Amerindian Voices in St Andrews 6th -13th September 2022

Tuesday 9 August 2022

Three Indigenous South Americans are to visit the University of St-Andrews in early September 2022.

      Three remarkable Amerindian women from Brazil will be in St-Andrews this autumn, where over 10 days from September 6thto 13ththey will engage in a series of activities. They will speak in a public meeting, teach a class in anthropology, meet and engage with students, academics, and members of the public, make a collaborative work of art with Scottish artists, run a workshop on the making of sacred feather mantles in the Tupinambá tradition, and reach out to the political establishment in Scotland to speak about their concerns. The project that supports their visit, sponsored by CAS –the Centre for Amerindian Studies, and by the Department of Social Anthropology, aims to provide them a platform to amplify indigenous women’s voices on the topics of climate change and environment post COP-26 and pre-COP 27. It is a development of the first phase of the project, which took place entirely online. (See   

Each of the three visitors is from a different indigenous people, with a distinct culture, language, history, and environmental situation.

 Nelly Marubo(Nelly Barbosa Duarte Dollis) is an activist and intellectual from the Javari region on the border between Peru and Brazil. The Marubo people are one of the most numerous in this area and leading members of the indigenous movement there, which fights against land invasion, environmental pillage and for the rights guaranteed under the Brazilian Constitution. Nelly completed a PhD in Anthropology at the Museu Nacional, Rio de Janeiro, in May 2022 and currently she is organizing an association of the indigenous women of the Javari. She will speak about the many difficulties involved in this project, which takes place under constant a threat of violence from the same criminal groups that organised the murders of Dom Philips and Bruno Pereira

Francineia Baniwa
(Francineia Bitencourt Fontes)is of the Walipere-Dakeenai clan of the Baniwa people, who have been living since precolonial times in the upper Rio Negro River area, now part of the Northwest Amazon region of Brazil. She is currently studying for a doctorate in anthropology at the Museu Nacional (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro), where she completed a master’s dissertation on Baniwa mythology and its transformations in 2019. She is a mother, expert in forest agriculture, activist, defender of the environment and its guardian-carers, photographer, and spokeswoman for her people and for Amerindians – the original peoples of the Americas – more generally.

Tupinambá(Glicéria Jesus da Silva) lives in a region of Brazil once covered by the Atlantic Forest and participates actively in her people’s fight to regain occupied land and reforest it.She is a well-known indigenous leader, teacher, intellectual and awarded artist from the village of Serra do Padeiro, located in the Tupinambá de Olivença Indigenous Territory (southern Bahia, Northeastern Brazil). Glicéria has also acted as an Indigenous representative within multiple spheres, such as the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). Currently, she is researching the contemporary efforts of the Tupinambá to recover their language and aspects of their material culture, intertwined with their struggle for land. More specifically, she investigates the connections between the remaining capes of scarlet ibis feathers produced by the Tupinambá during the 16thand 17thcenturies – all of which are kept in European museums –, the Old Tupi language and the production of contemporary capes. Because of her relentless commitment to the advancement of the Indigenous rights and, more specifically, the recognition of the Tupinambá’s land rights, Glicéria has been repeatedly threatened and criminalized. In 2010, returning from an official appointment during which she denounced the frequent episodes of police brutality against her people to then President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, she was arrested with her 2-month-old baby. Their incarceration, which persisted for over two months, was severely criticized by human rights organizations in Brazil and abroad.


1) WORKSHOP: Amerindian Art and Craft in the Face of Climate Change and Environmental Destruction.

If you are at the university (employed or studying there) and would like to participate in this workshop, please contact Dr McCallum at [email protected]. Numbers are restricted.   During the workshop participants will collaborate with Scottish artists Paola McClure and Lada Wilson in collaboration with Amerindian visitors from Brazil Nelly Marubo, Glicéria Tupinambá and Francineia Fontes, under the latter’s guidance, to produce a work of art that reflects on the topics of climate change and environmental destruction from an Amerindian perspective.

Location: Learning Loft, Wardlaw Museum

Date: 7.9.22

Time: 14.00-17.00.

 2) WORKSHOP: Amerindian Art and Craft in the Face of Climate Change and Environmental Destruction. 

 In this workshop, Gliceria Tupinambá will speak about and demonstrate her work in recreating Tupinambá feather mantles, and the relation with environmental destruction and climate change.

Location: Purdie Building, Theatre D,

(in the University of St-Andrews)

Date: 9.9.22

Time: 10.00-12.00

3) CAS Seminar: The Water’s Skin: Art and Transformation in Shipibo-Konibo kene (Luisa Elvira Belaunde, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos)

Location: CAS Library/ Seminar Room

Date: 12.9.22

Time: 17.00-18.30

4) PANEL DISCUSSION: “Amerindian Women Speak Out: Environment, Climate Crisis, Land and Gender in Brazilian Amazonia from Indigenous Peoples’ Perspectives “. 

 Amerindian activists and anthropologist Nelly Marubo and Francineia Baniwá present indigenous perspectives and invite participants to an open discussion.  Nelly Marubo and Francineia Baniwá are indigenous anthropologists and activists from two distinct regions in Brazilian Amazonia who are visiting the University of St-Andrews to present their own Amerindian people’s perspectives on environmental destruction and climate.  In this panel they will talk about gender and the question of territory and engage with the public.

Location: School I

Date: 13.9.22

Time: 17.00-18.30

The Amerindian Voices project was created by Cecilia McCallum(Professor of Anthropology at the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil, & Professorial Fellow in Amerindian Studies at the Universityof St-Andrews), in collaboration with Professor Mark Harris(Social Anthropology, University of St-Andrews) and ProfessoraLuisa Elvira Belaunde, (Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos). It is funded by the Impact and Innovation Fund(Univ. of St-Andrews). The first phase of this projectin 2021 was funded by the KE and Impact Fund (Univ. of St-Andrews). See