THE ARTESIAN FISHERMEN
live on islands, river and sea channels, and beaches, far from urban centers; places of difficult access, spread all along the Brazilian coast.
They make their own nets, oars and canoes, facing the sea with great courage and difficulty.
Confeccionam suas próprias redes, remos e canoas, enfrentando o mar com muita coragem e dificuldade.
They are explored in different ways by many who take advantage of the precarious conditions in which they live:
Who buy their fish at the lowest price.
Who usurp the land owned by their families for centuries.
Many pay a pittance for domestic help in their summer homes and to those who serve as guides for their fishing trips.
In general, They are deprived of financial resources, and in their communities there is no basic sanitation, schools and adequate medical assistance. High index of illiteracy and infant mortality make the artesian fishermen one of the neediest groups of the country.
Because of this exploitation, the fishemen become aloof and suspicious of everyone who visits their communities.
Their customs are different
While people in urban areas guide their activities by daytime and night, the fishermen do it by the rise and fall of the tide. When the tide brings fish with it, the fisherman will be at sea. This can happen in the morning, or afternoon, nighttime or at dawn!
They have their own language
The different way of using the language, makes the fishermen an even more peculiar people.
Example: In the region of São Paulo, the word "much" means nearly nothing, while the word "little" means abundance. As they use "to kill" instead of "to fish".
A good catch is described by them like this:
"Today we killed few fish!"
The family structure is different
In the patriarcal system, with the father as the absolute authority, and the women and children placed in a much more inferior plan.
In the Southern region they gather frequently around the fire to hear “the word of the ancients”, where the experiences of the elders are passed on to the younger generations.
are a people who live traditionally on by the Riverside, whose lives are profoundly integrated by the flood or dry cycles of these rivers.
Though sometimes they live in various parats of the country, it is in the vast territory of the Amazon that we find most of these people spread along the inumerous rivers of the region. Many times living in locations marked by distance from towns, and by geographical isolation.
In relation to the Gospel, most of the traditional communities at a radius of 100 kms from the main cities have already been reached.
The greatest challenges are found in more distant areas, and those with difficult access. It is estimated that there are 10 thousand communities unreached with the Gospel (data 2017) and 1 million the number of unreached persons in the Amazon region.
It is a simple and inteligente people
Culturally, they live like the aborígines, because they have a leader who is not always respected as such, and a religious person who sometimes is taken to be a prayer or a wizard. They live in a society of tribal culture, exploited by the feudal culture of the rescuers and of the extractivism industry.
"What is mine, is everybody’s!”
They relate to each other in a tribal way, everything belongs to everyone, and sometimes they don’t care about sharing objects that interest them; the men excercise fishing and hunting and the women care for the family, that includes weaving and educating the children.
While the women administer the education and economy of the family, excercising a fundamental part in the communities, influencing and administrating the possessions, patrimony and agriculture...
The men take on a passive posture in relation to the education of their children, not following any pattern taken as normal, their children are brought up kind of “loose”.
Eles utilizam água do rio ou coletada da chuva, algumas comunidades tem o solo infectado por hepatite delta e não podem cavar poços. Não costumam criar animais, por atrair predadores, e suas lavouras dependem do ciclo das enchentes. A maioria vive de pesca, plantio e venda de mercadorias ou serviços. No período de janeiro a março a castanha é o principal lucro para os ribeirinhos e indígenas.
Com a chegada de antenas de internet nas escolas ribeirinhas, eles acabam tendo muito contato com a globalização. Um grande êxodo rural tem ocorrido nos últimos anos, sendo a maioria e jovens em busca de estudos e emprego. Acabou-se por nascer um grupo diferenciado nas maiores cidades da beira rio, que são os ribeirinhos urbanos.
Eles mantêm grande parte da cultura ribeirinha enquanto luta para sobreviver na cidade, num nível mais baixo da escala social. Isso acarreta problemas sociais, pois esses jovens acabam tragados por grupos maliciosos que os usam para atos ilegais em troca de proteção, as chamadas facções.