A Day in the Life of the Tsimane People
To understand what a day in the life of the Tsimane people is like, you have to know who they are and how they live. The Tsimane people are highly organized in a traditional sense. Men, women and children play a role in helping the household. Babies and infants will be taken care of by the mothers as well as other female relatives. Their way of life mainly revolves around finding the right foods to nourish their families. Older members of the tribe are also cherished for imparting vital wisdom on younger generations as enshrined in their culture.
A day in the life of a Tsimane man
Tsimane men are the most active members of the population. This is because they are physically active 90% of the day. They are seasoned foragers, hunters and fishermen. Therefore, activities for each day are cut out. Armed with their bows and arrows, the men will set out early in the morning after breakfast to hunt for wild game and fish. For hunting, they use a myriad of tools including machetes, poisonous vines, shot guns and even dogs. They employ their knowledge with great patience so that they can find the right prey each day. This activity is time-consuming and depending on the season, food can be both in plenty or scarce. When wild game is not forthcoming, they forage for other food items while clearing bushes.
A day in the life of a Tsimane woman
A woman of productive age will most likely be raising young children. Their primary role is to take care of the children. They spend their time breastfeeding infants and cooking food for the family. Other household chores are undertaken by older children who help around. When women are not cooking and taking care of the household, they also till land. The Tsimane cultivate a number of foods including plantain, rice, corn, manioc, nuts and fruits. Older men and women also help in the cultivation of land. Hunting and foraging requires a lot of energy and in this regard, older men and women are more comfortable tending to the land.
Other activities undertaken by the Tsimane
The Tsimane people will also take time to undertake some weaving and food processing. This is to make baskets, clothing and other tools that help in their day to day life. The tribe also has special days where they gather to have fun and to share. Enjoying their local brew, they meet to discuss hunting and fishing trends. It is such occasions where stories or tales are told. The younger generation gets to learn more about their forefathers. The myths and cultural songs shared also hold keys to life principles as prescribed by the Tsimane culture. There is also a session where jokes are shared underwriting the light moments.
Every single day, the members of this tribe have a lot to do. The average number of children gotten by every woman is nine. In this regard, there are always children to look after and mouths to feed. Even though the infant mortality rate is still high, most households will have about five surviving children. When it comes to social events, the people pull together to make food and to brew their favorite manioc beer. These people pride themselves in a sense of community.
There are about 80 small villages that make up the Tsimane population living in the lowlands of the Bolivian Amazon. A few villages are slowly adopting western culture given the fact that a number of schools have been built to provide an education. In these villages, children will spend most of their time in school learning Spanish and other basics. Some Tsimane villagers have gone a step further to acquire motorcycles which have in turn changed their daily lives. In addition, some populations are using mobile phones. However, all these comforts are limited to a few villages.
The life of most Tsimane people still remains very traditional. They still eat foods that their forefathers ate. This could explain why they have made a name as the people with the healthiest hearts in the world. There is usually no idol time for these people. When resting, young children are taught how to use bows and arrows effectively for hunting. Men literally forage and hunt the whole day and women are always busy with chores and their young children.