Village Earth Global Affiliate “Maloca” to bring Kamayura Chief to UN Permanent Forum

KThank  you to everyone who donated to Village Earth Affiliate “Maloca” so they could bring – for the first time – the Kamayura cacique (chief) Kotok from Xingu Indigenous Park in Brazil to New York. The chief will attend the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues where he will bring important messages from Xingu, will exchange experiences with other leaders and will learn first-hand about mechanisms and tools Indigenous Peoples have to defend their human rights, traditional knowledge and their territories. He will forge alliances with foundations and universities in the hope this will open doors for the Kamayura to receive much needed support .The cacique will raise awareness on the incredibly well preserved Kamayura culture and territory (which they want to keep intact for as long as they can, a most difficult job due to aggressive penetration of outside economic interest and western cultural elements).

Maloca is also honored to host a an event with the this distinguished guest April 23, 2015 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm At the National Museum of the American Indian One Bowling Green New York, NY 10004. If you are interested in attending you can purchase tickets online here.

The Kamayura are Indigenous Peoples that live in Xingu Indigenous Park, Mato Grosso state of Brazil. The region is the transition zone between the Brazilian Amazon rainforest and the savannah, an area particularly rich in biodiversity, also known for its high deforestation rates due to intense cattle ranching and soy cultivation. In 2009, the deforestation rate around the Park was 47% as per ISA (Instituto Socio Ambiental).

Xingu Indigenous Park is home to 14 different ethnicities, counting roughly 5,000 people. Chief Kotok Kamayura is the cacique of the main Kamayura village, Ipavu, where about 350 people live. The chief, having great knowledge of what is happening inside Xingu Indigenous Park, will speak about common issues to all inhabitants of the Park, showing how life in their remote villages is affected by human activities outside the Park. As cacique, he is responsible for his community and he must have a vision for their future. With all the aggressive outside influences penetrating village life, he is concerned about the future of their children and grandchildren, with their cultural survival and the integrity of their territory. The Kamayura are dependent on nature and its cycles. Their livelihoods are based on fishing and cultivating manioc. They use medicinal plants from the forest to keep a strong body and cure illnesses. The fish, manioc crops, water supply, and even medicinal plants are already affected by changes in weather patterns.  Chief Kotok will be presenting at the 14th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues where he will discuss these crucial issues and will forge alliances with other Indigenous leaders. As part of his first trip to New York City, he will be speaking at the National Museum of the American Indian.  Attendants will be able to meet Chief Kotok and his son Aira personally and glimpse into their captivating world. Together we will discuss pressing issues like climate change, cultural survival, the environment and possible solutions.

The Kaweshkar Inhabiting Tierra del Fuego, Chile.  The land which Ferdinad Magellan named Land of Smoke, Land of Fire is one of the most inhospitable places on the continent, where survival is hard.  With never-ending winds, cold descending to below zero , snow and the fury of the sea where throughout their lives, as lonely as the landscape, small groups of these nomads wandered searching for food and survival. Denominated as nomads, hunters and gatherers these avid canoers made their habitat in the Patagonian canals where to the present day the survivors remain.  The Kaweshkar Indigenous language remains after over 13 centuries.  During the decades of the 30’s they were abruptly hit by civilization and cultural change. Developing illnesses caused by the sudden forced change from their customary otter ski clothing to regular clothes that were not appropriate to endure the below zero temperatures causing them illness and death.  Otter skins were very much in demand in those days and hunters would kill the Kaweshkar to take the skins from their bodies.  Alcoholism was also a cause of death. .  In 2009 UNESCO declared the remaining Kaweshkar survivors as Human Living Treasures of Humanity.  Carlos Edén Maidel (Peteyem) is one of the last 9 remaining Kaweshkar.  The survivors are all pure blood Kaweshkar, all Elders (5 men and 4 women).  What will become of the last 9 remaining survivors?  Times passes and we just see them die off one by one until there will be no more – an entire Indigenous Nation extict forever.  Carlos will also attend the 14th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to inform on current state of his nation and to seek support to produce and publish memories of his Nation.

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