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The Tales of Mora - nature landscape painting - earth.fm

The Tales of Mora

Dawn Chorus at Mora River

Brasso Seco Paria, Trinidad and Tobago
Notes:

The Tales of Mora

In the heart of Trinidad’s Northern Range, where the primary rainforest thrives, lies Brasso Seco Paria, the “valley of life.” This village is steeped in the traditions of the indigenous Taino people. Surrounded by pristine rainforest, our culture is deeply rooted in the natural world.

My great-grandfather, Felix Boneo, was a barefoot walker. He never wore shoes, a small man with a vast memory, mapping the forest in his mind. He knew the indigenous names and pathways of the land. The ridges were etched in his brain, guiding him through the wilderness. He knew the forest’s residents intimately—he favored Master Lappe and the Deers, and warned of the peccaries, fierce protectors of their territory.

These arboreal gods towering up to 190 feet and living over 250 years. A single mora seed, a dense promise, weighed 2.2 pounds. The jungle, once dominated by these giants, became a living storybook in his narratives, embracing us with the essence of our culture.

My journey with Mora began over a century ago through my great-grandfather’s stories. One day, he found a seemingly lifeless Mora, its trunk split open, buttresses spreading like angel wings, whispering secrets. Over 100 years later, I sat still in the buttress. Absorbing the secrets. In this Mora-dominated jungle, life flourishes. Beasts come alive, drinking from streams, gathering to feast on seeds, scampering at unnatural sounds, growing skittish as they draw near. The Aves, at dusk and dawn, sing to open and close the day. Rattling tales of the forest. Rattling tales of their survival. Reclaiming their perch. Wooing a mate. Teaching their young. I absorb.

One Mora tree lies fallen over a stream, preserved in silica-rich water, growing harder with each passing year. It has lain there for over a century. My great-grandfather once walked across this ancient bridge. Thirty-five years ago, my uncle, learning the secrets of Mora, walked the same path. Today, as I tread carefully over the tree, I feel the spirit of Mora within me, preserved in time and place.

The angel wing secrets that my great-grandfather discovered now stand as relics, whispering tales of the Mora-dominated jungle. At night, river otters play in the streams, feasting on Macrobrachium. Red howler monkeys, in their troops, roam the Kashepa jungle. Master Lappe, a skilled burrower and swimmer, makes its home here. Birds fill the air with their songs, while deer whisper legends of Mama D’Leau to me. Water vines, gifts from the arboreal gods, drape the landscape, honoring the Mora that has stood the test of time.

And so, the tales of Mora continue, a narrative woven through the fabric of the forest, a legacy passed down through generations, a story of life, resilience, and the timeless dance of nature.

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