The Wachiperi: Defending Our Culture, Resisting Our Disappearance
The Wachiperi were easy to spot at the 2015 Folklife Festival, in their hand-painted, hand-cut cushmas, beige tunics stretched from the fiber of tree bark. The men and women from this remote community in the Peruvian Amazon were often found demonstrating this traditional healing ceremonies, archery techniques, jewelry designs, and more.
Nely Ninantay Yonaje was perhaps the most outspoken of the Wachiperi representatives, explaining the urgency in sharing these traditions and preserving their native language. Their ancestors were warriors, and now Nely and her generation must fight to keep their heritage alive.
Production, editing: Claudia Romano
Videography: Charlie Weber, Holly Wissler, Claudia Romano
Claudia Romano is a video production intern at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and a student at Swarthmore College, where she studies anthropology.