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September 2002

Delve deeper into hot topics featured in NGM’s September issue with help from Resources. Click on a link, pick up a periodical, browse through a book, and explore!
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The Tirió Find Their Way

“It’s a perfect marriage of indigenous wisdom and western technology,” says Mark Plotkin of the mapping project carried out by Suriname’s Tirió people. Plotkin’s Amazon Conservation Team, the U.S.-based Center for the Support of Native Lands, and Surinamese cartographers helped the Tirió document their traditional lands, a new tool in the fight for legal protection. They mapped culturally important places, including hunting sites, sacred places, and areas where medicinal plants grow. The Tirió have already benefited: While researching the map, the Tirió surprised illegal gold miners who had infiltrated their land at a boat portage hidden near a waterfall; the tribe began to monitor the site, and the mining was stopped.

Web Links

Amazon Conservation Team (ACT)
Read an ACT report on the Tirió Mapping Project.

Center for the Support of Native Lands
View a detail of the map produced with the Center for the Support of Native Lands, the Amazon Conservation Team, and Surinamese cartographers.

Free World Map

Chapin, Mac, and Bill Threlkeld. Indigenous Landscapes: A Study in Ethnocartography. Center for the Support of Native Lands, 2001.

Fox, Maggie. “Map Helps Amazon Indians Claim Their Rain Forest,” Reuters News (May 3, 2001).

McCarry, John. “Suriname: Can the Rain Forest Save South America’s Youngest Nation?” National Geographic (June 2000), 38-55.

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