Catch the Wauja on PBS

When many of you helped us to fund this project two years ago, we were able to do the work we promised, albeit with less cameras and equipment per village. It was a great example of cultural repatriation, as the Wauja saw the old film of their ancestors, while young Wauja filmed the reactions of their elders.

We are happy to report that the project continues to bear fruit. John Paul Davidson, the BBC Series Producer and Director, was surprised and impressed when the Wauja filmed the BBC film crew while the BBC was filming the Wauja. He wrote about the experience:

“When we arrived in their village, its size and scale came as a surprise to me. Now almost twice as big as the last time I was there, with double the population, the huge cathedral-like houses made of thatch and bamboo were in immaculate condition. A few of them even had satellite dishes attached. The young men were not only computer literate but also very up to date, requesting the best editing hardware and software available.

“In spite of embracing modern technology, it was gratifying to see their ritual life was as rich as I remembered it. Without any provocation they dressed up with feathers and the elaborate body paint that characterizes their rituals and started a series of dances that mirror some of their favourite myths.

“And as we filmed them, they filmed us. It felt like a good exchange. At the end of the day there was much discussion about the relative merits of cameras, lenses, microphones and then how much of our equipment we could leave behind.

“I expect Wauja-made films will soon be out there on YouTube, and they will prove a valuable resource in safeguarding both their lands and traditions.”

Read the full article.

As another connection with the community you helped, you can see the Wauja this week on your local PBS station as part of the BBC’s four-part series, titled “Brazil with Michael Palin,” hosted by the former Monty Python member. Check your local PBS station listings, and look for the segment called “Into Amazonia.” It will be shown several times in many cities, and is scheduled for June 16th here in the DC area. The Wauja (and Emi) can be seen starting at the 41st minute of the segment. If you miss it on TV, you can see it on the PBS website.

Thanks again for your help and interest, and please keep in touch with us.