Cultural Centre - Kamarata
With the community’s full participation in the creation of a Cultural Centre in the Kamarata Valley it is under construction where all the written, photographic, film and video materials which narrate the history and culture of the Kamarakotos can be stored. This Centre will have a library and a small museum with a permanent exhibition.
The Centre will be a very important element for the cultural identity of the tribe, it will bring education, development, information, and also new opportunities of work and a good encouragement for the tourism model.
Thanks to an initial grant from a University in Spain a permanent exhibition will be mounted in the museum (a stand-alone churuata) consisting of historical presentations of local and foreign figures who were an integral part of the Pemón’s past, such as Ruth Robertson and Jimmie Angel.
Video and other documentation
Through this program we are preparing a file with interviews from the elders of the tribe. Hortensia Berti, a young Kamarakota, is the guide in this project. She is the great-granddaughter of the legendary Kamarakoto, Alejo Calcaño, Captain General of the Pemón and first Pemón to be recognized as a representative of his group by the government of Venezuela during the command of General Lopez Contreras. Calcaño was taken out of the Kamarata Valley when he was thirteen years old and educated by an ex-army General of Venezuela. When he came back to his land as an adult, he quickly realized that he was the only Pemón who was able to communicate with the outside world. He educated his people with a basic objective: to prepare them for the upcoming entrance of the outside civilization, making sure that they would keep their traditions and culture as strong as possible. His teachings were never written and they are almost disappearing.
The video out-takes follow Hortensia’s steps as she goes from hamlet to hamlet asking the elders about the history of her grand-grandfather and the rest of the “pormenores” of her culture: the mystical stories, the traditions in art and music forms. The material in the video tells also of the traditions that are part of the daily life of the tribe: the elaboration of the “cachiri” (a drink from yucca) and the casabe, the houses, the methods of transportation and the traditions that they have implemented in their actual life (sports, religions, etc).