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The myth of the stolen eyeballs - Nathan D. Horowitz

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  • TEDEd Animation

Let’s Begin…

Deep in the Amazon rainforest in the river Nea’ocoyá lived a school of particularly big and tasty fish. When the rains came and the water rose the fish appeared, and swam away as the waters fell. Villagers along the river followed them to a lagoon and set up camp. But their young shaman soon sensed they might not be completely alone. Nathan D. Horowitz details the Siekopai myth of the air goblins.

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TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Nathan D. Horowitz
  • Director Mohammad Babakoohi, Yijia Cao
  • Narrator Jack Cutmore-Scott
  • Storyboard Artist Mohammad Babakoohi
  • Animator Elahe Baloochi
  • Compositor Pooya Goodarzi
  • Art Director Mohammad Babakoohi, Yijia Cao
  • Sound Designer Mohammad Babakoohi
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Editorial Producer Elizabeth Cox
  • Fact-Checker Eden Girma
  • Special Thanks Miguel Payaguaje, Jonathon Miller Weisberger , The Siekopai Nation
  • See more
Additional Resources for you to Explore
A community of rainforest people discovers a lake filled with delicious fish and sets out to harvest them. But the fish have a mysterious and protective owner. Will the people leave the fish alone and survive?

The Siekopai today number about 400 in Ecuador and 750 in Peru, having lost about 95% of their population in the early 20th century to imported diseases. As the world transforms around them, they remain strongly connected to their traditions. Like other stories in the TED Ed Mythology series, this one contains supernatural beings and events, not the kind of thing that normally happens to us. What value do people find in these stories, so that they have continued to tell them, from deep in the past to the present day? As Mr. Brunner says to Percy Jackson about mythology in The Lightning Thief, "Why does this matter in real life?"
Here’s an article about the last Siekopai shaman-chief, Fernando Payaguaje, in which he talks about his life and the changes happening to his people or Check out the autobiography of Fernando Payaguaje.
Want to learn more about the modern day Siekopai society? Check out this website to learn more about their return to ancestral territory on the border with Peru.


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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Nathan D. Horowitz
  • Director Mohammad Babakoohi, Yijia Cao
  • Narrator Jack Cutmore-Scott
  • Storyboard Artist Mohammad Babakoohi
  • Animator Elahe Baloochi
  • Compositor Pooya Goodarzi
  • Art Director Mohammad Babakoohi, Yijia Cao
  • Sound Designer Mohammad Babakoohi
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Editorial Producer Elizabeth Cox
  • Fact-Checker Eden Girma
  • Special Thanks Miguel Payaguaje, Jonathon Miller Weisberger , The Siekopai Nation
  • See more