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Volume 2114

Just a Tarzan fan
By Jairo Uparella

A man must have some passions that allow him to face the world or just living the day with thankfulness. Being a real fan of Tarzan is not as easy as it looks, above all, when this passion demands creativity and the story of your life has to do with it.  It is good when passions like this one open a window and you have the opportunity to share it with other people. It is also a great satisfaction when intelligent people know how and why you are opening that window.

I have a specialization in Computer Science, my great work-hobby. I love to program any kind of software, from a database to a great Naval Tactical Wargame. I had not finished my university studies when I started to program in a Computer, writing my first book about the History and Evolution of the PC, issuing a magazine, and participating as a conferee in some universities in Colombia where I was born.

But I must confess, that my own and deep knowledge comes from the teachings of my father, who died a long time ago, just when the TV episodes of Ron Ely, were ending. My father was a serious man, honest, great worker, great father and a great husband.  When he died I was only nine years old.  Although he cleverly used the Ron Ely movies to teach us (with my two brothers) about a lot of things of life; he always spoke about Johnny Weissmüller, but later I realized that the effects of Ron Ely's movies produced in us was almost the same effects that the Johnny Weissmüller’s movies produced in my father and uncles.

Don't think of my father swinging like an ape, or yelling over the ironing board. The deepest teaching of these men is in relation with honesty, respect, loyalty, and many other disciplines that seem being hard to learn and practicing whit it.  I knew that, when a man has all these kinds of teachings, life is special and pleasurable. Creativeness reaches its highest point if you know the difference between evil and being good.  This is the best test that a man can pass in order to get a special gift.  Besides, this give you encouragement to defend yourself from the sord-Tarmangani.

I must confess too, that I took the teachings in an inappropriate way, because I crazily loved swimming in rivers, lakes, hunting, swimming and fishing in dangerous waters such as the Channel of Dique, jumping into the sea from a devastated wall, sailing through the Bay of Cartagena in a little canoe (out to out), diving in inadequate waters like in the bay, turning a young bull upside down, riding on an undomesticated mule, playing with knives, spears and arrows (made by me) and going (with a screwdriver) after real burglars that came into the neighborhood, etc., etc.

It was like this that I learned to eat all sorts of animals that in some regions of the country were liked -- deer, iguana, armadillo, babilla, “pisingo”, “guartinaja”, “hicotea” (turtle), etc, -- when it was allowable.  But that was not the worst. Years later, I was alone in one of the big forests near the Meta River (Puerto López), in Colombia, where big trees hide the sun, where the sound of the little animals makes you go mad, and the many bushes and trees prevent you from finding your way back home.  It is not a strange thing that you can confuse a little fish (mojarra) with Caribe (piranha). That day I felt the unforgettable sensation of being alone in a jungle. My stupid stubbornness made me cut a liana with the knife that I carried to emulate Tarzan. This time, at six meters in the air, the liana broke. As a result of this I was hospitalized two times.  If I had to live my life again, I'm sure it would be in a real jungle.

One thing I like best from Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan of the Apes is the part in which Tarzan learned to write and to read in English. This is a great example of being autodidact. As Tarzan, I have been teaching myself English. I am able to write or to read better than speaking it. It occurred to me that if I could teach English to myself, I could also  teach Mangani to myself. I have a few friends who speak English. We know that the cheapest way to communicate is by e-mail if they are far away.  It leads me to believe that Paul d'Arnot was the father of the e-mail.

Adriana y Jairo Uparella

Looking for peace, I married a woman who loves animals. She is a Zoo-technician and I put her in a dilemma of want to know about animals.  In turn, Adriana helps me think as a normal man, even though she helps me not to forget that the spirit of the jungle-man must be taken as an example, not to think like an ape. But I must confess too, that the way of thinking like an ape was how I could expand upon the English/Mangani Dictionary.  My friend, Pete Coogan, was right; I am an ape.

The first thing I had to do before the dictionary got posted, was to show a sample to Bill Hillman, the first translation I made to Mangani. I realized here that I was confirming those teachings explained above; just what the movies taught us. “Commands to take under consideration.” Thanks Bill for understanding Mangani!

Being a Tarzan fan is not so easy, but we try to apply these teachings to being an akut-zanmangani, por-at-an, atu, yo (wise, husband, father and friend).  Of course we have a special interest in this. The obvious reason for creating a work like this one is that we want to see books, movies and others, using this vocabulary. This expands upon a culture started by ERB back in 1912.

But we have a dream, too. In another context, we would like to help animals that are facing extinction, and to help the world to recover its fauna and flora. In the north coast of Colombia, were I live, we have a great variety of animals, for which we would like to find and keep their habitat (not to eat). There are a lot of little apes in danger of extinction: parrots, and some other kind of birds, mammals and fish. It must be the first job of a Tarzan fan. I feel he will be pleased with that. Besides, we have much flora and many animals similar to those that live in Africa, except lions, elephants, hippos, antelopes, etc.  There are even a lot of people who are descended from African people, like those in Palenque, a town that has lost its identity.  They are really nice people and we would like to help them, too. As with the animals they live out of any natural context.  It is sad for me to look at "great warriors" who have been converted into the poor of our society.

At Work

All these teachings have helped in the creating, producing and developing projects that help others to learn faster and easier. Virtual Simulation is that part of the science in which I can create a model and make it move with special programs.  Simulation helps me to understand the behavior of a phenomenon, a body in space or simply creating a new model in order to learn from the effects it produces. Developing Mangani was a kind of Simulation because I had to think in the appropriate situation in what an ape might exist. Every word is a sensation in my head -- a word that I felt while I was mentally (virtually) simulating the jungle scenario. It wasn’t the simple combination of the words. The new words have the same "aspect" as the original words written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. For a person who does not know the first words in Mangani, all these words will seem to have been written at the same time, which is just our intention. This is what I call "painting Mangani with a look of African Language."

Some samples of Virtual Models in Jairo’s proyects

Jairo Uparella's Mangani Dictionary Project

From Bogota, Columbia
Just a Tarzan Fan
by Jairo Uparella
ERBzine 2114
Investigating Mangani
An Introduction
Prelude to the Mangani Project
ERBzine 2112
ERB Ape Language 
Mangani Dictionaries featuring
The Uparella Mangani Project
ERBzine 2113
The Sounds of 
Spoken Mangani
by Jairo Uparella
ERBzine 2307
Read the mail feedback on this series
Read the Mangani Poem: When the Mangani Cry (Tribute to ERB, JCB and Danton)
See the full Mangani Dictionary in PDF

The Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Tarzine: Official Monthly Webzine of ERB, Inc.
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