Mountain of mystery
In this documentary we travel to the oldest place on Earth. Here lies the largest, most intact virgin forest in the world, on the Guayana Massif, in the south of Venezuela, along the Brazilian border, the dwelling place of the gods of the Great Savanna of Venezuela.
In the interior of this green world lost in time, live men intimately adapted to their jungle environment which, though fascinating, is full of dangers. They are the inhabitants of the jungle, who live alongside and respect the endless different life forms around them. Their culture is ancient, almost as ancient as the landscape in which it has developed.
00:07 Hundreds of waterfalls, torrents and fast-flowing rivers and streams are the only clearings breaking up the lush vegetation of the jungle. The force of nature constantly manifests itself, creating an awe-inspiring atmosphere which, for centuries, has fired the imagination of the traveller, and has given rise to all types of legends. Perhaps that is why Arthur Conan Doyle was inspired by Canaima when he wrote the novel "The Lost World".
07:45 Rounding a tight bend in the river Churun, the mythical Kerepakupai of the Pemons, the Angel Falls, appear. It is a spectacular sight, a unique landscape. It is not surprising that the first European travellers were profoundly moved by its very presence, and that it has been, since time immemorial, the home and origin of the native pantheon.
10:37 It is the highest waterfall in the world. The accumulated rain waters of this part of the plateau crash down from a height of 972 metros, almost a kilometre. It is 17 times higher than the Niagara Falls.
Here live Indians of different ethnic groups: Pemon, Maquiritar, Panar and Hotis, divided into an endless number of tribes. All of them, and especially the Pemons, fear and respect the tepuys, these table mountains that seem to have been carved by mighty beings, giants of the universe like those described in their mythology. Without a doubt, the most venerated tepuy of all is the Auyan-Tepuy, "the Mountain of the Devil" in the Pemon language. They believe that up there live extraordinary beings, evil monsters and three-headed serpents. Down one of its faces crashes the Kerepakupai-Meru, also known as the Angel Falls, which is absolutely taboo for the natives.
12:10 In Canaracuni river, we had our first encounter with the Sanema, a nomad tribe which had split off from the Yanomamis, "The Fierce People", as they were unjustly named by the North American anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon. This amazon tribe live isolated in the rainforest, and are not ashamed of show their naked bodies.
14:16 Though they are a hunter tribe, they also grow some crops, essentially bananas and manioc, which, along with the proteins they obtain from hunting and fishing, make up their diet.
The Sanema women are responsible for the majority of domestic tasks: they gather fruit and firewood in the forest, work the land, cook and look after the younger children. The men spend almost all their time hunting and occasionally fishing in the streams near the village.