March 3, 2017

Kayapó leaders, artists from Brazil to visit Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Kayapó leaders and artists from the Central Brazilian Amazon are visiting Purdue University in early March.

There will be a public film screening and discussion of Kayapó documentaries and shorts at 6-7:30 p.m. Monday (March 6) in the Krannert Auditorium. An opening reception also will precede the event from 4-5:30 p.m. These events are sponsored by Purdue’s Native American Educational and Cultural Center.

“An Evening with Kayapó and Mebengokre Leaders and Artists” is 4:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday (March 7) in Mann Hall Atrium at Discovery Park. The event, which is open to the public, is sponsored by the Center for the Environment, Department of Anthropology and College of Liberal Arts. The event also will feature a photo exhibit highlighting Kayapó community life. 

The Kayapó people live in a federally demarcated homeland the central Brazilian Amazon — a territory which has remained a stronghold of preserving biocultural diversity and rights in a period of rapid deforestation, says Laura Zanotti, an associate professor of anthropology, who has worked with the Kayapó peoples for more than 10 years.

“We are thrilled to host them at Purdue this March,” says Zanotti. “We are honored that they are visiting on their trip to the United States and eager to have students, faculty, staff, and the public dialogue with them about art, media, and conservation.”

Kayapó tribal leaders, artists, and filmmakers are visiting Purdue to discuss the conservation-development challenges their communities face, feature new artistic and documentary productions from tribal members, and highlight their role in addressing some of the world’s grand challenges.

Zanotti also co-advises the EPICS GAPS team, whose members have been developing alternative power solutions and sustainable infrastructure solutions to a media center in one Kayapó village.

The Kayapó visitors include:

* Kaket Bepuneiti Kayapó is a tribal leader of the village of A’ukre. Kaket has long supported media making initiatives in his community and other partnerships with universities and local and international nongovernmental organizations.

* Pat-i Kayapó is a filmmaker in the community of A'ukre, serving as a leader and organizer of a group of men and women filmmakers. He enjoys making films, participating in community life, and documenting Kayapó culture.

* Bepto Kayapó is a filmmaker in the community of A'ukre. For the past several years, he has served as the main filmmaker who works with the A'ukre school system – documenting anything from class activities and elder visits to the school.

* Pykatire Kayapó is a songwriter and musician from the Kayapó village of Kabaú. He recently has received much acclaim for the production of Kayapó Pop music, which is a mixture of Kayapó lyrics with regional non-indigenous Brazilian forró, brega and sertaneja dance and musical styles. 

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723,

Source: Laura Zanotti, 

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