As We Die: A People Heading to Extinction, Friday, 4:00 p.m.

12/05/2013

Contributed by Brandy Hawley

A Sápara nation representative will share stories of how his people, their numbers dwindling, are scrambling to document their history, their oral language, their culture, their very existence.

Ithaca College will have a historic and unprecedented opportunity on Friday, December 6, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. in Park Hall Auditorium to hear from a representative of a people whose oral language is fast dying out and who themselves are on the brink of extinction.

Just 100 years ago there were nearly a half million Sápara; today there are between 400 and 1,000. 

Manari Kaji Ushigua, of the Sápara nation of the Amazon in modern-day Ecuador and Peru, will share stories of how they are struggling to collect and archive a written and audiovisual record of their lives and their culture. 

The Sápara have been decimated by colonialism and the attendant introduced diseases, deforestation, slavery, forced displacement, abuse by settlers — and perhaps most devastating of all, the exploitative heavy industries of metals, rubber, oil and timber mining.  

They and supporters are focusing on creating an ethnographic collection of their traditional knowledge, stories, arts, crafts, myths, rituals, and creations.  

Manari will give us the flavor of his people's lives on the cherished lands where their ancestors lived — which, to their deep sorrow, will not shelter their future generations.

Manari is coming at the invitation of Dr. Pablo Calvi, Assistant Professor of Journalism, who will translate from Spanish. The event is cosponsored by the Departments of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Journalism, Modern Languages and Literatures, and Sociology; Latin American Studies Program; the Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity; the Dr. John Keshishoglou Center for Global Communications Innovation; the Park Center for Independent Media; the Roy H. Park School of Communications; and the Cornell University Latin American Studies Program.

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodation, please contact Brandy Hawley, bhawley@ithaca.edu, and 607-274-3590, as much in advance of the event

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