The Floating City of Manaus

This was licensed yesterday for worldwide use in a magazine or book. It is one from Margaret Folland’s travels around South America in the early 1960s.

To some this area of housing floating on the Amazon was a Brazilian Venice, to others it was a squalid slum. It grew following the decline of the rubber industry in the early part of the 20th century. Displaced Amazonian workers migrated to Manaus and for over 40 years this area provided low cost housing close to the city centre and very convenient for work and business related to river trade and fishing. It became something of a tourist attraction which no doubt is what led to this and other photos being taken c 1963. Others of Manaus are here.

During the later part of the 1960s the whole area was cleared to make modern river port facilities.

I am very pleased to have found this image and now for it to be published.

4 replies to “The Floating City of Manaus

  1. I am thrilled to see these photos again. Miss Folland was my inspirational, lively, energetic Geography teacher from 1963 to 1969. She taught us about world Geography through her own experience of it. She was keen to find the truth about other lives in parts of the world she probably knew we would never see. Her lessons were the ones we very much looked forward to especially when she showed her slides using a projector. She asked us to look, to ask questions about what we saw and she would tell us the stories of the indigenous people pictured. She told us all about the lives of the people living on the rafts of wood, how this area was near a big city where work could be found, about the boats that would weave their way between the floating houses and how the women and children rarely left the wooden floating shacks. So much we learned. I actually remember seeing some of these very photos in our lessons. She never showed us photos which included her travel companions.

    1. Thanks so much for this comment Jo. It really gives me sense of satisfaction to bring these photos back to you. You mention Miss Folland’s travel companion. Would you believe that I have been in touch with her by letter and phone! I’ve sent her a collection of prints showing her on her travels. She taught Spanish so that helped in many of the countries they visited together ( she probably knew some Portuguese too!)

      1. Hello Ian
        I am very pleased indeed to hear that you have been in touch with Miss Folland’s travel friend. How absolutely fantastic. I wonder if she would like to know how much we appreciated hearing all that Miss Folland could tell us and show us thanks to their brave travels together. Believe it or not, this evening, I was telling Rosie my daughter all about your work with Miss Folland’s slides. Rosie teaches Geography at St Bees School in the Lake District. She took a group of 20 students to Iceland in October so I have just sent the set of Iceland photos.
        I don’t know if this would be possible but I would really like to write to Miss Folland’s friend. Perhaps this would be possible via you? No worries if not but I think maybe she would enjoy hearing some funny / happy stories of our schooldays in the world of Geography lessons.

  2. Hi Jo, I have sent you an email with the contact details of Miss Folland’s travelling companion. Isn’t it wonderful, that indirectly through your enthusiasm, her geography teaching legacy lives on through Rosie!

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