Team

Yakuwipu Waurá

is an Indigenous scholar and community leader from the Wauja village of Piyulewene, located on the von den Steinen River. The Wauja speak an Arawakan language, in addition to Portuguese, and reside in the Xingu Indigenous Territory in the state of Mato Grosso, in Central Brazil.
Yakuwipu has collected a large body of Wauja-language data on birds, including the names and descriptions of most of the birds associated with Wauja territory.
In 2020, she plans to research and document the Wauja material culture objects in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. This collection was partially described by male researchers in 2016-17, who produced over 350 short videos describing most of the objects in detail. Yakuwipu has been chosen as one of a team of female scholars who aim to produce a second set of such videos, completing the work that the teams of male researchers did in 2016-17, by drawing on the complementary expertise of Wauja women, both elders and young scholars.
She has completed high school, and is currently preparing to take the Vestibular exam in order to attend university. She also teaches high school in her natal village of Piyulewene, and serves as treasurer of her village association, AISA, (Associação Indígena Sapukuyawa-Arakuni), the legal entity of the village.

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