MetadataShow full metadata
Jacirama is a native Amazonian Indian who lives with his isolated tribe of Ibiajara in the Amazon rainforest. He is a young shaman’s apprentice and is fascinated with plant lore and medicinal cures, an innate ability he was born with. He has always been a bit different. His skin is prone to burning from the sun; his eyes are the colour of the sky. This enigma was passed off to him by the chief and shamans as a gift from the gods, born under the moon - jaci, he was given the name Jacirama. One day while walking through the forest with his mother, they encounter some strangers, white men. He is suspicious of them, as he has been taught to be from myths told around the fireside at night by the elders. He notices their pale skin and is shocked to see his own blue eyes reflected back at him in a stranger. When he questions his mother, he learns the truth. He had always thought he had come from a long line of shamans and was deeply proud of his heritage. Now this knowledge has been wiped out. He is disgusted to find that he is not of pure Tupi-guarani blood. He learns that his father was a travelling Ethno-botanist named Jerry who stayed with the tribe twenty-two years earlier. Theirs was a quick union of passion and mutual attraction when she was young and unmarried. Jacirama suddenly felt as if he didn’t belong, in his own skin or in the tribe. He must leave, to find his father, to find out where he comes from. He feels he cannot truly know himself until he does. He leaves the tribe in search of his father; with only the names his mother has given him as clues, Jerry and Boston. This tale is of his journey. The exegesis studies the motivation behind this creative work and analyses wider global issues that it may raise, including the importance of the Amazon rainforest as a source of undiscovered medicinal cures, and the necessity for the preservation of the rainforest and indigenous populations. It analyses the overriding question in the novel, that of “who am I?” The exegisis identifies ethnic hybridity studies to demonstrate the importance of knowing ones own cultural identity in order to promote, amongst other benefits, enhanced self esteem.