Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Building materials

The Cultural Fair for the Lower Amazon is now underway at the Praça São Sebastião here in Santarém and on a visit there I met many old friends from the forest. Some people, yes, but I'm referring to the building materials for the community stands. As I posed to take this picture, I nearly stumbled over a meter long piece of monkey's vine thrown into the street. I must have muttered the name of the vine because the lady inside the stand smiled, as to find it strange that a gringo would know the name of the ribbon-like vine from the genus Bauhinia. You may remember that I described the vine on this blog only yesterday. She went on to show me how strips of the vine had been used in the construction of the stand. You can see how they were used to tie fronds of palm leaves on the post to the left. The lady also confirmed that the vine is medicinal, as it is used to make tea for treatment of diarrhea. The thatching material for the roof and walls of the stand are from the fronds of the babaçu palm (Attalea speciosa).

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