The West

Son rediscovers mother and tribal family
Son rediscovers mother and tribal family

A South American woman from the Yanomami tribe of Venezuela has been reunited with her American son, years after he spotted her picture in a museum exhibit.

David Good was born to Yarima and anthropologist Kenneth Good who met her while studying her tribe. Yarima was offered to Kenneth Good as a bride when she was a child.

Her exact age is not known because the Yanomami do not count past two. Kenneth was 36 when they were betrothed in 1976 and will not say how old his young wife was when they consummated their marriage.

The New York Post reports that the family moved to Kenneth's home in America where David was born in 1986.

Philadelphia was a difficult adjustment for Yarima, who also had a daughter, and she longed for her traditional jungle life.

The Good family story attracted a lot of interest from journalists and filmmakers and in 1991 they travelled back to Venezuela for a National Geographic documentary.

Once she had returned home to her tribe, Yarima told David she would not go back to Philadelphia.

Kenneth returned to America with the children.

David Good felt resentment as a teen at his abandonment by tribeswoman mother Yarima. Source: Youtube

At the age of 10 David visited the Museum of Natural History with his class and on the wall spotted a photo of his mother taken by his dad. His feelings of abandonment and resentment turned him into a wayward teen.

'I didn’t want my friends to know that my mom’s a naked jungle woman eating tarantulas,' Good told the New York Post.

'I didn’t want to be known as a half-breed. And it was my revenge; I was angry that she left me. So I just wanted to stick with the story that she was dead.'

At the age of 21, however, David decided to reconcile with his mother.

He returned to Venezuela and his mother in 2011 and last year made a longer visit.

He considers their reconciliation a beginning rather than closure.

“I really want to be Yanomami,” David says. “I want to trek through the jungle like they do.”

The West Australian

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