Dr Raoni Valle

UK Host Institution: University College London
Project status

Rock Art Inter-Ontologies: Ethnography and Digital Safeguarding of Kumuã Knowledge on Petroglyph Sacred Places in Northwest Ama

Living indigenous traditions of rock art knowledge are significantly changing or disappearing in the contemporary world. The Northwest Amazon, however, is a notable exception where a wealth of rock art indigenous knowledge continues to be transmitted, in stark contrast with the overall lack of scholarly attention to the topic. This project focuses on expanding the ethnoarchaeological comprehension of that phenomenon. Previous fieldwork I have conducted in the area allowed fruitful intercultural research experiences with Indigenous connoisseurs, documented with digital video and photographic recording. These recordings may contribute to investigating and safeguarding the rock art knowledge of Kumuã, Eastern Tukanoan indigenous ritual specialists. As knowledge keepers, Kumuã have a profound awareness of petroglyphs, which originates from their 'inter-ontological entanglements' with spirits dwelling at engraved sites. This fellowship could create conditions for the fine-grained examination of this ethnographic evidence and new fieldwork data-gathering, shedding light on this Amazonian rock art cosmopolitical networking.

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