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Hunting to Survive in Besieged Ghouta
Eastern Ghouta, Syria
By Jawad Arbini
09 May 2015

May 9, 2015
Eastern Ghouta, Syria

Desperate for food and left with little resources, the residents of besieged Eastern Ghouta, east of Damascus, are hunting to survive.
44 year old Abu Adnan and 42 year old Abu Munther used to hunt as a hobby.
But following the 2011 uprising, the situation in their home area of Eastern Ghouta has critically changed. It has been two years since the opposition-held area has been besieged by the forces of the Assad regime.
Now, Abu Adnan and Abu Munther, who lost their jobs as construction workers, are obliged to hunt in order to feed their children. They can barely get 20 to 40 birds per day.
In addition to their daily struggle, the bullets in the besieged area are rare and very expensive and the hunters have to hand-make their own shotgun cartridges.

TRANSCRIPT

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man)Abu Andnan, Bird Hunter
02:57 – 03:46
“We are out hunting today. We set up the machine at night and we came to hunt quails. We do this every day. We set up the machine at night and go during the day to hunt because we do not have any work. We also do this to provide food for our families. We hunt about 30 to 40 birds a day, which are nothing. They are not enough to make a meal. They are half a meal. Our livelihood depends on God; some days we get a duck, a chicken, a big or a small bird. On some days we get a raven, which is bitter and cannot be eaten, but we are forced to eat it, given the situation and the siege under which we are living.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Abu Munther, Bird Hunter
03:47 – 04:12

“We are hunting because of the siege and lack of work. We hunt about 20 to 30 birds. We pluck them and feed them to our children. This is because of the lack of work and the siege, as you can see for yourself. Q: How does hunting before the revolution differ from hunting after it?
A: There is a big difference. Before the revolution we used to go out hunting for fun; now it is a primary necessity.”

04:13 – 04:30
“Q: Do you face any difficulties in filling cartridges? A: We are facing a lot of difficulties. There is a lack of needed material. We have to fix the machines by hand to be able to do this work. It would cost us too much to buy them readymade; we cannot afford them.”

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Reviving Canada's Legendary Fur Industry
Canada
By Leyland Cecco
30 Jan 2015

The original currency of Canada, wild fur, is back. Pushed to the shadows for nearly three decades as effective animal welfare movements stigmatized the use of fur for fashion, massive appetite in China has revived the industry. Over the last seven years, Canada has seen a large increase in the foreign demand for both farmed and wild fur pelts. Sales in 2013 exceeded $950 million, a sharp increase. While there is international interest in pelts, economic uncertainty in Russia has resulted in near-total dominance of Chinese buyers at recent auctions. Roughly 90% of wild fur is sold to foreign buyers.

These images trace the movement of fur, from the forest to auction, and then to manufacturing and fashion. There are an estimated 60,000 trappers across Canada who supply pelts to auction. Marten, fisher, mink, coyote, beaver and fox are sold at the world's largest fur auction in Toronto.

At fur stores in Toronto, designers use the material to produce coats worth thousands of dollars. While the number of shops specializing in both design and manufacturing has declined, those still in business can produce items commanding hefty sums. 

While animal rights activists continue to campaign against the use of traps, much of the industry is now heavily regulated by both the federal and provincial governments. Old traps, which often caused animals to struggle, have been phased out, and the majority of trappers now use 'kill traps', which induce death within seconds. While leghold traps are used primarily for larger predators, they are no longer able to pierce the skin of the animal, resulting in reduced suffering. However, not all trappers agree on the use of these traps, highlighting an evolving view on animal treatment within the trapping community. 

There are also concerns that the number of animals being harvested isn't being recorded. While trappers are required to submit numbers each year, the termination of a national Wildlife Pelt Census means the data is often lost in a sea of bureaucracy. 

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In the land of God: Running Through T...
Pastaza Ecuador
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
27 Oct 2012

Cononaco Bameno-Ecuador(South America) October 27th-2012-EXCLUSIVE FEATURE STORY.
The Huaorani, also known as the Waos, are native Amerindians from the Amazonian Region of Ecuador (Napo, Orellana and Pastaza Provinces) who have marked differences from other ethnic groups from Ecuador. They comprise almost 4,000 inhabitants and speak the Huaorani language, a linguistic isolate that is not known to be related to any other language. Their ancestral lands are located between the Curaray and Napo rivers, about 50 miles (80 km) south of El Coca. These homelands – approximately 120 miles (190 km) wide and 75 to 100 miles (120 to 160 km) from north to south – are threatened by oil exploration. In 1993, the Huaorani, and Quichua indigenous people, filed a lawsuit against Texaco oil company for the environmental damages caused by oil extraction activities in the Lago Agrio oil field. After handing control of the oil fields to an Ecuadorian oil company, Texaco did not properly dispose of its hazardous waste, causing great damages to the ecosystem and crippling communities. And recently, an US oil giant, has been fined $8.6 billion, for causing devastating pollution in large parts of the Ecuadorian Amazon basin, where Huaorani tribe lives. The oil firm Texaco, wich merged with Chevron in 2001, had been accused of dumping billions of gallons of toxic waste into unlined pits in the Amazon’s rainforest and rivers. Tribes indigenous to the area, like the Huaorani, have campaigned for almost two decades against the firm’s actions, saying that the poisonous waste has increased cancer rates, killed wildlife and contaminated water.In the past, Huaorani were able to protect their culture and lands from both indigenous enemies and settlers but the fighting against the multinational oil company, still goes on.
In the last 40 years, they have shifted from a hunting and gathering society to live mostly in permanent forest settlements. In traditional animist Huaorani worldview, there is no distinction between the physical and spiritual worlds, and spirits are present throughout the world. The Huaorani once believed that the entire world was a forest (and used the same word, ömë, for both). The Oriente’s rainforest of Ecuador, remains the essential basis of their physical and cultural survival. For them, the forest is home, while the outside world is considered unsafe: living in the forest offered protection from the witchcraft and attacks of neighboring peoples.
The Huaorani believe the animals of their forest have a spiritual as well as physical existence. They believe that a person who dies walks a trail to the afterlife which has a large anaconda snake lying in wait. Those among the dead who cannot escape the snake fail to enter the domain of dead spirits and return to Earth to become animals, often termites. This underlies a mix of practices that recognize and respect animals, but does not shield them from harm for human use.
Hunting supplies a major part of the Huaorani diet and is of cultural significance. Traditionally, the creatures hunted were limited to monkeys, birds, and wild peccaries. Neither land-based predators nor birds of prey are hunted. Traditionally there was an extensive collection of hunting and eating taboos. They refused to eat deer, on the grounds that deer eyes look similar to human eyes. While a joyful activity, hunting (even permitted animals) has ethical ramifications: “The Huaorani must kill animals to live, but they believed dead animal spirits live on and must be placated or else do harm in angry retribution.” To counterbalance the offense of hunting, a shaman demonstrated respect through the ritual preparation of the poison, curare, used in blow darts. Hunting with such darts is not considered killing, but retrieving, essentially a kind of harvesting from the trees. Spearing wild peccaries, on the other hand, is killing and is practiced with violence and rage.
While never hunted, two other animals, the snake and the jaguar, have special significance for the Huaorani. Snakes are considered "the most evil force in the Huaorani cosmology", particularly the imposing (though nonvenemous) anaconda, or obe. A giant obe stands in the way of the forest trail that the dead follow to an afterlife with the creator in the sky. Here on earth, snakes are a bad omen, and traditionally killing them is considered taboo.
The Huaorani identify deeply with the jaguar, an important and majestic predator in the Oriente province of Ecuador. According to myth, the Huaorani were the descendants of a mating between a jaguar and an eagle. Elders became shamans by metaphorically adopting “jaguar sons” whose spirits communicate medical and spiritual knowledge. In the Huaorani belief system, jaguar shamans are able “to become a jaguar, and so to travel great distances telepathically and communicate with other Huaorani.”
Plants, especially trees, continue to hold a complex and important interest for the Huaorani. Their store of botanical knowledge is extensive, ranging from knowledge of materials to poisons to hallucinogens to medicines. They also relate plants to their own experiences, particularly that of growing. Among trees, certain kinds are auspicious. Canopy trees, with their distinctly colored young leaves and striking transformation as they mature to towering giants, are “admired for their solitary character … as well as for their profuse entanglement” with other plants. Other significant trees are the pioneer species of the peach palm (used for making spears and blowguns, as well as for fruit), and fast-growing balsa wood, used for ceremonial purposes. Peach palm trees are associated with past settlements and the ancestors who live there.
The Huaorani notion of time is particularly oriented to the present, with few obligations extending backwards or forwards in time. Their one word for future times, baane, also means "tomorrow". Spears are the main weapons of the Huaorani culture used in person to person conflict.
Their main hunting weapon is the blowgun. These weapons are typically from 3 to 4 metres long. The arrows used are dipped in curare poison, which paralyzes the muscles of the animal which is hit with it, so that it cannot breathe. Kapok fluff is used to create an air-tight seal, by twisting the fibers around the end of the dart or arrow. The pictures shows a huaorani warrior, running fast with his blowgun weapon, following the peccaries wild trail during hunting.

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In the land of God: Hunting With Pois...
Pastaza Ecuador
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
27 Oct 2012

Cononaco Bameno-Ecuador(South America) October 27th-2012-EXCLUSIVE FEATURE STORY.
The Huaorani, also known as the Waos, are native Amerindians from the Amazonian Region of Ecuador (Napo, Orellana and Pastaza Provinces) who have marked differences from other ethnic groups from Ecuador. They comprise almost 4,000 inhabitants and speak the Huaorani language, a linguistic isolate that is not known to be related to any other language. Their ancestral lands are located between the Curaray and Napo rivers, about 50 miles (80 km) south of El Coca. These homelands – approximately 120 miles (190 km) wide and 75 to 100 miles (120 to 160 km) from north to south – are threatened by oil exploration. In 1993, the Huaorani, and Quichua indigenous people, filed a lawsuit against Texaco oil company for the environmental damages caused by oil extraction activities in the Lago Agrio oil field. After handing control of the oil fields to an Ecuadorian oil company, Texaco did not properly dispose of its hazardous waste, causing great damages to the ecosystem and crippling communities. And recently, an US oil giant, has been fined $8.6 billion, for causing devastating pollution in large parts of the Ecuadorian Amazon basin, where Huaorani tribe lives. The oil firm Texaco, wich merged with Chevron in 2001, had been accused of dumping billions of gallons of toxic waste into unlined pits in the Amazon’s rainforest and rivers. Tribes indigenous to the area, like the Huaorani, have campaigned for almost two decades against the firm’s actions, saying that the poisonous waste has increased cancer rates, killed wildlife and contaminated water.In the past, Huaorani were able to protect their culture and lands from both indigenous enemies and settlers but the fighting against the multinational oil company, still goes on.
In the last 40 years, they have shifted from a hunting and gathering society to live mostly in permanent forest settlements. In traditional animist Huaorani worldview, there is no distinction between the physical and spiritual worlds, and spirits are present throughout the world. The Huaorani once believed that the entire world was a forest (and used the same word, ömë, for both). The Oriente’s rainforest of Ecuador, remains the essential basis of their physical and cultural survival. For them, the forest is home, while the outside world is considered unsafe: living in the forest offered protection from the witchcraft and attacks of neighboring peoples.
The Huaorani believe the animals of their forest have a spiritual as well as physical existence. They believe that a person who dies walks a trail to the afterlife which has a large anaconda snake lying in wait. Those among the dead who cannot escape the snake fail to enter the domain of dead spirits and return to Earth to become animals, often termites. This underlies a mix of practices that recognize and respect animals, but does not shield them from harm for human use.
Hunting supplies a major part of the Huaorani diet and is of cultural significance. Traditionally, the creatures hunted were limited to monkeys, birds, and wild peccaries. Neither land-based predators nor birds of prey are hunted. Traditionally there was an extensive collection of hunting and eating taboos. They refused to eat deer, on the grounds that deer eyes look similar to human eyes. While a joyful activity, hunting (even permitted animals) has ethical ramifications: “The Huaorani must kill animals to live, but they believed dead animal spirits live on and must be placated or else do harm in angry retribution.” To counterbalance the offense of hunting, a shaman demonstrated respect through the ritual preparation of the poison, curare, used in blow darts. Hunting with such darts is not considered killing, but retrieving, essentially a kind of harvesting from the trees. Spearing wild peccaries, on the other hand, is killing and is practiced with violence and rage.
While never hunted, two other animals, the snake and the jaguar, have special significance for the Huaorani. Snakes are considered "the most evil force in the Huaorani cosmology", particularly the imposing (though nonvenemous) anaconda, or obe. A giant obe stands in the way of the forest trail that the dead follow to an afterlife with the creator in the sky. Here on earth, snakes are a bad omen, and traditionally killing them is considered taboo.
The Huaorani identify deeply with the jaguar, an important and majestic predator in the Oriente province of Ecuador. According to myth, the Huaorani were the descendants of a mating between a jaguar and an eagle. Elders became shamans by metaphorically adopting “jaguar sons” whose spirits communicate medical and spiritual knowledge. In the Huaorani belief system, jaguar shamans are able “to become a jaguar, and so to travel great distances telepathically and communicate with other Huaorani.”
Plants, especially trees, continue to hold a complex and important interest for the Huaorani. Their store of botanical knowledge is extensive, ranging from knowledge of materials to poisons to hallucinogens to medicines. They also relate plants to their own experiences, particularly that of growing. Among trees, certain kinds are auspicious. Canopy trees, with their distinctly colored young leaves and striking transformation as they mature to towering giants, are “admired for their solitary character … as well as for their profuse entanglement” with other plants. Other significant trees are the pioneer species of the peach palm (used for making spears and blowguns, as well as for fruit), and fast-growing balsa wood, used for ceremonial purposes. Peach palm trees are associated with past settlements and the ancestors who live there.
The Huaorani notion of time is particularly oriented to the present, with few obligations extending backwards or forwards in time. Their one word for future times, baane, also means "tomorrow". Spears are the main weapons of the Huaorani culture used in person to person conflict.
Their main hunting weapon is the blowgun. These weapons are typically from 3 to 4 metres long. The arrows used are dipped in curare poison, which paralyzes the muscles of the animal which is hit with it, so that it cannot breathe. Kapok fluff is used to create an air-tight seal, by twisting the fibers around the end of the dart or arrow. The pictures shows a huaorani warrior using the curare blowgun during monkeys hunting.

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Spider Hunters (9 of 22)
Svay Leur, Cambodia
By George Nickels
09 Aug 2012

A boy observes and learns the techniques needed to catch the Khmer Delicacy.

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Spider Hunters (12 of 22)
Svay Leur, Cambodia
By George Nickels
09 Aug 2012

Once visable the arachnid is quickly plucked from its hole and grabbed by its back just in front of its abdomen using 2 fingers with care taken to avoid a nasty bite from there rather large fangs.

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Spider Hunters (11 of 22)
Svay Leur, Cambodia
By George Nickels
09 Aug 2012

From a very young age children a taught the techniques needed to survive when food is in short supply.

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Spider Hunters (14 of 22)
Svay Leur, Cambodia
By George Nickels
09 Aug 2012

When caught the spiders are delicately put into small plastic bottles and kept there until they and ready to eat.

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Spider Hunters (3 of 22)
Svay Leur, Cambodia
By George Nickels
09 Aug 2012

The hunters look into the spiders lair and prepare for the capture.

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Spider Hunters (2 of 22)
Svay Leur, Cambodia
By George Nickels
09 Aug 2012

Wielding a axe a young hunter heads into the jungle in search of tarantula's.

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Spider Hunters (1 of 22)
Svay Leur, Cambodia
By George Nickels
09 Aug 2012

The children are calm while they dig for the eight-legged arachnids.

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Spider Hunters (7 of 22)
Svay Leur, Cambodia
By George Nickels
09 Aug 2012

A young hunter heads back to the jungle hut to give his catch to his mother to prepare for eating.

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Spider Hunters (21 of 22)
Svay Leur, Cambodia
By George Nickels
09 Aug 2012

The tarantulas are first drowned and washed in water before being tossed in salt and cooked in oil.

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Spider Hunters (20 of 22)
Svay Leur, Cambodia
By George Nickels
09 Aug 2012

The female tarantulas are prefered as generaly they are carrying eggs which adds to the flavour.

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Spider Hunters (22 of 22)
Svay Leur, Cambodia
By George Nickels
09 Aug 2012

The children prefer to eat the head first then strip the meat from the legs leaving the abdomen containing the precious eggs until last.

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Spider Hunters (5 of 22)
Svay Leur, Cambodia
By George Nickels
09 Aug 2012

The spiders are caught using a very primitive simple yet effective technique.

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The People of Pingelap (14 of 27)
Pingelap, Federated States of Micronesia
By Hannes von der Fecht
20 Mar 2008

Inhabitants of Pingelap trying to catch coconut crabs. They smoke them out of the tree holes.

Pingelap is a small island in the Pacific Ocean, a part of the Federate States of Micronesia. About 240 people live on this atoll. Ten per cent of them have a genetic form of colour blindness, achromatopsia, meaning their sight is extremely diffused and their eyes very sensitive to light. This disease is locally known as "Maskun", which in Pingelapese language means "to not see".
In his book, The Island of the Colorblind, Oliver Sacks, author and neurologist, describes the life of the inhabitants of Pingelap. His interest is based on the question, if, because of the multitude of people with Maskun in Pingelap, there is an independent culture of colour blind people. This book inspired me to travel to Pingelap and create a photographic series as a study in the perception of people with Maskun. I discovered that in everyday life people with Maskun are hardly distinguishable from those without – only the constant blinking of the eyes in the bright sunshine reveals any difference. With my camera I wanted to somehow visualise how the island was percieved by its inhabitants and come to terms with those who are living with Maskun.

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The People of Pingelap (18 of 27)
Pingelap, Federated States of Micronesia
By Hannes von der Fecht
20 Mar 2008

A color-blind man shows his catch, a coconut crab.

Pingelap is a small island in the Pacific Ocean, a part of the Federate States of Micronesia. About 240 people live on this atoll. Ten per cent of them have a genetic form of colour blindness, achromatopsia, meaning their sight is extremely diffused and their eyes very sensitive to light. This disease is locally known as "Maskun", which in Pingelapese language means "to not see".
In his book, The Island of the Colorblind, Oliver Sacks, author and neurologist, describes the life of the inhabitants of Pingelap. His interest is based on the question, if, because of the multitude of people with Maskun in Pingelap, there is an independent culture of colour blind people. This book inspired me to travel to Pingelap and create a photographic series as a study in the perception of people with Maskun. I discovered that in everyday life people with Maskun are hardly distinguishable from those without – only the constant blinking of the eyes in the bright sunshine reveals any difference. With my camera I wanted to somehow visualise how the island was percieved by its inhabitants and come to terms with those who are living with Maskun.