University of São Paulo: In partnership with USP, indigenous people learn to produce podcasts to promote their culture

What was born to guide the indigenous population about the covid-19 pandemic has become a means of rescuing and preserving the culture of these peoples. This is the Ambassadors of the Indigenous People project, conceived by Professor Carolina Aires, from the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ribeirão Preto (FCFRP) at USP, in partnership with the Pataxó Hãhãhãe indigenous community (southeast of Bahia) and Rádio USP.

According to Professor Carolina, the initial objective was to guide the indigenous people to produce and distribute podcasts as a resource to inform the village about the prevention of coronavirus and the fight against misinformation about vaccines. But to these themes, the indigenous project members and new podcast producers must add others related to the culture and tradition of their people.


Hemerson Pataxó, one of the members of the project – Photo: Disclosure
These representatives of the Pataxó Hãhãhãe community will use digital tools to disseminate content with “indigenous to indigenous language”. These contents, emphasizes Carolina, matter “both for the question of cultural erasure and for the fight for territory”; themes addressed at Ambassadors of the Indigenous People and which will result in productions “with language from indigenous to indigenous”, adds Hemerson Pataxó, one of the project’s members.

The work they have been doing in the community, says the Pataxó, of preserving and disseminating indigenous culture is important because it mainly involves the younger generations; Consumers of new technologies, young people will now be producers of podcasts with the possibility to “deep deeper and deeper into their history”. The indigenous leader believes that social networks are demanding more and more time from young people, time that “they could be in contact with the elders”, hearing more about customs and traditions.

But, by participating in the project, Pataxó believes, these young people should collaborate with the strengthening of the culture and deepening of the history of their people. As they are already on social networks, they will now be able to use the “tool with a greater wealth of culture and entertainment”, he adds.

Rescue and dissemination of Brazilian indigenous culture

The record of Brazilian traditions and cultures has been carried out since the time of colonization, but with information mostly from Europeans. According to historians, the documents produced by the whites present a relevant deficit regarding the history of the Indians in Brazil.

In addition to the lack of historical information on these peoples, argue the organizers of the Ambassadors of the Indigenous People project , there is also the globalization that has penetrated Brazilian indigenous villages, making it even more difficult to preserve customs and beliefs, with losses to the country’s own historical heritage.

Thus, they justify the creation of the project as an online work in which the participants guide some members of the Pataxó Hãhãhãe people in the production of scripts, of audios in podcast format, of marketing and dissemination of the material and, also, regarding the best use of networks. To do so, they rely on the help of community teachers.

The first group of young people to participate in the project are students from the indigenous college of the Pataxó Hãhãhãe community, who are instructed to use the tools in a way that is more focused on the project’s purpose. These young people are encouraged to search for and deepen cultural knowledge both for the production of material and to pass on the guidance to other young people in the village. The plans now, they say, in addition to effectively starting productions, are to bring indigenous teachers to the project.

In the player below, listen to an interview with Professor Carolina Aires, from the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ribeirão Preto, USP, and the indigenous Hemerson Pataxó.

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