Founded in 2009 | Thousand Currents Partner since 2023

Associação Sociocultural Yawanawa (ASCY)

Reviving the history, culture and ancestry of Yawanawa people

The Yawanawa are an Indigenous people that live in the Amazon state of Acre, close to the border with Bolivia and Peru. In the 1980s, the Yawanawa almost disappeared because of diseases and attacks on them and their land. The Associação Sociocultural Yawanawa (ASCY) was founded by them to keep the history, culture, and ancestral knowledge of the Yawanawa people alive. The Yawanawa people were one of the first Indigenous peoples to have their land demarcated in Brazil in 1983 and later they became the first to have their demarcation reviewed and doubled in size.  ASCY’s work focuses on rescuing the ancestral environmental, cultural and spiritual knowledge of the Yawanawa people. Annually, they celebrate the Festival de Manifestação Cultural Yawanawa which has inspired many Indigenous peoples in and around the region. After coming to the realization that spirituality and knowledge has no gender, the Yawanawa people have shifted their practices and now allow women to be pajés and caciques, meaning they can take up spiritual, health, and political leadership roles in the community.

They have also formed different partnerships to share their ancestral songs, fabric, drawings and handicrafts. They are currently working on building a 3D virtual museum to better exhibit and showcase their culture.