Yanomami and Us
(Pact of Life)


Milton Nascimento and Fernando Brant,
from the album "Txai"

Translation from Portuguese by Cheryl Harleston

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To have to endure pain
not understanding why pain.
To have to withstand, to live pain
not deserving pain.
If this is my fate,
who is the tormentor
that decided it should be so?

Who has contaminated me?
Who has given me this pain?

Man doesn't exist to be only animal:
his story is much more than just corporal.
Open your senses to have freedom
with everyone that is your equal,
and in solidarity you will think,
you will love,
you will dream,
you will know
that the happiness of the city
doesn't have to kill the forest.

Thus pain will unite us:
the end of pain begins that way.
It is the child that doesn't stop growing,
the fruit that will ripen,
it is that hand, that tawny peace,
it is that look,
always green and becoming greener.
It is that human gesture,
it is that human voice,
it is that human love
that arrives and tells us it will stay.

The Yanomami live at the extreme north of Brazil, in the states of Roraima and Amazonas, bordering on Venezuela. It is a region of forests, mountain ranges and narrow waterways, where they make their way along hundreds of trails that link the numerous indian villages.

Today their territory has been invaded and contaminated. Yet, in spite of it all, the Yanomami continue singing and believing that as long as their people live, the planet will remain alive.


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