Wednesday, June 5, 2024

"Remote Amazon tribe connects to Elon Musk’s Starlink internet...."

Via the New York Post, June 4:


The New York Times' sub-head is:

Elon Musk’s Starlink has connected an isolated tribe to the outside world — and divided it from within.

...As the speeches dragged on, eyes drifted to screens. Teenagers scrolled Instagram. One man texted his girlfriend. And men crowded around a phone streaming a soccer match while the group’s first female leader spoke.

Just about anywhere, a scene like this would be mundane. But this was happening in a remote Indigenous village in one of the most isolated stretches of the planet.

The Marubo people have long lived in communal huts scattered hundreds of miles along the Ituí River deep in the Amazon rainforest. They speak their own language, take ayahuasca to connect with forest spirits and trap spider monkeys to make soup or keep as pets.

They have preserved this way of life for hundreds of years through isolation — some villages can take a week to reach. But since September, the Marubo have had high-speed internet thanks to Elon Musk....

....“When it arrived, everyone was happy,” said Tsainama Marubo, 73, sitting on the dirt floor of her village’s maloca, a 50-foot-tall hut where the Marubo sleep, cook and eat together. The internet brought clear benefits, like video chats with faraway loved ones and calls for help in emergencies. “But now, things have gotten worse,” she said.

She was kneading jenipapo berries to make a black body paint and wearing ropes of jewelry made from snail shells. Lately, the youth had become less interested in making such dyes and jewelry, she said. “Young people have gotten lazy because of the internet,” she said. “They’re learning the ways of the white people.”

Then she paused and added, “But please don’t take our internet away.”