01.01.2007 -

Language Documentation in Three Indigenous Communities in Brazil

@UNESCOKa’apor godfather dancing with child, ©UNESCO

This three-part project was undertaken by the Emilio Gueldi Museum, Brazilian government, and Foundation for the Development of Amazonia to ...

This three-part project was undertaken by the Emilio Gueldi Museum, Brazilian government, and Foundation for the Development of Amazonia to document the language and oral heritage of three indigenous communities:

  • The Ka’apor baptism festival involves a full day of singing, myth telling, celebration and ritual. Linguists recorded digital video and audio of the festival, compiled the footage, and returned it to the community. An annotated DVD is being prepared to share the ceremony with non-Ka’apor.
  • In the Guaporé Indigenous Area, a project linguist worked with the Djeoromitxi people and the Brazilian government to equip a new cultural center with a multimedia-ready computer. Following a series of language seminars for local teachers and computer training sessions for local students, five CDs of Djeoromitxi myths and stories were recorded and edited by the students and distributed in Djeoromitxi villages.
  • As the third prong of this project, team members worked with the Paresi community to record some of their most sacred myths, recounted in their traditional settings, as well as the rituals surrounding the traditional game of head ball. These recordings, too, were annotated by and distributed among community members.

Each of these activities excited strong interest in further documentation and preservation among the participating communities.




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