Eder Rodrigues do Nascimento, a 60-year-old, paddle entire days in singing verses on the protection of the brazilian Amazon.
21 April 2020 20h48
Updated at 23h29
An accordionist is defending the Amazon, singing over the water
CARAUARI — His accordion is almost as large as his canoe, but the music sounds up to the tops of the trees : Eder Rodrigues do Nascimento, a 60-year-old, paddle entire days in singing verses on the protection of the brazilian Amazon.
“The nature depends on you, let it live, the whole world thank you, with great joy,” sings the troubadour high on colour, weaving through the villages on stilts built on the banks of the Jurua, a tributary of the Amazon river.
To get from one village to another, sometimes it takes several days of navigation.
Alone on his small wooden boat, “Eder accordionist”, as he calls himself, is powerless in the face of scourges such as deforestation or gold mining illegal. But it symbolizes the resistance of those who live closer to nature and are highlighted during the international Day of mother Earth on 22 April.
“In my songs, I talk about the preservation of nature. I give advice for everyone to do like me : do not burn the forest, do not pollute the water, not to cut trees. It is necessary to leave the trees, it is they who will save the world”, he said to the AFP.
The métis in the face craggy and emaciated lives in Boa Vista, a town that is part of the nature reserve and Uacari, where the inhabitants live primarily from fishing, and gathering.
“The earth is becoming dry due to deforestation. It worries us a lot because we live in the forest ”
Eder Rodrigues do Nascimento, musician
“The earth is becoming dry due to deforestation. It worries us a lot because we live in the forest,” he laments.
“Sometimes, we saw the arrival of diseases that nobody knows and sometimes people die without knowing the cause,” insists the accordionist.
The peoples living on the borders of the Amazon are particularly vulnerable to the new coronavirus, which has killed nearly 200 people in the State of Amazonas, where lives Eder.
“Those who visit the Amazon go to paradise, those who live in the Amazon are already there, if you want to know about biodiversity, come with me,” sings the musician, a glimmer of hope in his eyes when he sees the young villagers identify with the lyrics of his songs.
Deforestation and forest fires have increased sharply since the arrival in power in January 2019 of the president of extreme right-wing Jair Bolsonaro, whose environmental policy is highly criticized.
Many NGOS accuse him of wanting to deliver the “lungs of the planet” to mining companies and agro-trading, while encroaching on the territories that are supposed to be reserved for indigenous peoples.