Wajapi communities in northern Amazonia have a long history of producing and using vegetable dyes to adorn their bodies with geometric motifs and symbols. Motifs of the jaguar, anaconda, butterfly and fish animate the worldview and oral traditions of the Wajapi.
The safeguarding project aims at supporting the Wajãpi in their efforts to document their skills, experiences and knowledge related to their manifold oral and graphic expressions as they are embodied, most prominently, in the kusiwa graphic system. This project will complement the broader set of activities undertaken by the “Wajãpi Programme”, which started in 1992.
The project focuses on documentation and dissemination of information related to the oral and graphic expressions of the Wajãpi. The participative documentation will be undertaken by the Wajãpi themselves. The project is composed of three main lines of action: (i) undertaking of an ethnological survey, (ii) elaboration of an inventory in the form of an electronic database in close cooperation with the respective custodians, (iii) implementation of dissemination and diffusion activities on Wajãpi oral and graphic expressions” focus on both young Wajãpi and public managers working with indigenous communities in order to increase their knowledge and appreciation of Wajãpi oral and graphic expressions and the need to safeguard the context in which they are practiced.