Posts Tagged ‘silica’

What’s in a canoe?

I enjoy sharing some of the human stories behind my work and my efforts to illustrate traditional ecological knowledge. My work focuses on biocultural topics.

There is a story of indigenous science in the image below. These lowland Quichua men prefer this local tree known as “canela.” That’s my friend Luis Yumbo at the helm. This group trees (Ocotea spp.) take up a high amount of silica from the soil. That’s the stuff of glass. In turn, the canoes are much more resistant to rotting. That’s value added in an environment that receives upwards of 250 inches of rain a year! Traditional canoe carving involves an entire community and can take from 15 to 30 days.