BBC Radio 3 features Laura Rival describing her time living with Huaorani

18 June, 2018

Associate Professor Laura Rival has described her experience of living with the Huaorani tribe in the Amazon rainforest in the 1980s for the BBC Radio 3 programme ‘Between the Ears’.

In the 30-minute programme, Dr Rival’s interview is interspersed with her taped recordings from the time and set against a rich ‘soundscape’ recorded in the forest by sound designer Gareth Fry.

Dr Rival describes first hearing of the tribe, who were known as Outsiders and were a source of fear to other local peoples. She talks about her arrival in the forest with her then 9-year-old daughter and their early attempts to make a connection with the initially hostile Huoarani. She describes the difficult decision to stay on in the forest when her daughter becomes ill and returns to France.

She also talks movingly about being accepted by the Huoarani and the joyous experience of their life together, moving around the forest, where 'the hours go by so quickly and nothing happens, people are just together, fishing or hunting or getting some crops out of the plantation or telling stories'.

The programme was reviewed by Miranda Sawyer in the Guardian.

Listen to the programme.