Many of the tribes in the Amazon are very superstitious and have rituals that you and I would think are… well, unsettling, to say the least.
In 1995, Hakani was born. By the age of 2, she still could not walk or talk. So, in keeping with tribal rituals to dispose of any children with abnormalities — as they were said to be cursed and without souls – the tribe’s leader ordered that the little girl should be killed.
The tribe’s normal way to kill “defective” children is to bury them alive, and little Hakani’s brother was given the gruesome task. So he struck her on the back of the head with a machete and knocked her out. Then he proceeded to bury her. But she came to, and her brother just could not bring himself to kill her. So the girl’s grandfather shot her with an arrow, but she survived. She was then pulled from the hole and released into the jungle, where she was left to fend for herself against the wild and dangerous animals, reptiles and elements…for three years.
Finally, when Hakani was 5, a couple by the name of Suzuki pleaded with the Brazilian government to let them take the girl out of the jungle and adopt her. Their request was granted, and little Hakani was rescued and given a home with lots of love.
Today, she is a 22-year-old woman who laughs and sings and dances. By the way, the little girl’s name, Hakani, means “smile.” And if a little girl… like that… who was a little slow with walking and talking… can survive something as horrendous as was done to her, then I’d say we can ALL smile, count our blessings and realize our lives aren’t so bad after all.