Not Your Usual Tour: Amazonian Languages

Thursday January 25 | 7-8 pm
Free with museum admission
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Join us for a tour that explores the languages of Amazonia, the linguistic diversity of the region and discusses past and current challenges to its preservation. We examine current documentation and revitalization efforts of Amazonian languages, which colonization, slavery, resource exploitation and assimilationist policies have gravely endangered, in some instances to a point of no return.
 
The tour includes the screening of Inhu, a short documentary directed by the members of the Kalapalo Nation Tewe Kalapalo, Tawana Kalapalo and Kayauta Kalapalo. It tells the story of a trip to a Kalapalo’s ancestors’ village to collect snails that are then used in a workshop to teach the youngsters how to make their traditional snail necklaces, called Inhu. The film is a testament to Amazonian peoples’ current efforts to preserve their languages and cultures, and is one of many projects financed by Prodoclin, a documentation project conducted by Museu do Índio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
 
This tour was created by Jorge Emilio Rosés Labrada and Raiane Salles, who will be our host.
 
We thank the kind support of the collective of film directors of the Kalapalo Nation, of Prof. Bruna Franchetto of the Museu Nacional do Rio de Janeiro and Dr. José Carlos Levinho, Director of the Museu do Indio, Rio de Janeiro, for the generous offer of the screening of Inhu.
 
Jorge Emilio Rosés Labrada is Assistant Professor of Indigenous Language Sustainability in the University of Alberta Department of Linguistics and a former Banting and Honorary Killam Postdoctoral Fellow in UBC’s First Nations and Endangered Languages Program. His research centers on language documentation and revitalization in Latin American contexts with a special focus on the languages of the Amazon. He has done primary fieldwork on five languages of the Guianas (Mako, Piaroa, Sáliba, Arutani and Sapé) as well as conducted research on language policies in Bolivia and Venezuela.
 
Raiane Salles is a Brazilian PhD student in the Department of Linguistics at UBC. She works with the Pirahã people, who live by the river Maici, in the municipality of Humaitá, Amazonas, Brazil. Besides helping describe the Pirahã language, Raiane is investigating what meanings the language expresses. She has been doing fieldwork with the Pirahã people since 2013, mostly in the Piquiá village.

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Public Programs