Saturday, February 23, 2013

Leopoldo Richter's Lost World

Leopoldo Richter, a German artist, explorer and entomologist, fled his troubled nation for the Amazon in the 1930s and spent the next years exploring remotes areas of Brazil and Colombia, where he sketched native peoples whose lives had still not been altered by western culture. A small exhibition of Richter's drawing is on display now in Bogotá's Museo Nacional.

Since Richter's time, hunters, loggers, miners and farmers have invaded deeper into the Amazon, forever changing, and often destroying, the lives of native peoples, who often fall victim to new diseases, habitat loss and the temptations of junk food, alchohol and television.

Nevertheless, some uncontacted indigenous people still remain in the Amazon. Recently, Colombia approved Decreto 4633, requiring the government to protect land used by uncontacted peoples. In January, the government announced it would more than double the size of Chiribiquete National Park in the Amazon, from 1.3 million to 3 million hectares, in part to protect uncontacted native peoples.

However, many of the forces threatening these peoples' existence are illegal, and therefore nearly impossible to control.


By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours


thisgirl said...

Hi Miguel. I enjoyed reading your post about Leopoldo Richter. I recently acquired a piece from an estate sale in the USA and would love to know if you have any additional resources or information you can share about his work.

Miguel said...


Thanks for writing. Unfortunately, I don't know of any other such resources on Richter, except for what's available by googling.

But if I hear of anything, I'll let you know. Surprising that his family apparently hasn't created a foundation or something.