Kelly Pujar – Posted on , Up to date
After Pilima on January 12, 2020 and Antecume-Pata, 4 villages of Haut-Maroni in Guyana are internet hosting a touring exhibition in French and Wayana for ten days. Seventeen panels seize the highlights of an formidable venture known as SAWA for Wayana-Apalaï Indigenous Data.
© musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac
For 4 years, Wayana and Apalai representatives studied the collections and information associated to their tradition stored within the museums of Paris, Cayenne and within the archives of the College of Paris Nanterre. The centerpiece of the venture: the launch on-line this month of WATAU, the primary Wayana language web site. Due to this software, the indigenous peoples of French Guiana uncover songs, tales and objects stored removed from house.
Look under the place the Wayana and Apalai villages are positioned:
On the origin of the SAWA venture: susceptible indigenous populations
The Wayana kind with the Apalaï two indigenous peoples of French Guiana. Their inhabitants barely exceeds 2,00zero inhabitants.
Their villages are positioned between three sovereign states: France, Brazil and Suriname. Simply over a thousand reside in French Guiana, primarily within the commune of Maripasoula in a dozen villages in Haut-Maroni. About 550 reside in Brazil on the Higher and Center Rio Paru. In Suriname, their inhabitants is estimated at 600 folks.
The Wayana-Apalai have come nearer due to their historical past, their tradition and frequent exchanges. Although they’re a minority of their geographic surroundings, their languages are spoken by everybody, kids and adults. Nevertheless, a part of their data and expertise is in jeopardy. Transmission is hampered particularly by the loss of life of the aged and the departure of the youngest. The focus of excessive faculties on the shoreline forces youngsters to proceed their schooling lots of of kilometers from house.
WATAU: for digital restitution
With these 5 letters, WATAU, isn’t solely an acronym for SAWA's Caribbean translation: Wajana Apalai Tuwalonu (data) A- apëipotpï (file), U-uhpak (previous). Additionally it is the wayana title of a fish, which has grow to be the symbol of the digital platform that serves as the idea for the SAWA venture.
Sara Tandar and the SAWA group on the school of Nanterre – October 2018 © KP
WATAU: first web site in Wayana language
To offer visibility to the Wayana-Apalai tradition but in addition and above all to share ancestral data by way of the Web with the younger Wayana-Apalai technology. It’s the vocation of WATAU as specified within the presentation textual content:
By exhibiting previous objects and pictures, by listening to the recordings collected by researchers and folks passing by means of, we hope that WATAU presents a method to reclaim our know-how and our tradition.
Accessible in French, Wayana and Apalai, WATAU is the primary web site of its form. Configuration, photographs, sounds, key phrases … Every little thing was designed by the Wayana. They even created a vocabulary appropriate for computer systems.
“For a lot of phrases, they managed to search out them of their language. For different phrases, it was essential to adapt the vocabulary. They used the metaphor. For the phrase satellite tv for pc, they used the title of a shining caterpillar. For the phrase pc, they created a brand new phrase”Explains Eliane Camargo, Brazilian ethnolinguist and scientific coordinator of the SAWA venture.
Sara Tandar helped them anticipate every thing. This CNRS engineer is answerable for coordinating the WATAU digital portal venture. On the College of Nanterre, Sara Tandar is the Head of Digital Humanities on the Maison Archéologie et Ethnologie (MAE) René-Ginouvès. She guided the Wayana-Apalai group within the growth of the interface.
Adapting the web site to smartphones was one of many everlasting considerations of the web site designers. The youngest are keen on it regardless of the difficulties of connection in essentially the most distant villages of Guyana. In a single click on, the web consumer can seek the advice of a cartography of the museums which comprise Wayana-Apalai funds and make the hyperlink with objects preserved in Europe and Latin America.
Managing the calendar was one of many hurdles to beat. “Every has completely different time frames. When the Wayana group spends two months in France, they work quite a bit. As soon as again in Guyana, they’re much less reachable“says Sara Tandar.
Skilled in new applied sciences, the SAWA group may also handle the digital portal, which is sure to evolve.
The primary guide in Wayana language
Earlier than the WATAU web site went on line, the Wayana-Apalai group already skilled preliminary satisfaction. After two years of labor, a guide dedicated to the ritual of Maraké was printed in 2018. Iteneimek is the primary guide in wayana.
“Itëneimëk, it evokes an object that was gone, as if it was misplaced. With us, when somebody is misplaced within the forest, we’ll go and discover them. After we discover him, we deliver him again to the village. It's the identical precept“Says Mataliwa, one of many Wayana craftsmen of the SAWA venture.
Wayana in quest of their forgotten heritage
Mataliwa is without doubt one of the wayana precursors of the SAWA venture. From his father Kulijaman, who died in 2001, Mataliwa inherited an essential repertoire of conventional songs from Haut-Maroni. His ardour for transmission too. Along with his calm voice, the 40-something was the interpreter of the late Kulijaman. The latter welcomed researchers visiting Guyana.
In line with French anthropologist Pierre Déléage, Kulijaman was the “best ritual specialist of the Wayana Indians of French Guiana“He was one of many guardians of a Wayana-Apalai heritage: Maraké in French, ëputop in Wayana.
Organized to undergo a stage of life, like puberty, the Maraké is a cycle of ceremonies unfold over a number of months. Music, costume dances and a purification check are the substances.
One of many phases requires braveness and endurance. It consists of resisting the chew of ants or wasps after which fasting for 5 days. Maraké thus prepares younger folks to face the trials of grownup life.
Watch these photos from “Ëputop, un maraké wayana”, the documentary directed by Jean-Philippe Isel (@Toucan manufacturing / RFO Guyane 2005). They present the final Maraké organized in 2004:
Extracts from the documentary “Ëputop un maraké wayana”
Realization: Jean-Philippe Isel –
@Toucan Manufacturing / RFO Guyane 2005 – Due to the folks of Taluhen
Different important components are the songs of Kalawu. The title designates each songs carried out all through the Maraké and an extended poem composed of 13 previous songs and greater than 1500 verses. A poem interpreted throughout the closing ceremony.
Among the many Wayana, an alphabet exists. However the tradition is oral. The story is handed down by means of tune. The function of man, girl, wars … Every little thing goes by means of oral
Eliane Camargo, Brazilian ethnolinguist
When Kulijaman died nineteen years in the past, it was as if a library had burned down. The person was the final nice singer of Kalawu from Haut-Maroni.
For the previous ten years, Mataliwa has been following within the footsteps of his father and that of anthropologists, those that because the second half of the 18th century have explored Guyana. He wrote a research on field skies. These round picket trays, positioned on the middle of the neighborhood carbet, the tukusipan, serve to guard the inhabitants of the village.
The kid of Antécum-Pata didn’t cease there. He seemed for recorded sounds, witnesses of endangered rituals. His quest has taken him to a number of European museums. A need seems: that of reclaiming the songs due to the recordings of ethnologists who’ve succeeded each other on his land.
Why don't anthrophologists return to their work? – Mataliwa.
These are the premises of the SAWA venture, an method initiated by the Wayana themselves.
SAWA: Museum collections screened
You need to see their eyes and their smiles. When the members of the SAWA group entered the museum of the Quai Branly museum in 2016, their enthusiastic response happy the curators of the Parisian establishment.
Armed with cameras, their fingers wrapped in a blue glove, they make their method to the white tables on that are positioned the objects stored within the museum's shops. Practically 200 items had been made accessible to them on the 1,100 objects and 300 Wayana and Apalai images. The biggest Native American assortment within the Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac museum. Some items date from the cupboards of curiosities of the Outdated Regime, ancestors of present museums.
“Some objects returned within the 18th century. They had been seized on the time of the French Revolution, or within the king's cupboard within the Louvre, or within the king's backyard within the museum, or within the cupboards of noblemen in Paris”, Explains André Delpuech. The present director of the Musée de l'Homme was, till 2017, answerable for the collections of the Americas on the musée du quai Branly.
Like investigators, Mataliwa, Aïmawalé and the opposite members of the Wayana-Apalaï group look at intimately each object: cassava graters, headdresses and bracelets previously worn on the ankle. A piece session filmed by Lionel Rossini in his movie SAWA.
“We’re very joyful to see all these objects virtually in good situation. Most of them are not produced right this moment. Ankle bracelets don't exist with us anymore. Women and men not put on them;”Says Aïmawalé within the movie.
“Throughout this primary week of labor, our group was impressed by the objects. Just like the previous backbones. Cotton-based weaving strategies have usually been changed by stiffer suppliesProvides Mataliwa. Conventional manufacturing is on the way in which out. “Beforehand, ladies wove the cotton used. At present, cotton is commonly purchased commercially as a result of it takes a number of months to make it.”Says Mataliwa.
Two years later, one of many working periods on the musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac is dedicated to the research of the Kunana. On these basketwork items had been wasps and toxic ants. These bugs had been utilized to the our bodies of people. Ants for initiates. Wasps for essentially the most seasoned. This Maraké stage corresponds to a purification check. Researchers on the Musée de l'Homme took benefit of the Wayana-Apalaï group's assist to establish the bugs.
Watch this report from France Ô / la1ère shot in October 2018 :
The SAWA venture: Indigenous Data Wayana Apalaï
A reverse exploration “like ethnologists”
At every stage of their exploration, the Wayana clarify to the curators and researchers current the completely different phases of constructing objects, who made them and people who wore them. Their operate too. With the SAWA venture, they’re laying the groundwork for a brand new means of working with lecturers. A precedent for this museum. Related work was carried out on the museum of Guyanese cultures in Cayenne.
From the beginning of the journey, the Wayana had been very clear on their method. “They let me know they had been sick of the researchers. I mentioned to myself: I’ve to work with them, however not as a coach. They take part in what I do. They aren’t solely informers however actors in analysis. With this kind of work, they really feel like equals”Explains Eliane Camargo, a Brazilian ethnolinguist.
Eliane Camargo and Asiwae, an apalai member of the SAWA group – October 2018 © KP
Some twenty objects had been even faraway from the collections after examination by the Wayana-Apalaï group. “The expertise of working with SAWA venture members has been distinctive”, Underlines Fabienne de Pierrebourg, head of the Americas collections on the Quai Branly museum. “This work was marked by nice consistency and precision. Additionally, there is no such thing as a doubt that the data of the Wayana and Apalai specialists whom they shared with us has vastly enriched the data concerning the collections. This expertise (…) additionally allowed us to replicate on the significance of collections as a reminiscence, of reserves as a spot of assembly and reflectionShe says.
Priceless sound reminiscence
If these songs disappear, it’s as if the Wayana’s coronary heart stopped beating. Mataliwa
One other place of business for the Wayana group: the school of Nanterre and its ethnomusicology analysis middle (CREM). There are stored 1367 recordings of Wayana and Apalaia songs and music. A complete length of 189 hours. A treasure for the Wayana-Apalaï group.
“Listening to those songs, generally from our circle of relatives, is a particular second for us. Though our traditions are in peril, the work of the researchers who’ve visited us may have served a goal. “
The sound assortment consists of songs collected in Guyana over the previous sixty years. Among the many researchers is the French Jean-Marcel Hurault. The ethnologist stayed in Guyana between 1957 and 1968. He recorded accounts of characters from Wayana mythology. He additionally labored on Maraké, this endangered ritual. One other object of analysis: the Kalawu, this sequence of 13 songs, musical setting of Wayana thought written in an ancestral language now forgotten. He met Kulijaman, Mataliwa's father.
“What’s exceptional is that their music has not acquired African and European influences. There aren’t any pores and skin drums like on the African continent“Says ethnomusicologist Renaud Brizard.
“Through the listening periods with the Wayana / Apalaï group, we in contrast the knowledge gathered by the researchers with their data. We now have detected some errors. The songs and tales from our sound collections made it doable to construct bridges between the completely different collections, the completely different accomplice establishments of the SAWA venture and historical past. We made the hyperlink with the devices current on the quay Branly particular to Wayana and Apalaï”Explains the CREM specialist.
Restitution: no need to return on website
Sound archives. Footage. 1000’s of objects distributed between France, Brazil, Germany and the USA. The Wayana group and researchers related to the SAWA venture have recognized thirty-two establishments world wide that preserve components of the Wayana-Apalai heritage.
Alternatively, nobody throughout the SAWA group calls for a bodily restitution of the works.
“I want that they’re tidy up someplace as a result of it’s a essential factor. I feel if we deliver this all house, they'll spoil, they'll rot“.
Aïmawalé in 2016
“We don't have the thought of the museum. A museum is essential. It lets you see the lacking objects of our present data.“After a break, he provides,”however it’s true that if there may be ever a museum in Guyana, we’ll deliver every thing again there”, He joked inflicting a normal snicker on the finish of a piece session.
Among the many Wayana, “when somebody dies, their issues are burned ”, explains Eliane Camargo. Valentina Vapnarsky, director of analysis on the CNRS, provides: “the objects would not exist if they’d not been stored in museums. In these societies, objects are topic to transformation or are destroyed throughout funeral rituals. “
What the Wayana observe are objects put within the fridge of which they had been generally unaware.
The Wayana had been nomadic. Each 5 years, folks migrated to construct a brand new village. They didn’t hold the objects. They deserted them on the spot.
As an alternative of demanding a return of the objects to their villages, the Wayana-Apalaï group opted for an authentic restitution: the creation of the WATAU digital portal.
4 years of labor may have been crucial, alongside the companions of the LESC, the laboratory of ethnology and comparative sociology of the CNRS and the Paris-Nanterre college to lastly navigate on the web site.