Thursday, April 03, 2008
Eimar Franco's book
Eimar Franco's book, O Tapajós Que Eu Vi (Memórias) was published by Instituto Cultural Boanerges Sena (better known as CBS) in Santarém in 1998. Hélcio Amaral, then Secretary of Culture for the Municipality of Santarém, presented me a copy of the book in November of that year. I've always considered it to be the best book ever written on life on the Tapajós River. I didn't know Eimar personally back then, but I was especially interested in his historical annotations of Fordlândia, which was established right across the river from where Eimar and his family lived at Urucurituba. Henry Ford came by a million hectares of land from the State of Pará for the development of his first rubber tree plantation in the Amazon in this region in 1928, but found it necessary to purchase another piece of land for the building of a port for his ships. That land, called Boa Vista, belonged to Eimar Franco's grandfather and it was at this location where Ford built not only his deep water pier, but the whole village of Fordlândia. Eimar was actually present at the legalization of the purchase, which took place at the family home in Urucurituba. He was only 7 years old at that time! His description of the transaction is indeed memorable.