A group of young Indigenous people from the Wampís Nation have released a music video. The song focuses on the importance of caring for the Amazon, sharing the culture and language.
The song Iña Nunke translates from Wampís language to Our Territory. It was composed by 16 young Wampís during a series of workshops, thanks to funding from the Welsh Government, following a long-standing relationship between the Wampís and Size of Wales.
The young people belong to the School of Sharian Leaders. The aim of this school – which differs from Peruvian state-provided education – is to strengthen the capacities and self-esteem of young Wampís leaders thus ensuring the protection of their terriotry and the defence of the rights of the Wampís Nation.
Iña Nunke combines Wampís traditional music called a nampet, with rap music which is popular with Wampís youth. The song is sung in the Wampís mother tongue and has been translated into Spanish, English and Welsh. Indigenous languages, such as Wampís and Welsh, are intimately connected to the peoples’ relationship to the land. As highlighted by UNESCO’s Decade of Indigenous Languages, conserving indigenous languages is vital because it goes hand-in-hand with understanding and protecting our natural world.
The premiere was watched by audiences around the world, sharing the story of how the Wampís protect their territory and forests from the threats they are regularly exposed to, such as illegal gold mining and logging. The song also aims to cultivate support within the Wampís Nation, encouraging them to rally against illegal activities.
One of the verses says:
Defend our territory with strength
Don’t let them exploit the oil
Come with joy
Come with the Wampís Nation
We are risking our lives in defence of our territory
Get the vision, come on, stand up come on.
During the process of composing the song, Wampís youth also met online with Welsh climate activists, the Youth Climate Ambassadors (YCA) and Fitzalan High School’s fusion band who created a song on similar themes. All the young people involved felt the cultural exchange and songwriting process was valuable.
“It’s amazing! Although the fight is very difficult, the message is positive… powerful and positive” said Shenona Mitra, Vice Chair and Communications Officer of YCA who met with leaders of the Wampís Nation at COP26 in Glasgow last year.
Molly Hucker, another YCA member said
“The music video was incredible, messages of being a unified voice against corporate greed and abuses of power were empowering. The work of the Wampis is inspiring, the messages of solidarity throughout are so important.”
Vicente Sumpa, a student at the School of Sharian Leaders and one of the composers of the song Iña Nunke said
“We have loved making these musical creations. We want to be able to make more music, perhaps cumbia or reggaeton, carrying the important message of the Wampís Nation about the care of our territory and our fight against the threats of oil, logging and illegal mining.”
The video will be officially presented to the international public during the UN Summit on Biological Diversity (COP15) which will take place in Montreal, Canada. The song has an important message to global leaders from empowered young people ready to protect their lands for the sake of everyone on this planet.