Matis Hunting Trials

A BBC presenter Bruce Parry undergoes one of four trials to prove himself worthy to hunt with the Matis tribe of the Amazon jungle. This one involves introduction of green tree frog poison into his bloodstream.

The ritual for recruiting boys into the ranks of Matis hunters begins with dumping a bitter poison directly into their eyes, allegedly in order to improve their vision and enhance the senses. We're sort of interested in how many different combinations of toxic liquids the Matis shamans shoved into their eyeballs before finding a winning formula that didn't dissolve them into a white, gooey mess.

The next series of trials includes beatings and whippings, but those look like Matis massages compared to the final trial. The concluding test revolves around an inoculation of Phyllomedusa bicolor, which is basically Latin for "local frogs that just happen to secrete nature's death juice."

After burning an area of the skin, the frog goop is injected with the use of a wooden needle. The poison is said to increase strength and endurance. However, those enhancements must come after the unbearable lightheadedness, vehement vomiting and violent relieving of the bowels. After all, REAL men don't need innards.

Once the boys prove themselves able to withstand these trials, they are treated to performing them before every future hunt they partake in.


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