Vanishing Cultures Project

Vanishing Cultures Project Using documentary journalism to empower indigenous communities. www.vcproject.org Check us out at our website, www.vcproject.org. The Vanishing Cultures Project is devoted to assisting indigenous, traditional groups worldwide preserve their culture by documenting their lifestyle through photography, research, and media, educating the public about these groups, and funding indigenous preservation initiatives.
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Operating as usual

Deep in the Amazon, a Tiny Tribe Is Beating Big Oil
02/18/2015
Deep in the Amazon, a Tiny Tribe Is Beating Big Oil

Deep in the Amazon, a Tiny Tribe Is Beating Big Oil

The people of Sarayaku are a leading force in 21st century indigenous resistance, engaging the western world politically, legally, and philosophically.

It may be behind schedule, but the construction of Belo Monte forges on. Next, they will have to demolish the stilt hous...
02/03/2015
Brazil's Biggest Bet in the Electric Sector, Belo Monte Power Plant Is Behind Schedule

It may be behind schedule, but the construction of Belo Monte forges on. Next, they will have to demolish the stilt houses of people living in nearby Altamira.
http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/internacional/en/business/2015/02/1583945-brazils-biggest-bet-in-the-electric-sector-belo-monte-power-plant-is-behind-schedule.shtml

With an expected initial investment of US$ 10.7 billion in current value, the Belo Monte hydroelectric power plant is dependent on stilts.

The Atlantic Photo
09/05/2014

The Atlantic Photo

Reuters photographer Lunae Parracho recently went on a search and destroy mission in the Amazon with Brazil's Ka'apor Indians. Frustrated by the government's lack of action to keep illegal loggers out of the Alto Turiacu Indian territory, local warriors from several tribes have taken it upon themselves to find logging camps, destroy equipment, and drive out the unwelcome intruders. Parracho documented the scene as Ka'apor warriors captured a number of men in the forest, burned their trucks, destroyed their logs, then sent their captives down the road - freed, but without shoes or pants, their hands still bound. Full entry: http://goo.gl/WCijkv

After spending months in the Amazon with the Xikrin people, we're proud to announce the publication of VCP's newest book...
05/15/2014
The Xikrin: Indigenous Life in a Changing Amazon

After spending months in the Amazon with the Xikrin people, we're proud to announce the publication of VCP's newest book, THE XIKRIN: INDIGENOUS LIFE IN A CHANGING AMAZON. Today, the Xikrin are still fighting the construction of the Belo Monte Dam. This book captures the Xikrin's traditional lifestyle that hangs in the balance.

Deep within the verdant tangles of the Brazilian Amazon near the mighty Xingu River live the Xikrin, a river-faring indigenous people who depend largely on the jungle and river system for their livelihood. Experts of their terrain, the Xikrin have adapted to the harsh realities of life in the Ama...

The proof copy of our new Xikrin book just arrived!
05/05/2014

The proof copy of our new Xikrin book just arrived!

Congratulations to Ruth Buendía Mestoquiari, the 2014 Goldman Environmental Prize winner.
05/01/2014
The Woman Who Breaks Mega-Dams

Congratulations to Ruth Buendía Mestoquiari, the 2014 Goldman Environmental Prize winner.

How to stop 7,200 megawatts of power with the force of law.

New Photos of Uncontacted Amazon Tribe Stir Uproar
04/05/2014
New Photos of Uncontacted Amazon Tribe Stir Uproar

New Photos of Uncontacted Amazon Tribe Stir Uproar

Pressure from loggers, gold prospectors, and land speculators endangers many of the world's last remaining uncontacted indigenous communities.

Nguy, an indigenous Moken man living on Ko Surin island, rows his small sampan out into the shallow waters in front of h...
03/27/2014

Nguy, an indigenous Moken man living on Ko Surin island, rows his small sampan out into the shallow waters in front of his village. Moken, often called sea nomads, have lived in the Mergui Archipelago of Thailand and Myanmar for hundreds of years, but are being increasingly forced to settle because of development and overfishing.

An indigenous Moken man guides his boat towards deeper water as the tide moves out. The Moken sea nomads in Koh Surin st...
03/20/2014

An indigenous Moken man guides his boat towards deeper water as the tide moves out. The Moken sea nomads in Koh Surin still live a largely traditional lifestyle based on an intimate relationship with the sea.

Danong, an indigenous Moken man, hunts for fish using a traditional bamboo spear near his village in Ko Surin National P...
03/17/2014

Danong, an indigenous Moken man, hunts for fish using a traditional bamboo spear near his village in Ko Surin National Park, Thailand.

Often called sea nomads or sea gypsies, the Moken are a seafaring people who for centuries lived nomadically on the Andaman Sea. However, due to stricter border control, commercial overfishing, rapid development, and tourism, the Moken have gradually been forced to adopt a settled lifestyle. Today, the Moken who live in Koh Surin National Park--one of Thailand's most remote group of islands--have it better than many of their kin: they're still able to live a lifestyle largely based on tradition and the sea. On these islands, it's possible to see free-diving Moken men spearfishing in the water or groups of women foraging along the shores, tidal pools, and mud flats.

The vanishing sea tribe
03/16/2014
The vanishing sea tribe

The vanishing sea tribe

Thailand's Moken tribe foresaw and survived the 2004 tsunami, but are the traditions that saved them being abandoned?

Taliban threaten Kalash tribe in Pakistan
02/15/2014
Embrace Islam or die!

Taliban threaten Kalash tribe in Pakistan

Taliban threaten Kalash tribe, Ismailis in Chitral The Pakistani Taliban have announced an “armed struggle” against an indigenous tribe and Ismaili Muslims in the picturesque northern Chitral Valley, calling on Sunnis to…

Xikrin men and women gather in a house in the Amazon rainforest to have their bodies painted. The Xikrin are fighting ag...
02/06/2014

Xikrin men and women gather in a house in the Amazon rainforest to have their bodies painted. The Xikrin are fighting against construction of the Belo Monte - the world's third largest dam - being built a few miles away on the mighty Xingu River.

We spent the last few days laying out our new book about the Xikrin people in the Brazilian Amazon. Send us a message if...
12/30/2013

We spent the last few days laying out our new book about the Xikrin people in the Brazilian Amazon. Send us a message if you're interested in getting a copy when they become available early next year!

National Geographic Magazine
12/22/2013

National Geographic Magazine

Our January issue is now on digital newsstands! Take a look at the issue here: http://bit.ly/18vEOcq On the cover: meet the rich and powerful Amazon tribe that is battling a dam that will not die.

Kayapo Courage
12/17/2013
Kayapo Courage

Kayapo Courage

The Amazon tribe has beaten back ranchers and gold miners and famously stopped a dam. Now its leaders must fight again or risk losing a way of life.

"Today, with little notice, more vast archives of knowledge and expertise are spilling into oblivion, leaving humanity i...
12/08/2013

"Today, with little notice, more vast archives of knowledge and expertise are spilling into oblivion, leaving humanity in danger of losing its past and perhaps jeopardizing its future as well. Stored in the memories of elders, healers. midwives, farmers, fishermen and hunters in the estimated 15,000 cultures remaining on earth is an enormous trove of wisdom." 1991 TIME Magazine article by Eugene Linden - still incredibly relevant today.

http://www.ee.ryerson.ca/~elf/abacus/lost-tribes-lost-knowledge.html

In Chomsky’s own words, “It’s pretty ironic that the so-called ‘least advanced’ people are the ones taking the lead in t...
12/03/2013
Noam Chomsky: Indigenous People Are In The Lead

In Chomsky’s own words, “It’s pretty ironic that the so-called ‘least advanced’ people are the ones taking the lead in trying to protect all of us, while the richest and most powerful among us are the ones who are trying to drive the society to destruction.”

Chomsky, “Canadian mining operations are just destroying large parts of the world.” He said that “Canada is trying to take the lead in destroying the possibility of decent survival: that’s what it...

Incredible images! Hoping some of the $9,000 retail book price supports the groups they've been working with.
10/18/2013
BEFORE THEY PASS AWAY

Incredible images! Hoping some of the $9,000 retail book price supports the groups they've been working with.

Travelling by jeep through OMO Valley, from the riverbanks, the highlands, down to the Kenyan border, we came across 5 different tribes.

Mídia Ninja
10/04/2013

Mídia Ninja

PARLAMENTO INDIGENA

Durante a tarde de hoje, os cerca de 1500 indígenas que acampam em frente ao Congresso Nacional desde Segunda (30/09) saíram em marcha até a entrada para a chapelaria da Câmara, onde foram barrados por um bloqueio policial. Logo houve uma confusão, quando foi atirado spray de pimenta em lideranças indígenas, quilombolas, mulheres e crianças que também se encontravam no local. Após um momento de tensão, o deputado Lincoln Portela (PR-MG), presidente da Comissão de Legislação Participativa, negociou a entrada de 31 lideranças que entrariam na Casa e se reuniriam com uma comissão de deputados, dentre os quais o presidente em exercício da Câmara, André Vargas (PT-PR).

Os encaminhamentos da reunião foram a apresentação de um relatório entregue aos 3 poderes e a diversas entidades apresentando a inconstitucionalidade da PEC 215, que transfere a demarcação de terras indígenas para o Congresso Nacional. Será protocolada também uma PEC de autoria do deputado Nilmário Miranda (PT-MG) que prevê a criação de 4 vagas para deputados indígenas, eleitos pelos indígenas, o que garantiria uma representação justa na tomada de decisões referentes a eles.

Na noite de ontem, o presidente Henrique Eduardo Alves determinou a suspensão dos trabalhos da Comissão Especial da PEC 215, e determinou a abertura de uma comissão especial para o PLP 227, que também ameaça seriamente as terras indígenas e é alvo de protesto da semana de Mobilização Nacional Indígena.

Amanhã, uma comissão de deputados receberá, as 11h, uma carta com todas as reivindicações apresentadas pela mobilização nacional dos povos indígenas.

Foto: Mídia NINJA

Have you signed?
10/02/2013
Amazon Watch - Take a Stand for Indigenous Rights and Territories in Brazil!

Have you signed?

The Brazilian Congress is considering proposals that would eliminate indigenous rights to resources in cases of 'relevant public interest.' In response, Brazil’s National Indigenous Association has called for a national mobilization. Thousands of indigenous peoples are marching across Brazil this we...

A Xikrin father in the Amazonian village of Poti-Kro cares for his young son.
09/16/2013

A Xikrin father in the Amazonian village of Poti-Kro cares for his young son.

Every two weeks, Xikrin women in the Amazon gather to repaint their bodies.
09/14/2013

Every two weeks, Xikrin women in the Amazon gather to repaint their bodies.

A Xikrin woman climbs a genipap tree in the Amazonian village of Poti-Kro. Genipap fruit is mixed with charcoal and used...
09/12/2013

A Xikrin woman climbs a genipap tree in the Amazonian village of Poti-Kro. Genipap fruit is mixed with charcoal and used to paint the bodies of Xikrin men, women, and children.

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General information

Today’s rate of cultural loss is alarming—linguists say that over the next century at least half of the 6,000 human languages in the world will disappear. In addition, indigenous and traditional communities are seeing their crafts, skills, folklore, beliefs, and vocational knowledge fade into obscurity under forces such as economic development, modernization, and environmental instability. In a 2007 Pew survey, a majority of people in 46 countries out of 47 said they felt “their traditional way of life is getting lost.” We continue to hear stories about the displacement of indigenous peoples from ancestral lands, the disappearance of languages, the marginalization of nomadic peoples—all of which lead to the permanent loss of rich cultural heritages and global diversity. The Vanishing Cultures Project (VCP) is a nonprofit organization devoted to assisting indigenous, traditional groups worldwide preserve their culture by documenting their lifestyle through photography and research, funding local preservation initiatives, and educating the public about these groups. The books and photos we produce aim to amplify the voices of indigenous peoples, spread awareness on global diversity, and promote geographic literacy by providing a public archive of cultural information. The funds raised through book and print sales, donations, and grants are given to local cultural preservation initiatives to empower indigenous people in preserving aspects of their own culture.

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