10 Oct 2011
Source: News Wales
Blowpipes and primitive fishing nets are among the features of an indigenous South American hut that's being recreated over 6,000 miles away from the Amazon in Swansea.The Native Indian hut will be made of materials including elephant grass and bamboo and will soon be opened at Swansea's Plantasia attraction in Parc Tawe.
A traditional hammock, tribal musical instruments and shoes made out of plants will be among the other features of what's set to be a key rainforest educational resource.
The hut will open later this month amidst a kaleidoscope of colour in an event that will include manioc pancake cooking demonstrations, tropical fruit, tribal dancing and henna tattoos.
Visitors will be greeted by a tribal mask on walking into the hut that's said to protect tribal families and ward off evil spirits. Recordings of tribal singing will be played in the background and images of tribal families will be displayed on the walls.
The Friends of the City of Swansea Botanical Complex have funded the hut's construction.
Claire Riordan, the Council's Plantasia Manager, said: "We're very excited about the indigenous hut because it will recreate a very authentic rainforest visiting experience right here in Swansea and will become an important educational resource.
"Recent TV programmes like A South American Journey with Jonathan Dimbleby have raised the profile of issues like deforestation in the Amazon and what this hut will do is give schoolchildren and other visitors an inspiring base where they can learn all about Native Indian tribes, their daily lives and the problems they face in today's world through expert interpretation and workshops."
Amazonian creatures such as piranhas, poison arrow frogs, scorpions and cockroaches are already housed at the attraction. The hut will be located in the hothouse close to the cotton-top tamarin monkeys originally from northern Colombia.
Cllr Graham Thomas, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Recreation and Tourism, said: "This tribal hut will add to what's already an extensive educational and visitor experience at Plantasia.
"We're lucky to have a unique attraction of its calibre right on our doorstep."