefore I chose to use this figure for time traveled to harvest, because it adequately represents the distance that one may travel to get only enough material to harvest one basket

PAGE 83

83 sitting. Other economic activities such as farming occur throughout a given day. However, for most women in the community, weaving is the only source of external income. Therefore, they take the time out of their busy schedules to weave. Transportation C osts. Transporting Wwa baskets from Shiwitina to Cuidad Bolivar is a complicated and costly task that requires a great deal of coordination and planning. Transportation costs include among others gasoline a nd oil for outboard motors and arranging for Sanema porters to carry the bags of baskets and barrels of gasoline ove r Para falls (Table 6 4 ). The first, but separate transportation cost is the amount spent on gasoline to harvest the m inat (Table 6 5). In 2002 these costs totaled 246 US $ for 300 baskets or 0.82 US $ for one 28cm basket. These prices were high; consequentially, starting in 2005, all cooperatives selling to Earthbound worked together to transport the baskets to the U.S. via Cuidad Bolivar (Figure 6 2) Without this cooperation, the trip down river from Shiwitina to Maripa can take up to 7 days to arrive and 11 to return and costs were split between communities. In this model, weavers from above the falls were expected to transport the baskets to Boca De Nic h are where Kanwasumi would pay .05 US $ more per cm them and ship the baskets to the U.S. Although this worked for a few years, eventually Medewa felt they did not benefit as much financially as they would like. Therefore, in 2010, the community of Sh iwitina started an independent relationship separate from the other communities. Subsequently, Medewa increased their prices from 0.24 US $ to an average of 0.29 US $ per basket and incurred their own shipping costs. These costs more than doubled since sh ipping

PAGE 84

84 began in 2002 2 Other costs include packing costs and food costs for those transporting the goods. Overall, tota l production costs increased 22 % from 2002 to 2010 (Table 6 3). Influences Several factors influence the harvesting of m inat and pro duction of baskets. First I will discuss demand as an influence on production. Then I will discuss how profit and time influence harvesting. Lastly, I will explain how gold is threatening this project ty. Demand In 2006, the YEBP was accepted to the prestigious Santa Fe International Folk Art Market. The mission of this entrepreneurial 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization is to their SFIFM empowers over 180 master artists yearly, from over 50 countries, to share their art and improve their livelihood. Participation in the event builds demand and ey to cover overhead, pay basket weavers upfront and make a small profit; these acts as a rotating fund to subsequently purchase new baskets. Throughout the years types of baskets purchased by consumers have been pretty consistent; they like tight designs and smaller baskets (less than 100cm). Each year the cooperative leader comes back with a more refined list of which baskets sell best. For example, in 2010, Earthbound suggested that no more traditional style to be weaved because they are not selling wel l. These preferences shape the art of weaving. 2 Between 2002 and 2010 total transportation costs from Shiwitina nearly doubled from 246 US $ to 450 US $ for a shipment of 300 baskets to Cuidad Bolivar (Figure 6 4 ).

PAGE 85

85 Women say they weave because it is a necessity for income generation. In fact, t hey weave more Wwa baskets for commercialization than for use. That means for those women who sell to the cooperative, the desig ns and styles woven into the majority of their baskets are influenced by consumer preference 3 In order to make an income, they will accommodate their styles for commercialization. From 2002 to 2010, pr ices changed little, averaging 0.22 US $ per cm. All of a sudden new interest in Venezuela increased value. In fact, prices changed twice in the first half of 2012. Asking prices in January of 2012 were an average of 0.44 US $ per cm. By April, the price jumped to an averag e of 0.58 US $ per cm (Table 6 1 ). This increase more than doubles the revenues gained by basket producers. Distance, Time and Profit In 2002 it took 45.5 hours to finish a 28cm basket; in 2010 that same basket took 50.5 hours to produce (Table 6 3). This difference is a function of distance. The data m inat In 2002, they only needed to travel 5 hours to travel and harvest m inat Although 9 hours was recorded in 2 example, it is not the only time weavers take to harvest. I specifically witnessed one woman returning from a hard day of work in a conuco near the village; she removed the last m inat root hanging from a tree along the path without much concern. In this case, it took her a total of 4.5 hours to travel to the site, harvest the m inat and return 4 The profit earned remained the same, 5.56 US $ (Table 6 6). Yet, this time the basket took 3 The majority of women weavers in Shiwitina sell their baskets. 4 This figure was made by subtracting the 4.5 hours spent to weed the conuco.

PAGE 86

86 only 45.5 hours in total to produce. In other words, the opportu nity cost of harvesting father away from the village is the time gained to finish other economic activities. Moreover, the amount of money earned per hours increased to 0.17 US $ per hour. T he less time it takes to harvest and weave, the greater the econom ic return for the individual basket weaver. This could account for some women who harvest more haphazardly on lands closer to the community without regard for harvesting less than Although, the economic benefit of harvesting nea rer the community is greater than father away, those interviewed expressed great interest in conserving thei r resources. During an interview with the president of the community, he explained that Shiwitina has the experience with overharvesting He clarif ied that since they are successful at managing their m inat by assigning familial plots for harvesting that they are responsible to teach other communities to do the same. In this case, overharvest is also a function of conservation. If they continue to h arvest close by the community, as history shows they will have to travel even farther to harvest. As it stands, they are already facing critical destruction of m inat around the community. Therefore, the are anxious to employ new ways to reduce the cost s incurred in harvest ing and producing baskets for future generations. Gold [ God [ w ]ana use, but [that] it should be taken with great car e and parsimony. People can only extract a little at a time, when they need to buy something, for greed infuriates [ Today faced with this greed on a daily basis. Since, 2006, illegal alluvial mining operations

PAGE 87

87 hav e stripped the soil and poisoned the water of the Caura River Basin. These miners came by way of Brazil, where increased enforcement against encroachment on indigenous lands forced them out of the country and into other nations. In addition, the value of g old jumped from 279 US $ per ounce in 2000 to 603 US $ per ounce in 2006, making even the hardest to reach gold in the Guiana shield desirable for mining (Figure 6 3) Interviews revealed that diseases such as malaria, cancer and whooping cough spread s river anymore for fear of toxic exposure. They only fish in canyons, which drain fr om rainfall in the mountains. The Chavez led, Project Caura that started April of 2010, sent successful at stopping some operations, the mining continues. At times, all of the energy in the region is focused on tackling this issue. For example, during my visit in October, 2010, Playon had been occupied by military and government aid workers that c ame to give medical in the fight against the mining. This increased population near Playon led to environmental destruction. The community of Shiwitina, who brought around 150 people to Playon had to cut down the trees above the falls to make temporary dwellings. Whereas before, coconut and orange trees were abundant for harvest in Playon, none were to be found. The streams for which they traditionally bathe were overpopu lated and full of a milky film. Additionally, there was not enough food for

PAGE 88

88 everyone; their conucos were far away and there were too many mouths to feed. These Venezuelan culture and defend their territory. Interviews also address the fact that there is a huge opportunity cost associated with gold mining. The opportunity cost of one ounce of gold sold in the world market in October 2010 1 is fifty four, 28 cm, Wwa baskets sold a t 24 US $ a piece at the SFIFM. This represents 112.5 days of labor, not counting transportation costs. In 2010, weaving because they are working to prevent the mining. For example, they are they have left to live in Maripa or Cuidad Bolivar. Gold mining influences the decisions of basket producers. It reduces the opportunity for earning in come from basket weaving through deforestation, disease and reduction of available work time. Profit A nalysis There are two parts of profit generation for these cooperatives. First, weavers earn an individual profit when they are paid by cooperative lead ers for their baskets (Table 6 6). The second profit is made after operating costs have been paid from the money earned at the SFIFM. In 2011, a total of 310 were sold, grossing 9,895.00 US $ (T able 6 7 ) The costs for participation in the fait and transporting the ba skets to the United States totaled approximately 7850.57 US $. Additional costs included, 300 US $ paid to the cooperative representative for her work at the festival and 600 US $ given to 1 Prices in October averaged 1,300 US $ per ounce. Source: http://silver and gold prices.goldprice.org/2010_10_01_archive.html

PAGE 89

89 the cooperative to apply to the rotating fund to buy more baskets. The remaining 1,144.43 US $ was used to pay debts or purchase more baskets. Overall return by the business is affected by the way in which baskets are priced for sale at the SFIFM The YEBP balances the desire to sell all baskets during this three day eve nt and the desire to make a good return on each individual basket. The rule in retail is to price at least 3 times the cost to purchase the baskets. In 2011, Earthbound priced the baskets a bit lower than previous years and consigned the rest that were not sold so that they would not have to ship baskets back to Venezuela. These strategies helped insure the success of their business at the SFIFM.

PAGE 90

90 Figure 6 1. Method for measuring the Wwa basket Photo taken October 20, 2010 in Shiwitina. (Photo court esy of Erica Carlsson).

PAGE 91

91 Figure 6 2 Payment model Permission granted for use by Wendy Townsend of Earthbound.

PAGE 92

92 Figure 6 3 Price per ounce of gold in US $ from 2000 2011. Taken from: http://www.nma.org/pdf/gold/his_gold_prices.pdf

PAGE 93

93 Table 6 1. Average price (US $) paid to artisan for baskets Year Cooperative Price per cm Price per one 28cm basket US $ US $ 12 Apr k ws 0.58 16.24 12 Jan k ws 0.44 12.23 2010 m ed 0.23 6.44 2005 k ws & med 0.20 5.60 2002 kws & med 0.24 6.72 kws : Kanwasumi cooperative; med : Medewa cooperative Table 6 2. Earthbound basket pricing matrix (2010) Quality Price (US $) per cm Price (US $) paid to artisan per one 28cm basket 1+ 0.36 10.08 1 0.34 9.52 2 0.24 6.72 3 0.27 7.56 4 0.22 6.16 *cm x price per cm= basket price US $ ; price = quality Table 6 3. Comparison of 2002 and 2010 Labor costs in hou rs to produce one 28cm Wwa basket. Materials 2002 2010 Harvesting time (including travel) 5 9 Ga ther k iidayu for dying 3 3 Process m inat 5.5 5.5 Dye m inat 2 3 Weave basket 30 30 Total 45.5 50.5

PAGE 94

94 Table 6 4. Shiwitina transportation costs (300 baskets) 2002 versus 2010 (US $) 2002 2010 RT Santa Maria Maripa Shipping costs (including cos ts for boat, motorist and oil) 78 134 Maripa to Cuidad Bolivar taxi, bus, excess luggage 25 101 spark plugs 7 36 Porter costs over waterfall 137 179.1 3 Total 246 450 US $ Conversio n 2002, .00091, US conversion 2010, .00024 taken from El Banco Central De Venezuela at: http://www.bcv.org.ve/cuadros/2/212a.asp?id=145 Table 6 5. 2002 Costs per 28cm basket in shipment of 300. 2002 2010 Materials Work hours Costs US $ Work hours Co sts US $ Labor costs 48.5 0.69 50.5 0.83 Transporting baskets 7 days 0.2 0.82 0.2 1.5 Packing Materials 0.04 0.02 0.04 0.03 Food costs in C. Bolvar null 0.06 null 0.11 Total costs 49 1.59 51 2.5 *Translated and adopted from unpublished non profit document (2002), El Playon, Rio Caura, Venezuela, Wendy R. Townsend Total time for baskets to be transported and shipped (labor) is divided by the number of baskets 300 to get costs

PAGE 95

95 Table 6 6 Price earned per hour for Wwa basket (28cm); pre shipment rate Wwa basket (28cm) Price earned Cost Hours worked Profit Price earned per hour 2002 6.62 1.59 49 5.03 0.1 2010 8.06 2.5 51 5.56 0.11 2012 19.32 ~2.5 51 16.82 0.33 *Translated and adopted from unpublished non profit document (2002), El Playon, R io Caura, Venezuela, Wendy R. Townsend US Conversion 2002, .00091, us conversion 2010, .00024, 2012 .00023 (add cost) taken from El Banco Central De Venezuela at: http://www.bcv.org.ve/cuad ros/2/212a.asp?id=145

PAGE 96

96 Table 6 7 2011 profit analysis from basket sales at Santa Fe Folk Art Market Income Earned USD Gross 9,895.00 Total costs 8,750.57 Profit 1,144.43 Total costs US 7,059.57 ~ Amount paid for baskets 2,700 Cost of booth and fixtures 500 Earthbound travel to SFIF 800 Air: Caracas to Santa Fe 1000 Per diem x 6 days 326 Hotel(s) X 6 days 705 Airport shuttle (x3) 120 Caracas trip to collect baskets 458.57 Costs of shipping baskets 450 Total costs Vene zuela 791 Airfare 59 Lodging 52 Excess baggage and taxes 134 Food 50 Taxis and buses: Maripa, Caracas & Cuidad Bolvar 83 Misc. cash 100 Basket transportation costs: Shiwitina to Maripa 313 Other costs 900 Annual pay for representative 300 Rotating fund 600 *total number purchased by Medewa 310; total m inat 15,663cm; total sold: 209; consigned: 28

PAGE 97

97 CHAPTER 7 DISCUSSION, CONCLUSION S AND RECOMMENDATIONS In an effort to reveal the influences on the harvesting of m inat and the pro duction of baskets for commercialization by the Medewa cooperative of Shiwitina, Venezuela, I conducted 37 semi structured interviews with weavers. My key findings reveal a n umber of compelling influences First ly age influences both harvesting and prod uction. The most successful harvesters and producers ar e middle aged Similar l iterature around the world re ports that the middle aged cohort are the most active non timber forest product, NTFP producers ( Egbule 2005, Cocks 2011, Walsh 2011) Secondly, al though the market price for baskets has increased 1 w eavers are willing to sell at a lower price to Medewa because they trade baskets for beads. The literature confirms that t he closer a trade takes place to the informal economy end of the continuum 2 the more likely it is to be motivated by the desire to satisfy a finite, iden tified need Trading beads for baskets satiates a valuable finite need, fine materials (beads) that may be made into jewelry for ceremonial events sacred t Thirdly, o utside NGOs have had an impact on harvesting practices and management adaptations. Mainly, 1 Market price has increased due to new marke ts. 2 Shanley and Pierce (2002) describe a continuum of motivational factors in informal and formal economies for gathers/producers of NTFPs. In the informal economy, barter or trade is most common. Motivators include satisfactions of needs; regulators ar e social structures and networks. The formal market economy involves sales to a middle man. The motivators involved in this transaction include maximization of the utility of scare needs; the regulators are market forces or the state.

PAGE 98

98 workshops 3 conducted in 2007, harvesters reported and were observed to harvest a general ratio of 5 0% of secondary roots present 4 on any given m inat plant. They also wait ed three years before harvesting in the Medewa plot harvested in 2007 at the Cacique This is an interesting decision they made that does not reflect precisely the literature management recommendations, but does adapt criollo knowledge into their own. The Cacique explained that they welcome integration, but that they ultimately have the control over their resources. This reflects the Kuyujani Originario program that began 1993 education and land demarcation ( Arvelo Jimnez 2004:41 ). These three findings help us to better understand the variety of influences that impact harvesting of m inat for co mmercia lization who sell to the YEBP are most likely to be middle aged, desire beads for ceremonial purposes and influenced by communal resource management decisions that are informed by workshops conducted by NGOs. Foster (1965) in his theory of limited good explains that one person who benefits more than others financially, in a given community creates an in structure and so they will not seek out the extra income for fear of taking what rightfully belon gs to their neighbor. Other l iterature shows that an increase in price may actually decrease harv esting because harvesters are mainly looking for resources for a particular goal ; once that goal is met they no longer seek out that money (Shanley et al. 3 In 2007, Earthbound conducted resource manage ment training that communicated the need to harvest no more than 50% of the secondary roots of m inat and the need to modify harvesting frequency and location in order to maintain the survival of m inat. 4 Unfortunately this do es not account for other persons harvesting the same plant or how many roots originally grew from the mature flower.

PAGE 99

99 200 2: 231 ). These opposing theories make it hard to understand the entire situation. Yet, i n the Medewa cooperative, those that seek beads for payment represent about half of the population; the others desire cash to purchase goods. Although paying less for th e baskets by cooperative leaders through beads could be perceived as predatory, in this case it is necessary for sustained functionality of the business. If every basket in 2010 was worth what is was in 2012 the cost the cooperative incurred to buy the bas kets for resale in the US would more than double, the cooperative would make no profit, be in debt and have no money to buy more baskets. Trading baskets for beads would reduce the total cost incurred by the cooperative to buy baskets and it could reduce t he impact on the resource. Although the picture is clearer, it is important to note that not all outside NGOs or Historically, the have had conflicting relations with outside organizations The know ledge brought into their world through evangelization led to a separation of belief structures (Shamanistic vs. Christian) that resulted in the need for the Kuyujani Originario program ( Arvelo Jimnez 2004:41 ). were once open minded about investigations, after the 1990 s they denied that knowledge acquisition sought by scientists and anthropological researchers improved their quality of life ( Arvelo Jimnez 2004:40 ). None t h e less they did partner with a few NGOs in order to achieve short term goals of economic advancement or health and wellness 5 In fact, they only allowed my work with the community because of the financial benefit they received from the 5 Likewise, ACOANA benef resources. They also provided a solar powered satellite in Shiwitinna for improved communications via the World Wide Web.

PAGE 100

100 purchasing of baskets by Earthbound and Medewa. One woman said, we will work with you, because Earthbound, who you have come with buys our baskets and contribute to our wellbeing The success of the YEBP as an economically independent project that reinforces ethnic/cultural renewal of basket weaving instead of commodifying indigenous knowl edge or art is dependent on a number of factors. Stephen (1991) outlines the qualities of four indigenous craft market in Latin America that resulted in economic development that is self managed and strengthens local institutions. These qua lities included 1) a high degree of control over marketing and distribution as well as income and 3) maintenance of local ritual cycles, cultural identity and strong political relations with outside forces. Additionally Richards (1997) explains that resilience to outside market pressures was reduced with the marketed item was culturally significant. Though this project does not have a high amount of control over marketing they do control distribution, they have maintained their lands throughout colonial expansion and maintained their cultural identity. These features suggest that Medewa is poised to be a financial success wi thout eroding their cultural heritage. Kusters et al. (2006) outcomes and conclude that NTFP trade is not likely to reconcile development and conservation of natural forest [s] Careful monitoring and management have been the only ways that NTFP producers have conserved their resources. My data indicates that in 2010, the YEBP was yet able to balance the financial and conserva tion needs of the

PAGE 101

101 project. Yet, their adaptations of harvesting practices that seek an outcome of sustainable management is a model that can be used by other communities seeking to commercialize species of the genus Heteropsis. The combination of strong indigenous political power, cultural identity and integ ration of western science into traditional knowledge structures for resource management has allowed Medewa to increase value of their product, livelihood and adapt creatively to new resource pressures. At the end of this study, there are four recommendati ons that I believe will prove useful to this project and the goal of sustainably harvesting m inat Firstly, m ore work needs to be completed with the community, specifically harvesters to complete a thorough growth rate analysis of Heteropsis species in the upper Caura. This ought to be used in the creation of a formalized experiment cooperatively, managed by Medewa leaders that would replicate data collected by Kanwasumi on traditional harvesting practices. Secondly, t wo factors ought to be included in formation of a management plan. P lots not already divided into familial plots ought to be included in overall management efforts and the other uses of m inat such as making Wwa baskets for use must be added to adjust total need for m inat Thi rdly, t live in a region of great change. C ompeting extraction of m inat by indigenous communities, government intervention and illegal gold mining activities all threaten this project Theft of m inat is a new concern for the communities. As the resource becomes more limited there will be an increased risk for illegal activities, especially, since the rattan market desires m inat for furniture production. Consequentially, i t is imperative that monitoring of illegal activities be watched by co mmunities to prevent theft. Lastly, t he greatest producers age middle aged women. I recommend that

PAGE 102

102 economic capacity building training mostly target women weavers, ages 19 30, who are interested in weaving, speak more Spanish and will become the prom inent leaders in their society.

PAGE 103

103 APPENDIX A RESEARCH QUESTIONS Questions to ask the local people: 1. m inat 2. Where do you harvest m inat ? 3. m inat 4. m inat 5. How do choose whi ch m inat to harvest? 6. How many years does it take for m inat to develop? 7. How many baskets did you make last and the time before that?

PAGE 104

104 APPENDIX B Language Criollo English Todo Echo All things made Wajisidi Gente de Mono Monkey people Akato Fuerza de vida Powerful lifeforce Conuco Jardin Garden Churuata (tt) Casa Communal Communal House Kiidayu Bignonia chica (Latin name) Bignonia chica (Latin name) Mesoma Las Fuerzas E xternas Outside forces Shechaja du V irutas Shavings Shiwitina Santa Maria De Erebato Santa Maria De Erebato Todo Echo All things made Tujumoto Communidad Community

PAGE 105

105 LIST OF REFERENCES Altieri, M. A., and Masera, O. 1993. Sustainable rural development in Latin America: build ing from the bottom up. Ecological Economics 7 (2):93. Arvelo Jimnez, N. 1973. The dynamics of the Ye'cuana "Maquiritare" political system International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, Copenhagen. Arvelo Jimnez D., Amodio, E., and Biord Castillo, H. 1992. Relaciones polticas en una sociedad tribal: estudio de los Ye'cuana, indgenas del Amazonas Venezolano / Nelly Arvelo Jimnez; edicin cuidada por Emanuele Amodio y Horacio Biord Ediciones ABYA YALA: Movimiento Laicos para Amrica Latina, Quito, Ecu ador. Arvelo Jimnez, N. 2004. Poor people's knowledge promoting intellectual property in developing countries. Edited by Finger, J. M. and Schuler, P The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank, Washington, DC. Aubrecht, R. 2011. Sandstone caves on Venezuelan tepuis: Return to pseudokarst? Geomorphology (Amsterdam, Netherlands) 132 (3):351 365. Balczar Vargas, M. P., and Andel T. 2005. The Use of Hemiepiphytes as Craft Fibres by Indigenous Communities in the Colombian Amazon Ethnobotany Research and Applications 3:243 260. Belcher, B. 2005. Forest product markets, forests and poverty reduction. The international forestry review 7 (2):82 89. Belcher, B. 2005. Global patterns and trends in the use and management of commercial N TFPs: implications for livelihoods and conservation. World Development 33 (9):1435. Berkes, F. 2008. Sacred ecology. Routledge, New York. Blomquist, W., and Ostrom, E. 1985. Institutional capacity and the resolution of a commons dilemma. Review of Policy Re search 5 (2):383 394. Bown, D. 2000. Aroids: plants of the Arum family. Timber Press, Portland, OR. Carruthers, D. 2001. The politics and ecology of indigenous folk art in Mexico. Human organization 60 (4):356 366. Cocks, M. 2011. Non Timber Forest Products in the Global Context Cultural Importance of Non timber Forest Products: Opportunities they Pose for Bio Cultural Diversity in Dynamic Societies. Non Timber Forest Products in the Global Context 7 (2):107 128.

PAGE 106

106 Colchester, M., Monterrey, M.S., and Tomedes, R. 2004. Protecting and encouraging customary use of biological resources: The Upper Caura, Venezuela Pages 1 60. Protecting and Encouraging Customary Use of Biological Resources Forest Peoples Programme Report. Coppens, W. 1981. Del canalete al motor f uera de borda: misin en Jiwitia y otras reas de aculturacin en tres pueblos Ye'kuana del Caura Paragua / Walter Coppens; con documentacin de la Fraternidad de Foucauld Fundacin. La Salle, Instituto Caribe de Antropologa y Sociologa, Caracas. Civri eux, J. M. D. and Guss, D. M. 1980. Watunna, an Orinoco creation cycle / Marc de Civrieux; edited and translated by David M. Guss. North Point Press, San Francisco. Croat, T.B 1988. Ecology and life forms of Araceae Aroideana 11, 4 55. Springer Verlag Be rlin Heidelberg, New York. Devia B., Llabres G., Wouters J., Dupont L., Escribano Bailon M.T., de Pascual Teresa S., Angenot L., and Tits M. 2002. New 3 deoxyanthocyanidins from leaves of Arrabidaea chica. Phytochemical analysis:PCA 13 (2). Egbule, P. P. E. 2005. Information and Training Needs of Non Timber Forest Products' Operators in Southern Nigeria. Journal of Sustainable Forestry 20 (1):43 52. Encyclopdia Britannica Online 2012. Orinoco River. [online] URL: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/432619/Orinoco River Fadiman, M. G. 2003. Fibers from the forest: Mestizo, Afro Ecuadorian and Chachi ethnobotany of piquigua (Heteropsis ecuadorensis, Araceae) and mocora (Astro caryum standleyanum, Arecaceae) in northwestern Ecuador. Dissertation. University of Texas, Austin, Texas Frechione, J. 1985. Unin Makiritare del Alto Ventuari: autodeterminacin por los indios Yekuana en el sur de Venezuela / John Frechione. Universidad Catlica Andrs Bello, Caracas. Foster G. M. 1965. Peasant Society and the Image of Limited Good*. American Anthropologist 67 (2):293 315. Gentry, A. H. 1992. A Synopsis of Bignoniaceae Ethnobotany and Economic Botany. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Gar den 79 (1):pp. 53 64. Guss, D. M. 1986. Keeping it oral: a Yekuana ethnology. American ethnologist 13 (3):413 429.

PAGE 107

107 Guss, D. M. 1989. To weave and sing: art, symbol, and narrative in the South American rain forest / David M. Guss. University of California Pre ss, Berkeley. Hamilton, S. A. 2004. Integrating indigenous ecological knowledge and customary sea tenure with marine and social science for conservation of bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum) in the Roviana Lagoon, Solomon Islands. Environmental Conservation 31 :69 83. Hoffman, B. 1997. The biology and use of Nibbi Heteropsis flexuosa (Araceae): the source of an aerial root fiber product in Guyana. M.S. thesis, Florida International University, Miami, FL. Huber, O. 2001. Conservation and environmen tal concerns in the Venezuelan amazon. Biodiversity and Conservation 10 (10):1627 1643. Inter American Indian Institute. 1981. America indigena. Organo oficial del instituto Indigenista Interamericano. America indigena 41 (4):584 589. Knab Vispo, C. C. 2003. Ecological Observations on Heteropsis Spp. (Araceae) in Southern Venezuela. Economic Botany 57 (3):345 353. Kusters, K., Achdiawan, R., Belcher, B. and Perez, M. R. 2006. Balancing Development and Conservation? An Assessment of Livelihood and Environmental Outcomes of Nontimber Forest Product Trade in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Ecology and society 11 (2):20. Lauer, M. 2006. State led Democratic Politics and Emerging Forms of Indigenous Leadership Among the Ye'kwana of the Upper Orinoco. Journal of Latin American anthropology 11 (1):51 86. Lawrence, A. 2003. No forest without timber? The international forestry review 5 (2):87. Maneli s Klein, H. E. and Stark, L. 1985. South American Indian languages: retrospect and prospect First edition. University of Texas Press, Austin. Marshall, C., Schreckenberg, K., and Newton, A. C. (eds). 2006. Commercialization of non timber forest products f actors influencing success : lessons learned from Mexico and Bolivia and policy implications for decision makers. UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge, UK. Martin, G. J. 2004. Ethnobotany: A Methods Manual. Chapman and Hall, London, UK. Ear thscan, Sterling, Va. Mayoux, L. 2001. Impact Assessmen t of Fair Trade and Ethical Enterprise Development. DFID Enterprise Development Impact Report.

PAGE 108

108 Moser, B. and Tayler, D. 1963. Tribes of the Piraparan. The Geographical Journal 129 (4):437 449. Peters, C. M. 1996. The ecology and management of non timber fo rest resources / Charles M. Peters World Bank, Washington, D.C. Plowden, C., Uhl, C., and Oliveira, F. 2003. The ecology and harvest potential of titica vine roots (Heteropsis flexuosa: Araceae) in the eastern Brazilian Amazon. Forest Ecology and Managemen t 182 (1 3):59 73. Pomeroy, C. 2006. The Benefit of Ba s kets: The economic, ecological, and cultural impacts of Fair Trade of the indigenous Ye'kwana in the Rio Caura region, Venezuela. Pages 1 9 in the Proceedings of the 22nd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (Clearwater Beach, 2006) Florida, United States. Posey, D. A., Frenchione, J., Eddins, J., Francelino De Silva, L. Myers, M., Case and D., Macbeth, P. 1984. Ethnoecology as applied anthropology in Am azonian development. Human organization 43 (2):95 107 Putz, F. E., and Holbrook, N. M. 1989. Strangler fig rooting habits and nutrient relations in the llanos of Venezuela. American Journal of Botany 76 (6):781 788. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/2444534 Ramos, A. R. 2010. A Tale of Gold and Tears. The El Dorado of the Yanomami. (27):125 126 140. Randall, A. 1983. Problem of Market Failure, Natural resources journal 23 :131. Richards, M 1997. Tragedy of the Commons for Community based Forest Management in Latin America? Natural Resource Perspectives 23, Overseas Development Institute, London. Rodr guez, L., Carlsen, M., Bevilacqua. M and Garca M. 2008. Vascular plants collection of the Caura river basin (Bolivar State) deposited at the National Herbarium of Rozzi, R., Massardo, F., Anderson, C., Heidinger, K., and Silander, Jr. J. 2006. Ten Principles for Biocultural Conservation at the Southern Tip of the Americas: The Approach of the Omora Ethnobotanical Park. Ecology & Society 11 :43. Retrieved from http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol11/iss1/art43/ Rozzi, R., Arango X., Massardo, F., Anderson C., Heidinger, K. and Moses, K. 2008. Field Environmental Philosophy and Biocultural Conservation: The Omora Ethnobotanical Park Educational Program, Environmental Ethics 30 : 325 336.

PAGE 109

109 Schlager, E., and Ostrom, E. 1992. Property rights regimes and natural resources: A conceptual a nalysis. Land Economics 68 (3):249 262. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3146375 Shanley, P., Pierce, A., Laird, S., and Guillen, A. 2002. Tapping the green market : Certification and management of non timber forest products Earthscan, London; Sterling, VA. Soare s, M. L., Ma yo, S.J, Croat T.B and Gribel R. 2009. Two new species and a new combination in Amazonian Heteropsis (Araceae). Kew Bulletin 64 (2):263 270. Stephen, L. 1991. Culture as a resource: four cases of self managed indigenous craft production in Latin America. Economic development and cultural change 40 (1):101. Strong, C. 1997. The Problems of translating fair trade principles into consumer purchase behavior. Marketing Intell igence & Planning 15 (1): 32 37 Taylor, B. 2006 The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature Thoemmes Continuum, London; New York. Ticktin, T. T. 2004. The ecological implications of harvesting non timber forest products Ecological implications of non timber harvesting. The Journal of applied ecology 41 (1):11 21. Vos, R. R. O. 2007. Defining sustainability: a conceptual orientation. Journal of chemical technology and biotechnology 82 (4):334 339. Walsh, F. 2011. No bush foods without people: the essential huma n dimension to the sustainability of trade in native plant products from desert Australia. The Rangeland journal 33 (4):395. Whitehead, B. W., and Godoy R. 1991. The extraction of rattan like lianas in the new world tropics: a possible prototype for sustain able forest management. Agroforestry Systems 16 (3):247 255. Zent, S. 1999. The Quandary of Conserving Ethnoecological Knowledge. A Piaroa Example. Gragson TaBG, Blant, editor. Knowledge, Resource, and Rights. Ethnoecology. University of Georgia Press, Athe ns, Ga

PAGE 110

110 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETC H Erica is native of Spotsylvania, Virginia and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in human environment geography. She researches resource management issues faced by the indigenous Y She gra duated in 2007 from t he University of Florida, receiving a Bachelor of Science with high honors in Natural Resource Management from the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. After completing her masters she hopes to start a non profit which furthe rs geography education through interactive technology and to this end she has started a small production company, www.ericacarlsson .com, which she hopes to grow in the future.