Exploring the Amazon Forest with Henri and Octavie Coudreau, a couple of French explorer, looking for traces of a story that start in 1492 till nowadays, a path that starts from the Industrial Revolution in the Western Country leading to THIS FRONTIER, a tall green wall, where native population rise their chant as a last defense against demented white exploitation!
“It is a prison that these expanses covered by a thick virgin forest, an obscure and indecisive path whose eye tires to follow the trace. The days pass without sun and the nights without stars. The long walks continue in the middle of a heavy chiaroscuro, in the dead leaves, the tracing roots, the thorny shrubs, the twisted lianas, the marshes where one sinks to the waist. You have to hurry up so as not to lose sight of the Indian in front of you. There is no time to look to the right or to the left, neither in front nor behind. You hardly get lost, because on all sides it is the thick mass of foliage, unfathomable. We pass over fallen woods, in the water, in the mud, creeks whose names the Indian does not know and whose direction he indicates with a vague gesture that does not inform. The prison closes with each step we take, without a single escape towards the sky, for long days, from big river to big river…
Once you have descended to the bottom of the ravines and reached the top of the hills, you can see nothing. One has exhausted oneself in descending a gorge, in climbing a mountain, but the thick mass of foliage always hides the sky and the horizon. Annoyed, weary, nervous, angry, pestering, bent over, hit, flogged, torn, stumbling, falling, getting up again, you have to continue through the endless leafy undergrowth which is increasingly full of insects, noises, smells, boredom and fear…
There is a strange rumour tonight in the forest, a rumour that comes with the rain and resembles the roar of an enthusiastic, delirious crowd. This crowd is advancing, breaking through the forest, giving way, chanting a watchword. But the cry of the leader is that of a night bird, and the roar of the crowd, the continuous crackling of the rain mixed with the wind blowing on the high peaks…
The night is dark and sinister. There is no moon. Suddenly a great wind makes the trees in the forest creak and groan, and, blowing our fire with violence, causes a fire to start in my hammock. Then the wind drops, not a breath; the night is hot and stormy. We are obliged to light a second fire, for we see the eyes of tigers prowling around us.
-Don’t you hear that moaning? I thought it was you.
-Yes, I can hear it now. It’s probably one of the Indian’s wives complaining.
And Touiri, funereal:
-It’s Yolock screaming.
This strange moaning is heard well into the night. We do not sleep. Where can this strange noise come from? As for the Indian, he stubbornly repeats:
-It’s the mountain of Yolock crying. A bad sign.
We can’t get anything else out of him.
There is no way to get to the shortest way, the forest is endless, and alone you would no more find your way through it than through the catacombs without torch and wire. Follow with docility the guide who precedes you, and be careful not to lose sight of him, for you may be sure that he is not looking after you. Alone, with hunger and fear as your companions, you would turn through the woods in a circle of anguish, and, as has happened to others, you would go mad with rage and fear and would soon be powerless to compete with the vultures and ants for your still living corpse.
Colonisation, blocked by an unfamiliar and feared interior, abdicated its high hopes, and, resignedly turning its back on the high country, lay dejectedly on the edge of the sea and began to vegetate, dreaming of France, which, for its part, forgot its stunted and unhappy child.