Sow Some Yams Already

Earlier this year I and my team of researchers were granted permission by the government of Brazil to study the Umbato people of the lower basin. Our study would focus mainly on what western civilization could learn from these people and their simple way of life. Unfortunately, the answer to that question is, “jack.”

Our first study focused on the food. We hoped to find something big like the blue corn that swept the corn chip market in the early 90’s. At the very least we hoped to find some local root or plant variation to relentlessly add to vitamin supplements, tea, PowerBars, sketchy internet pharmaceuticals, toilet paper… A ginseng for the new millennium, if you will. The Umbato, however, had different plans.

They were content to eat nothing more than corn and a crappy variety of banana that tasted like butcher paper. Although I strongly doubt that any of the Umbato will get a chance to read this, I will offer some advice on portfolio diversification: sow some yams already. You’re just embarrassing yourselves.

Oh, while we were there, some old guy caught a young wild pig and they threw it on a fire and ate it. Great idea guys, “let’s eat the animal when it’s small, let’s not feed it till it’s big and then eat it.”

Big is better than small. Do your primitive minds understand that? I guess not, because if you did then you wouldn’t serve your anthropologists such small portions of crappy bananas so that he’d want to kill someone just to be around a primitive culture that at least had the wherewithal to domesticate the apple.

For crying out loud, domesticating apples only takes a few hundred thousand years. Couldn’t your be-thonged butts handle even that?

The other cultural fronts are equally backward. Their detailed hand made tattoos cover most of the men’s upper bodies… with crap. Having seen first hand what lame, uninteresting patterns they choose to emblazon on their skin, I can say without a doubt that they have absolutely no, zero, goose-egg, use for tattooing Gen-Xers with tribal art. Concentric circles? What, did you just walk out of the time machine? Oh yeah, I guess you did. And on the way out every one of you tripped and got hit by the stupid stick.

On the religious front I am sad to report that here again, the Umbato fail resoundingly. “Hey! I hear if you drink a monkey’s blood its spirit totally goes into you and you get its power. Hell yeah! Power of a fuckin’ monkey!” Now where have I heard that before? Oh yeah: Every other pre-Colombian agricultural society without metalwork. Also, they have absolutely no legends concerning a hero rising up in times of struggle so all you video gamers can just move on. No fire, no brimstone, no imagination.

I can go on and on: The mono-rhythmic drums, the lack of astronomy or science, the modesty of their women. It all adds up to a picture of a people that time truly forgot. Perhaps it is best that these people remain undisturbed, as they have nothing to offer western culture except for crappy techno music and flavorless banana nut bread. All in all, I rate this culture a D-.