September 25, 2021

Ant “Feast” in the Amazon Rainforest

When traveling in the Amazon rainforest, if there is one thing that can bring me closer to the center of rainforest life step by step, it is ants.

At that time, we entered the heart of the entire rainforest and saw a green forest. During the expedition, A Niu (the name I named for him quietly), a young man from the bib and the clan, would shout “Midi, Midi” at me every time he found something good, that is, “Come and see” meaning. What are you looking at? It turned out that he found something behind a tree. I saw that he broke it hard, something fell, it turned out to be a big ant nest. Ant eggs are actually their food.

A Niu broke the ant nest from the middle, and then poured out all the ant eggs inside. The ant eggs were small and white, and all the tribesmen gathered around, and everyone ate with gusto.

Ant eggs can be used as food, which I never heard of back then. Want to try? I don’t think so, but I told myself that this is the only chance, and I must eat and see.

I was determined not to miss any opportunity to experience the life of the bibdou tribe, and to be a complete Amazonian. In fact, to be honest, ant eggs taste very sweet and the chewing feeling is quite unique.

In the Amazon rain forest, there are so many variables. A woman who was traveling with her had a sudden epileptic seizure, and everyone was frightened. In our common sense, once an epilepsy patient develops an illness, he should immediately let him bite a spoon or a chopstick to prevent him from biting his tongue. But here, we don’t have medical equipment and medicine, what should we do?

A young man went to the tree to find an ant nest, and then rubbed it aside. After smelling the crushed ant nest for the woman, she slowly became sober. It turns out that the bibdou people have long known that after crushing the ant nest, the ants will emit a natural formic acid. As long as they smell this special smell, the patient can wake up.

As the woman slowly sobered up, I saw everyone seemed relaxed and happy. When I sang along with me, I was a little hesitant, thinking anxiously: We have to save her as soon as possible, why can I still sing in a leisurely manner? This may be the obstacle of what we call civilized people, that is, we are accustomed to taking medicines and injections when we are sick, but treatment requires not only medicine, but also spiritual comfort and common care between people. After the woman woke up, she combed her hair and looked a little embarrassed.

Everyone seems to like the smell of ant nests very much, and they scrambled to smell them one by one, just like eating ant eggs back then. This really opened my eyes.

After this journey, I learned that for the Amazon tribe, from food to curing diseases, ants have so many functions and so deep meaning.

When the ant nest came in front of me, I knew that the smell must be terrible, so I was a little resistant. In the end, I convinced myself to smell it—the smell was more powerful than mustard, and it hit my forehead. In my mind, the special smell of formic acid is still fresh in my memory, and I am glad that I did not miss that golden opportunity.

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