Who We Are
We call ourselves Yawanawá, the people of the wild boar. According to our ancestors, we have lived since time immemorial at the headwaters of the Gregory River, in the Indigenous Land, Acre State, southwest of the Brazilian Amazon. Unlike other Amazonian groups scattered in different locations, our people are unique on the planet, we all speak the same language that comes from the linguistic root Pano and we all live in the same territory.
The first contact with Western society took place around the sixteenth century, at the time of the leadership of our grandfather Antonio Luís Pekuti. It was a time marked by much genocide committed against our people. For more than two decades, we worked as slaves for the rubber-tappers, who claimed to own our land. We were not fairly paid for our work, in addition to having to deal with all kinds of atrocities in our own land.
The second contact happened with the missionaries of the New Tribes Mission of Brazil - MTB, who came to “evangelize” the community. During this period, much of our rituals, dances, artistic expressions, cultural and spiritual traditions were left behind, giving way to Western customs brought by the rubber tappers and missionaries.
In 1977 the Indigenous Land of Gregory River was identified and delimited. Even though our territory was delineated by the Brazilian government, our rights were never respected. Tired of so many atrocities, in 1982, our people expelled all non-indigenous people from our territory. Soon afterwards, we also expelled the missionaries from the New Tribes Mission of Brazil.
In 1983 the Indigenous Land of Gregory River was physically demarcated, with an area of 92,859,749 hectares. Because it was the first Indigenous land demarcated in the state of Acre, it served as an example for all indigenous leaders of the state to claim the regularization of their territories.
The Life Plan
Through partnerships with governmental, non-governmental organizations and private companies, we have sought to develop innovative initiatives, andexecute long-term collaborative planning processes to add to what we have already been developing
As part of this innovation process, the idea of the Yawanawá Life Plan came about through Yawanawá Sociocultural Association’s partnerships with AVEDA Corporation.
The purpose of the Life Plan is to explore the potentialities in the indigenous land of the Gregorio River, and strengthen the activities already developed bythe Yawanawá. In order to support the projects and activities carried out in the communities, without interfering in the daily life of the people, it was necessaryto use a process that could support and strengthen what already exists, and builds on activities that the Yawanawá already do naturally since time immemorial, developing sustainable activities that preserve Yawanawá territory and traditional knowledge.
The Yawanawá now comprise around 1250 people. Most of our population is composed of young people and children. We were very numerous in the past, however many of our elders died with the negative impact brought about by colonization. We live in a territory of approximately 200,000 hectares of land, and we still maintain 95% of our biodiversity intact.
Associacao Sociocultural Yawanawá/ASCY
Phone: +55 99995 5150
Rua Buriti N.80, Jardim de Alah, Rio Branco, Acre, CEP 69915-514
Yawanawá AR Bracelets
Hand beaded by women of the Yawanawá in Acre, Brazil, these bracelets are a work of incredible craftsmanship and artistry. Each bracelet features distinctive geometric designs that represent important symbols in Yawanawá cosmology.
Part of the conceptual story of "Awavena," the bracelets come with an Augmented Reality animal created by Lynette Wallworth in partnership with Blippar. In the Blippar App, your bracelet will come to life with a forest creature - butterfly or snake - who responds to live continuously updated data about the health of the rainforest.
100% of proceeds from these bracelets will go directly towards supporting the Yawanawá Life Plan. Through sharing the tribe's handicrafts, the Yawanawá seek to share their distinctive culture with the outside world.