Colectivo Epew Premiered Radio Teatro Mapuche to Rescue Oral Traditions

Fundación Colectivo Epew

FROM THE EDITORS: The Epew Collective is a theater group with Mapuche and Chilean members, that works in “defense of native peoples, community art, and interculturality.” Below we reproduce an article about a new bilingual project, Radio Teatro Mapuche, which was made for children without access to internet in Mapuche territory, who have been taking remote classes via radio. As radio producers, it makes our hearts beat fast. You can listen to the audios of this radio theater production here.

Fundación Colectivo Epew
Fundación Colectivo Epew

Originally posted by Radio JGM

Last Saturday, March 20, premiered Radio Teatro Mapuche “Witrapurafiyiñ Taiñ Kuifike Epew Ka Piam,” a work presented in digital format as a way of approaching the Chilean and Mapuche public.

Catalina Saavedra and Francisco Reyes are part of the voices that narrate this new Radio Teatro Mapuche, the first of Epew Collective that returns after months of absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic that affected the vast majority of theatrical artists, who were forced to find new ways to keep this profession going.

The project seeks to highlight the oral memory of the Mapuche people through their ancestral stories called “epew” and “piam”, and was financed by the Conadi Competition of Ancestral Medicine and Strengthening of the Indigenous Cultural Heritage, Year 2020.

Oral Memory

Radio Teatro presents versions of stories from the Pewenche area in Spanish and Mapuzungun that will be released for free, seeking to maintain oral traditions through the virtual network as a new setting.

For one of the creators and interpreters of this project, Norma Hueche, the proposal “brings with it the memory of our grandmothers and grandfathers through the various stories that are repeated and will be repeated in different generations. The Mapuzungun, the ülkantun (songs) and the ngülamtun (advice) teach us and remind us of our values ​​as Mapuche ngen; our link with the itxofill mongen (biodiversity of lives) and people ”.

The actress also comments on the importance of oral tradition as a form of cultural resistance. “Oral tradition is the heritage that has sustained the identity of peoples since time immemorial, it is the method that has survived all forms of assimilation and returns to us as a memory of stubborn resistance,” added also the member of the Petu Mogelein Mahuidache Association.

Strengthening Ties

Libko Pereira Manquepi, a young Mapuche from the Pewenche area, is another of the narrators of these stories. The cast is made up of the aforementioned Catalina Saavedra and Francisco Reyes, along with Camila Velázquez and the Mapuche singer-songwriter Daniela Millaleo, who also performs the music.

The prologue is by Mapuche historian Claudio Alvarado Lincopi and the sound universe that transports the Wallmapu through sounds is by the music producer Beatmachine.

The project is co-directed by Norma Hueche and Roberto Cayuqueo, who also adapted these stories that come from Mapuche boys and girls from the Icalma schools.

For the playwright, Roberto Cayuqueo, the purpose of this work is to maintain the relationship of his creation with the Mapuche territory and in this case, to strengthen ties with the Pewenche territory, “This link of co-labor between the collective and the Schools of Icalma is fundamental for the creation and the journey that we have been doing for a few years now, it undoubtedly soaks everything creative. “

The actor also added that, “in addition to the pandemic, these schools have adapted to radio classes, since there in Icalma there is no good internet either, so the teachers began to make radio programs with subject ares to reach their students. This material is actually designed for them, and we want to share it with the rest of the public ”.

SOURCE: Radio JGM is a Chilean communication project at the University of Chile, transmitting radio over the internet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to give space to “a range of discourses not made visible in public opinion.”